Abby’s mom had always said, “You meet the nicest people….” And she would add the name of some awful chore that every kid hated.

Twelve-year-old Abby put washing dishes in the same group as going to the dentist. But the chore was a lot less work with an electric dishwasher. As she finished rinsing and loading the dishes in the dishwasher, she stacked the scrubbed pots and pans to dry on the counter. Then Abby added soap to the machine, hit the right buttons and pressed “start.”

Done with that dirty job until Tuesday! Hooray!

But nothing happened!

She tried the process again. Reset? Reboot? Rearrange the dishes? Silence! No roar of water rinsing or lights blinking.

“Something’s wrong with the dishwasher. Pete, you try it.” She enticed her older brother.

Soon the siblings realized that their most hated chore would only get worse. It was becoming a horrible, very bad day with visions of dirty dishes filling their heads.

“Mom, the dishwasher isn’t working. When can you call someone be out to fix it?”

“Not for a few months anyway. I have to pay other bills first.”

Abby rolled her eyes. “How are we supposed to wash dishes? Are we going to use paper plates or what? But even with paper plates, there are things to wash. Yuck!”

“Since the time of cave men and women, people have been washing dishes by hand. You and your brother will do a fine job. Besides,” she emphasized, “You meet the nicest people when washing dishes.”

So instead of a break from the mountain of dirty dishes that rivaled cleaning public toilets at a bus station, brother and sister washed dishes together every day.

Months went by. When it came to a church potluck, Pete set up and took down tables and chairs; Abby helped with the food and the dishes. She made new friends.

It turned out to be true, Abby reaffirmed. “You meet the nicest people washing dishes, my brother, for one, and my new friends Lucy and Theresa.”

When the dishwasher repairman fixed the machine some months later, Abby and Pete let out sighs of relief. The machine would be taking over. It made the chore easy as pie. But something was missing: time to talk, share and tell stories.  So even though the chore was easier, Abby called out, “Say, Pete. Want to help me get the dishes ready? We can talk.”

So Abby and Pete learned the blessing in having a broken dishwasher. It was to appreciate someone to share the chore and get to know them, but also to appreciate dishwashers that work. It’s a gift. God knows what he is doing In plotting surprises into your life and learning experiences. He loves you and wants you to grow.

Trust the Lord for his teachings and lessons in the direction he leads you.

A financial setback? Maybe you learn the gift of managing your money better and seeking fun family activities that cost little except time. A health issue? Maybe you can appreciate the time to reevaluate your health and direction. Loss of a job or career?  Perhaps God is steering you into another direction so that you grow and help others more. A car breakdown? Did you meet someone who needed encouragement or encouraged you?

As Kay grew up with five siblings, she mentioned the family didn’t have a car in their small town, so she and her brothers and sisters walked and ran everywhere they wanted to go. At 62, Kay hiked across Spain. Now at 77, she leads hikes weekly and during the week, helps to build, repair and maintain trails.

You may not know the “why” until later, but you can trust the experience and the learning in it.

Imagine if Paul commented, “You meet the nicest people at a shipwreck.” He was in a total of three on the Mediterranean. Wouldn’t that attitude make you smile?

King Solomon writes, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” [Proverbs 3:5-6].

Look for the gift in each day, each person and each challenge. Trust the path God sets before you. You meet the nicest people washing dishes–and doing most everything else.

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and her recent Give Us This Day Our Daily Grin – A Fun-Lovers Guide to Spiritual Living and Growing now in print and e-book on Amazon Kindle and other e-formats Smashwords. She is author of several other books, including new release Bring on the Blessings of Baskets ~ Easy, Fast, Personalized and Outreach Ministry Gifts. Amazon . Jo lives in northeast Arizona and writes a popular humorous weekly blog on her website,]







About Jo Russell

Jo’s humor, inspirational stories, articles and devotionals have spanned more than 40 years, with several national writing contest awards for humor. She's a contributing author in Chicken Soup for the Soul—Shaping the New You and Heavenly Humor for the Dieter’s Soul.

Contact Jo

Find Jo on Twitter and Facebook. To schedule Jo as a speaker or to discuss your writing project and receive a free quote, call her at 928-536-2479. Or contact her using the website Contact Form.

Feeling Blue?

That can't last. Listen in on four talks of Jo's to banish those blues:

How Do I Count My Blessings When the Toilet is Overflowing?

The Choice We Have Between a Dead Egg and a Live Savior

Never Give Up!

Can Kermit and Miss Piggy Marry and Live Happily Ever After?