Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Someone Else's Dishes

This morning as we finished up our workout, my friend Jessica asked me a somewhat out-of-the-blue question: "What time in the evening would it mean the most for me to pray for you?"

I don't have much of a poker face, so I am pretty sure I said "Huh?" with my expression.

Jessica went on to explain that she was going to start setting a timer on her phone to pray for me in the evening. She wanted to know what time it would mean the most to me to look at the clock and know she was specifically praying for me. (The answer, honestly, was that any time between 5:30-8:30pm would not be wasted prayer for this patience-challenged woman :-)

I was so grateful for her compassionate offer, especially considering she is a busy working wife and Mama. Her explanation, however, was what really struck me. "I've been thinking," she said, "it's so much easier to do someone else's dishes than it is to wash your own."

I chuckled at the truth of her observation. After a dinner with friends or family, I am enthusiastic about cleaning the dishes and restoring order in someone else's kitchen. Yet, even as I type this there are dishes in my own sink that I am avoiding like a plague.

Jessica's point was that in the midst of her own busy evenings with kids it was easier for her to pause to pray for her friends than for herself...and yet, the feeling of peace and perspective she gained while doing so positively impacted her own home.

I thought about her comments several times during the afternoon. How true it is that when I am drowning in self pity and frustration, one of the healthiest things I can do is take a break from my self focus long enough to think of others' needs.

And tonight when I got her text at 6:36pm it warmed my heart. It was only 12 words, that probably took her mere seconds to send, but the impact was tremendous. I was reminded that I am not alone in this motherhood gig. I exhaled. I smiled and I prayed for her too.

I think this is the intention of Galatians 6:2 "Carry each other's burdens" (or wash each other's dishes, if you will) "and so fulfill the law of Christ."

12 comments:

Rosemary Clark said...

I loved this post and was challenged by it. Thanks for sharing!

LeighAnn said...

As I have told you before, you have such a gift....not in just the way you write but in what you choose to write about.....I love this post. I am often called by God to pray for people I do not even know...He leads me to them in the most mundane way and then they are on my mind until I have been obedient and prayed for these absolute strangers. Our God is amazing. God bless your sweet family.

April said...

love this. Definitely a post to think about tonight.

Maria said...

If you ever doubt that our Lord is using you and your blog, just know that there is a stranger in Mississippi whose "dishes you are washing" and you probably don't even know it.
Thank you.

lindley said...

A stranger in Tennessee too! Well said, Maria, and thank you so much JMom!

Nichole said...

I LOVE this idea...and as a Mama to a 2-year old and 4-year old the evening hours are hard on me too...especially on the frequent nights I'm flying solo. Thank you for sharing.

Michele Livingood said...

This is amazing. Thank you for sharing!!!!

JMom said...

Your comments made me smile. It really is such a sweet & simple sentiment isn't it? May we continue to 'spur one another on towards love and good deeds!'

Natasha Carneiro said...

Such a beautiful post, thank you for "washing my dishes" with your beautiful warm heart touching words xx

Helen said...

Dishes waiting in my sink as I read this... thanks for giving me the kick I needed to get up and do them, and with a prayer on my lips for others.

Linda said...

I read your post @ Kelly's Korner and had to pop over and read some more! I loved the idea of "washing someone else's dishes" by praying for their needs! :)

In the past I have jumped in and cleaned someone's house as a ministry...and it was a great blessing for me as well as them. I think God is greatly pleased when we put others needs before our own!

You have a wonderful way of writing...giving glory to God...and helping others in the mean-time. I think I will be back to read more...as this blog has encouraged me!

Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

megs7827 said...

I am visiting after reading your testimony on Kelly's blog! Love this!! I have to share on my Facebook !