Keepin’ It Real: Grace From a Dirty Sink

Sometimes it seems the way we bless one another best is just to be real and frank and forthcoming.  Because this journey of life isn’t easy for any of us and sometimes its nice to know we’re not walking the road alone.

I had the chance to keep it real yesterday when I hosted my young daughters’ playgroup here at the house.  I ushered our friends through the front door, down the hallway, and there, in the middle of my kitchen, sat my dirty, neglected sink. Breakfast bowls spilled out from the top, spoons on the counter. The baby’s highchair tray lay wedged, Cheerios still stuck to the milk. A soaking pan from last night’s dinner filled the second side and shot out at an odd angle. I felt awkward and embarrassed to welcome this company to my home with such an eyesore for everyone to see.  

The truth was, I had run out of time.  In an attempt to attain the perfect playdate, perfect hostess, perfect home, I had failed.  I had achieved a shower with non-workout clothes and make-up, for which I was patting myself on the back.  But my sink was really dirty and the dishwasher needed to be unloaded.  If only I had had 10 more minutes to achieve the standard. But really, who’s standard was it?

As my guests arrived, my inclination was to run to the sink and cover my mistake.  Or maybe try to get it done quickly when the first mother-daughter duo arrived.  No. I forced myself to leave it. Perfection wasn’t the standard; I didn’t have time and I needed to face the music.

But what if they know this is often how it looks? What if they know I don’t always have it together?

My mind forced me to stop with these questions and instead, I brought the attention of the ladies to my sink.  Might as well drive home the lesson.  “Girls,” I said, “Here is my gift to you today. This here is my dirty sink that I didn’t get to this morning. If you ever have a crazy day and you just can’t get it all done, think of me and feel relieved that you’re not alone. And if you ever host playgroup at your house and you have too many things on your plate, leave it and remember me.”

They all laughed and smiled and talked about how their sinks at home looked just like mine. Isn’t it nice to have good friends who can be real with one another?  I might bless a friend by confiding in her about a problem because she realizes she’s not the only one who struggles.  Or as embarrassed as I might be, I might give wings to a friend when she sees the crumbs in my car because she knows she’s not the only one who lets her kids eat there.  When we keep it real, we help each other on the road of life.  Because nobody’s perfect at it and that’s why we all need Grace.

  • http://www.buildingcathedrals.com/ Kellie

    Amen! And I am REALLY impressed that you are still doing a playgroup with your 4th! That makes you a mom rock star. I have never once gone to a playgroup for my 3rd, let alone my 4th child. They just tag along…

    • Bethany

      Even better, I get credit for the 4th and 5th with this playgroup! It is all girls and it is *lovely*. We have 7 little girls playing and the moms can actually hear one another and don’t have to break up too many fights or races! lol

  • Katrina

    Absolutely! Great lesson for us all!

  • Mar Alice

    Ha! After several days of a sink and counter full of dishes, I finally tackled it all. Mid-day my 11 year old walked in to the kitchen and said “wow, way to go on the dishes, mom!” It was so nice to have someone notice and acknowledge it, I think that is one of the huge advantages of kids who grow up doing chores, they know that dishes don’t just magically disappear!

    • Bethany

      They are going to make wonderful spouses! Or very capable priests/nuns!

  • Queen B

    What a treat, B. Both the playdate and the way you handled the sink situation. I wish I could be in your playgroup.

    • Bethany

      Ooooh Bets, what a treat it would be for ME have you there!!

  • http://www.NancyFrench.com/ Nancy French

    Way to go on having already worked out!!


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