Saturday, January 8, 2022

Joy in the Middle of the Mess

By: Melanie Moore

"I've never seen anyone so happy to wash dishes", my teenage son commented as he raised one eyebrow and stood observing me.

"What? I can't hear you! I have on headphones!" I replied loudly, pointing to my ears with my bright pink rubber gloves.

"You don't have to yell, granny," he joked as he rolled his eyes and removed one of the earbuds from my ear.

I'm not sure why I assumed that because I had on headphones, I needed to raise my voice for him to hear me. It turns out that he could hear me perfectly at a normal tone. I mentally face-palmed as I realized that I speak loudly every time I wear headphones.

Maybe I truly am ready for the old folk's home.

"I said that I've never seen anyone so happy to wash dishes", my son repeated, lifting an eyebrow to look at me curiously. "You have a big smile on your face and you look like you're having the time of your life over here."

I had to giggle at the thought of washing dishes as being my favorite hobby. It's really not, but I explained to him that I was playing worship music in my headphones, and the songs were really speaking to my heart! I was so encouraged by the lyrics and reminded of the truths of who God is in the middle of all my circumstances that I had to smile! As I considered these truths, my facial expression reflected the deep joy that God was pouring into my heart, even as I was elbow deep in dishwater.

That interaction with my son taught me a valuable lesson. The people around us with whom we interact daily -- family, friends, coworkers, neighbors -- they are watching us. Even when we don't realize it, those around us are observing how we respond to life in good times, bad times, and even in everyday, ordinary moments like washing a mountain of dirty dishes. 

What, or who, do they see in us?

If we are allowing God to fill our hearts with the truths of who He is, even in the midst of our various circumstances, we will reflect that joy to others. Don't get me wrong. We don't have to smile all the time, especially in the middle of heartache. However, God is still the sovereign, Almighty Father. He is still in control. Even when our circumstances change, our God does not change.

That's why we can sing and praise Him in the middle of all our mess. Maybe especially then is when we praise Him the loudest. We can look around at our mess, and say with confidence the joy of the Lord is my strength.

I pray today that joy would take root deep in our hearts. I pray it would flow deep as a river and overflow the banks so that we can't even contain it to the point that those around us take notice and ask us what is different about us. Then, we can point to God and share the hope that comes only through knowing Him.

Now I need to put these bright pink rubber gloves back on and tackle the rest of these dishes. I hope you know that I'm going to be singing in the middle of this mess.

Friend, I hope you're singing too. I'll be cheering you on from here as we trust in Him together. 

"I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit."

~ Romans 15:13 (NLT)


  1. Melanie, this is such a great reminder to find joy and to remember that we are being watched. Thank you for sharing! ♥

  2. Melanie, I actually do like washing dishes :) It's mindless which means I can think about other things while doing them. I also thought about Brother Lawrence who is known to have said: "Lord of all the pots and pans and things, make me a saint by getting meals and washing up the plates!" May I be found smiling in the middle of the mess! Thank you for this encouraging reminder!

  3. Great truth. So true. Thanks for the encouragement.

    -Traci Little


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