I wake up early to clean the kitchen.

I’m not a neat freak, but I wake up early to clean the kitchen because although I try to be fine with dirty dinner dishes sitting in the sink all night, I’m not fine with dirty dinner dishes sitting in the sink all day while I work.

It’s dark, and like you, my day is full, and I’m standing in the kitchen scraping dishes. I’m not going to lie, this doesn’t feel anything like service. Instead, it feels like doing a chore no one wants to do and no one notices when it’s complete.

You can tell me there is beauty in the mundane, but I can tell you there isn’t beauty in dried up manicotti, and therefore, I scrape louder hoping someone will hear me, but no one does. The dog wanders over to my feet, sighs, and quickly goes back to sleep.

I read articles about people finding God while folding clothes, and I shake my head because the only thing I find while folding clothes is missing socks.

And there’s more clanging of dishes.

A couple of weeks ago, I helped a friend clean a relative’s house. My friend’s family recently made the difficult decision to put her relative in a nursing home. Now, a lifetime of belongings needed to be sorted and a house ready to sell.

As we cleaned, it got dark, and my day had already been full, and do you know what? There wasn’t one moment of banging the belongings around. Not one. Maybe it was easier to serve a friend because the mess wasn’t my own or maybe it was easier because I knew I could contribute to clean up, but I wasn’t the one responsible for completion.

Regardless, it made me think about true service.

I will never like scraping dishes in the dark, but I do know true service is serving others even when you don’t feel like it and most of all when no one notices.

What are your thoughts? Do you see household chores as a way to serve your family? How’s your attitude when you serve others by completing a task you don’t enjoy?

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serving at home: when scraping dirty dishes doesn’t feel like service

by Amy L. Sullivan time to read: 2 min