Sunday, October 16, 2011

31 Days: Letting Go of Comforts



The good news is, the rental house has a dish-washer.

The bad news is, it's not parked next to the sink and it's on wheels, so we figured it had to be trotted over and manually connected each time.

The good news is, my amazing father-in-law investigated and discovered that it's hooked up and ready to go.

The bad news is, my amazing husband forgot to tell me this for the first two days that we lived here. (As in, he watched us do dishes and heard me whine about the useless prehistoric dishwasher for two days and still "forgot" to mention it.)

The good news is, it came up in later conversation with his dad and I enjoyed using it twice last week.

The bad news is, it doesn't work very well at all. And it sometimes smells like the shadow of death.

The good news is, it's the largest patch of counter space I have. It's my island.

I know I'm not roasting a wild pig on a spit or cooking two pounds of beans in a cast iron pot over open flame here. I understand that I could be walking three miles to a dirty water source just to turn around and haul it back home.

Still, I find myself grumbly.



I have to chase the thoughts away of the kitchen I daydreamed into existence. The kitchen hard at work right now for a new family, just a mile or two down the road.

So tonight I did dishes in the slow-draining (shudder) sink and I tried my best to forget about the soggy food particles collecting in that trap-thingy. I balanced plates and whisks and mixing bowls in the dish drainer like a prize-winning Jenga puzzle.

I won't pretend that my kitchen situation is "trouble", but can I find a way to consider it pure joy? Can I take the opportunity to be thankful for all that I have, all of the warmth and the safety and the soup bubbling in the pot?

I'd like to believe that my contentment and joy are not situational and I'd really like to believe they aren't directly correlated to the square footage of my kitchen. Heaven help me.

I'm thankful to be on this journey that continues to unfold one page at a time. I'm thankful for the lessons that we're learning, because as much as we set out to do something, there's much more being done inside us.


*For the rest of the Letting Go series, click here.

44 comments:

  1. Thanks for the reminder. I am less than thrilled with my current living situation. At least we have a roof over our head.

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  2. I'm thankful for the lessons I'm learning as well (and you are helping me with these posts). Isn't it great when our joy isn't situational? Even though I may not always be happy with my circumstances, I can't let that rob me of having joy...always.

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  3. You impress me to no end.
    Actual dishes...
    I haven't done those in many years.

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  4. you are seeing things through the lens of Christ. thanks for reminding me to do the same. even if it means doing dishes. : )

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  5. bless your heart.
    i'm loving this lesson here, girl. a timely reminder for me!

    love you xo

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  6. From nirvana to grody. You're allowed a little grumble or two. It's only if the grumbles turn into misgivings that you have something to worry about.
    Dana

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  7. oh girl...WHY did you show that second picture? i'm doing the same compare thing too. loved my old creaky house create just for me...it's a polar opposite of our current squeaky clean new white townhouse, but it's just different...and that's ok. God's got a plan...

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  8. It's so easy to forget how easy we have it, isn't it? I LOVE your perspective. I betcha Calvin and Ruby would love to get in there and wash some dishes while you dry....a nightly duty for the kids in my dishwasher-free childhood home. Put some tunes on after dinner and rock out with them while you wash & dry, and forget the stanky dishwasher! xox

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  9. Oh, Girl ~ I feel your pain! almost 6 years ago, we moved from a gorgeous 2 story 2000+ sq ft. house to a 975sq ft termite infested DUMP. The intention was (is...) to someday build with cash. I could tell you stories....

    Maybe try pouring some vinegar down your drains, followed by a pot of boiling water?

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  10. You're doing a mighty fine job of speaking an attitude into existance! :) I do it myself on occasion. ;)
    Your last kitchen was a dream & I know your next one will be also! I'm wondering if the old is filled with littles? I bounce between loving this decorating stuff & wondering what it's all worth...I mean in the heavenly relm...why bother. Then I remind myself that I want my home to be a place in which I can welcome an unexpected guest at a moments notice, but still I can do that in a shack by the river. I guess I'm feeling a little like Solomon tonight (meaningless! Meaningless! Ecclesiastes 1) only with out his wisdom! ;) So in the end fear God & keep his commandments! Right.

    You are loved!
    xo
    Matthew 7:25

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  11. You might want to check the bottom of the dishwasher and see if food has accumulated there causing the stink. I would also try running it through with a cup of vinegar instead of soap to get rid of the smell. If you Google dishwasher smell you will find lots of helpful suggestions. We had a dishwasher the first 5 years of our marriage that I refused to use because it had not been used in fifteen years. I was certain that all the rubber gaskets had dried up and would cause a major flood. I was over-the-moon excited when my hubby finally decided we could get a new one! I cannot imagine having 3 kids and no dishwasher.

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  12. you inspire me, lady.
    i will try to be grateful regardless of my circumstances today too...

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  13. I remember when we first moved into this house, I doubted my ability to pull it off. I shuttered at the cockroaches in the drawers and cabinets, the tiny stove, the ants that I had to push aside to cook and which I had to move faster than, the heat that made me so irritable, the limited space and my limited mind that couldn't see past where I had come from. My first dinner was frozen pizza and corn and I couldn't think of where to go from there. What was I going to make to fill up a year of breakfast, lunch and dinners? Now, as we start to pack our bags for home, I think I may the the most proud of myself in this area. I mastered it and I found joy in it, and that is the blessing.

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  14. I had a dishwasher that didn't work too! I feel so companion-y with you right now. have I told you that dishes FREAK. ME. OUT? well, not clean dishes, those are okay, but DIRTY dishes...kill me. I have a very weak stomach. This whole post is giving me the pee pee shivers.
    Once I threw away a pyrex dish, long lost in the fridge. It was beyond. Then my husband found it. he was like, "Um, did you just THROW THIS AWAY?", as he cradled his found bakeware like a small child/cat/dog/mammal. I was like, "um...no? yes? I COULDN'T TAKE IT!"
    So. God's doing some things in you. Can you find comfort in the fact that He has a lot more to do in me?

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  15. p.s. I just remembered how you find gratitude in smelly dishwashers. Ask Him. Heaven help you indeed. You're in smelly dishwaters dear. This calls for supernatural strength.
    xoxoxox

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  16. I just love your style of writing...you amuse me! I thought I became a follower the other day...but i don't see myself in your list...so I am going to do it again. I really enjoy your posts! Come by and visit me if you get a chance...and if you do...please leave a comment...they are like opening up little gifts! I'd be thrilled if you decided to follow me too!

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  17. Oh FG, how you encourage me! We are getting ready to do just what you are doing, except not by choice (!) and I swear, the house we are looking at tomorrow has exactly that dishwasher :) I confess that I have nixed a couple of houses because they have no dishwasher. I am so pathetic. I hope I can find joy beyond the circumstances, too.

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  18. He he, I see that Krispy Kreme doughnut box in the corner there!! Good for you, doughnuts always help in a time of change.

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  19. Shannon just throw a cup of Clorox into the bottom of the dishwasher and run it empty this will sanitize it and get the gunk out at the same time. My son has a plumbing bus. and he says the stuff will build up and nothing works like Clorox. You will get there I love hearing of your journey and the children melt my heart. nancy

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  20. Oh, for pete's sake, I'm entirely sympathetic to how it's hard for you to move from a house you really loved, but I've been doing dishes for 23 years and it's really not hard labor, even when it's Thanksgiving dinner. We're clean, too, so don't fret about the particles of food in the strainer. Seriously, get a grip. :)

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  21. Ohhh sister...we've been there. In fact, just got out of there and those amazing pages of the journey just keep a turnin'. I left the newly remodeled kitchen with the wall size chalk board that hubby had JUST installed to have a rental kitchen that was painted poop brown and had no windows. The dishwasher didn't work very well in that kitchen either...the spinny thingy on top was broken or something. I, however, sulked and moaned for 6 months over all of it. If I had only known what Father had in store for us. He was so patient with me, he knew exactly what we needed then and what he was going to bless us with now.

    The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy. Psalm 126:3

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  22. Joy and contentment that's not based on situation or circumstance. Oh how I pray for the same thing.

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  23. I saw some ducks for sale at a thrift store and thought of your kitchen :)...Here's a tip that has helped me with the dishes thing. I have a dishwasher, but hate to load and unload. I went to the dollar store and bought a small dish drainer and I keep it in one side of the sink. For those times when you need to use one spoon, or one bowl, we rinse them out and put back in the dish drainer to dry, which cuts down on the loading and unloading; next time I need a coffee cup, I might just use the one from last night that I washed when I was finished with it. I know - a long post to describe something so minor but it really has helped with the amount of dishes.

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  24. I admit I'd be feeling a bit low right now too. It's difficult going from great to not so great. The good thing is your examining what it truly takes to make a happy life....for you. We're all different. This will come in handy down the road when you get a bit more back on your feet. It's clear your family makes you happy but lets face it comforts are just that - they make our lives comfy. You'll get in the routine of things and it will be less of a struggle.

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  25. next to the Bible and those faith filled sermons you are my best read! Press on for Jesus!

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  26. I rather like the retro styling of your dishwasher and it would not surprise me if it turned out to be really efficient once you have blasted it with something lethal to clean it out - and with your sink draining slowly too I bet the drains are the greasy stinky problem. I also like that shiny extractor above your stove!

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  27. I loved this post... and am grateful for your challenging perspective.

    But, I had to laugh a little.

    I've never had a dishwasher. In fact, growing up, we didn't either. I'm the oldest of nine...six girls, three boys respectively. My dad always said (jokingly), "why do we need a dishwasher? (when we'd complain about washing dishes) - we have six of them already." And, acoording to our personalities we were given names: Whirlpool, Speed Queen, Hot Point, etc. ;)

    To this day - like I said - I don't have a dishwasher nor do I really want one. I think it's kinda theraputic to wash dishes. However, if I bought/rented a house with one in already - I'm sure I'd leave it there... and maybe even use it once in awhile. ;)

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  28. Oh that last part...it's a nugget of gold!

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  29. Looking at the glass as half full:

    SWEET fan above that stove!!

    xxoo~

    TT

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  30. I can relate to your struggle, God has been working in my life to appreciate what I have instead of focusing on what I don't have/want to have. Thankfully the more I let go of my wants the greater contentment I am finding in the things I have. It's a struggle though, some days are easier than others. Some days I can easily count my blessings while other days I have to remind myself that there are more important things than whatever it is I am grumbling about.
    Overall we both know we could have it far worse, we are not having to walk three miles for water, but still, as humans, we struggle with our wants and desires. Satan has a good market in making us discontent with the blessings we have.
    I'll keep you in my prayers as I too count my blessings!
    Hang in there, God is working some amazing things in your life and your openness to His plan is inspiring to all your readers.

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  31. You can make your kitchen romantic :) Pretend that you and your hubby are newly-weds and are EXCITED to finally have a kitchen that isn't in an apartment or a dorm room. Pretend that you just bought your first home and you LOVE IT! Pretend like it is an upgrade, pretend, pretend, pretend!

    I think God likes it when we use our imaginations :)

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  32. I just wanted you to know that your 'letting go' series has been extremely inspiring to me. I have taken notes, literally, on each one.
    You are an amazing family and I know you will be rewarded in so many ways for this change you are making.
    Sarah xo

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  33. I have been married 30 years and have never had a dishwasher. In fact, my mother turns 77 next month and she had 4 kids and has never had a dishwasher. Having said that, I detested washing dishes as a child and I'm afraid that attitude carried over to my married life. However, now that I have reconciled myself to it now that my kids are grown, it's amazing how little time it actually takes and it is so satisfying not to have dirty dishes sitting around. I can't imagine making the transition you are; both kitchens I have had (we've never been blessed to own our own home) have unfortunately looked very similar to your current one. It can get you down sometimes but we know that this is not where our treasure is. Love your blog.

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  34. My eyes were drawn to the box of Krispy Kreme serving as counter space to Mr. Bowl.

    Heidi

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  35. I've spent a great deal of time comparing my present home to my former one.

    The problem began with the fact that my former home was referred to as such, my home.

    My present home was referred to very unaffectionately as my house.

    When I got the wording straight I began to make the changes needed to call this place our home, and my attitude made up everyone else's mind too.

    It still isn't just right, but the change in my attitude has made all the difference.

    Even so, no matter what I call it, it's still just a house, and I can not take it to Heaven with me.

    So, who really cares if my last house had a garbage disposal and thermal pane windows with plantation shutters? Honestly, sometimes, I do.

    xxoo

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  36. The faucet in my kitchen is currently broken, so until the part arrives I'm washing my dishes in the bathroom sink. I'm learning tolerance.

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  37. That meal sure doesn't look like bologna boats,that you were busy cooking up for the gang. I think you would even be creative in a camper.

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  38. Like you, we too have moved into a rental. And like you, I too am learning. I have learned that what makes this place so nice are the people in it. I've learned that picnics in the back "yard" are tres' chic and that hotdogs really can be gourmet just as long as you pretend they are.

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  39. Oh we never had a dishwasher when we were growing up infact we were the dishwashers:)I have one now but alot of times I just wash them as I make dinner:) Love the feeling of all the pots and pans drip drying as we eat:) Elma

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  40. Girl. I am totally with you. I haven't had a dishwasher since March. My fingers have been permanently pruned. And I waffle between gratitude and grumbly every single day. We may get a new one next month. And it feels like I'm getting an Escalade or something. The thought of it makes me happier than it should.

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  41. "I'd like to believe that my contentment and joy are not situational and I'd really like to believe they aren't directly correlated to the square footage of my kitchen. Heaven help me."

    this will preach 'til Jesus returns.

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  42. I've loved following your journey. As you know, it hits so close to home. I found out that the new owners of our {not}forever home in the country have "let it go" :( keep moving forward....right?

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  43. We moved back to the little 2 redlight town (in Georgia)I was born and raised in 3 years ago. While we were building our home, we stayed in a rental a few miles down the road. I think we were there 4-5 months, but reading your posts about your current "stay-cation" is bringing back so many memories!

    You should've seen our rental! It was an old home that would be beautiful if redone, but boy did it need some work! The only shower in the house was for a 4 ft person - lol! My son is 6'3 and had to bend way back to wash his hair...well, we all actually had to!

    I had the same mind-set as you: enjoy the down time from housekeeping and relax a little while dreaming up my new home. We actually only unpacked what we had to have. It's hard living out of boxes, but if you stay organized, you really do have less cleaning to do :)

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  44. My parents had one of those portable dishwashers with a chopping block surface. It had to be pushed across the floor to the sink every time we used it. It sat in between the fridge and the washing machine so the chopping block wasn't used much.

    Joy correlated to square footage? I have to fight that at times, too. God is so faithful to pull me out of that state of mind, otherwise I'd just camp there.

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