Ahh……..Laundry! I’m sure you can hear the sarcasm in my voice as I dare utter the word. It is one of the most mundane tasks I do. It ranks a little lower than grocery shopping and I’m not even going to lie, it ranks even lower than going to the dentist. There are some days the sheer smell from the kids clothing not to mention the monstrous amount…..biblical proportions even…… laying beside the washer takes on a living persona and I almost hear it utter, “Wash me!” Ohh the horror!
Many things come out in the laundry comparable to life really. One day in particular, I was overcome (being honest here) with anger at the amount of laundry (some still clean from the previous week thrown back into the wash…. if I may add). Grumpy, I began the task of washing their clothing and when my mind cleared and I began folding their laundry, I realized this is where I learn the most about my family. I become aware of their favorite shirts, jeans, dresses, and shorts as I fold them every week. I become familiar with who they are as children by the stains on their clothing whether it be from play or from a favorite treat. I also become well aware of clothing they loved in the store but has never graced its fate with the washing machine, learning they liked it because I did and didn’t want to hurt my feelings. I’ve learned a lot about them as individuals, who likes change (obvious by the sheer amounts of clothing they go through….just sayin’) and who is steady and unwavering in what they wear. And every so often, the treat is all mine as I fold for the first time a sweater, not normally worn as a token of their love for me.
Over the years the laundry has changed much as life has. My youngest has given up everything that sparkles and considered not comfortable for a more casual attire of jeans and t-shirts. She by far still wears the most amount of clothes. My middle is in a transition process as she bounces from dressy to casual. My eldest, is still steady and unwavering but has a love of funny t-shirts now as well as the esteemed sweaters and the newest addition….bow ties!
As for my husband, he loves his jeans and much like our youngest daughter – if you wear it an hour or so, it’s dirty 🙂 I fold the same work out clothes for him every week and find myself in awe by how many clothes he wears that actually hang on hangers in his closet compared to mine. He never wears sweat bottoms and doesn’t care for how I launder his “work clothes”. Like the kids, his laundry has changed over the years too. I now fold many silly t-shirts he actually wears in public that the kids have given him. He’s handed the always business suit attire over for dressy jeans and shirts and has not wavered on his choice of yard clothes. I always think he won’t miss them if I throw them away, but he always notices, holes and all for air-conditioning (as he claims) and goes through the trash to find his prized attire. He’s truly a mixture of all three of our children minus the bow tie.
Laundry has also given me a different perspectacle on things too. The monstrous and sometimes biblical proportions of laundry fade away with time. The kids are all bigger and have begun doing their own laundry and in turn beginning to deal with life situations that are muddy and stinky. Before long, they will be out on their own and we will be back to laundry for two. Time is too short to be upset about the laundry (regardless of the size), dishes in the sink, or mud tracked into the home. Enjoy them, stains and all, clean or dirty, for when they are gone we will long for their presence in our homes.
Today, I am thankful for the many loads of laundry done and for the realization home is “wear” most life unfolds and you learn the most about the ones you love. Life can be stinky, smelly, stained, plain ol’ rotten and not to mention humbling. I read a marriage study once called “Sacred Marriage” by Gary Thomas asking, “What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?” I think this can be applied across the board in everything including laundry. The stains (sin) the smell (our negative or hateful attitudes) and even the holes in favorite clothing (or hearts) it all irons out pointing to Christ reminding us of who we are in Him. As the words from Jason Gray’s song, “I Am New” reminds us, we are forgiven, beloved, hidden in Christ, righteous and holy, reborn and remade, accepted and worthy. That’s some serious laundry!
Thank you Father, for the cleansing blood of Christ and that we come away from the wash as white as snow.
Psalm 51:7 Purify me from my sins,c and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow