Folding teeny tiny t-shirts filled my heart to the brim with joy for many years. I never would have dreamed of sharing laundry duty, or even calling it a duty to begin with. Silently changing padding through the house to switch loads while first daughter napped felt like heaven on earth.
Time is tricky.
Somehow, over the years, laundry became a burden. You guys …laundry DOES NOT fill my heart to the brim with joy now! It’s fills my laundry room to capacity and completely overwhelms me. The sheer amount of the whole family’s laundry causes me to DREAD IT all the way to Target to buy more underwear instead of separating ALL OF THE LOADS. I’d love to tell you that was the first time I’ve done that …but it absolutely wasn’t.
Time tends to turn the gift of socks laying on the floor into annoyances that set us fuming. What was once a joyful reminder of people filling my life and my home is now one more thing I can’t figure out how to squeeze into a limited amount of time. The older my kids get, the faster time slips by. I can’t stop it, and I can’t seem to figure out how to train my people to pick there socks up off the floor so that I can re-allocate the 3.5 seconds it takes me to pick them up and walk them to the laundry room.
As I prayed and prepared to start “book-fasting” to ready my life and soul for book baby #2, I knew something had to be done about the overwhelming amount of laundry I caught myself dragging down stairs and dumping. It was time to turn it over. When what once brought us joy begins to wear on us, it may be time to turn it over. I was delaying the complete laundry turnover, partly because I didn’t trust them to do it right, and partly because I think deep down this momma was dealing with …change.
Transitions are tough. All change requires adjustment. I prefer proven processes. Turning over requires letting go. Every time my children are able to accomplish something without me, I’m reminded they aren’t mine to hold onto. They are God’s, and I have to let go, piece by piece, and let them flourish and learn and create their own processes, trusting good seeds have been planted and firm roots are being watered.
It was hard to let go of the laundry.
The left the piles accumulate and it took days fold and put it all away. The wet loads left in the washer had to be re-washed. I let them do it. I let all of the lessons be learned. The empty space I feel when I finish my laundry and no one else’s is a catch 22.
My kids don’t need me to do laundry their anymore. I thought I needed to reallocate my time to push a book baby out. God was making room for new conversations my daughters need me to be fully present in.
He goes before us so efficiently, asking us to set things down so we are able to pick up new things. Raising kids produces a lot of laundry. It has to be washed, but it’s not the most important thing. Let it pile up while He clears room for important conversations. Let them do it, and feel the full weight of their laundry. All of the clean stuff they shove into those hampers …let them carry it all down and wash it, and fold it and put it away again. Maybe they’ll start wearing some of that stuff more than once. Maybe they’ll learn some new things.
Everyday older we get the closer we are to the next transition. Let’s not fear it, but embrace them all, knowing God will faithfully keep us busy with new things …new changes …new conversations.
Excellent post! After raising four children of my own, I certainly relate to this topic of laundry! I love your comment that God asks us to set things down, so we can pick up new things. It is hard to ‘let go’, yes, but, we must, in order to pave the way for new beginnings. There really is only so much time in a day, and children appreciate the work involved in household chores only when they take on a ‘load’ themselves. It creates an atmosphere of respect for all family members…work is work, and we all need time to do the things we want to do. God does indeed have plans for us and we must move on to the next thing with grace, knowing all will be well…and maybe, altogether ‘new’.
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Wonderful words! And thank you for your wisdom, kindness and encouragement 😊