Have you ever heard the expression “cleanliness is next to Godliness” and wondered what in the world it meant? Yeah, me too. I’m sure there’s some short, sweet answer as to why we compare Mr. Clean to God, but I have had an unrelated revelation of my own this week that has had that saying running through my head.
You see, we just moved to the Nashville area (Franklin, to be exact, for those of you who know the area or are Civil War buffs) for no other reason than the fact that we wanted to. Our decision to do so was not a spontaneous one, but it was still one that required a formidable amount of faith. We didn’t have typical jobs lined up and we leased a house without ever seeing it. For this type-A, event-planning, control-freak, that’s a big deal. But, and this is a “but” that is foundational in my faith, I just had to trust that this move is what God has had in store for our little family all along.
Key to this story is the face that the house that Adam and I lived in when we got married had no dishwasher. It was was an adorable craftsman-style bungalow from the 1920′s, but it definitely needed some TLC that we, as renters, just weren’t in the position to provide. So, for 2.5 years, I washed dishes, by hand, in a sink with a faucet that was much too low and water pressure that was virtually non-existent. There were times I stood at that sink for an hour, continually turning that water on-and-off, on-and-off just trying to trick the it into flowing at a pace stronger than a trickle. It was mental Chinese water torture for me.
So, when we decided to move, I adamantly declared that our next house WOULD have a dishwasher. I checked every rental listing we came across for a dishwasher and if there wasn’t one, I quickly moved on without question. So, when my mother-in-law told us about this cute little house in the perfect little neighborhood, my first question was, of course, about the dishwasher. And, when I was told that this perfect little house didn’t have one, I not only questioned its perfection, but was sorely disappointed. However, the more I learned about this perfect little house, the more I realized that I could suck it up for another year and wash dishes by hand. I was making a H-U-G-E sacrifice for sake of simply moving out of our house on time. Huge, I tell you!
Fast-foward a month and allow me to divulge just how I feel about the dish situation in this new little house. Y’all, (I live in Tennessee now, so I can say “y’all” without feeling weird, ok?) I couldn’t be more grateful for what the lack of a dishwasher means in my life right now. From the moment we arrived in our new town, I knew we’d made the right decision. I knew that the anxiety Adam and I both felt as we packed up the house that we came home to from our honeymoon, the same house that we brought our sweet Piper home from the hospital to, was all so inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. I knew that God, indeed, had us in the palm of His hands the entire time we debated what was going to be best for our family.
We love it here. Our lives have been enriched in ways that will need some blog posts of their own for elaboration. What I will tell you know is that we are carving out the lives that we want for Piper and any subsequent children we may have in the future. It’s truly a perfect fit. And, do you know what? Do you know what reminds me of God’s faithfulness in a way that I never imagined? Washing dishes. By hand. Each morning, noon, and night, when I stand over the kitchen sink in our perfect little house washing dishes, I am reminded of the way that God always, always, always gives us exactly what we need, especially when it’s something that allows us to see, feel, and experience Him more clearly.
And that’s exactly what happens when I wash dishes now.
So, yes, cleanliness is next to Godliness for me, but in a way I never knew possible and in a way that just fills me to the brim with gratitude for His perfect orchestration, and humility for the ways in which I doubted and worried and tried to maintain control that was never mine to begin with.
Nourish and Be Nourished::