Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Lesson in Laundry

I've always been told I have a habit of over thinking things and sometimes my train of thought is just simply too deep at times. I tend to look at something simple and try to "read" it deeply and figure out what it is I'm REALLY supposed to be seeing. Part of it is just my natural personality and life experiences. Part of it is just craziness. Part of it came from a college lit and comp class that drove me insane trying to keep an A average because the teacher NEVER gave A's and I didn't know that "rumor" until it was too late! Searching for symbolism in EVERY thing we read became such a task that I was never able to look at anything "simply" anymore!

This morning I had one of those "deep thinking" moments doing the mundane task of laundry. Laundry has been such a topic of interest in our household for the past 4-5 months. As our washing machine began it's last loads on a long journey of 12 years, every day seemed to be about...did it work, will it go ONE more or not? It became a point of stress knowing that any second would be it's last and there was ZERO hope of having money available for a new one in the next year. As Kevin tried EVERY single thing he could to get it to last a little longer we became thankful for each load it did. Thankful even in "the last days" when I had to literally go restart it with EVERY cycle (7 times per load) and I would forget or have to leave the house. That load of laundry may have taken ALL day, but we were feeling blessed to have managed another load of clean laundry. When it finally died COMPLETELY beyond all hope of repair, I was disappointed but thankful. I was thankful that my husband "bought" us time and then incredibly thankful that he completely tore apart one that was here in the house when we moved in and was able to fix it and make it LIKE new. Thankful that he didn't give up even when a parts supplier said it couldn't be done. We spent hours searching for parts diagrams and watching videos on YouTube until he found JUST the right one! He checked that part and sure enough, it was broken and an easy repair to make (for someone like him!). Grand total: less than $16 and a few cents less than what I was spending each trip to the Laundromat.

This morning I started a load of laundry and just stood watching it work. Yes, I'm kinda strange. Nothing new to report in that regards. I initially was watching it because the one that "died" was a front loader and our "new" one is a top loader. It's been so long since I've used one that I stood watching to make sure I had chosen a good water level and that there was plenty of space for everything to properly agitate. I stood watching it for so long that Bradlee finally came searching for me. (He and I stayed home from church this morning because he's been so overwhelmed and overtired that I knew he needed some downtime with just Mommy! I think God understands that!)

God and I had a few minutes while I stood there. I've said it many times before, God finds me in the strangest places and at the oddest times. Maybe it's just because of the season of life I am in or it could be I'm just strange. Either option works! What did He reveal to me and what was I thinking all of that time? A washing machine/dirty clothes are so much like life right now! They are piled together with all different colors and textures. Some are fairly clean and really might could be used again without being washed (ESPECIALLY if you have a teenager in your house!), but because they got tossed in the "dirty" pile they have to be washed anyway. Others might be slightly dirty and others are JUST PLAIN disgusting (ESPECIALLY if you have boys). They all get piled together, separated, and then tossed in the washer. Not much regard is given to them. Once the detergent or other cleansers are added, the machine is started and the agitating begins. I stood and watched as clothes disappeared and reappeared over and over. I watched how the water color began to change as the filth began to be washed away. I watched how the water became dark and the clothes began to brighten and look cleaner with each "pass". But if I stopped the load right then and left it to sit, the filth would infiltrate the clothes again. It is the flushing with clean water and the spinning out of the old that makes the clothes clean.

God was speaking to me and letting me know that is what he is doing with me right now. It feels like for so long that maybe I would begin to get the filth washed away, but I didn't let Him finish by spinning and rinsing me! Before I knew what had happened, that filth (sin, bad habit, lack of trust) would soak right back in. I have let him begin the process, but for many different reasons...I didn't let him complete all the cycles. I felt like he was telling me that I've been through some pretty tough things and been "agitated", tossed, dunked over and over and even though I may feel stuck right there and just really want it to be done, that He is getting ready to start the next cycle. I just have to trust Him, hang on, and when the time is right I will come out shining and clean. He isn't forgetful or too busy to turn the knob to the next cycle like I was guilty of. He knows EXACTLY what amount of time I need in each cycle and He's not going to turn it too early or too late. Looking forward to the day that I come out clean, whole, and as good as new!

1 comment:

kgoad said...

Wow! Great lesson in finding God Tracye; I have a quote that you gave me a long time ago: "A woman should be so lost in God that a man (or Husband) should have to seek Him to find her". I have not forgotten that and finding Him in a washing machine full of dirty laundry is proof that you truly are lost in His love. Thanks for reminding me that we can find God in anything we do if our heart is open and listening. Thanks for the lesson in laundry, I love you