Saturday, June 28, 2008

Little 'Uns And Laundry

Life with 4 filled with such blessing, and then there's the "laundry" side of it....and some craziness;) When I think of it like this, I realize that the work and the blessing are two sides of one coin. You can't have one side without the other. Blessing comes with training.

Deu 6:5 - 7 "And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."

I thought of how laundry relates to kids because it always needs to be taken care of, it is hard to keep up with when you have more than 1....and in this house it tends to need some extra TLC to come out bright and white! It also mildews and ruins if it sits for too long-the laundry :)not the kids, if it piles up, it requires lots of undivided attention, it needs the occasional repair, and spots must be noticed and given prompt attention or they will turn into stains. When my laundry is cared for properly and sweet smelling, folded in the is such a joy to reap the blessing of the faithful work involved in caring for it- I so enjoy fresh laundry. How sad that I am comparing my precious blessings to laundry, but I think you get my point...we can allow our children to fall into being classified as just another task of the day, like, laundry-when we lose our focus or get overwhelmed in our work/outside ministries,bloggin', and when they have fallen into "disrepair" they are less than enjoyable-they become a burden. Well cared for children are a joy! Sure, just like laundry, this takes constant work, but it is work well worth the effort :) This isn't a "how-to", just a "where I'm at" post.

"Craziness" is inevitable at times and I have had to learn to smile and just roll with it-and yes, you would have to have a larger family or small, close together children to really really understand this. :) It is good for the children to see that God can truly keep us in perfect peace and joy even in the midst of "craziness" and the smile on your face will be such reassurance of what an awesome God full of abundant grace we serve. Not that I am good at doing this-I must admit.

Anyway, back to my little epiphany (hahahaha)-Laundry for 6 people has become so routine that I don't put much thought into it-I just.want-it.done. This was the *aha* moment- I notice that when am not *attentive* to my responsibility to the training of my children-really *caring* for each one, I start to treat them like I treat my laundry-like just another task. I try to make sure they get the proper amount of attention every day, I clean, feed, teach, care, listen and correct, but when I fail to "connect" with them individually each and every day on a personal level...relationships become strained-"spots" get neglected. Excessive sibling rivalry is a big indicator to me that my children feel they must compete for a limited amount of attention. Correction becomes a power play-they want attention and I want to quickly get the situation taken care of so I can get back to my work. "Cause' I said so" starts to be the catch-phrase, repeating myself at louder and LOUDER and THAT'S IT-is the final indicator of my neglect. The paddle is left collecting dust because I somehow rationalize that at least I'm not spanking them in anger...sure so I'll just hollar...soooo much better *rolling eyes*. Ummmm yeah, so, since I am relentlessly sticking to my poor little analogy: *ahem* the "laundry" if you will, is making it to the laundry room and really, just set there-out of sight- to deal with later...when I feel up to it. Day after day the "spots", to include my own more serious spots of selfishness and neglect, that needed immediate attention sit and become tough-to-remove stains. When I finally get to the stain, I feel guilty and frustrated and think, "If only I would have taken notice and dealt with it when it happened!" as I am having to spend a great deal of time scrubbing and soaking and scrubbing and soaking wondering if the beautiful fabric will ever be right again. Instead of being angry with myself, I become angry with the consequence of my neglect. This is the same trend at times with my children, if I don't take notice of the "spots" that come up in my children on a daily basis and deal with them then and there...they/we start to develop tough-to-deal with "stains". Bitterness, pride, covetousness, selfishness...they rear their heads in subtle ways at first, and I can catch these symptomatic spots early if I am really getting to know my children on a personal level every day. At least when I give the spots and stains to the Lord, HE is the one who does the scrubbing of my heart...the longer it's left, the more scrubbing is needed-ouch! :)

Getting to know them is such a joy and I don't know how I let the cares of the world crowd out the precious time I have been given to train them. We do many special things together we read, play, act silly, spend time singing praises and learning more about God, but no time is as special to them as the one on one "talk" time. One of my girls' favorite things to do is have tea time with me...and I know that's because we talk while we have our tea...really talk together-share our hearts with one another-express concerns, ask questions, reconcile old hurts, shed some tears, pray... Brianna will ask me early in the day, sometimes, if we can have "tea- when the babies go down" this, I recognize, as needing me to *connect* with her and it is at that time I can notice and ask the Lord to do some "spot" treatment on the areas of concern I see in my child and in myself. I'm sure when Ayden gets older, he and his dad will have their special moments while tossing a ball around, but for now I get to cuddle and talk with him, teach him to pray, read him stories and love and kiss on him. These moments with my children, when I choose to take them, are so precious and beautiful-there are no words to describe how the Lord blesses it. It is better than a Downey fresh, warm smelling stack of folded plush towels...Mmmmmm.

Ps 127:3 Lo, children [are] an heritage of the LORD: [and] the fruit of the womb [is his] reward.
image from


mholgate said...

Wow. It's Saturday where you live already! That's wierd. I'm Melissa, from Sevenmatters. Thanks for visiting! Of course you can link my site! The more that visit the better! I love sharing my thoughts, as well as reading other's take on life, like yours! That's what makes blogging so fun. I'm new to it, but I can't believe I never tried it before! Can I link yours?

It sounds like you have your hands full too. You said ""Craziness" is inevitable at times and I have had to learn to smile and just roll with it-and yes, you would have to have a larger family or small, close together children to really really understand this. :) " I can relate! God is so good to touch us in the craziness of life.

My kids are currently 6,5,5,3 and a half, and 18 months. No, I don't have twins, it's just that two of my boys are only 11 months apart! Soon they will be 7,6,5, 3 and a half and 19 months. Sometimes I wonder if anyone understands me! I have friends with up to three kids but none of them so close together. It's good to get some insight from someone as crazy as me! : )

Well, it's getting late here and we just got home from an awesome worship night so I'm going to go spend some time with God and then get some sleep. I'll be reading with you!

In Him, Melissa

Heather said...

Meliss :) I am so happy we "met" and thankful to have someone who understands in the way that I know you do. ((hug)) heather

Pam--in Jerusalem said...

Heather! That.was.wonderful! I don't consider it a silly analogy. Just something practical that we can all relate to. Thank you for giving it such perspective! Love you!

Heather said...

Praise the Lord Pam. I should have just given you my idea though, and had you write it for me. Your posts are structured so would have taken me hours to properly structure this post-it's a good thing I am not a perfectionist! I need an editor :)

Steve n Vickie said...

I enjoyed this and yes needed it. Great thoughts on taking the drudgery out of daily life. The book I'm reading just made similar comments.

Sileena said...

Heather what an insightful post. I appreciate you taking the time to write this even if it seems jumbled to you...I get it. I totally get it. Have a wonderful rest of your weekend.

Cherlyn said...

This one definitely spoke volumes to me... I may even print it out so I can read it often. Thanks, Heather. :)

missy said...

I love the analogy! Thinking in those terms actually helps hammer the point in to my head. And yes, it is a point I need to ponder, that's for sure! Another great post that speaks to my heart, Heather, thank you!


Heather, such wisdom. YOur children are very blessed to have you for their mom. You are going to have some great adults one of these days. connie from Texas

Mishel said...

Great post Heather! And the analogy was perfect! Even though I only have two children that were farther apart, I think because of Rande's schedule we had a bit of craziness in our home at times. :/ I also had two very good friends (with 6 kids each) who spent a good amount of time at our house so I got a glimpse of the kind of craziness you are talking about. Whew! : ) It really gave me a special compassion for them (and other moms).

Hugs to you friend!

Rebekah said...

I love the comparison...I never thought about it that way.

I had to come over and get caught up -- been way toooo long since I been here!

Happymama said...

Deuteronomy 6:7 is the name of our homeschool.

I know this post was sort of geared more toward those with larger families or families with smaller children close in age, but I got something from it too. When you compared the laundry to the children and how sometimes the children become, just another load of laundry you want to "get done." I was humbled at reading that because I know I have felt that way before and have missed out on something with my children because my full attention was not on what it should have been. Thanks for the post!


Sis. Julie said...

What an interesting analogy relating our laundry to our children. It is so true though. Thank you for this. I'll have to remember this one to use to relate to young mothers in the future.

A Note From Theresa said...

Amen! Very good post Heather!

Have a safe 4th of July!

Under Southern Skies said...

You have such a pretty blog! Pink is my favorite color, as well as roses being my favorite flower. :)
I found your blog through Rebekah's.