more than a mess

Sometimes, a sink full of dirty dishes is more than a mess.

I see a group of friends, wedged in like Tetris pieces on my living room floor. A community lunch, a tradition that began with football and ended with relationship. Students who laughingly help us defy our apartments maximum occupancy, all for a home-cooked meal. A potluck, not just of food, but of conversation as voices ring from every corner of the home.

We offer food for the body, and the Body offers food for the soul.

Asked for lunch, staying for dinner, a new meal is prepared before the old one is swept away. The warm January day has become a cool Southern California evening. Plates get piled high with food, then stacked higher on the dishwasher. Choosing to be a Mary rather than a Martha, I leave it all for Monday morning.

Because when I wake to this mess, as a new week begins, I thank God that He has called us to live in community.

They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. {Acts 2:46-7}

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25 Comments

  1. Haley says:

    I want to make dirty dishes to leave in your sink! Haha! …But I’d help clean them up.

    1. Melissa says:

      I would love that!! Most of the people who eat with us try to help, too. I’m just bad at letting people help me. :)

  2. Michael says:

    This is really good melissa.

    1. Melissa says:

      Thanks, Michael! :) Glad you stopped by.

  3. Jason says:

    I don’t feel so bad about our kitchen now. :)

    1. Melissa says:

      Well that’s good! :) I think that ended up being 4 loads of dishes, plus all of the hand-washed stuff. :)

  4. jasonS says:

    The dishes are my job around our house so I know the struggle, but I have found that it’s not nearly as much of a chore when you’ve had fun with friends and family, enjoying our time. I totally get what you’re saying. It’s great to be thankful in all things! So…thanks Melissa. :)

    1. Melissa says:

      The dishes are definitely my domain, but Josh is the garbage king and he hauls the laundry up & down the stairs for me. :) I actually look at loading the dishwasher as a challenge. Hah! But you’re right, when there’s a purpose behind it, the chore doesn’t seem so bad.

  5. taterhouse says:

    “choosing to be a Mary instead of a Martha” – Jesus knows your heart, and by your vulnerability to show this picture – we all know it now too. You’ve been with Jesus. Amen.

    1. Melissa says:

      “You’ve been with Jesus.”

      That’s encouraging! :) Thanks, Ryan!

  6. amber says:

    “We offer food for the body, and the Body offers food for the soul.”
    I love this because it’s so true!! I almost always get more out of fellowship than anything else.

    1. Melissa says:

      And fellowship makes the food better! Glad I was able to feast with you in both ways this past weekend! :) Hope you’re getting some rest after our crazy “retreat.”

  7. Nikole Hahn says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who procrastinates on doing the dishes after company. I often feel bad that my kitchen looks messy after dinner, but I am too tired to clean it up. Then, I begin comparing the neatness of my home to other homes. I feel bad.

    What a great reminder!

    1. Melissa says:

      I used to clean it all up after cooking, but part of it was that I didn’t want my guests to feel obligated to help. I found that if I did it right away I either missed out on the conversations, or caused others to miss out by them helping me. It’s much easier for me to just say, “Leave it,” and work on it later. :) And really, with four kids my house is usually in some state of disaster.

  8. Duane Scott says:

    I just read the last 4 blog posts of yours. I LOVED the one about laughing out loud and am linking up to that one.

    And I’m praying that your baby arrives shortly. :)

    And I’m linking up. On my facebook page.

    1. Melissa says:

      Haha! Thanks. :) My “baby” is now 7 months old and crawling all over the house.

  9. Anna says:

    What a beautiful perspective to have on that Monday morning mess. If that mess had been mine, I probably would have been quite frustrated. I have a little maturing to do.

    1. Melissa says:

      Haha! That’s only the Monday morning dishes, though. The ones I did tonight were not quite as meaningful, and I didn’t have quite the same attitude. :)

  10. lauren says:

    mmm…a messy kitchen always means a full home. . .loves it.

  11. Levi says:

    I love this post! I love your heart, I love your home and I love your family. Thanks for being a friend, and thanks for being (an integral part of) Jesus’ body.

    1. Melissa says:

      Thanks, Levi! It was so good to get some time with your lovely wife this weekend! :) I have truly missed her (and you). Hopefully we’ll get an opportunity to break some bread with you guys this summer.

  12. Dustin says:

    The title of this post alone is ‘meaty’ enough to get me thinking about the ways God loves me. Grateful that our messy hearts and messy lives are welcomed by our Savior.

    1. Melissa says:

      It’s nice to know that He accepts us just as we are. :) Thanks, Dustin.

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