Often, it only takes a minute to forget how much the amenities in life have revolutionized our lives.
It wasn’t too long ago that women rose before dusk to get the fire started, the water drawn, the bread kneaded, the lye ready for the making of soap, the loom in working order, not to mention taking care of the animals and the gardens. Toiling from sun up till sun down was a typical day, and the work was still not completed.
There was no break for computer time. No (in)courage reading to invigorate our morning, and certainly no vacation days.
So when my old dishwasher was disconnected a week before my new one was to arrive, and then that week stretched to two, I began to complain mightily about a sink full of dishes. Yes, I admit it. My bad attitude was pervasive. I did what every mother in that ungrateful state needs to do, and requested that my children give me a swift kick. Yes, I did.
I admit that for two weeks, I took for granted the amazing blessing of technology, and assumed it was my right to have my dishes washed for me. I didn’t rejoice in a cozy, candlelit time of washing dishes together with my children after dinner. No, quite frankly, the sink looked like this picture more times than not, but after my jaunt back to reality, I embraced the last week of hand washing. I enjoyed that time to thank Him specifically for each child that would eat off these dishes. I praised him that these cups served more than just beverages, but opened the door for conversation to be shared deeply among our non-Christian guests. I chuckled at the black stains in the bottom of my stainless steel pot, for it sparked fond memories of Thanksgivings gone by, and our year of “charcoaled” mashed potatoes.
He used this time to remind me how quickly our “want” becomes a need, barely realizing the subtle selfishness that creeps into the equation. I don’t need a dishwasher. In fact, I went years without one, but I am grateful that this “want” has been made a reality.
What a blessed people we are to live in an age of invention, where the physical work and toil of old has been outsourced for us with a few amazing appliances.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, and the privilege I have to host thirty people, I do not want to take those amenities for granted…ever.
(Please remind me of this post when my washer breaks down in the middle of a large load – promise?)
By Jen, Balancing Beauty and BedlamLeave a Comment
My husband and I have moved to a new flat which doesn’t have a dishwasher. At first I was like ‘nooo’ but it really has made me appreciate things I take for granted.
Thank you for this encouraging post.
Great post – I was JUST thinking about this. I live in Guatemala, and I don’t have almost any of the appliances most people have in the States, such as a dishwasher, washer, or dryer. I have complained many times about it, so thank you for reminding me to embrace it.
Jen@Balancing Beauty and Bedlam says
CArrie – you have to embrace it to a whole new level. When I was in Ecuador last year, the continuous lack of power was so eye opening, and I realized just how many things I take for granted (besides just the dishwasher).
I enjoyed your post – I went through the same process one year when my dishwasher broke down. The past nine years have involved a chronic illness that has taken away lots of things I took for granted. But the amazing thing is that it can truly be a gift and blessing from God when things are taken away. I hate the illness, but I wouldn’t trade what it’s done for my spiritual character.
I also had to comment on your post because of the GB packer cup LOL! GO Pack GO!!! Yes, a Packers fan – a very displaced one. I live in Seahawk territory, 2 49’er fans and I’m Green Bay all the way 😉
Jen@Balancing Beauty and Bedlam says
Thanks for sharing. I can’t even imagine walking the road of chronic illness, so I appreciate your perspective.
And yes…woot woot – GO PACKERS. My hubby was born and raised in GB, but now we all moved to NC, so we’re the displaced fans as well. (Holding our head high ;)).
Beautiful in Him says
I have to say that I can’t ever remember not having a dishwasher…even in college! I’m so spoiled, but I’d like to think that if I have to live without something that I’d take it gracefully…now watch my dishwasher or washing machine tear up!
Thank you, thank you! I so needed to read this post today. We built a small cabin home last spring choosing NOT to put in a dishwasher for cabinet space. I don’t miss the dishwasher at all…but I do at times try to rush washing them or see the dishes as a nuisance. When we first moved in my daughter & I had such wonderful bonding moments washing/drying together. As the fall sets in and cooler temps, fires, cozy moments seem to be so available, I’m encouraged by reading your post and ready for sweet conversations over our dishes so full of memories! Blessings….
You know, this happened to me earlier this year and at first I was all for hand washing the dishes. But then I quickly realized how I couldn’t keep up with it! So, although I embraced the idea at first, I DID miss my dishwasher eventually. Those women who worked back then without such technologies are my heroes! But, they also didn’t have the distractions we had today. Perhaps it was: either work, or be bored! LOL
Great reminder, Jen. Thank you!
Holley Gerth says
“How quickly our want can become a need” Oh, Jen, I love how you said this and so needed to hear that today! I love seeing your beautiful face here and loved seeing you at Relevant too. You are a joy, sweet friend, and you bring the same wherever you go.
Lea Stormhammer says
Followed you over from Beauty and Bedlam, Jen, and I love this post!
I, too, have spent years fighting chronic illness (in my case 2 without medical intervention and now a 3rd) and had to reevaluate all I held dear. I spend many years feeling like I was lacking becuase my little house had no dish washer, 11ft 1in of counter space (including the sink!), a detached garage, my 2 kids share 1 bedroom, and so much more! During that time I watched several good friends get divorces, face bankruptcy and foreclosure and watched friendships disolve and break over stupid, little things.
And I am grateful.
Grateful for our little, affordable house.
Grateful for recognizing what the really important things are before I completely lost my health.
Grateful for friends who cleaned my house and watched my kids.
Grateful for my family that turn my little house into a home.
Thanks for the reminder, Jen. We all need that ‘kick in the pants’ from time to time!
Ramblings of a Woman says
God is good at reminding us of things! I have recently been reminded of how important the people in my life are, and that status is nothing. I am grateful for a recent mental meltdown that helped me realize I was headed in the wrong direction.
God is good, even when things seem bad!