Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It all comes out in the wash...

I have a love/hate relationship with the laundry. I have a tendancy to put it off until the last pair of underwear is being worn and the only towels left are of the beach variety. And then it is overwhelming! I look at the overflowing hampers and think, "Maybe we could all use some new underwear anyway and you can never have too many towels!". But then I picture my wonderful husband's face when he sees the online checking account balance and I begin the sorting process and make the several journeys down the two flights of stairs to the laundry room.

A funny thing happens as I get to my second load though. I actually start to enjoy doing the laundry. I was thinking about this today as I folded towels and trying to figure out why I was finding so much pleasure in such a simple and mundane chore. I came up with several reasons so I thought I would share them with whoever is reading this blog still.

I realized that I really enjoy the rhythm of just folding the clothes and seeing the pile of dirty clothes on the basement floor get smaller and smaller. I find myself just letting my mind wander to so many things while I am folding the clothes (as you can tell from this blog post). I just think about important things and not so important things and I remember things that I need to do. It is soothing and calming and it feels like I am accomplishing something.

I also noticed that I really spend a lot of time thinking about the people who wear those clothes. As I am folding all of those cute, little, pink, frilly things I think about Anna Grace and what a miracle her story is. I think about just a year ago when I was praying so hard that everything would work out for her to come home to us and how God just worked in all of our lives through her. I think about how this picture we looked at for so long is now a living, breathing member of our family. And I think about how her little personality is taking shape before our very eyes. She is no longer that helpless little baby that we brought home. She is an ACTIVE, smart, and so very funny toddler with a strong but sweet spirit. And I pray for her to continue to grow and thrive and to become a part of God's family as well as ours.

As I fold those teenager clothes that seem to be getting smaller instead of larger I think of my dear, sweet Allison who is all a mother could hope for in a daughter. I think of how she broke me into motherhood gently with her quiet and gentle spirit and her eagerness to please. I think of the woman she is becoming and how proud I am of her strong faith and her kind, compassionate heart. And I pray that she keeps the faith in the years to come and she finds the confidence to fulfill all of her dreams. (Even the missionary one if that is what you want, Allison.)

As I wash and immediately hang on hangers (yeah, right!) all of those dress shirts of Dean's I think about how very fortunate I am to have a husband who is faithful and loving. I think of all that we have been through together and I thank God for giving me such a gift. I remember all of the ways he puts me first and I feel so blessed. I pray that he experiences all of the joy that he deserves and that he finds fulfillment in serving others.

It is then that I realize that the laundry has become something sacred to me. It is a time to treasure these special people in my life and a way to serve them and show them the love I have for them. What an awesome privelage!

One other thing I have noticed about my relationship with the wash is that I LOVE Spray and Wash. I apply it liberally to most of our clothing and I find absolute joy in pulling the clothes out of the washer and seeing the stains have disappeared!! How very, very cool!! I find myself wishing that I had a bottle of something that I could spray on myself to make all of those faults disappear. (Like my fears, insecurities, etc.) I would definitely spray it on liberally!! Or bathe in it!

But, wait, I do have some spiritual Spray and Wash!! It is called "grace". Thank God He has made me clean, white as snow even! Through the gift of His Son I am a new creation. And He keeps doing it over and over and over again. Another reason to love the wash!

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17

" Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." Psalm 51:10

" 'Come now, let us reason together," says the Lord. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.' " Isaiah 1:18

(By the way, when I am folding my own clothes the only thought going through my head is, "Boy, do I need some new clothes!".)


Anonymous said...

Doing laundry will never be the same for me! Have you started putting your book together? You really should write one.


Uncle Jim said...

Great prose Stacey. Yet another example of your gift of translating a relatively simple and mundane task into one of deep meaning. Keep 'em coming.

Susie said...

You have a way with words that stirs the heart. It is obvious to me - you are right where you need to be - home with those you cherish. I miss you, but am thrilled to hear the sound of peace and contentment in your words. Dreams do come true.

Christa Sterken said...

Hi Stacey, your Uncle Jim forwarded this to me. I love it! What beautiful words. I printed it out and intend to stick it on my laundry room wall :)

Blessings, Christa