A Life Lesson From Washing Windows

A Chinook blew into town this week, a welcome respite from the unseasonably cold and snowy weather we have experienced in Southern Alberta most of September and October.  The snow-eating Chinook, has melted most of our snow here on the Ponderosa, and has allowed us to bask in balmy temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius (that’s 68 F. to my American friends).  The other day I decided to take advantage of the warm temperatures and tackle a chore I had been procrastinating for a year: wash my windows.

Okay, before all the Martha Stewarts out there judge me, I do clean my windows on the inside of the house fairly regularly, but it’s the outside that is the real chore.  I got a couple of estimates this past Spring on what it would cost to get some professionals in to clean all the windows of my home.  I nearly fell over at the cost!  So, being basically cheap, I said “thanks, but no thanks” and decided to tackle the job on my own.  Well, at least the windows I can reach…I’m afraid of heights so I’m not climbing any ladders for the second story ones.  I’ll live with the dirt.

First, I decided to see if there was a sure-proof, streak-free method to get the job done.  Pinterest has a billion ways to clean windows and after trying a few of the environmentally friendly ones on my inside windows I decided that none of them work to my streak-free satisfaction.  Store-bought products also did not give me the desired streak-free shine.  I was becoming a bit discouraged.  So I thought I’d combine some blue Dawn dishwashing liquid, with a bit of the jet-dry stuff I put in my dishwasher.  I figured if it’s good for my glassware, it’s got to be good for my windows.  Filled up my bucket with hot water, got a scrubbing brush and squeegee and made my way outside.

After spending several hours scrubbing, squeegeeing and yes, groaning while putting my unused muscles through an unfamiliar workout regimen, I completed the arduous task and stepped back to admire my handiwork.  The Dawn-jet-dry mixture had done a fairly good job of cleaning my windows, but no matter how many times I washed and rewashed and squeegeed, inside and outside, I still saw visible streaks.  To add insult to injury, a squawking magpie did a fly-by and mocking my efforts decided to deposit an offering onto one newly washed window!

That settled it!  I threw up my hands in defeat and declared to the circling magpie that my entire window-washing escapade had been an effort in futility.  I dumped out the dirty water, poured myself an iced-tea and then fumed silently while the Chinook wind blew dirt back up on my newly-cleaned windows. I determined I was never going to waste any more time and effort trying to strive for perfection at a task that was never going to meet my standards no matter how hard I tried!

As I sat and seethed over my iced-tea, my husband came home and I pointed at my windows accusingly.  “Look!” I said exasperated, seeing only the visible streaks on the glass. He beamed with delight and patted my shoulder, “You cleaned the windows!  They look awesome!”

I did a double-take and grinned. I had been so focused and disappointed by all the streaks, the flaws, and the imperfections on the windows that I couldn’t see the improvements!  Isn’t that a great lesson for us in life?

Thank-You, Lord, for my husband who appreciates my efforts, and loves me, just as You love me, despite my noticeable imperfections!

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”  Colossians 3:17

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This entry was posted in Family Life, Proverbs 16:9 - Journey Thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Life Lesson From Washing Windows

  1. Jane says:

    You write so well!! Thanks for the smile when I read the paragraph RE: your hard work, the mocking magpie’s fly-by, and how sweet your husband is. Bless the Lord for that guy!
    I hope this will be helpful…I don’t dread washing my outdoor windows ever since somebody told me about just using plain old Mr. Clean multipurpose liquid, hot water and a brush with an extension handle. The VERY BEST part of using Mr. Clean is that you don’t have to use a squeegee at all.
    After you’ve washed the windows, just rinse with the hose and NO STREAKS…No Kidding.

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