Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Maybe tomorrow I'll be proud if he doesn't finish his homework...

"the dishes, the pans, the bowls..."
Numbers 4:7

My son disobeyed me today.  And I was really proud of him.

In my efforts to teach my kids how to keep house, I try to teach them not just cleaning stuff (how to do laundry, etc) but also how to do things efficiently.  Like putting things to soak, and then you can clean off the counters and maybe put the food away or whatever, and then when you go back to clean the dish or pan, it will be easier.  Efficient, right?  I made that up. 

Kidding, of course.

But I also have a rule that when you're putting your dirty knife, or your cereal bowl or whatever, in the sink, you do not put it in an already-soaking bowl, if that already-soaking bowl was used to cook something greasy or excessively saucy.  'Cause that's gonna make your dirty item to become completely dirty:  greasy or saucy.   Then I have to scrub every square inch of the item, when maybe the back or the handle only needs a cursory cleaning.  Or I have to put the item in the dishwasher, when I could have done it by hand. 

My family is pretty cooperative about these two things, although it has not come without some reminding.  And as the youngest, my son was probably the last to get in these habits.  (Although the Apple of my Eye was a close second.)

Well today at lunch, my boy made himself a delicious-looking fried rice bowl.  Made the rice, sauteed some veggies, cooked a little chicken, and then tossed some sort of Asian sauce over the top.  And he dutifully took the bowl in which he had cooked the rice over to the sink to fill it with water.  'Cause dried, stuck-on rice is particularly tricky to scrub if it hasn't been soaked.

But he couldn't put it in the sink, because I had put a large, very dirty pot in there to soak.  He knew he shouldn't put his rice bowl in the big dirty pot, but he also couldn't put his rice bowl to soak because there wasn't room in the sink.

Now, you should also know that he wasn't feeling well today, otherwise he would have just solved the problem by just washing the bowl, or filling it as much as possible and setting it on the counter or something.  But I happened to walk into the kitchen as he was caught in this dilemma, and he just looked up at me, almost helplessly. 

I kind of laughed, and helped him solve the problem, but I also told him how much I appreciated his efforts to be obedient to me.  Of course I'm not going to punish him, or even be angry, if he made a mistake or forgot.  If all of us are most of the time helping the house to run smoothly, then I have nothing to complain about. 

But just the fact that he was remembering, and giving thought to how I'd want him to solve this problem, was so sweet to me.  And again I'm reminded that this is how God is with us.  Sometimes we're not sure what the right to do is.  But our desire to please Him goes a long way.  I find great comfort in that.

~ "Through Him we have received
grace and apostleship
for obedience to the faith" ~
Romans 1:5

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