4/5/14

Love in Laundry

Laundry and teaching have a lot in common. We will always be doing laundry. We will always be teaching.  Our families will always have dirty clothes and our children will always need to be taught something.  My laundry piles up about twice a week now.  I realize that might be nice for some of you, who end up doing maybe four or five loads a day.  Before children, I did laundry once a week. As my children grow, I realize so does the laundry!  Soon I will need to be doing laundry every day. My children remind me every day that they need to be taught things as well.  As a mother of small ones, I hear myself saying things like:

"Stop that."
"Don't touch that."
"It isn't nice to push."
"Please stop blowing in my face - you cannot continue to blow in people's faces."

"Please put away your dish."
"Remember to flush!"


We teach our children to ...
...be potty trained.
...wash their hands.
...pray.
...eat with a fork.
...sing songs.
...be respectful.
...be kind.
...not invade personal space.

So many books and blogs on motherhood speak about doing the everyday things.  Sometimes they say it is hard.  Sometimes they say it is lonely.  Sometimes they encourage you to "get through it."  Or, "this is only a season."  Teaching your children and laundry are not seasons. We will always be teaching.  We will always be doing laundry (and dishes and mopping). It can be discouraging. It can be disheartening. It can be tiring.  How do we escape the discouragement?
Love. It may seem too simple, but it is not.  Loving is so very hard.  How can you love someone after they just threw-up all over you?  How can you love something that takes all of your mental energy?  How can we love while serving whether it be laundry, dishes, mopping, or teaching? 

1. We do not have to love the job - We only have to love the person behind the job. 
Proverbs 10:12 says "Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses." (ESV)
We love our family and want them to have clean clothes.  That is why we do laundry.  We love our family and want them well-fed.  That is why we fix dinner every night. We love our children.  That is why we continue to teach, discipline, and guide them.  You do not have to love the fact that you told your three-year-old to flush for the 100th time.  You only have to love that little three-year-old.  You do not have to love the fact that your five-year-old still tries to get your attention by blowing in your face.  You only must love your five-year-old.  You do not have to love the baby's dirty diapers.  You only must love the baby. Loving that person allows us to focus on who we are serving, instead of trying to just serve.

2. We do not have to love all on our own.
John 15:5 "I am the vine, you are the branches, He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit (love!); for without Me you can do nothing....As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in My love."  (NKVJ)
This is key.  This is the strength behind how we love. Only through Jesus' help can we truly love.  Our own love will fade and eventually fail.  We have all tried to love someone on our own.  Eventually, we fall short.  Only with Jesus' love, living through us and aided by the Holy Spirit, can we truly continue to love those around us.   Loving people is hard work. It takes more than you have. It takes more than I have.  Filling ourselves with Christ each day and striving to keep His commandments is the only way to be able to love freely. 

How do you continue to love in laundry (and the rest of motherhood)? How do we fill ourselves with Christ?
1. Read God's Word daily.
2. Pray daily.
3. Rest daily.