A Mountain of Laundry
My husband and I became foster parents after we had been married
for two years. Our first placement was two little boys,
brothers, who we adopted after they were with us for eighteen
months. When our boys were two and three, we were asked to take
one and three-year-old sisters into our home. For the following
two years we had our own little in-house, full-time daycare.
After the girls had been with us for about six months, I
attempted to get involved in a Bible study group at our church.
One thing or another always seemed to prevent me from attending.
I was feeling a little discouraged, but I'd purchased devotional
tapes and a study guide and thought I could keep up with the
Bible study by myself at home.
One afternoon, after I'd put the children down for their naps, I
tackled a mountain of laundry that had piled up on the sofa and
needed folding. As I was folding, I began discussing my plight
with the Lord. "You know, Lord, I've started attending this
Bible study and I'm trying to find time for You and everything I
need to do, but I just can't seem to find any time. I've tried
getting up before daylight, but one of the kids always hears me
and gets up wanting my attention and by bedtime I'm exhausted.
I guess I could do them during naptime, but that's the only time
I have to get caught up with the housework…mainly the laundry.
I seem to be able to keep up with most everything but this
laundry! Well, I guess You know all about it. You gave me all
of these little kids to care for and You know they need clean
clothes to wear. You know how much work this takes and I know
The following Sunday my husband and I were sitting in Sunday
School class waiting for the teacher to begin, when our family's
adopted grandmother, Betty, came and sat down beside me. Betty
is a widow who has raised five children. She's a wonderful
woman who's always helping someone, and had personally blessed
our family on many occasions, but I was totally unprepared for
what she had to say on that particular day!
She leaned toward me and said, "I have a proposition for you."
My curiosity was aroused. "O.K., what is it?" I answered back.
She sweetly and softly replied, "I really think this is the
Lord, but would you let me do your laundry?"
As I sat gaping at her with my mouth hanging open, my mind was
racing trying to think who could I have told about my laundry
situation. I knew I hadn't mentioned it to anyone, not even my
husband, Rodney. "Do you know how much laundry I have?" I
whispered back as my eyes started to fill.
"Honey, I've raised five children and I know how much laundry
you have," was her response. Then she continued, "You know,
what you and your husband are doing raising these little
children is wonderful, but I know it's hard work. I'm an old
woman and I don't watch other people's children anymore, but I
can do your laundry. You just have Rodney drop it off on his
way to work, and pick it up on his way home. I'll wash it, dry
it, iron it, fold it; whatever is needed."
Shame on me, because the whole time she was speaking, I was
thinking, "Oh, Lord, not the underwear! I can't send our
underwear to someone else to do!"
Betty was still talking, "Last week I noticed you up on the
platform during praise and worship and you looked very tired. I
was thinking about you all week and then I felt the Lord telling
me to, `Ask Ronni if she'll let you do her laundry,'" then she
finished with, "Now, don't you rob me of this blessing!"
At the time I didn't know how to respond. Not wanting to hurt
Betty's feelings, I let her know I would think about her offer.
Even though I had poured out my heart about how difficult it was
to keep up and how I missed my devotional time with Him, I was
unprepared for God to actually do something about it. He had
given me the task of caring for these little ones and I was a
little put out that He'd taken me seriously when I said I was
having trouble keeping up. So I thought, "If I just get a
little more organized, I can take care of this myself."
As I walked in and surveyed the laundry room a couple of weeks
later, I sagged against the washer. The mountain of laundry
hadn't diminished a bit with my efforts to take care of things
myself. As a matter of fact, it was now bigger than ever.
"Well, Lord," I said, "I guess I could send everything but the
Very clearly, I heard that still small voice say, "When I ask
you for your dirty laundry, I want all of it, even the underwear."
That's when I broke. That mountain of laundry now represented
the mountain of pride in my life. Who was I to look
disdainfully on a gift offered in love?
As I picked up the phone my eyes were filling with tears and
when I heard sweet little Betty's voice on the other end, my own
voice shook as I said, "Betty, do you still want to help me with my
My tears quickly turned to laughter at her ready response of,
"Bring it on over, Honey, bring it on over!"
Our clothes were never cleaner, brighter, or less wrinkled than
during the almost two years that Betty faithfully and lovingly
did our laundry. Then when our little foster daughters were
placed in their "forever home" through adoption, we both knew it
was time for me to resume the task, and although she no longer
does our laundry, our friendship remains strong. She laughed
one day when I told her I wanted to be just like her when I grew
up. I still do.
[ by: Ronni Wintermote (MountainWings.com) -- from Margrit, via InspiredBuffalo@lighthouse.net ]
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