Lord, Please Meet Me In The Laundry Room
Yes, I see it, but I can't believe it's morning already. The alarm
sounds thick and far away. My arms are at anchor and my eyelids are
stubbornly half-mast. Six o'clock and already the day's not adding up:
although I went to bed at eleven, I feel like I've only gotten a few
With the shock of a shipwreck it hits me -- I have only gotten a few
Awareness comes in waves, with glimpses of scenes from the night
before: Joshua coughing up a storm quelled only with cough syrup,
Benjamin sobbing for a prayer to soothe away a bad dream, baby
Jonathan calling for his lullaby tape, Zachary's wet bed.
And how could I forget being startled at three a.m. to find Sophia at
my bedside, waiting politely for her mommy to open her eyes? I guess
she wanted quality time.
"Count it all joy," I mutter as I sit up and -- not wanting to break my
meager momentum -- lunge for the laundry room.
The slick linoleum under my feet is a wake up call. Once over the
threshold, my body carries me through the familiar routine of stuffing
sheets into the washer, measuring soap, and setting dials. The whoosh
of the water into the machine is refreshing, like a splash of cool water
on my face.
Contemplating the mounds of clothes around me, I am reminded and
I lift up my eyes to the hills--
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of Heaven and earth.
Here is where I get a second wind. Here is where, like a shipwrecked
survivor, I grab the life preserver of the Lord. Because, Lord knows,
He is the only one who can get me through this day.
It wasn't always this way. I used to think my laundry room was just a
laundry room. Here is the story of how it became something more:
I was a new Christian nine years ago when I first heard the term
"prayer closet," and began to feel inadequate. Someone might say
something like, "She fled to her prayer closet and poured her heart
out to the Lord." I wanted a prayer closet to flee to, too. So I would
hurry home to look for any previously uncharted territory to call my
own. But with the hordes in my house, I could find nowhere with the
sustained privacy necessary for even a prayer shoe-box.
One day, as I was unrolling a multitude of balled-up socks for the
washer, I prayed, "Lord, is there a prayer closet somewhere for me?
And what about this thing they call 'quiet time'?"
"Aren't you praying now?" This question was wordlessly impressed
upon my heart.
"Yes, but Lord..." and things began to spill out of my heart that I
hardly knew were there. I didn't have to tell Him how hard it was to
feel like a lightweight when others had more spiritual muscle to flex. I
didn't have to tell Him how much I wanted to be the best I could be,
and how far from the best I often felt. I didn't have to tell Him
because He already knew. But since He was listening, I told Him
anyway. Somehow I was made to understand that a mother of
toddlers just isn't like anyone else. I felt comforted, I felt loved, I felt
like He cared for me just as I was. Maybe I cried a little. Probably I
laughed as well. I did a lot of praying and a lot of laundry before we
And so my laundry room became my prayer closet. This is where I
meet the Lord each morning before my children awake, and at
intervals throughout the day as I transfer clothes from baskets to
washer, from washer to dryer, from dryer to baskets again. In these
twelve and twenty minute snatches, I have found my quiet time.
I have never had any trouble finding God in my laundry room. He is
always ready to receive my praise, my thanks, my prayers for family
and friends, my joys and heartaches too.
My four year old son, Jonathan, spent his first two years in and out of
the hospital. My laundry room, with its reassuring routine and
memories of mornings with God, became the most comfortable place
for me when I could not be at my son's side. People must have
questioned my sanity when I staggered home from the hospital and
made a beeline for the laundry room. How could I explain what it had
Many prayers and loads of laundry later, I now wonder if there are
other mothers like me -- mothers too busy wiping peanut butter and
jelly off little faces and kissing owies to maintain the practice of what
the less encumbered call quiet time. I'm thinking of mommies who
can't remember how it feels to sit when the sun is shining, who can't
count on five minutes in the shower without the world falling apart.
Are there mommies whose prayer closets are buckets and scrub
brushes, sewing baskets, garden patches, or car pools? Are there
mommies whose prayer closets are assembly lines or switchboards or
operating rooms? Are there mommies squeezing moments of quiet
time between customer calls or the clamor of kids?
I wonder because now I understand that God is bigger than any place
I set aside to meet Him, and as near as I invite Him to be.
Before too long, the hum of my steadfast machines is joined by the
predictably unpredictable noises of my many children. I'm ready for
those precious sleep-snatchers now, ready for whatever the day will
And besides, maybe if I can get Madeleine and Jonathan down for a
nap at the same time, I can catch up on a little sleep....
That way I'll be more rested for another night tossed to and fro on the
busy sea of motherhood.
[ by Barbara Curtis -- from 'Themestream' ]
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