A laundry day lesson

The postal service has a tag line to their advertisements for pre-rated box shipping:  “If it fits, it ships.” Today, I have a tag line for my laundry duties:  “If it fits in the washer, it gets washed.”  This new emphasis on the laundry responsibilities follows the family’s involuntary participation in one of the stomach bugs going around.  I pride myself on a healthy immune system and rarely get sick.  However, this was a particularly virulent strain evidently, and I succumbed to its attack only a few short days after the children. After an extremely rough 24 hours, I am now feeling a bit germ-a-phobic and am literally washing everything that will fit in the tub of my heavy-duty machine.  Laundry is usually my favorite of household chores as I love the fresh scent of detergent and fabric softener and the comfort of clean sheets and fluffy towels.  But today I am on a mission.  There is much to be done and quickly, before those buggers regroup and come at me again.

All is going according to plan except for the quickly part.  My dryer hasn’t heated well for quite some time now, so dry time is longer than normal.  It’s one of those things that I need to have repaired but rather than make the phone call and cough up the cash I keep turning the knob for a second round instead.  It’s just easier.  So normally the washer sits with its tub full of freshly agitated, drained, and spun items waiting their turn(s) in the dryer.  Not today.  The washer has decided to compete with the dryer in an effort to see which can take the longest possible time to complete their assigned duties.  It’s chosen to randomly get stuck in the spin cycle.

I rely on the buzzer of the dryer to alert me when it’s time to turn it on again or remove the items.  Knowing this little annoying sound will call when action is required frees me to walk away without another thought and set my mind on other things.  My washer, however, has no such alert.  Come to think of it, even it if had an alert it wouldn’t work if the silly thing is stuck on spin…  So as you may have deduced by now, several loads of laundry have spun for quite a while today – almost to the point of being very nearly dry!

With multiple loads of various sorts, I have used each cycle, varying load sizes, some with fabric softener, some without, and different water temperatures.  Finally, I have seen a pattern emerge.  It only gets stuck on spin if it’s a small load.  I have to pay attention when a small load is in so that I can stop it before it spins for 45 minutes.  (And just a fyi for all you laundry-doers out there:  you can spin wrinkles into your clothes that will not come out until washed again…)

Having been a homemaker for the greater part of my adult life, it is not unusual for God to speak to me through the mundane tasks that have filled many hours.  Today as I de-bug, I am reminded of how often we let the small things in life get us in a spin and catch us up in the insignificant when our goal is to accomplish something greater.  Often we handle the larger things that life deals out with more grace and faith than the small stuff.  Just as I am having to pay attention and listen to when my washer is stuck in the spin cycle, we should pay attention to when the small things have us going in circles.

I think this is especially true of this time of year.  To share my views on the holiday preparations will very likely make me sound a bit Scrooge-ish, so I will spare you the details of my opinions.  I’ve been in that spin cycle before and have no desire to go there again.  You know what I mean – impatience displayed as we stand in line, frustration mounting as we search rack after rack, tempers flaring as the children beg for more, more, more – all while “Peace on earth, good will towards men” plays in the background…

This is the season to celebrate that our Savior came to earth.  A magnificent event second only to His resurrection.  In reality, every season is a reason to celebrate Jesus!!  It is easy to lose sight of the big picture with all we have to do, but if we pay attention and listen we have within us an alert that will let us know when it’s time to stop and be still.  His Spirit.  He will lead us into peace, into the right priorities, and into the right activities that will bring Him glory, if we will stop spinning and listen.

Because of and through the heart of tender mercy and loving-kindness of our God, a Light from on high will dawn upon us and visit [us].  To shine upon and give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to direct and guide our feet in a straight line into the way of peace. Luke 1:78-79

And the God humor for today?  Too much spinning just causes more wrinkles!! 

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