Dirty Laundry

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The day I discovered we could make our own liquid laundry detergent was one of the most freeing days of my life. Our family, like most with young children, complete at least two loads of laundry daily. It’s one of those auto-pilot chores of mine that rarely requires much thought outside of the routine.

But once in a while, I run across a slight hiccup in the midst of the routine.

  • A matchbox car wedged deep in a pants pocket, covered in peanut butter.
  • My long-time missing sock from several weeks prior lodged into the crotch area of toddler superman underwear…with a poop streak…of course. 
  • A pull-up found in the washing machine…again 
  • And the school uniform shirt proudly displaying all 85 stickers from an amazing over-achieving day

These hiccups exhaust me to no end, especially when my crazy schedule is already running behind. There have been a few days here and there that dirty underwear has simply been thrown away – out of utter disgust and frankly, it’s just not worth my time. 

For you see, every mom knows that regardless of our cleaning method, each article of clothing risks the chance of fading, tearing, dying or even shrinking. The stain may be removed, but the end result will never be as good as before the stain appeared. But that’s ok – it’s worth the risk and some clothes are even worth the added time. 

I believe I have a tendency of treating my heart the same way. You see, it can get stained pretty easily by events of my past, Hirt brought on by others and mistakes I simply can’t take back. Regardless of the treatment method, I eventually hand it over to God for a needed cleanse. Yet, there are days I question if He can really get the stain out, or if when held up to the light, if my dirt will show right through for everyone to see. What if my heart truly gets worse after each wash – fading, ripped edges and shrinking. Surely my heart will never look the same again. 

 And it doesn’t. Through each wash, God makes our heart stronger and vibrant in Him. Why? Our hearts house a very important promise He gave to us long ago:

Now Bethany, it is I who makes you stand firm in Christ. I anointed you, set My seal of ownership on you, and put My Spirit in your heart as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. (2 Corinthians 1:21, 22 NIVUK)

Sometimes, I fear allowing Him to take my heart secretly doubting I will like the end result. But He has promised something far greater than my wildest imagination – His in dwelling presence. It can only get better from here. 

…But we are still stuck with dirty laundry…for now…

 

Your turn! Have you ever handed something over to God fearing what would occur next? I’d love to hear your story below in the comments! 

Bethany is an ICF trained Certified Professional Christian Life Coach (Christian Coach Institute Graduate), Motivational and Inspirational Speaker, mentor to women and an author. Bethany defines herself as a child of God who loves to use her passion for change to inspire others. She has overcome disabilities, wading through the trials and rewards of marriage and motherhood. She enjoys being a wife to Steve for 10 years and mother to three boys (ages 7, 5 and 2). She is a double brain cancer survivor, a 9 year veteran in the field of youth and children's ministry and has published poetry, featured blog posts for numerous ministry websites and children's ministry curriculum contributions. Bethany is currently working on her first book to be released this Fall as well as various freelancing projects. Bethany always welcomes new coaching clients and speaking opportunities!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

16 thoughts on “Dirty Laundry

  1. Most definitely Bethany! I have handed over ME so He can use me as He determines. Thoughts of: Oh no! What if He asks me to go to another country? What if I’m not good enough? What if I fail? What if I succeed? Silly me, all I have to remember is “Nancy can do ALL things through Christ Jesus who gives Nancy HIS strength” and “With Nancy this is impossible but with God ALL things are possible.” Phil 4:13 and Matt 19:26 When I look to His light I can rest in peace knowing I am not alone. Now if you will excuse me! the laundry is done! folded but now needs to be put away!

  2. Love these thoughts Bethany 🙂 I am in that process now – we have handed our future plans over and are awaiting God to shine the light on the next step in our path! I repeatedly get anxious, impatient, and doubt! I have to continually sit in prayer and allow God to take those plans so that He can purify them and give them back to us 🙂

  3. Thank you so much for this word of encouragement! That’s a great parallel between laundry and our hearts too. God is able to do far beyond what we can ask or think.

  4. Do you know, I was just considering today dirty socks. How the “lonely singles” never seem to find their match. Until, of course, I’ve thrown them away (given up hope of ever finding it’s perfect pair). Then, they turn up quick! And, I think I do that with some of my deeper heart hurts, too. As usual, Bethany, I was blessed to read here, today.

    • Love this picture Missy! Oh and how our missing socks forever live in the sock drawer, waiting for its match…or to be made into a puppet (whatever is needed first!)

  5. My recent experience with being afraid of what God might do when I handed a situation over to Him was over the last 3 years when I became a part of a Christ-centered ministry where we went into a all -women’s correctional center weekly. I knew God was calling me there after the very first visit but I couldn’t figure out what it was I was suppose to do and then once I figured it out I didn’t like the answer. I had the experience of doing many things with these amazing women over the past 3 years and one on one counseling, something I didn’t want to do nor want to do again, ended up on that list as well. God is so sweet to prepare us, sometimes for years, to fulfill a calling even behind bars. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything in the world and it is the thing I miss most after having recently moved away!! I love your laundry analogy – I will remember it next time I throw a load in!!!

    • I love this Larissa! I was able to volunteer at a local juvenile detention center a few years ago. The experience completely changed me and like you, it was one of the biggest moments I missed after we move! Thank you for sharing!

  6. Beautifully said! I love the analogy. He does indeed get the stain out – 100% every time. And His mercies are new every morning.

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