How could I NOT do Five Minute Friday with a word prompt of “laundry”? I have deep and abiding opinions about laundry, about the amount of laundry, the merits of wrinkle-free materials and the smelly allergy-triggers of strongly scented detergent.
When I saw the prompt, I knew I’d be doing Five Minute Friday this week. In case you’re not familiar with it, Five Minute Friday is a fun linkup with Lisa-jo Baker. She puts up a word prompt each week and the instructions are to just go for it. Don’t edit. Don’t get locked up. Don’t over-think it, just have fun and write whatever comes to mind in five minutes. Then linkup your post with others on her site: http://lisajobaker.com It is open to anyone who wants to participate. Maybe you want to try it out?
“A little lifting up of the heart suffices; a little remembrance of God, an interior act of adoration, even though made on the march and with sword in hand, are prayers which, short though they may be, are nevertheless very pleasing to God, and far from making a soldier lose his courage on the most dangerous occasions, bolster it. Let him then think of God as much as possible so that he will gradually become accustomed to this little but holy exercise; no one will notice it and nothing is easier than to repeat often during the day these little acts of interior adoration.”
For many years now, laundry has been a frequent chore, a nearly every day occurance.
I don’t love laundry.
But I now longer hate it.
Many years ago I tried to shift my attitude about laundry.
My husband needed clean socks, and had none because I hadn’t done the laundry.
“Wash your own darn socks,” I thought.
We had already established a sharing of household chores and laundry fell to me. It wasn’t that he was incapable or unwilling to wash his own socks. We had agreed that I would do it.
In that period, I came to realize how nice it was for him to go to his drawer as he prepared for his day, and find clean socks.
A little thing, really.
But the reason behind the socks changed,
because I changed.
I started viewing the laundry as an unspoken act of love.
I washed the socks, dried, folded and put away the socks because I love my husband.
Socks are my little love note left in his drawer every day.
The change came when I started to think of every little thing I did as being significant and tried “doing it all as unto the Lord” like the Bible suggests. Brother Lawrence also helped. Maybe worshipping God isn’t as hard as we try to make it.
“He does not ask much of us, merely a thought of Him from time to time, a little act of adoration, sometimes to ask for His grace, sometimes to offer Him your sufferings, at other times to thank Him for the graces, past and present, He has bestowed on you, in the midst of your troubles to take solace in Him as often as you can. Lift up your heart to Him during your meals and in company; the least little remembrance will always be the most pleasing to Him. One need not cry out very loudly; He is nearer to us than we think.”
― Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God
Your comments and suggestions are always welcome — I think that by sharing, we can help each other along in our journeys. How can you be aware of God’s presence as you go about the seemingly mundane things on your to-do list today? Is being aware of God’s presence something that comes naturally to you or does it take work? I hope you have an extra awareness of Him walking alongside you as you go about your day.
“I’m not wearing them.”
My son had no other clean shorts.
The only other clothes for his lower half were a pair of jeans.
It was forecasted to be 80 degrees.
He runs hot.
Jeans were not an option.
“What is wrong with them? You liked them when we bought them, they look nice on you, so what’s the problem?” I demanded.
“They’re too fancy. They’re church shorts,” he answered.
This coming from the kid who never has to dress up for church. He associates anything other than basketball shorts with “dressing up”. If only he knew what real “dressing up” was, he would not complain.
This is also coming from the kid who usually just grabs whatever from the drawer and throws it on without much thought.
The other two kids had their teeth brushed and backpacks loaded.
Princess Teacup needed to put on her socks and get her hair pulled up.
Bobo was already out the door, waiting for the bus.
The bus was due to come in three minutes.
‘I am willing to go down with this ship,’ I thought.
I had already explained how the shorts he pulled out of the dirty clothes hamper were in there because they were d.i.r.t.y. And if they’d been put in the hamper while they were NOT dirty, then that was too bad ’cause they’d been smushed up against dirty stuff and were now dirty by association. The blue khaki shorts were his only option, but Rex had decided they were a non-contender.
He was now in his bed, refusing to get dressed.
The bus came at 8:18 on the dot. Now it is this time:
Rather than being on my child who is now on the bus, this is where I find important items:
I Am Willing to Die on This Hill
For clarification purposes I should probably let you know that about a week ago I warned my boys that if they didn’t clean up their room by a specific time I would clean it, and all the stuff I cleaned up would go away for a while. I wouldn’t throw it out or donate it, but it would just “go away” for an irritating amount of time.
They cleaned up what their eyes saw, and later on I cleaned up everything that my eyes saw.
Let’s just say there was a lot of stuff in my bag.
Amongst all the toys, there were many articles of clothing in my bag, probably some of the shorts that Rex was now missing.
There are a couple things I would like to get on the record.
- I am not an unreasonable person , not a control freak in any way.
- I do not have rigorous standards with my children.
- It is reasonable for kids to put dirty clothes in the hamper rather than on the floor.
Thanks, I feel better now that you know.
Since I am the person who does the laundry, I don’t appreciate washing clean clothes just because the hamper was the location that required less effort than folding a still-clean shirt and putting it back in the drawer. Am I crazy? Do all the other moms wash clothes even thought they aren’t dirty? Do I have an unfair expectation here?
I say thee Nay!
People of the cloth and soap, we must rise up against the forces that would demand we wash perfectly clean clothes! Think of the wasted time, electricity, water and detergent!
After a brief cooling-off period, I returned to his room and told Rex I had come up with a compromise. If he would just put on the shorts, I would tell him what it was. He put them on, and I started to tell him the compromise, but once he had them on, he immediately realized that they are comfortable shorts.
He has friends who wear similar shorts.
He can still move in the shorts.
He likes the shorts.
I could just pinch him.
The crisis now averted, we loaded up the car and I backed out of the driveway.
He stretched out his ever-growing legs, propped them up on the armrests which are usually protected by his siblings and said,
“Ah, now I can lay out and relax. Maybe I should do this every day.”
The look I gave him in the rearview mirror made him grin and say, “But I won’t.”
Do you have battles with anyone in your family? How do you decide which things to let go? Do you have any tricks to help kids (or adults) keep their rooms clean?
My superhero daughter recently got yellow gum on her Wonder Woman super suit. Lest you think me a negligent parent, the piece of gum was the size of a dime, so it would not bother her system if it ended up in her stomach, and it was an earned privilege that she has handled well in the past. (By the way, it is amazing the surface area gum can cover when stretched out. Crazy!)This gum problem might not immediately strike you as cause for alarm, but you’ve got to know, Dear Reader, that in the world of super suits, rockin’ girl suits are hard to come by, particularly ones that have matching boots, a cape and belt to go along with the dress. This was a super emergency situation.
I left the gum to dry out, thinking that I could flake it off once the gooey-ness had deteriorated. But I must have been dealing with long-lasting ingredients, because even after a couple days, the stuff did not dry up. In keeping with my dry=better theory, I decided not to try and freeze it off with an ice cube. I had to pull out the big guns.
Quite a while ago, a good friend of mine told me about a cure-all find of hers. It had taken Sharpie Marker off the ceiling of her car, if that’s any clue as to the power of this stuff, all while managing NOT to leave a greasy or discolored mark in its place. It was difficult to find at the stores that I frequent, so when I came across some I went ahead and bought it in a preemptive moment of wisdom.
I dug this stuff out, squirted it on the supersuit (both the blue velvety material and the red faux lamè) and then brushed at it with a rag. Unbelievably, the gum came right off! It rolled into little balls or wads and came up easily. I threw the supersuit into the wash, and it now has resumed its proper place in our suit rotation.
If you’ve got a seemingly inconquerable mess, stain or goop problem on your list of things to handle, maybe this stuff will make your life a little easier. Good luck!