Thursday, October 17, 2013

Five Minute Friday - Laundry

Five Minute FridayIt’s these moments towards the end of the week that I find myself looking forward to; giddy with anticipation like a kid a Christmas. That one night of the week when my phone goes wild and blows up with Twitter notifications followed by the sudden hush when the prompt is revealed and all the writers duck out to do what we do best. It’s a fellowship of friends that gather here to write into the wee hours of the morning; then reading each others words and sharing encouragement as we go. Yes, this community opens wide and invites you in to share. Come and visit and read. You will be blessed.

This Week: Laundry


There is a growing list of things I have a hard time doing. Or cannot do in some cases. Simple, ordinary things that should be mere moments out of my day. They are not. Putting on shoes. Loading a dishwasher. Standing in the shower long enough to wash my hair and get clean. Everyday household chores and personal care-taking routine that are taking on new meanings as I learn to reschedule and re-time this living of my life.

This is part of getting older. This is part of having a chronic illness. This is part of life.

This discovery of things I cannot do well emerged in my desert journey. The beginning tell-tale sign: one joint in my thumb that would not stop its ever thrumming ache. The ache that spread from one join to another, until it was a systemic waterfall of inflammation and pain and things coming undone.

When things come undone, there are things you have to let go of. I am not good at letting anything go. I’ve written here and there about my habits of keeping things forever and a day. My Instagram feed is a testimony to decades of post-its and pens – held for some mysterious purpose that I must be withholding – even from myself. My Facebook laments cleaning out bags and bags of Bath & Bodyworks products well past their expiration. And those are just things – never mind hurts, heartaches, and wounds of which I cannot speak. No. I do not let things go easily.

But when walking and standing are issues and doing them for longer than five minutes is a challenge, some things have to go. My house is not as clean and tidy as I would like; as it used to be. Dishes sometimes pile up longer. Laundry manages to get clean, but does not move much past being clean in the basket – folding has gone by the wayside.

I could allow myself to become buried in shame and piles of clean, fresh laundry. Or I could give thanks for the things that remain.

photo by cohdra
  • The lessons that linger from those desert times – the reminders of God present in my life and the lives of others – working miracle upon miracle – even in the smallest detail.
  • The husband who lives marriage vows and love out like a verb – driving relentlessly, though it is, in itself exhausting; carrying the chores of feeding and cleaning upon those broad shoulders, and still finding time to rub mine when the pain escalates and overtakes me.
  • The daughter who is learning compassion as she watches her Mama struggle with the everyday – learning to pitch in more and be helpful – gaining maturity as she takes things into her own hands and grows her responsibility.
  • Friends who reach in and across from real life and through screens and in letters to hug, encourage, sustain, and pray – taking time from their own lives to pitch in, lend a hand, never forgetting that I do things a little slower, a little softer these days.
These everyday graces are my focus. As I turn with my laundry basket full of clean clothes and warm napkins and rest it on the end of the bed once again, I realize that this new way is not a bad way – just different – and this slower, softer way I’m making in the world allows time I didn’t take before for giving thanks and seeing miracles. And I’m okay with that. 


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  1. Your post is beautiful and transparent. Thank you for sharing the pain and the beauty of your journey with us. May God give you strength and hope as you adjust to this new way of living.

  2. You take the word laundry to a whole new level sister! Wow! Love you. Have a completely stellar weekend.

  3. I've had to learn to let go, I mean really let go. Sometimes the constant push of laundry appears that we can't let go of it. But indeed, we can. If in doing so, we find our creator, I'm okay with that.

    I know the road of chronic health problems and am so thankful for your real insight into what matters the most.

  4. Experiences like yours help to illustrate the important from the merely conventional. Having clean laundry is important; the process of ironing, folding, hanging, and putting it away is merely conventional. Your clothes are clean, so what if they are rumpled? Not that I've ever noticed, but then I'm a man. o)

    I do not say that all conventions are unimportant, I'm actually very traditionally minded and conventions are what make up a society's culture, but I think we all need to remember that they are disposable, and that there are circumstances where society needs to say they aren't THAT important.

  5. Sending love your way, Rebekah. I haven't had my coffee yet, so I feel my words are a bit tired and jumbly, but know you're in my prayers, friend :) (And thanks for the message last night... I missed you, too!)

  6. Sweet, sweet Rebekah - you have described so much of me here. You have written the words from my heart. I go through seasons where I have to come to peace with where I'm at again. I am just only on the other side of one such heart battle right now. Thank you for being real. It's an encouraging reminder that others do indeed understand. I especially love the way you wrap it all up ... "and this slower, softer way I’m making in the world allows time I didn’t take before for giving thanks and seeing miracles. And I’m okay with that. "

  7. Change is so difficult! I struggle so much with the letting go. It sounds like you are taking one day at a time and learning a new way of doing things. Slowing down is a good thing, actually — "time I didn’t take before for giving thanks and seeing miracles."

    Christy @ A Heartening Life

  8. Of course, beautiful as always. Feeling your pain in memories- and it will get better. It will. And your husband and daughter will see Christ displayed in your life in a way so unique because of your situation. You are blessed and a blessing.

  9. As normal your words touch my heart. For the last 2 days I have been almost bed ridden with back pain unable to do my normal chores. It is so frustrating but I should learn to see how blessed I am. Blessed that this is temporary, that also have a husband & daughter to pick up the slack. Thankful that I live in an age that I can still connect with beautiful ladies like you even from my bed. Thanks for opening my eyes. I am praying for you friend.

  10. Oh, sweet lady! This is beautifully stated. Thank you. And praising God for your husband and daughter and many friends who have been wonderful through all that you are going through!

  11. Oh girl... how I love you and love what He is doing in and through you as you walk this path! Praying as He heals over time - inside and out... that you never lose sight of His ever-present Hand... holding you close... folding you in all the while! (Did ya see what I did there?)

    Oh - and this: " folding has gone by the wayside." Um... yeah... me too! (Want proof? I will text you a photo of my own pile... because - well - because you were silly enough to give me your cell number!)

  12. Thank you for your honesty. Your desert post have touched my heart. I hope you have a lovely weekend.

  13. Thank you for your honest real to life testimony about your struggles with letting go and now this new season....its so true that our pain is God's chance for showing us His great worth and Love and really sift out all of the priorities in our lives...really seeing with the vision we would want to see with if we could...its interesting that many of the paradigms we hold dear many times aren't so much rooted in Him but maybe our Martha who had to be busy doing so much...instead of Mary who just wanted fellowship...sounds like you have a wonderful husband...and i'm so sorry for your pain thanks for trying to look on the bright side! Praise reduces anxiety

  14. This is beautiful, friend. I love your transparency and openness to share. My thoughts and prayers are with you.


Thank you for the kindess of your comment. I pray your patience with the word verification. I've had such troubles with spammers lately. Thank you for grace. I look forward to reading all the comments and responding. I appreciate you!