Stop Washing Dishes–You Don’t Want to Miss This

Have you ever been so busy you almost missed something special? Last week, our son Thomas (22) came home while I was doing the supper dishes. “Mom, Sammy’s gonna eat, then we’re gonna play guitars.”

“Hey, Sammy,” I said. “Come on in.”

Sammy’s been teaching Thomas how to “pick” songs on their acoustic guitars. After supper, I figured they’d go down in the basement to practice, like usual.

But they didn’t.

After they ate tacos, Sammy sat in the den strumming his guitar, and I started doing the dishes again. Thomas stood beside me. “Mom,” he whispered. “Sammy’s going to play.”

“Okay. I can hear him from here.”

“You don’t want to miss this,” he said. “Come in the den with us.”

This wasn’t like Thomas. He’s not the kind of son who says, “Mom, come look.” And he’d never invited me to listen to them play.

Until that night.

I glanced at dirty dishes.

I almost reached for an empty Coke can to toss it. Almost rinsed out the sink. Almost scraped one last plate.

You don’t want to miss this. Stop washing dishes.

(Thomas is on the left. Sammy’s on the right.)

I sat down in the red recliner and Sammy looked at Thomas. “What do you want me to play?”

“Play ‘The Old Rugged Cross,” Thomas said.

Oh, me. I had no idea…I almost missed this. Me and my busy self. Doing the dishes.

As Sammy played, God filled the empty space in my busy heart.

He slowed me down.

Reminded me of Who He is.

What if my dirty dishes had been too important? What if winding up the day and getting out of the kitchen had held me?

What if I’d hesitated?

I would’ve missed the Majesty of the moment.

Lord, bless Sammy and Thomas. They still have no idea how they blessed me.

And maybe they blessed you too.






  1. Anna Haney says:

    Patience. Sometimes I lack it so much, I, like you, nearly miss out on blessings. When I was an elementary teacher, people were always telling me how much patience I had and how there was no way they could have that kind of patience. I figured they could not be talking about me. But that patience, whether or not I thought I had it, gave me so many God glimpses through His children, little children. Now, my students are 18-80 and I often feel I have no patience for them, either. My mom, as she has for as long as I can remember, still harps on my weight and repeats stories, and I often lose my patience. Then I remember that I am receiving such gifts from her and from my students. Thank you, dear Julie, for this reminder.
    PS. HOW IS CLYDE? Give him some dog sugar for me

    • Patience…patience…I hadn’t thought of it from that angle, but I think you’re right, as usual.

      It hit me from a Surrender stand point. (Stop pushing so hard to do things my way, in my timing.) 🙂

      Love how you’re seeing these as gifts, my friend. I believe you’ve arrived on the Island of Patience!

      Clyde’s so much better, thank you. Thomas is playing the guitar for him right now. 🙂 He’s still on pain meds, but he’s peppier. (is that a word?)

  2. Patricia Martin says:

    Hi Julie,
    You are so right! Even when things are busy and swirling around me, I still need to stop sometimes and just be still so I can hear God’s gentle voice and feel His love all around me. I loved hearing Sammy play “That Old Rugged Cross!” Your blog today reminds me of a favorite verse: “The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!” Blessings to you and your beautiful family!
    P. S. Do you have a favorite season of the year?

    • Hey Patricia,

      and His voice is soooo tiny. So easy to stomp all over. Which I’ve done plenty of times.

      I love that verse!! Amen!!

      Fall is definitely my favorite season. 100% Fall!!! That’s why I love having Thanksgiving here at my house.

  3. Powerful, powerful post, Julie. Thank you for the reminder! Like you, life stays so busy, and yet I need to always be ready to listen when God gives the opportunity. I hate to think how much great stuff I’ve missed because I was too busy. 🙁

    Love you!

    • Love you too, Vonda.

      And I thought that Coke can was SO IMPORTANT. I was itching to throw it away.

      And just think what I’d have thrown away if I’d reached for it. :/

  4. Such a sweet post, Julie. I cried while watching and reading as I remembered how my daddy used to play the guitar–not a lot, just some evenings he’d get it out and play it in the kitchen. Sammy’s guitar even looks like my daddy’s. My daddy’s still alive, but can’t play it anymore due to Parkinson’s.

    Yep. Treasure these moments. Thank you.

    • Ohhhh, Marie. I can tell. You got the same thing as me from what happened.

      Tearing up–with your daddy not being able to play. Lord bless him.

      I’m so grateful I stopped cleaning and wrote about this. It helps keep the memory permanent.

      So much love to you and yours, my friend.

  5. Blessings- they’re all around us- and we end of missing them so often. One of things I treasure about being a mom to Bethany is – she grows my patience daily :), helps me slooooowww down and truly enjoy the simple beauty God abundantly blesses us with! Thanks for sharing your “holy” moment. May we all take off our shoes, stop doing the dishes and walk among burning bushes where the Great I Am resides. hugs Julie

    • Ohhh, aren’t our children wonderful at slowing us down, Cindy? That is, when we stop moving long enough to listen.

      A holy moment indeed!

      Love how you just said that…Holy Ground for sure. And the Great I Am is so close, always, always, always. Even in the unspoken praises of my den.

  6. Look at that intensity, that commitment, that dedication to his craft. Wow. So happy you shared with us and you enjoyed the moment!

  7. Patricia Martin says:

    Thanksgiving is a beautiful holiday and I love eating all that tasty food! Peanuts Thanksgiving is a family favorite to watch and I always feel sorry for Charlie Brown!

  8. Brenda Greene says:

    Oh Julie Girl…love, love, love that two young fellows play gospel music on their guitars! Humbles me that good parents have instilled a love of God in their hearts! Sure makes my heart soar!

    You helped me recognize my own “almost missed blessing” this very day. Hubby and I have been at our firstborn’s rental house helping them get it ready to sell and today we were in the kitchen painting – him and her the walls and ceiling, me the trim work. They were talking about how much alike they both are and normally I’m “all into” their conversations but the detail of paining around windows kept me quiet but left my ears open. I was rejoicing in my heart to hear their words.

    Then tonight when the phone rang, hubby answered; it was our firstborn wanting to “unload” her frustrations with her teenagers (16 yr old son, 13 yr old daughter). From my “perch” in my loft, I was SO glad to just listen and pray for his words of encouragement to her…they were “right on” and so gentle!

    Loving my word for this year “Listen” and especially when I see “up close and personal” what “listen” can do!

    Hugs and prayers Sweet Julie! Loving your posts each and every week – even if I don’t respond!!

    • I know, Brenda. And The Old Rugged Cross! Blew me away!!!

      What a beautiful story you shared. I love it–Listen. Listen. Listen. Hmmmm, that’s a pretty wonderful word. Wonder if that’s my word for next year.

      I feel the power in your words. And in what happens (b/c I’ve just experienced it) when we listen. And notice you said his words were so gentle. I love that.

      Thank you. You reinforced what God’s been whispering to me.

      🙂 🙂

  9. Kim says:

    Oh, how so often I respond with “Just a second, let me finish ________.” Usually something that in truth, is not very important. A beautiful reminder.

    I have never tried a word for the year. Never felt the pull to do. No one word has “spoken” to me. Until now. Love! Brenda Greene’s word, Listen. Think I may have found my first word.

    I can not tell you how many times my kids, especially my daughter, have to re-explain or answer something for me. Sometimes more than once! I am only half listening, because my attention is not focused on them. I am busy trying to multi-task. My oldest will be off to college in a year and a half. I do not want to waste this precious time. Listen…

    • Kim, I’m telling you–it was a COKE CAN. Let me throw away THIS COKE CAN FIRST. Can you believe it??!!

      And isn’t this beautiful? Brenda’s word is “speaking” to you. Thank You, Lord. Thank You!

      We women can multi-task and do a pretty good job at it. But look what we miss when we do…we can overlook what matters.

      Blessings on this year and a half with your oldest. It flies by.


  10. Rebecca Bannister says:

    Julie . . . being that I’m about as Southern as they come and that I’m from a family of singers and pickers I loved that you said Sammy is teaching Thomas to “pick” some songs. That is a classically turned Southern phrase! And coming from my family . . . music IS worship. I’m so proud to have grown up with the three P’s of Southern faith – preaching, praying and picking.

    • Rebecca, Thomas and I talked about this very word. PICK. I wrote the blog using the word “pick” and explained that it meant “fancy finger work.” Then I asked Thomas about the word, pick. He said, “No, Mom. Just say pick. Don’t explain it. People know what it means.”


      And ohhhh, yes. Music IS worship!! There was something about the simplicity of Sammy’s PICKIN’.

      Of course, we’d have to say preachin’, prayin’, and pickin’ down South. 🙂

      Thank you!! Blessings!! So glad you understand.

  11. Bluegrass guitar can absolutely not be listened to without toe tappin’! (I don’t care if it’s a hymn, a folk- or pop tune — feet gotta move.
    Thank you Julie, for leaving the dirty dishes to share with us this delightful tune/tale.

    • Ohhh, yeah, ooh, yeah. Toe tappin’!! I’m going to listen to Sammy’s music again. I’m telling you, Melody, I was having quite a moment.

      Thanks for reading and writing to me. 🙂


  12. Sandra Walker says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! How beautiful and I really needed a God moment!

  13. Sammy thank you!!! Julie I’ll remember that song every time I’m tempted to let a “moment” go by so I can do something more important…xoxo

    • Robin, Sammy came back last night and played again. He said he was, “Playing for his supper.” I told him he came out on the short end of the stick. 🙂

      He’s soooooooooooooooo gifted!

  14. sandy coffey says:

    What a beautiful lesson this is. Everyday things can wait if God is calling for you to come listen. What a wonderful treasure this is. Thanks for sharing and opening our eyes and hearts when someone is calling for us. You are a treasure Julie. Thank you once again.

  15. Miss.Pam.J says:

    As so often, sleeeeepless tryin’ to “deal” with my pre-surgery woes . . . oddly, this has been 1st_Time_ EVER that I delved in2 your wondrous God Gifts of pondering. Surely shall not become the last one either = with your permission, I am :allllll missPamJ’s People: sharing this oh – so – inspiring peek at what God deeeeply placed on your heart for “us all” 2 B C-in’ = prayers, smiles, hugs and thanks to you, Rick, your lovely mama and, of course, Thomas and his friend(s) ALWAYS . . . Sunday 25-Sept { our Mister Michael D’s 72nd Birthday !!!!! } by Burb91501Hills OldeCajunWidowLady a.k.a. OldeMoi

    • Hey, Miss Pam,

      I’d be honored for you to share my blog posts.

      Blessings to you and yours~~~~

      • Miss.Pam.J says:

        Monday 26-Sept-2016 Julie : Gooood to know , thanks for your being “ok” with my sharing onto ‘regular gmail or’ url only ; not ever on facebo !
        I am fully respectful of both the safeguards of ” Proprietary Rights and Intellectual Properties ” , hence, never ever am I goin’ to re-post a privacy or select-few-ONLY type of messages or photos which you would send to me. Delighted to be “often” reading those God_sent blessings routed from your family . . . tickled purple to be sharing His leading(s) in our lives ! 1:31p.m. SouCali

  16. Monica Henson says:

    So many times, it’s the young mothers that are reminded to stop and revel in the moment with their little one because time goes by so quickly as they grow up.

    Time goes just as quickly for us older moms of grown-up kids, and the opportunities are far more scarce. The joy of the moment is multiplied that much more for us, though.

    I’m glad you captured the Majesty. Well done.

    • Thank you so much, Monica.

      There’s some kind of life-secret buried in what happened that day. Right now, I’m reminding myself to slow down and listen………and love.

  17. Miss.Pam.J says:

    Truly so, Ms. Monica H, it is indeeeed the younger mothers who seem to always plow through their countless ‘other’ tasks B4 moments of “relax and savor / observe” their childrens’ basic daily wonderment. It often seems rare to simply “be” amidst hectic busy-ness which we all somehow stack up for ourselves each waking hour ! Blessings to you , prayers and love in Christ… Olde.Moi

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