By Donna M. Williams
I hate washing clothes. I know the origin of this hatred. When I was a teenager I was the designated washerwoman for the family. This would not have been so great a task if my mother had owned a washer and a dryer. She did not. My lot, therefore, was to drag the laundry baskets filled with dirty clothes to the laundry, laundromat, washeteria (whatever it’s called in your neck of the woods) to stuff and wash, stuff and dry, pull out and fold.
This dreaded ritual did not end when I moved to California to live with my aunt. She did not own either washer or dryer, so I once again had to haul my dirty clothes to the laundry, Laundromat, washeteria (whatever it’s called in your neck of the woods.). I did not grow to love the process even though I was now in sunny California.
When I got married, I was blessed enough to marry a man who did not mind dragging the laundry to the local wash facility to wash, dry, fluff and fold. This lasted until he became a pastor with no time for WDFF and once again the chore was delegated to me. Eventually, the demands of my full time job with lots of travel resulted in our delegating the family’s dirty clothes to the local Chinese laundry, which lasted until my husband died and I could no longer afford such a luxury.
I am now back to being the designated washerwoman for my clothes and I wait as long as I possibly can before I begin the onerous task of gathering and driving and washing and drying and folding and returning home to put away the fruits of my labor. I usually wait until the last possible moment, which usually means when I am down to my last pair of underwear and no scavenger hunt results in a desperate find for one more day.
I had to wash today because the household was out of towels (which seem to incubate and multiply in the hampers) and the urine infused sheets of my elderly aunt were beginning to take control of the atmosphere and her budget for extras is now stretched to the max and she can no longer afford to send her wash out.
Off I go to the laundry, laundromat……well, you know the drill, dragging two one gallon bags filled with towels and sheets plus a comforter, one tall kitchen bag filled with more towels and a small hamper of tops and underwear. At the end of the washer/dryer ceremony, I stand in front of the counter to fold the mixed assortment (Thy shalt not bring unfolded clothes home from the Laundromat, a strictly enforced DonnaRule.) In the middle of the humdrum duty, I asked God to give me something to relieve the tedium and the following is what He said to me:
It is so easy to take all that we have for granted, to complain and murmur about the challenge of maintaining the things we own rather than acknowledging God’s provision in even the daily not so glamorous stuff.
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Corinthians 5:18 (KJV)
I do not believe that I will ever enjoy washing clothes, but I do believe that I will be able to give thanks for each piece that I fold from this point forward.
B.L.O.G. Magazine Contributing Writer
A pastor’s wife of twenty years (now a pastor’s widow), Donna wants to encourage all women of faith to integrate Ephesians 4:1 into their everyday lives as well as to always remember that “A woman’s place is in the will of God.” Donna is the radio host of the weekly talk show “Issues After Dark: Ladies Night” (www.RMGradio.org), a show that takes a frank look at the challenges women face each day as well as the perks and pain of being the pastor’s wife. She maintains a blog, “Off the Air” (www.donnanotdiva.wordpress.com) and is also a contributor to the Religazine Media Group Website (www.Religazine.com) and the Hinterland Gazette (www.hingerlandgazette.com). She is a contributing author in the 2012 devotional Zoe Life Inspired, and is the author of a novel, The First Lady Chronicles: Quiet Desperation.