Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Finding Jesus in the Laundry

I don’t know about you, but one of the most seemingly mundane tasks of my week is laundry. As cliched as it sounds, it really is never-ending.

Here’s my ideal: People in my family wear clothes. Clothes get dirty- sometimes really dirty because we live on a farm. The laundry fairy shows up and viola! Clean clothes. Folded and put away.

But because we live in the real world, that’s not how it happens. You all know as well as I do that in the grand scheme of things, laundry can sometimes get pushed to the bottom of the list of things to do in a day. I used to feel as though it was a chore, drudgery, a nuisance. Something that was to be an annoyance, a hassle, an inconvenience and only completed grudgingly and with an ungrateful heart.

Then Jesus got hold of me, and boy did He change my heart around. He showed me grace in the middle of my distain and mercy in the midst of my chore. And I’ve never been able to look at it the same since.

The soft, quiet whisper of the Spirit reminded me what a joy it can be to serve those with whom I share a home. He prompted me to start small. So I did. Instead of seeing the piles of laundry, He caused me to look at the blessings it held.

It holds the blessings of a sister and a brother who enjoy spending time together- even at the ages of 16 and 15. It holds the blessings of a hard-working man who loves his family and me more than we can possibly understand. It holds the blessings of the day to day rhythm of life that comes from living on a farm. It holds the blessings of joy, peace, love, and laughter.

But mostly, what I learned, is that it holds the blessing of enough. Enough.  It holds the blessings of a single-income, homeschooling family for which God provides enough. It holds the blessings of a family who sits together at the dinner table every night. It holds the blessings of a 16 year old daughter who still holds her daddy’s hand in public. It holds the blessings of a 15 year old son who still hugs his mama. It holds the blessings of a devoted husband who appreciates and values his helpmeet in ways too numerous to mention.

And how, do you ask, does dirty laundry hold these blessings? Simple. The life that is being lived is being lived in the clothes that are piled on the floor or in the hamper. The dirt and the grime that is on the knees of my son’s jeans is a direct result of the life being lived. A tear on the sleeve of my beloved’s shirt came from his determination to work and provide a decent income for his family. A stain of poo on my daughter’s coat came from her desire to provide our animals with a safe, warm place for them to lay their heads at night.

After I started seeing the laundry through the eyes of Jesus, He took me one step further. I now pray over each item of clothing as I fold it. I spend quality time with God in intentional prayer of the members of my family. I will ask Him to give them wisdom, protection, favor, guidance, grace, direction, and many others as they go about their day wearing the clothing I’m folding.

My sense of humor has certainly developed as I’ve prayed over my family while folding their underwear. And I think that might have been the biggest lesson for me overall- that there is joy to be found in the mundane. There is communion to be found in the details. But most importantly, that Jesus cares so much about me and my heart, that He met me in the laundry room.  

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