Here is what Lorrie wrote: “When I was newly married, I was not quite a pretty picture of Suzy Homemaker. Truth be told. I more closely resembled the Horrid Homemaker or Psycho Suzy.” Wow, Lorrie, we must be twins separated at birth! That’s exactly how I felt during my newlywed years. It amazed me how much mess 2 adults could generate and this brain of mine could not wrap my head around a system to clean it up. Let me clarify: Yes I knew how to wash dishes, wash laundry and scrub toilets, but doing them sporadically without some type of system is not going to keep your house clean!
I did the best I could till baby number 3. Oh no, that means we’ll now have 5 mess makers in the family. I can’t even keep up with 4! Lorrie’s answer in her free weekly newsletter is the same answer I found 12 years ago: Lorrie writes “In Philippians 4:13, God says some words that should give all homemakers hope: ‘I can do all things thru Him who gives me strength.’” She even told me why I couldn’t seem to get things right the first 6 years of marriage. She said, “If you put a period after ‘all things,’ this statement is wrong. ‘I can do all things.’ YOU can’t…what blows the lid off our limitations is the rest of the verse: Thru Christ who gives me strength.” Thanks Lorrie, I really needed this timely reminder!
I’ve had these words bouncing around in my head all month as I’ve prayed over my housework and a couple of amazing things happened. First, I realized that, my kids needed their chores changed up. They were unmotivated to complete their normal chores and the mess was threatening to take over. Second, God used my 16 year old daughter, to deliver something BIG!!! Are you ready --- The Laundry Cure!!!
First let me explain. We have 5 large dirty clothes hampers in our house. We barely keep the hampers from turning into mountains, most of the time. For the past year our routine has been like this: I’ll wash a couple loads a day, then at chore time my 16 year old daughter is in charge of folding all clean laundry, then all children help put them away. That sort of worked for a little while. Problems: 1 - it took too long to fold so many clothes so only part of them would be folded 2 - she couldn’t get full cooperation from her brothers to put their assigned clothes away when folded 3 - the unfolded portion from each day started backing up the flow because I stop washing if there is nowhere to put clean laundry, and 4 - this defeating cycle started wearing the kids out and it was getting to the point where I was having to take over every aspect of laundry because mountains were forming.
In comes God’s gift: The Laundry Cure! We had a family meeting to discuss why everyone was struggling with chores and and to get input from the kids to find out which chores they would and would not like to do. We were just about done making new assignments when my sweet daughter said, “Mom, why don’t we just throw all the clean clothes in a pile and let everyone grab and put up their own. That’s what so-and-so does. Besides, the boys clothes never stay folded in their drawers, so why fold them.” My first thought was shock, “What, don’t fold the clothes!?!” This was followed by the realization that she was right. At least half of the clothes folded in this house are unfolded almost immediately after being put away. So we decided to try an experiment. We got all the clean laundry in the house, which at that time was about 5-7 loads and timed how long it would take to sort it. It took 7 minutes! Then it took about 25 more minutes to fold non-clothes items, like towels and sheets, and to put everything away. Wow! That’s about how long it normally takes for just the folding of 1-2 loads.
I’ve been washing like a maniac this past week. I’ve emptied all the dirty clothes hampers. If I run out of baskets to put clothes in out of the dryer, I find empty boxes. Then every other day I call everyone to the living room, dump the laundry in a big pile in the middle of the floor and in about 30 minutes all the laundry is put away! Talk about freedom! Thank you Lorrie of Eternal Encouragement. Laundry was too much for me, but it wasn’t for God.
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