There’s a Bible verse that goes a little something like this:
“And don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry.” (NLT)
“Dont’ stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.” (The Message)
Lately, I have had a lot of dirty dishes in my sink. And let me clarify: I NEVER have dirty dishes in my sink. Maybe a pot or two here and there, but never a full sink of dishes.
with a husband who works full time and does school full time, with a new baby, and with…I dunno…just life happening, I keep finding my kitchen sink overflowing with dirty dishes.
It’s gross. It’s annoying. Seriously,who wants to be my nanny???
So earlier tonight I took a bath. It was the first bath I’ve taken since having little Cameron enter my world.
The baby was in bed, so I poured a glass of wine, grabbed a candy bar from my stash and headed upstairs with my book “What’s It Like To Be Married To Me?” (And yes, I’m still reading this book – one chapter each month- and discussing it with The Better Wives Club.)
I started reading and God spoke to me.
“Erin, don’t go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink.”
I knew what my Heavenly Father meant.
God wasn’t addressing my housekeeping.
He was addressing my heart.
Lately my marriage has felt so different. I’ve been trying to adjust.
I’ve been frustrated.
At what, I don’t know…. just frustrated.
Frustrated at the circumstances. Frustrated at Jon at times (I don’t like to admit it, but it’s true). Frustrated at myself for being frustrated at the circumstances and at Jon.
School. Going back to work soon. Changes. More changes. Getting up at night. Managing a home. Jon’s job. Not being able to shower…or do anything exactly when I want to. Cooking dinner every night. Changes. Finances. Car breaking down. AHHHH!!!!
Having a baby is the most miraculous event I think I will ever witness in my life. It’s beautiful and amazing. But then you go home from the hospital and real life eventually catches up to you. And then you have to fight to keep viewing things as beautiful and amazing because trials and pressures and changes come and threaten it all.
The thing about dirty dishes is this: you can leave them in the sink, turn off the light and go to bed…but when you wake up in the morning and walk into the kitchen to make the coffee,
they are still there,
staring you in the face,
stinking up the whole kitchen.
Right now, the chapter I’m reading in my book is called, “Is It Possible To Grow Together When Things Fall Apart?” Things aren’t necessarily falling apart right now, but they sure are different than they used to be and sometimes that can make things feel like they are falling apart. So I’ve been thinking a lot about my marriage lately and praying about how Jon and I can stay close and grow closer even though life just got flipped upside down.
“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.” (The Message) James 1:2
l was reminded tonight that trials will come, but that the key is to not let resentment, bitterness or anger pile up in my sink. Because if I do, they will still be there in the morning – and that is not a great way to start the day. One or two dishes at a time will only take a few moments to clean, but a whole sink full is a daunting task to deal with.
The author of the book paraphrases James 1:2 this way:
“Rejoice in the trials you face as a couple; they will teach you perseverance and make your love and commitment to one another strong. They will produce character, a strength that will lead to intimacy.”
That is what I want and that is what I’m trusting God for.
So, yes, my literal kitchen sink is still full of dirty dishes.
But spiritually, my heart is cleaned up and so now I’m ready for bed.