Clean Laundry for Lent


Well, here we find ourselves once more.  Lent.  Even though I’m not Catholic but I find the practice of observing Lent introspective, challenging, rewarding and infuriating.  It’s good to step out of the comfort zone, even if it is for 40 days.

Last year for Lent I went with my tried and true daily devotional.  I even got the hair brained idea that I would fold and put away the laundry the same day it had been washed.  I failed miserably.  I didn’t even make it two days and the only reason I made it to day two was because I didn’t do a load of laundry on the first day.  The second day I did a wash and dry and I realized that I was doomed.  I can’t even remember if I was able to get the laundry out of the dryer into a basket.  If I did get it all the way into a basket it surely just sat there.  For a week.

I hate putting away the laundry.  I know I’m not alone on this one.  The dryer buzzer is the second worst sound in the world.  Right behind hearing “mommy, I’m sick” in the middle of the night.  Why does barf always happen past midnight?  Why?  

I know women with 3, 4, even 5 children.  I just can not even imagine the laundry burden they must bear.  How in the world do they even make it through the day without tripping on all the laundry baskets in their house?  I mean seriously, I’m getting a cold sweat just thinking about the amount of laundry that a family of six produces.  Shoot me now if I ever have to become a washerwoman to support the family.  God bless Charlie Bucket’s mother.

All that being said, I’ve decided to give it another go this year.  Yup. putting away the laundry the same day it has been washed.  Let’s stop a moment and say a silent prayer for my sanity.  I am happy to report, however, that so far so good.  Day one was a breeze because I didn’t do any laundry.  Day two and I found a small loop-hole to in the basket-to-drawer transfer.  If I start laundry late enough in the evening, by the time it is done the kids are asleep in bed.  I just can’t barge into their precious dreams by banging around their rooms, opening and closing drawers, turning on the lights to see if I’m putting the right underwear in the right room.  That would be irresponsible of me as a mother.  That basket just had to wait until the next day.

Day three and four and I finally had to face it.  Wash needed to be done or we would be turning our underwear inside out.  I set myself to the task of folding socks and whatnot and I decided to say a prayer for the person to whom the clothes belonged to.  I needed something to occupy my mind other than thinking of a witty post that would accompany the hashtag #ihatefoldinglaundry.  Here’s the thing with prayer.  I’m still undecided as to it’s effectiveness and I feel that the way we pray makes a difference.  I don’t treat prayer like wishing on a star; that if you pray hard enough then your dreams will come true.  I also don’t feel like it’s right to treat it like a genie in a bottle; that we deserve the answer we want just because we want it to be so.  As I folded Dear Husband’s socks I prayed that his path would be directed in love and wisdom.  As I folded napkins I gave thanks that I am able to provide food for my family without to worry about where our next meal would come from.  As I folded tiny underwear I prayed that my boys would grow into good and kind men (like their dad).  Now, I have no idea what the end result of those prayers will be or if they are just nice words that make me feel better.  I do know that I will have to take it one day at a time.  Easter is too far out to promise that every sock will find its match and every shirt will be hung with care.

Blessed are those who do laundry…for they shall have Easter ham.

4 Responses

  1. Chris Carter

    Ah…. such a great read!!!!!! LOVE this!!! As i am sitting here right now, I have a HUGE (I tried to combine two and stuff them in the washer because i just didn’t want to deal with another load…can you relate???) load that is STILL sitting in the dryer- mildewed by now I am sure of that…. the dryer doesn’t dry fast (It’s slowly dying) so I have to dry it for about two hours…

    I started that load on Sunday.

    I love the prayer aspect. So beautiful and honestly put, my friend.

    PERFECT way to make the agonizing task ‘truly’ productive… 🙂
    Chris Carter recently posted…Dare I Dream about Prom Dresses?My Profile

    • Stephanie Clinton

      HA! I totally know what you mean. Sometimes I put the laundry in the dryer and then totally forget to turn it on. I’m two inches from the button! How can I forget to press it! Then it will sit like that all day. Opps. I figure the heat from the dryer kills any mildew that was created during the day.
      Thanks friend

  2. Rabia @TheLiebers

    Washing? Drying? Folding? Sorting? All easy!! Putting away?? I’d rather have my eyes poked out!! I am so with you on that one! I like the way you are saying a prayer for each piece of laundry that you are folding. It makes it more of a sacred duty than a much loathed task. We were gifted a new washer and dryer over the summer after ours broke down. As much as I hate laundry, I give a prayer of thanksgiving for my friend’s sister each time I swap loads, because I am so grateful for her gift. My opinion on prayer is this: I don’t pray to change God’s will; I pray to make my will match His more closely.
    Rabia @TheLiebers recently posted…#TuesdayTen: What are 10 Essentials You Wouldn’t Leave Behind in Your HomeMy Profile

    • Stephanie Clinton

      “Sacred Duty” Oh my gosh I love that term! Can I start using that?
      Going w/o something like a washer/dryer really makes you appreciate it. It’s not such a burden when you really know the burden of having to do your laundry at the laundry mat or your in-laws!
      Thanks so much for reading 🙂

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