I know I’m behind on kitchen upkeep when there are no butter knives left in the silverware drawer. It always seems like we have more butter knives than anything else. I’m one of those heathens who prefers to cut my food with the side of my fork over bothering with a knife, so perhaps that’s why. (Don’t tell my mom.)
The dirty dishes multiply awfully quick around here, considering there are only four of us. I tell myself it’s because the kitchen is small and there’s not enough counter space, but who am I kidding? The kitchen is a mess because I avoid cleaning it.
In fact, at this moment, I’m sitting at the dining table with my laptop open, in a seat I’ve chosen specifically because when I sit just so, the kitchen chaos is hidden from my line of sight. It’s nice over here. This table is cleared off save for a fresh bouquet from Trader Joe’s and this morning’s coffee cup.
I fight the slip into resentfulness when the time comes to clean up, wipe down, put away clutter my children and husband leave in their wake. This is, of course, completely ridiculous, because I am the Queen of making messes and then abandoning them until a tipping point is reached—for example, running out of clean underwear. Or butter knives.
I sometimes forget that this work matters, but worse, I forget the magnitude of what these chores represent—all I have been given and who has given it to me.
To count the messes as gifts and grace requires a shift in focus, from inward to outward. It requires that I pay attention.
Isn’t every crumb-filled plate and sticky spoon is an opportunity to say thank you? Thank you for money to purchase groceries. Thank you for work. Thank you for food to cook and eat. Thank you for the ability to enjoy that food. Thank you for little mouths and little bellies to fill. Thank you for running water and soap. Thank you for the roof over my head and floor beneath my feet. Thank you for rain and sun. Thank you for air in my lungs.
The list goes on and on, longer and wider and deeper, and I am beginning to wonder that I’m not on my face daily, thanking God for all that I do not deserve.
This is week two of 31 days of paying attention, a month-long mission to document and give thanks for the everyday, mundane, and beautiful. It’s a series I’m writing for Write 31 Days, a yearly challenge in which bloggers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day in October.