Beauty in a Laundry Pile


Today I am stepping over mounds of laundry.

Hauling, sorting, loading, unloading, loading, unloading, folding, stacking, hauling.

Scrubbing dishes, pots, and pans. Sweeping floors. Vacuuming carpets. Sanitizing bathrooms. Weeding the garden. Washing the vehicles. Whisking away Cheerios and French fries from car floorboards… and on and on and on march the steady, repetitive tasks of home and family maintenance.  Modern conveniences may save time, but our modern prosperity has given us more of everything—and more to upkeep.

This task and so many others can feel endless to us women.

When I visit my daughters and see their laundry spaces, I’m always amazed at the leaning towers of folded clothes on counters, tables, or the living room floor. And the machines are still churning with the promise of more stacks to come.  But then I remember what my own laundry room used to be like walking through shifting piles of sand perpetually covering the floor.

Happy was not a word often associated with my approach to daily duties but the word art in the prayer above elevates the mundane to a higher plane of value.  More than just checking a to-do list, temporal tasks can create beauty, form, rhythm, and comfort in my home. 

Doing the laundry sends a message of love to my family that their comfort matters to me.  I want them to feel welcomed when they crawl into fresh sheets after driving six hours with a giggling or arguing car full of kids.  The meals for which I will plan, shop, prepare, and clean up can be artful, nourishing gifts to those I love.

Replacing “I have to” with “I get to” can be found with this prayer to the Father of Jesus.  If His eye is on the sparrow, then I know He watches me.  This is being intent on the eternal.  This is unfolding peace in the art of the never-ending cycles of temporal tasks on earth.

May it be so for you and for me.


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5 thoughts on “Beauty in a Laundry Pile”

  1. Thank you for your wise words, Barbara. You help me find purpose in my life which is food for my soul. I always tell my husband, when I am facing something difficult, “If only I could talk to Barbara Rainey. I know she would know the right thing to do”.

  2. This is such an encouragement to my young mama-heart. Somedays tasks feel never-ending and I begin to wonder if I’m really anything than a glorified maid. ;) Thank you, Barbara, for helping me reset my thoughts!

  3. This was so timely for me! My Pastor preached somethings similar last Sunday; Inguess that God wants me to find joy and blessing in the seemingly mundane and routine! Thank you!

  4. This is my life! I am blessed with 3 kids. It’s 2 a.m. & I wake up with one more thing to add to the to-do list. I grabbed a quick look at your blog & now I can’t tell you how much this perspective means to me! & of all women, you have lived it with 6! So, thank you for being a Titus 2 mentor to your biological daughters & all of your spiritual daughters, around the world. So thankful for family life!

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