I think all I ever do is laundry. There are always baskets and baskets in one stage or another throughout my house. There is the overflowing dirty-clothes basket in the bathroom, the folded-but-not-put-away baskets in the hallway, the not folded or sorted baskets outside the laundry room, and the baskets piled high with dirty laundry in the laundry room. And the one basket of clothes I’m gonna have to wash again because for the second time I didn’t take it out of the washer in time to avoid that familiar mildewy scent. Then there are the clothes strewn all over my children’s bedroom floors, and the piles of clothes my youngest children tossed out of their dresser in order to find their favorite tutus. Lastly, there are the clothes all nicely folded and sorted on the kitchen table until we need the tabletop and they are pushed aside, over and into things.
I wanted to find some amazing spiritual lesson in all that laundry. Perseverance? Character development? Contentment in chaos? Joy in suffering? I tried to think of something each basket of laundry in its particular location and situation could represent in my Christian walk. I couldn’t think of any. I guess sometimes chores are just that, chores. I must figure out how to do it without so much grumbling. I’ve been trying for 40+ years – I’m sure one of these days it’s gonna click.
As a single parent, the laundry nightmare is particularly daunting. It seems like it shouldn’t have changed that much, but I guess it’s compounded by the unmanageable amount of chores and responsibilities that we single parents have. There are so many tasks to do and, unfortunately, laundry sits in one of the top spots.
I think the key to most housework battles we face as single parents is to embrace the chaos – to simply enjoy a full house, noisy nights, messy tables, yucky floors, and loads and loads of laundry. I’m thankful for all those clothes because there was a time not too long ago when I worried about being able to provide for my children.
I’m constantly reminding my children to do everything without grumbling or complaining. Must be another “do as I say, not as I do” mama thing. But it shouldn’t be! It should be second nature for us to give thanks in all circumstances (even buried alive in laundry), pray without ceasing (even that the laundry would decrease a bit) and rejoice always (even if it’s just for the five minutes there is no laundry in a basket. Wait! Does that ever happen??). I have determined to strive to model thanksgiving instead of grumbling no matter how the clothes pile up around me!
I want to find that even in doing my laundry I can be a blessing to my family and my Lord. Ultimately, I want to find a way to bring God glory through my life, my attitude and, yes, even my laundry!
Sue Birdseye is an author and communicator who shares the adventures she has on her unexpected journey of single parenting. She went from the typical “picket fence” kind of life to being a single mom to five beautiful children. She has learned what it means to be totally dependent upon the Lord and how beautiful that dependence is. Her change of life circumstances has led to a passionate desire to encourage and bless other moms no matter their life circumstances. She has been active in her community as a foster/adoptive mom and public school teacher. She has also been part of her church’s worship, discipleship, women’s, and children’s ministries. She is an avid book reader, a game night hoster, and an early morning writer. Her book “When Happily Ever After Shatters” is the story of how God stepped into her life and the lives of her children just when everything seemed to be falling apart. She hopes that her writing will encourage, bless, and maybe even make someone smile.