Tuesday, November 13, 2007

BFS #8-Dirty Laundry

BFS stands for Blogger Friend School. See the blinky link on the right. So, here's the assignment:

Part A - Share about your family’s laundry. Where is it kept? Who does it? How does your family sort it? Do you wash by hand? Hang clothes on the clothesline? Make your own laundry soap? How often do you do laundry? How many loads each day/week? Indoor laundry room, in the garage, or laundry mat? Even more fun…share a picture!

For those of you who have known me for a while, you know that laundry is the bane of my existence. I have lamented about laundry more times than I can count and here's why... ITS NEVER BLEEPING DONE. Those of you who are born organized (which of all my friends would be Christopher Robin and Telephone) keep trying to come up with helpful comments by sharing your system in the hopes that I'll get my act in order and quit whining you you about it. Foolish mortals.

Here's my "system". On Sunday, we come home from church and have lunch. Then its time to sort laundry. Little Guy grabs his laundry basket, which has wheels, and pushes it like a madman down the hall, thumps it down the stairs, and goes careening into "the closet room". (The closet room, when we bought the house, was going to become the master bath since its right off the master bedroom. Then the plumber came out and gave us the estimate, and the room has become half walk-in closet, half storage for crap, half a computer desk with three servers sitting on it. Yes, that is three halves, and it gives you an idea how cluttered the room is.) Sweetling's laundry basket is a fold up nylon mesh cube in primary colors with two nylon handles which she lugs down the hall, down the stairs, and to the closet room. She has learned to go *after* Little Guy if she values her heels. I grab the towels and the fifteen wet washclothes from the bathroom and head down. Then the three of us sort laundry together. Here's the picture of the closet room, taken Sunday evening after the laundry had been sorted and cleared out. Ok. Maybe not. I took a picture, but I can't find what folder its sitting in. There are the other two pictures I took, but not the closet room. Those three servers that sit in the closet room? They look for ways to laugh at me. That's their full time job.

Once the laundry is sorted, I start running loads. This is the part that never gets done. Loads take two drier cycles to dry, because the dryer vent tube (that big round silver thing that leads outside) needs cleaned out Im sure. Anyway, done loads get either a)dumped on the bed to be shoveled back into a basket later because I never got around to folding them; b)left in a basket at the foot of our bed or on the floor of the laundry room; or c)left in the dryer while the load in the washer sits and gets that nice mildew smell. Here, this time for real, is a picture of the laundry room. Now Mango in her blog calls her laundry room the dungeon. I totally disagree. I totally win the dungeon competition for laundry rooms.

Oh, and here's the picture of two laundry baskets hanging out at the foot of our bed. This is taken before the great laundry pile up begins to occur. (Not because I'm hiding the great laundry pile-up, but just because thats when Mango called me about BFS and that when I read the BFS home page and then went running around the house with a camera. The Jedi wisely had no comment.)

The great laundry pile up is why I hate laundry. Remember the a, b, c options for what happens to the laundry when it finally comes out of the dryer? That's the beginning of the great laundry pile up. The great laundry pile up usually gets sorted out by Friday afternoon, just in time to start laundry again on Sunday. So, basically, all through the week there is unfinished laundry and finished laundry waiting to be folded. And several times I dump the laundry monster out on our bed to try to make some headway, get a few minutes of work done, and then get called away to some other task, and by bedtime the unfinished laundry has to be shoveled back into the baskets, often on top of the few things I did get folded. And this is why laundry is the bane of my existence. Every week I start it with the best of intentions, and every week the process gets derailed and becomes a mess that I have to try to live through and function through and tell Sweetling to just wrap a towel around herself and go look for a pair of underwear in the baskets at the foot of the bed. These sorts of things. The stuff that dreams are made of.

By Friday, the laundry is folded, finally, and baskets are lugged back up the stairs. Little Guy helps me put away his own laundry (which is in one basket) and Sweetling puts away her laundry on her own (which is in another basket.) I usually carry the stack of towels up by hand and put them in the linen closet.

And the broken system begins again on Sunday.

Part B - Do you have an area in your life that you know that the Lord is tugging at some heart strings that needs to be cleaned up? Have a testimony of your past struggle(s) that might help another homeschooling mom? Share a piece of your heart (dirty laundry) that you are seeking a good washing or how it got cleaned up. Sharing with one another is a great way to have your post feel human and real.

Grrr. This is why I've not yet done this assignment. I was just going to say that I've been having a really difficult time being motivated to spend time in prayer and in Bible studies and keeping my prayer journal. Oh, I've been doing it, sporadically, but I've just been going through the motions and not reaping any spiritual growth or benefits. But really, I think I know exactly why I haven't been motivated.

A year ago, my women on wednesday bible study (wow), read and discussed the book Captivating. It was an awesome experience for me in so many ways. There was a hurt done to me when I was a child, that I had never really admitted, never faced, never worked through. I blamed myself for what happened, and just felt broken beyond all repair. In the process of reading that book, God helped me to see how what had happened was NOT MY FAULT. He showed me how he saw me, an innocent little girl. Innocent, innocent. I loved the sound and feel of that word. I still do. He started me down the long road of healing, and he was faithful to give me just what I needed when I needed it.

But the road of healing was long, and the landscape of the journey often looked the same, and I was impatient to reach the destination. And I began to doubt that I ever would reach the destination. And I might have been in slavery in Egypt, but I started remembering the banks of the Nile as being so much more lush and refreshing than the wilderness I had to cross to reach the Promised Land. And so I turned around and headed back towards Egypt. And I wondered why the road back seemed darker and colder without the pillar of fire going before me. And I stagnated on my prayer life, on my Bible studies, my journaling.

Mango on the phone with me last night said, "You're so nice. You probably never have to look in the mirror and see something ugly." Oh Mango, I said, you have no idea. There's a room in my heart where I turned all the mirrors to the wall for the longest time, because I couldn't bear to face what was reflected there. But its time to pick up the polishing cloth and get back to work. Because God is telling me, it isn't me who is ugly and distorted. He made me beautiful. But the mirror got warped in my childhood, and the image its throwing back at me isn't what he created me to be. And its going to take some hard work to polish the mirror and to let him bend it back into shape. And its going to take a long time. But we are heading in the right direction. Be patient. Follow him through the wilderness. We aren't out here wandering in circles. We are making progress.

Part C - FIND a scripture this week that pertains to this assignment to help you with your laundry and share it this week.

The Biblical woman I identify most with is Sarah. I want to be like Ruth, but really I'm like Sarah. She had the promise of God, but when it was taking a long time to be fulfilled, she decided maybe God's plan was for her to be more proactive in fulfilling the promise. Rather than stay on the journey God called her to, she wanted faster results, and found a way to "get" God's promise on her time table. It's the impatience, the desire to be in control, the need to know how and when, the frustration and doubt generated by the long journey, all these things I detect in myself.

So, my scripture is both for the laundry in my house, which never seems done...yet really it does get done every week, just not on my time table, and not without some mess and frustration in the middle of the week. And its also for the healing journey that never seems over...yet really I know how far God has already brought me, and I know how much he sustains me, (but the wilderness does seem barren...and there's a lot of murmuring from me along the way).

So my scripture is...Philippians 1:5-6: Because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on in completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Undrape! you are not guilty to me, nor stale nor discarded,
I see through the broadcloth and gingham whether or no,
And am around, tenacious, acquisitive, tireless, and cannot be shaken away."
-Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

Sometimes at night, when it gets too hard, when I can't unremember and I'm afraid that I'll shatter completely this time, I recite this to myself and stop to breathe. I recount every good thing I've ever done, every person whose life I have affected, and every person who loves me even when I'm not perfect. Then I turn further inward and concentrate on the core of myself that manifests itself in so many good deeds.

It's hard. Every time I screw up, every late paper, every commitment not kept, theres that voice that nags and says that maybe I was broken from the start. Maybe those things that happened to me happened because he saw the monster that I really am. I would be a liar if I claimed those thoughts didn't still exist.

But I know those thoughts are wrong, those lies beaten into me are the real monster and what needs fighting. What's better, I'm winning. I assess myself, my accomplishments, my passion, my constant search for justice and right. I love greatly, and I am -not- broken. He hurt me, he wounded me in ways that will scar forever, but those scars are there, they're a part of me, and I can learn to love them too. I love myself, and my life. Like all paths to recovery, there are those moments in the dark, those relapses, but they too shall pass. I overcome them, and I know you will too.

I know that your beliefs have you turn to God, and I understand that. Please don't take this as a dismissal or demeaning of your path to recovery... but I have to say this:

You need to be happy with yourself because YOU are an incredible woman. Love God, appreciate the relationship you see with him. However, don't love yourself just because you see how he views you. Love yourself because YOU see yourself, and you've learned to love whats there. Fight the monster Xuan, because when you win, you're free.

I love you always.


P.S-- If the monster is still too loud to see the truth clearly, don't give up! Your friends love you and are happy to help polish some of those mirrors for you. Xuan, you're amazing. You were my teacher, my friend, my sister, and my parent. You gave me a safe house and did your best to make it a home for me. You love in ways that are awe inspiring and you know how to smile and bask in sun beams and your background garden. You know the importance of lego people and days spent watching Mickey Mouse and riding bicycles at the park. Those are very special traits. Don't let someone else's transgressions against you keep you from praising yourself. I don't need a god to reveal your worth--your value, your goodness, is intrinsic and unveiled to all of us (except maybe you =)).