Friday, March 5, 2010

Grace in the Laundry Pile

As a new Lenten discipline, I've been wrangling my laundry crisis. It is no secret laundry and I have been in a dual for some time and I thought it a necessary sacrifice for Jesus this season. Leading up to this point, I've had good weeks and good days, only to be followed by periods of neglect and inactivity that have all resulted in chaos. For me, home chaos is the devil's tool, which then breeds general sloth, apathy, and the like. It is not prayerful or even mindful of Christ; instead, it discourages my daily walk.

So thankfully, it seems the fruits of sacrifice have been GRACE and then some more grace. I'm happy to say: God is good... even with laundry. His mercy is always there and always available, we just have to meet him halfway. We have to put in some sweat to make it happen.

I started with a few simple laundry rules:
1) Each member of the family has a day(s) for laundry
e.g. Baby J--Monday, Big boys: Tuesday, Thursday (Friday, if necessary); Mom and Dad: Wednesday; Sheets, towels: weekend. I posted the schedule in the laundry room to keep me honest.

2) Clean laundry must be folded upon removal from dryer. A basket may be used to put away clean laundry; otherwise, folded clothes go directly to drawers.

3) The day's laundry task is started at wake-up and finished by bedtime.

Simple, eh? It seems like the "sweat" God is asking of me is really no sweat at all. From "sacrifice" has come an incredible clarity. My husband can't believe it. Gone are the days seeing a mountain of clean clothes in the hallway. Gone are the complaints from an overtired wife who can't get it all done. Gone is the sloth that would encroach and threaten to leave us with no underwear for days.

Present is Grace. Grace in the laundry pile.
Thank you, God.


Laura said...

Hurray for triumphs! And for laundry machines :)

Jess said...


JMB said...

Way to go!

texas mommy said...

Good for you, B-Mama! A practical question...can you really wait a whole week to do Baby J's clothes?!?

Carolina Girl said...

Great job B-mama! I have similar issues with my messy desk and cleaning the house. I do good for a day or two and then things start piling up and then I think, "well, might as well just wait until it gets really bad..."

And now here I am, feeling very overwhelmed and seriously considering to ask Brian to take G for the whole day so that I can make some progress. And I'd hate to actually get a day to myself and then have to spend it cleaning up what I could already have done.

I've tried scheduling tasks before, and start off well, but it never lasts. I'm finding that being accountable to myself is not really being accountable at all.


Jaime said...

oh man...I don't even have kiddos and I need this discipline. You've inspired me B!

Kathryn said...

I was actually just thinking today about how in our house things really start going down hill when the laundry gets out of control (which is most of the time lately). For some reason, I become very discouraged and slothful when the laundry isn't caught up (by caught up I mean not having 5 or 6 loads of wrinkled unfolded clean clothes smashed into two baskets and 5 or 6 dirty loads to wash, I know how can it be that bad but it is). If I can just fold it right out of the dryer and only have about 2 loads that need to be done, I am absolutely blissful! Should make this part of my Lenten discipline to overcome this gateway to slothfulness. The good thing is that God loves me even when I feel as though I am failing. Better go start folding! :) Thank you for your post, it inspires me!

B-Mama said...

Tex, great question--occasionally I'll have to throw some of the baby's stuff in with the load for that day due to its need-to-be-washed urgency! Otherwise, I have a spray bottle of Zout on the dryer that I employ every night as I put clothes in their respective hampers. I catch the stains early and then they don't sit around setting until laundry day.

I will also mention that part of this initiative has involved making sure everyone has his own hamper. Before, I was putting the boys' clothes directly into a basket in the laundry room, which made me feel like I was never truly accomplishing the laundry task. Now, they have a large hamper in their bathroom that gets tackled twice a week. This has been HUGE in my overall sense of organization!!

Another worthy mention is that I have NOT been doing cloth diapers lately. They were adding so to the laundry chaos, so I quit several months ago. I don't think I'll pick back up with my toddler again, but will consider it when the baby's born. It is so easy to cloth diaper a newborn, especially with supplies already in hand. I'll probably have to fit in a cloth diaper load every other night in the evening after my daily laundry task is done.

Happy washing everyone!

JMB said...

I don't know if this helps or hurts, but Danielle Bean had a great piece on laundry a few years ago. Basically, she just says to "just do it" everyday. Also, I found a wonderful blog called "Like Mother, Like Daughter" and she also has a great piece on laundry as well.

A few years ago, when my husband was getting his black belt in karate and my son was in jr. football (4 months), the two girls were in soccer, the laundry situation got so out of control in my house (mostly do to workout/football gear), that I hired our cleaning lady to come in for an extra 4 hours a week to help me with the laundry. I could handle everything else - the bathrooms, the vacuuming, the stripping of the beds, etc. We did this for about a year until things quieted down. Sometimes you gotta throw some $ at a problem to make it go away.

Rachel said...

I Love this post! Good for you, B-Mama! I think I need to start a similar schedule revolving around mopping my floors. For some reason, clean floors = clean house to me, yet I find this chore HARDEST to get done on a weekly (sometimes even every three weeks?) basis. Thanks for getting me thinking!

And to Carolina Girl ... I often wish for a day to myself with nobody home just so I can "clean!" Kind of backwards, I know, but I do have fantasies of spending an entire weekend alone, organizing my house (life!!!), and then welcoming all my boys back to a sparking home!