This past weekend was one of supreme laziness which means it was awesome. I took two baths in twenty-four hours and topped them off with a nap. Jon’s been traveling for work and, you know what they say: “While the cat’s away the mouse will play.”
Actually, I think it’s ‘mice’ but it’s nice to think of myself without children sometimes. Even if only for a few minutes while soaking. They managed to make themselves quite unforgettable, however, running around the house making all sorts of noise, even bringing other mice around to play.
Of course, bathing and napping could hardly be rebellious, but eating pre-made Costco dinners like we’ve been suffering a salt shortage for years on end, definitely is. (Jon’s against them.)
After my nap I did some laundry. Somehow I manage to forget between loads just how long it takes to hang clothes to dry from the delicate cycle. Piece. By piece. By mind-numbing piece. Is this even worth it? I thought.
Halfway through this tedious hanging ordeal, I remembered something a dear friend said shortly before our third child was born. It wasn’t a pat, “Cherish every moment. They fly by so quickly.” Nor the practical, “Don’t forget to have sex!” I had called her to see what she was up to, which turned out to be laundry. “Oh, laundry day?” I’d asked, which she was quick to correct: “No. I do a little bit of laundry every day.”
“EVERY DAY?” I practically shouted into the phone. Had she marched the two blocks separating our houses and sprayed me with cold water from a hose it would’ve been less jolting.
“Yeah. I usually do a load or two to keep it from piling up,” she said nonchalantly, totally oblivious to the fact she’d just rocked my world. Honestly, I’d never heard such a thing.
But that was those days and this is now. Not a week goes by without her unintended advice keeping me company as I stand stuffing and transferring, folding and hanging.
I recall other moments like this even decades afterward: A single sentence of Dad’s about marriage. A comment about the way I communicate from an older lady in the Wednesday night church supper line. A paragraph read here, a phrase spoken there. The important ones contain staying power and, when they surface, I think it’s God’s way of reminding me He is My Helper.
As a dinner bell calls the hungry, signaling the opportunity to be filled, certain conversations ring in our memory, drawing us home and feeding us truth.
You never know when the next thing you say will change someone’s life. Whether you’re at home or in an office or you’re a JMU student inviting someone to Satisfaction (Can’t wait!), you carry something important: influence.
Not that we walk around thinking, Watch it, watch it! Careful, careful! The next sentence that rolls off my tongue must contain the stuff of LEGENDS! That would be miserable.
Instead, we travel ordinary days acutely aware of, but completely un-pressured by, our influence–always leaving the outcome to God. And, by all means, we try our best to heed my friend Christy’s advice. Otherwise we may be swallowed up by a sea of laundry. Something I’d do well to remember today.
If you happen to be in the area, I’ll be speaking along with some others at the end of this month in Harrisonburg, VA. Satisfaction is a womens’ conference hosted by James Madison’s Intervarsity ministry. We’d be honored to have you.
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