Somehow laundry and family seems to enter into a lot of conversations lately. I’m not sure how that happens – but I hope you enjoy this rerun of an earlier post.
Last week, my whole schedule got way off rhythm. Well that’s what I call it anyway. You might call it synchronized when your normal tasks are done on a certain day, under certain conditions, in the approximate same time slot. Don’t be shocked or anything but I do all my laundry on Saturday, then Sunday night, dump it all in the middle of the living room and look forward to folding it while watching an hour or two of television. It’s a practice I started about 25 years ago (maybe longer). But last week something fell off the track and that pile of laundry in the middle of the floor went ignored all week. In fact, I admitted to the ceramic tile guy who was here to work on the bathroom that I was closing my eyes every time I passed the living room, so I could authentically avoid the noisy laundry calling me. I’m glad for the verse in Philippians 1:6 because I sure needed to know that this good work would be completed. “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion …” Just so you know – I finally got all that laundry folded and put away on Friday – only to do 4 more loads of laundry on Saturday, which I dumped on the living room floor, folded, and put away … on track, on rhythm, synchronized. You might remember reading this before, but if not, I hope you enjoy my lessons from laundry.
THANKFUL …. Today, I am thankful for laundry. In fact I love laundry. I like to sort it, I love to fold it, and let’s just leave it there. Even though I manage to put it all away, I still don’t love that part of the process. Now, lest you’re now convinced that I’ve gone off the deep end, let’s backtrack a few years. This story is close, but not entirely related to the Thankful list. There I was slumped over on a huge pile of laundry sobbing from an aching heart. In fact, my spirit was broken. I was a young mom with three normal, healthy kids (rambunctious, tree climbers) and if you’ve been there at any time in your life you can finish this story from memories of your own.
Any day of the week you could have found me this position, facing mountains of laundry and the Leaning Tour of Pizza constructed of dirty dishes on my counter. I confess, my armor was, at that point scantily made of tin foil, and I felt like everything was against me. All my defenses were depleted. I hated laundry …. Absolutely H-A-T-E-D laundry. I hated the construction projects overgrowing my sink, and science projects germinating in the refrigerator too, I hated grocery shopping, but laundry I HATED! So why do I now love it? It was a simple miracle and God changed my heart in one moment! Even when I look back and rationalize how it could have happened, I know it was a God thing – a miracle.
So back to the sob story – and how Laundry made it to my thankful list. As I looked around me that day feeling so suffocated I couldn’t breathe, I was overcome with thoughts of why I had so much laundry. I had normal, healthy kids (rambunctious, tree climbers). God didn’t speak to me in an audible voice, nobody came to the door as an angel unaware to give me this message, but as I picked up a sock, a grungy shirt, torn jeans, and item after item, I had a conversation. First with myself, then with the Lord, all the time recognizing what it really meant to have a perpetual sweatshop going on in my laundry room. I ended up praying through every piece of laundry, for the child who wore the blackened socks, for the one who wore 7 layers at a time and totally changed her ‘look’ 5 times a day, for the man whose clothes could have stood up on their own from dust embedded in the factory where he earned the money that allowed us to have a mountain of laundry. There have been times, even recently, when I’ve wished I had kept up on my laundry, but never a day when I have H-A-T-E-D laundry.
Lessons from Laundry – Lessons from Life – Lessons in just finding a small sliver of something to be thankful for in everything. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. Philippians 4: 6 & 7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Photo credit: I searched as much as I could on the Internet to assure I could give the author of the artwork proper credit. It’s by I Love Simplicity and it has been posted on Bing, Pinterest, and Facebook.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NI_1YliutzA – Kari Jobe: The More I Seek You