Our washer and dryer are not presently working, so laundry has been on my mind even more than usual. One of my favorite household chores is doing the laundry (which is probably a good thing considering my last post's frequent occurrence). I oddly enjoy sorting the loads, and Stevie used to like swimming in the piles of dirty laundry as I sorted. Thankfully, that phase seems to have passed. It was cute and fun...but obviously gross. Now, he happily tosses items in the washer as I start a load, and I'm happy to announce, they are usually items from the appropriate pile (instead of the clothes I just took out of the dryer). I feel a sense of accomplishment as loads are completed and the Mt. Everest of pants, shirts, onesies, and towels disappear, but it doesn't take long before a new pile is formed and waiting. And, hanging clothes on the line at my own house, just makes me feel so grown up...probably like a little girl wearing her mom's high heeled shoes ("teacher shoes") through the kitchen and basking in the uneven clip claps on the hard floor. If you never did that, you missed out!
The task of laundry has changed for me. I was once an unenthusiastic young girl folding her brothers' holey underwear and mismatched socks, and then a college student rushing to get her load in (and remembering to switch it) before every other student in the dorm decides it's laundry day. Later, I became a new bride smiling with pride as I folded my groom's work and play clothes: the khaki pants and polo shirts, the jeans and t-shirts, the camis and uniforms ...and yes, some holey underwear and mismatched socks. One day we will arrive at the stage in life where those are a distant memory, right?
Now, I tend to the piles of dirty laundry produced by a young family of four. I once dreamed of being in this place...being in this place of doing my own family's laundry. It is no longer a menial task but something I look forward to and enjoy. As I try to erase the dirt and food stains, I am reminded of our week. It's as if each article of worn clothing has a story to share of the fun we had and the messes made. I love to fold the fresh clean clothes while they are still warm. There is something so sweet about the smell of baby detergent and the folding of baby and little guy clothes, and yes, even the big guy's clothes. Some of the messes wash completely away and some remain as stains. With each wash, the clothes are a little more worn, a little more loved. My little ones are growing so quickly! Newborn clothes are stored away and exchanged for bigger ones. One chapter ends and a new one begins. As I fold the sleeves and pant legs, I think of the family member who will fill them. What treasures I have! And, what a perfect moment it is to pray for them. I pray that they will remember the wonderful times we've shared together in the adventures of the day. I pray that we will learn from the difficult moments and be washed clean with His mercy and grace for a fresh start and a new day. I pray that we will all grow in wisdom, in stature, and in favor with God and man. I pray that each day we will live purposefully. And, I pray that I am just the woman for the job of being the helper to my husband and the nurturer of our children. It is the desire of my heart to welcome the Creator of our days and our lives to fill our days with abundant life. These are ordinary days we're living. Matt is working hard at school and his job, and I am home with our 2 year old little boy and (almost) 6 month old little girl. Even though our days are quite ordinary, they are wonderful and beautiful. With each grass stain that is made and with each shirt that is folded, may our hearts be learning and growing and praising our heavenly Father as he transforms, in the way only He can, these ordinary days into extraordinary ones!