Dirty Dishes in the Sink


Does life get you down? Is it easy to forget your blessings and harder still to forget your troubles each day? Take a few moments to contemplate your dirty dishes.

Amazingly, our dirty dishes can remind us how much we have to be grateful for:


Gas prices UP, Stock market DOWN, Money in the account dwindling, holidays coming around…….. What’s there to be grateful for?

DIRTY DISHES. A Home that needs cleaning, clothes that need washing…a car that needs to be filled with gas. Does it run? Thank God.

I almost lost my home once. A single mother facing the streets with two young children at home, wondering how we would get by. Bankruptcy knocking on the door. There but for the Grace of God goes I. We were spared that nosedive, but we haven’t forgotten. There is much to be grateful for. Do you grumble through the daily grind or see it for the blessing that it is?

Mary Jean Irion

In the midst of hurricanes, flooding, storms, do you praise the sunny day? Do you take a moment to see the changing leaf, the deeper green of the blade of grass, the singing of the bird as the winds die down and the clouds part? The returning of the daily task, the normal day-so taken for granted?

Do you walk with alert eyes to all that is around you, absorbing the brilliance? Are your ears open to the laughter, to the friendship, to the wisdom that the world has to share with you?

~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

When you woke up this morning were you able to say you were:

Breathing fresh air through nostrils that aren’t stuffed up?  Able to walk upright on legs and knees and backs that don’t wrench and ache and scream in pain?  Broadcasting thoughts that stream through heads not racked with shooting arrows from migraines?  Cancer free? That your family was too?

If so…then you are among the luckiest people in the world.

BEING ABLE  TO BE GRATEFUL FOR HEALTH…in all flavors…IS SUCH A BLESSING…and yet, day after day somehow we forget…because we get busy.

So for today, I offer up this vow. Join me if you want to.

On this day, let me take joy in my moments. Let me take joy in the privilege of my tasks and my chores. With every dish I wash, may I remember to be grateful for the food that was served from it. May I remember those who wait for food that has no dish, no table to sit around. May my prayers be for those more in need than myself and for gratitude for the abundance that I have already been given.  May I sing for joy for the health that I have and not focus on the ailments that I have been given. Might I remember that for every ache, there is someone who suffers more and I can turn my energy toward helping those whose needs are greater than my own. HELP ME TO REMEMBER THAT THE ONLY MOMENT THAT I HAVE TO GIVE AND RECEIVE FOR CERTAIN IS THIS VERY ONE AT HAND AND TO SQUANDER IT IS TO WASTE A PRECIOUS GIFT THAT WILL NEVER COME AGAIN.

May I be filled with gratitude, joy, love and happiness until I overflow into a river of abundance that can fill the earth so that we may all understand its glory.

Every day is a choice. No matter what happens out there we still have the opportunity to get up each day and see a sink full of dirty dishes or a home full of blessings. What will you choose?

Richard Bach

I wish you many blessings today, joy in every opportunity and the sun in every face you see. 

 Will you please be a part of helping Life’s Little Inspirations Grow? If you enjoy reading these posts, please leave a comment and subscribe. You do not need to have a blog or website of your own to join in the conversation! We love hearing from EVERYONE!!  We appreciate your referrals. Thank you very much!

Wendi Kelly is a coach who helps her clients transform their mindsets, strategies and habits so they can go from confusion to clarity and fill their lives with love, joy and productivity. Need to get your mindsets clear so your life and business can get on track? Contact Wendi and have a chat about how she can help you turn around your patterns and lifestyle once and for all!


  1. Thanks for the daily reminder….Life is good…always…

    Sue’s last blog post..“I AM” poem by Chloe…believe in yourself

  2. Hi Wendi! What a wonderful message! Taking time to fully live in the moment. An attitude of gratitude for the simple things in life that we sometimes (usually) take for granted. Sometimes while doing the dishes or folding the never ending pile of laundry I am reminded that I am lucky to have had food on the table from the night before and that the grass stains on my daughters pants are indicative of a child who can play freely outside at the park. Rather than focus on the living room walls that STILL need painting or bills that never stop coming in the mail, I chose to enjoy a wonderful breakfast with family and interesting conversation around the table.. just for today, I will not stress or let the pity committee in my head take over.. I will enjoy the sunshine and be grateful to be alive.. Thanks for the reminder! I needed this today!

  3. Absolutely beautiful. Rain or shine, every day is a blessing when I’m able to get out of bed healthy, supported and free to make choices. There are no “bad” days in my house – I’m lucky to live with someone who feels the same.

    Not long ago I was out with a friend and we looked at each other as we caught ourselves wishing for more. Instantly we both stopped and really looked into our own lives- both of us self employed, healthy and surrounded by people who love us. We both said out loud to each other – we have no reason to complain about anything.

    I left the house this morning without a chance to do the breakfast/coffee dishes, so as I go now to clean them up, I will first say thank you.

    And thank you to you!

    Stacey Shipman’s last blog post..I’m not perfect, I’m human

  4. Really liked your post today. I was going to do a post about how we couldn’t afford to waste our money on a large bag of M&M’s this past weekend, but then I started typing and the other one came out. I definitely need to revisit, though. Thanks for the inspiration (just like the domain name promised).

    Writer Dad’s last blog post..M. Night

  5. What a great message to share Wendi! We can’t hear this enough – we are so lucky. We have so much. Even when it seems like we don’t. I have really embraced this philosophy recently. And you know what, my whole outlook on life has improved. I complain less. I really enjoy what I do have. And I enjoy the moments as they come.

    Life is short, and we never know when it will end. I want my life to be one where I am grateful for what I have – family, friends, food, health, good neighborhood, etc.

    Thanks for reminding me that it’s in all the things we have and do that we can be grateful. Sometimes tasks like doing the dishes, or fixing the sink, or cutting the lawn don’t seem like a reason to be grateful – but they are – because of what they mean that we already have!

    Thank you Wendi! Today I will be grateful for all I have to do…(and hopefully it’ll last for lots longer than just today…)

    Lance’s last blog post..The Impact We Have On Others

  6. Hi Lance!

    Yes, here’s hoping it lasts a LOT longer for all of us!!!
    I have my own grateful chores to get to today. We can all go *whistle while we work!*

  7. Writer Dad,

    Life without Chocolate???? WHAT?!?!?!?! Blasphomy!

    Not a chance. Laughter, love and Chocolate. Have to have it. Plenty of things to give up before that!

  8. Stacey,

    Here is one more for the sink to take home with you. :)

    ~Gunilla Norris

  9. Oh my gosh, KARI!!! Yahoo!

    Happy day! Come back here often OK? I look at my walls that need painting and my kitchen floor that needs replacing every day. If I focused on it…well…what a sourpuss I could be!

    So instead I look at the the things we have that are right with the world and fix what we can fix for just one day. Soon- I hope- those darn walls are going to make the list!

    Would everyone please take a minute to welcome my non-blogging friend Kari- we were just saying how much we all want non-bloggers to start commenting too- you just made my day. :)

  10. Hi Sue!
    ( Hey everyone should go check out that great poem her daughter wrote)

    Life is good. As long as we are breathing we have a chance each day to get it right.

  11. Hi Wendi,

    I used to be a single mom too at one time. That’s rough, isn’t it? I can’t remember if I told you that or not.

    So right about being grateful. And because I have plenty I want to give back what I can. And yes, all we have is moment by moment. There is not sense in worrying about the future or fretting about the past.

    There’s good meditation in doing the dishes.

    Ellen Wilson’s last blog post..Do You Know This Woman?

  12. Wendi

    I chose to let my dishes stay dirty, and put off washing them as long as possible.

    …give me more time for me to play outside…!

    Friar’s last blog post..Motivating Yourself with More Inspirational Quotes

  13. Hello All.

    Some of you may know me from the stories that Wendi has shared with you here. I’ve been called out by her for being a lurker and not a poster so I figured I’d come and since I’ve been ignoring Mom I’d even bring a gift with me. This came to me from my boss who happens to know that I’m something of a Motivational/Inspirational quote junkie because for the last year I’ve been send a new one out via email with my morning reports to every single person in my company. As soon as I saw it I thought of my Mom so I figured what better place to share it than here. It’s a short movie clip, here’s the link, http://www.212Movie.com. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. To me it just drove home the belief that anything is possible with a little extra effort which is exactly how my mother always raised me.

    Have a great night!!

    PS- Mom, I’m totally ignorning my dirty dishes in favor of watching a movie with my kids. We all appreciate life in our own ways!! :)

  14. Friar,

    hmmm..your diabolical plan to stay single??? why not..time is short. Play while you can. May I introduce you to my daughter Lucky? Lucky…meet the Friar…you have a lot in common!!!

  15. EVERYONE…..

    May I FINALLY and with much rejoycing, introduce my very wonderful ( and very busy) daughter Lucky. She is the very first…but not the last…huge love of my life.

    Her nickname Lucky is well earned and you can go back through the posts to learn why… :)

    Lucky, Thank you for the great mini-movie…very inspiring! SO where better to showcase it then Life’s Little Inspirations!

    Now…I hope you don’t think this was a one time deal…we want you here all the time with inspiring stuff like that!

    Love you!

  16. @Wendi

    Not washing the dishes doesn’t cause me to stay single…But staying single causes (or allows) me to not wash the dishes! :-)

    By the way, HI LUCKY!!!

    Friar’s last blog post..Motivating Yourself with More Inspirational Quotes

  17. @Wendi/Lucky

    Nice Video.

    But (sorry, this is the engineering geek in me talking), I find the water-steam analogy misleading.

    When water boils, you can think of it taking two steps.

    The first step, is water at 211F to water at 212F.

    The next step is water at 212F to STEAM at 212F.

    This second step is the one that requires the most energy, it’s called the latent heat of vaporization.

    So even if it’s just one extra degree in temperature, it’s a huge increase in overall energy (A lot more, say, than if you took water at 210F and heated it to 211F).

    Moral of the story: Some temperature increases take a lot more effort than others.

    Okay, science lesson over.

    (Ducking and running now). 😉

    Friar’s last blog post..Motivating Yourself with More Inspirational Quotes

  18. Hi Wendi – I hadn’t heard that poem before. I hate washing dishes but what you’ve said is a good reminder for us all not to take things for granted. And also to realise how lucky we are.

    Cath Lawson’s last blog post..Grilled Frog On Toast Anyone?

  19. Hmm… An Engineering Geek eh? It’s a pleasure to meet you. One of my closest friends is a boiler engineer (You wouldn’t happen to be a fan of the movie Sandpebbles would you?) and I strongly suspect I’ll get a simliar lesson from him tomorrow when I go into work. Steam addicts. You all just live for that stuff don’t you?!? That being said, after your very sweet welcome, I will curb my inital reaction and not throw things at your head for such a superb display of preciseness. They would have been soft and fuzzy things though, I promise. :)

    I suppose to me the whole point of that message is that you just have to be willing to put in the effort. So many times people think just because they showed up at the right place and the right time, they should reap the rewards. But life doesn’t usually give out trophies just for showing up. If you want the accolades, you have to be willing to do something for it. Sometimes the rewards show up immediately, sometimes you have to work long and hard and even longer still before you even see a hint of a reward. (Mom – if I hear even a whisper of your favorite lecture, I’m SO bailing!!! :) ) Sometimes as cliche as it may be the work becomes its own reward. But nothing is gained without putting forth the effort whether it be 211 degrees or 212, you still need to put it out there.

  20. @Lucky

    Yes, I’m a Chemical Engineer, and we spent ENTIRE COURSES studying Steam and gases compressing and condensing.

    So maybe you can understand my geek-enthusiasm when I saw the water-steam reference. I coudln’t help but throw in my two cents! :-)

    Hey, mabye that might be a good topic for another inspirational quote:

    Dont’ underestimate things that appear simple (like water boiling). There might be more to the picture than you realize.

    Friar’s last blog post..Motivating Yourself with More Inspirational Quotes

  21. What a great post. I was on the same thinking line this morning when I made mine. We have so much in life to be thankful for. Dirty dishes use to bother me a great deal. I am a busy mom taking care of two children. I decided this morning that it was OK to just begin again. Start over. Beginnings are free. I really enjoyed this post .

    Thank you so much for sharing.

    Tammy Warren’s last blog post..Just begin

  22. Ellen,

    I don’t know how I missed you up there! Sorry about that! I don’t think I knew you did single Mom duty. Hardest job in the world.
    I’ve done two different rounds of it. two seperate decades and it never got easier. I feel very blessed to have a wonderful partner to share parenting with now.

  23. Hi Tammy,
    Welcome to LLI, I am so glad you are here. Every day is a new chance to start over and make new choices. We always have a choice.

    And SO MUCH to be grateful for!

  24. Wow. This certainly helped put things in perspective. Thank you.

    Vered – MomGrind’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday: Mona Lisa, Enhanced

  25. What a beautiful post. On reading of a recent successful author’s suicide, I found my self wishing I could have known how he felt and that I could have helped him see the world as you do.

    I too have been feeling consumed by gratitude lately, and the funny thing is, just before I came here I posted about a few things I’m really appreciating!

    steph’s last blog post..Of Questions That Need Answering and Other Stuff

  26. Awesome post Wendi,

    I say thank you to the little things in my life every day. Not too long ago I used to fuss over unwashed dishes, a dirty house and god knows what else. Until I realized that worrying wouldn’t change the fact that it was dirty, only action would.

    Then upon closer contemplating these things I started to understand that if I didn’t have time or couldn’t be bothered doing these things right now, why worry. So I started to concentrate on the beautiful things in my life instead and my, are there so many.

    It starts with electricity, food, clothes to wear, love, my birds, the sun, the place I live, every single bit including the not so nice things. In the end, I am thankful for breathing, for living, for being me.

    Monika Mundell’s last blog post..Do You Diversify?

  27. I take my hat off to single moms. Such a difficult job anyway, but to do it on your own with someone there to help day in and day out, that’s a huge accomplishment. I hope you realize that. Lovely post to remind us that we need to focus not only on the little mundane things, but the seeming negatives, like dirty dishes, that are really a sign of other blessings we don’t acknowledge.

    But I have to say:

    “Breathing fresh air through nostrils that aren’t all stuffed?”

    I don’t have that. I’ve had chronic sinus for years, so a sense of smell is not one of my strong points. It does mean I only hear the giggle from my son’s fluffs though, so I guess maybe that is something to be thankful for. Lol!

    Kelly :)

    Kelly@SHE-POWER’s last blog post..Note To Self: 28 Ways To Love Your Day

  28. Wendi,

    What a pleasure it is to come over to YOUR blog, and get some inspiration, since I got my first “flame mail” today. Coming here IS a breath of fresh air, and I thank you for helping to keep things in perspective!



    Rita’s last blog post..A Tail of Two Kitties

  29. What a beautiful perspective. I will never look at dirty dishes the same way again. :-) And yes, I, too, have a *home that needs cleaning* but to think I HAVE a home to come back to…

    Thanks for the visit, btw :-). Till next time!

    Pink Ink’s last blog post..High School Love

  30. Hi Pink!

    Thanks for coming by!

    Glad to have you with us!

  31. Rita,

    Frame the Flame! You must have arrived! :)

    You can hang out here at the lighthouse whenever you want. Kick your shoes off and relax!

  32. Kelly,

    Breathing through stuffy nostrils?
    Life long allergies and asthma. Any day I can breath is a day I am VERY grateful for!!!!!

  33. Hi Monika,

    Glad you are feeling well enough to travel.

    Being grateful for the little things in life makes the rest of it a whole lot nicer doesn’t it!

  34. “latent heat of vaporization”

    Don’t you love it when Friar talks science? I do.

    Wendi- Beautiful post and so true. I have my zen of the sink ritual. It helps steady me, especially if I am working out a puzzle or worrying about one thing or another . Handwashing a few things helps me meditate, ground myself in the pure sensations of being ABLE to wash those dishes and have that warm water and the food that came before…very grounding.

    Janice Cartier’s last blog post..David Bates, Diebenkorn, and My Window

  35. Hi Wendy,

    Beautiful words, beautiful thoughts. I love visiting your blog because you are such a positive person who brings a little sunshine to each day.

    In response to your questions – I am grateful for my family, my health and strength; I am grateful that I have food in my pantry, clothes in my closet and a washer and dryer to clean them. I am grateful that we have a 24 year old car that still runs well. I am grateful that we we sold our house just before the market got shaky for sellers. And I am so, so grateful that my husband who has been unemployed for the past 18 months found a job the day before the banks collapsed.

    God is good.

    Valerie’s last blog post..Notes from Medicare Family Caregiver Webcast


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