If you suffer from occasional bouts of self pity and no one-appreciates-me issues as I occasionally do, perhaps this scenario will sound familiar to you...
Mom spends all morning tending to the needs of her children as well as baking two batches of cookies to stick in the freezer so that said children will have tasty snacks in the months to come. The dirty dishes pile up in the sink.
Mom spends all afternoon making a delicious and nutritious dinner. More dirty dishes pile up in the sink.
Entire family eats delicious dinner, puts more dirty dishes in the sink, and moves on to other activities - Chess, drawing, creating a "Bingo" game that looks nothing like a Bingo game.
Mom can't believe that she didn't receive praise and adulation for delicious dinner and REALLY can't believe that she's left to do all the dishes that don't even all fit in the sink anymore. She really wants to leave the noise and mess behind her and just get in bed and read. She thinks she DESERVES to be able to just get in bed and read...
That was me. I started doing those dishes with a very unattractive scowl on my face and an even worse scowl in my soul. I tried to say a prayer about something like embracing service to my family but it fell flat. Or maybe not - because something, or Someone - that Holy Spirit can be pretty sneaky - moved me get an iPad and get some music going in that kitchen. And as quickly as you can click on "Gladys Knight and the Pips," I was saved from the self-destruction for which I was headed and I managed to fall in love with my family again.
I smiled and sang and washed dishes to Sam Cooke, The Supremes, The Four Tops, Otis Redding, Bobby Darin, Nat King Cole, and of course, Gladys...
This is my soundtrack when I need a pick-me-up. And my 50s, 60s, 70s playlist worked its magic again last night... I was happy to be doing the dishes (even though my pregnant belly was soaking by the end of it!) From my place at the sink I got to listen to a Father-Son Chess game, spy on a little girl sneak pieces of broccoli from her high chair, witness a boy run a Bingo game for his siblings, and I even got to take a couple breaks to dance with whoever happened to pass through the kitchen. It was delightful! And to think I might have missed it if I had been reading (uh, sulking) in bed.
Is it possible that my prayer was answered by way of an internet radio service? Maybe. Like I said, the Holy Spirit can be sneaky! Thanks Pandora, for being (almost) commercial free and for playing what I needed to hear. You saved me from a self-pity induced implosion. You gave me an evening of movie-worthy background music that calmed my troubled soul. You re-opened my eyes to how blessed and beautiful this family life really is and how sometimes the place in front of the sink of dirty dishes is the place where I need to be to see it all unfold before me.
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And in case you love the oldies too... here are two more favorites for you :)