It started with the laundry.
No matter how many loads got washed, how many hampers were filled with fabric softener-infused textiles, how many socks we rescued from the lint trap in the dryer, the laundry never went away.
It seemed to grow on its own.
I didn’t have a problem with the sorting, or the loading into the washer and then transferring to the dryer. I enjoyed the warmth of tumble-dried towels in the winter, and the smell of sheets unpinned from clothes lines after drying in the summer sun.
But the folding. That’s where I’d get stuck. Clean laundry would pile up on our couch, or at the foot of the bed, or in a hamper on top of the dryer in the laundry room, daring me to stand still for just thirty minutes – the time it took to fold the t-shirts and the cargo shorts.
“What a waste of time,” I’d think, and close the laundry door behind me.
One day, however, God got through to me and showed me He can transform the everyday into a sacred encounter. I held a tiny t-shirt in my hands and realized my child would wear this out into the world. I smoothed the cotton wrinkles with the palm of my hand, and prayed a prayer of blessing on the one whose little body would wear this t-shirt into mud-covered, grass-stained adventures.
Soon, I started to see mundane chores as tabernacles God invited me to enter and get to know Him better. I’d snap the top sheet over narrow twin mattresses and watch percale unfurl and pray sweet dreams and peaceful sleep for the little one whose tiny head would rest upon the pillow.
I’d seal the zip-loc bag that held a peanut butter sandwich and pray my child would grow in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and with others. I’d wipe the smudges from the windows and ask that God would give us all clear vision as we tried to follow Him. When I swept the crumbs up from the kitchen floor, I’d thank God for our daily bread and ask Him to show us how to share it.
Maybe you’ve got a mountain of laundry mocking you today, or a glob of spaghetti petrifying on your kitchen counter? Or maybe you’ve stepped over that pile of Legos more times than you’d care to admit? Maybe you wonder what glory could possibly be found in the grout around the bathtub or the pile of dishes in the sink?
Here’s what I know: God can meet you there. God specializes in transformations; you never know the places He may choose to build a tabernacle.
By: Deidra, Jumping TandemLeave a Comment
Oh wow, I just prayed for the Lord to help me with the mammoth amount of housework and tasks/errands I have to do today and then I read this! I’ve even just shared it with my husband (although now it means if I ever moan about housework he’ll remind me of what I’ve just shared -lol – a good thing I guess!)
God bless you so much for this, I will certainly approach housework differently.
LOL! Nothing like a bit of accountability, huh?
Katie at Wildwood Creek says
A beautiful way to look at the mundane chores of life. I needed this today.
What a lovely reminder and bit of encouragement for the start of today. I have a basket of clean laundry to fold and put away and a kitchen to clean up.
Thank you ~ FlowerLady
Jean Wise says
This is beautiful and a great reminder that God is in everything. Reminded of Brother Lawrence and how he worshipped doing the dishes.
Robin Dance ~ PENSIEVE says
Perspective changes everything; what lovely words to help redirect our thinking. All, consecrated to Christ is holy.
You made laundry precious, Deidra!!
Thank you for this lovely reminder.
Sandra Heska King says
Beautiful, my friend. Oh, to look at every moment as holy and to remember that He is there in the midst of all our messes. I’ve got a few here, and you’ve just given me a fresh attitude. 🙂
Madam Deidra. The trick is to fold the clothes at the same time you pick them off the line or take them from the dryer; every. single. piece.
As always you can turn a frown upside down!! Okay okay your right and today as I’m climbing the mountain of laundry I will think of you both hand in hand finding the joy in my chores. 🙂
Yes! We are in this thing together! Even though we might be separated by hundreds – thousands, even – of miles, we can find joy knowing that we’re doing life together. Even the mundane stuff, like ironing. 🙂
Reminds me of a story …a Pastor shared..He was the speaker
for a month at a youth outreach camp…it was near the end, he was tired
& having a bad day… he came across a handicap young man
who’s job all month had been doing dishes. He high-fived him
& Pastor asked, “Steve, let me ask you something, you have the
worst job in camp & you are always happy?” Then Steve replied,
” No, I have the best job in camp, you see I get to pray over
every dish” …..
I still cry when I am reminded of that incident…it changed
how I look at everyday tasks..
Thanks for sharing that today….
Kimberly Dial says
Oh Sister, you’ve said a mouthful today! Thank you for sharing … you have no idea how much I needed to ‘hear’ it 🙂
Beautiful story Deidra. Wonderful insight and analogy. Gets right to the heart 🙂
really great article…reminds me of practicing the presence by brother lawrenceyes you can…and he will find you where ever you are at…
This is lovely. “Tabernacle” is such a wonderful word… and if the Word took on flesh and “tabernacled” among us, in the everyday world, surely He will give us eyes to see His presence and worship.
This is a great reminder! I have often used this attitude when I iron and clean. It really does make the job less of a job and more of a blessing. Thank you for this, as I have let my ironing pile overtake my laundry room. Time to get ironing and praying!!!
Rachel Lundy says
What a beautiful reminder and encouragement to do all for the glory of God. Thank you!
Sheila Lagrand says
This way of seeing is so wonderful.
One of my favorite characteristics of prayer is its way of fitting, perfectly, every moment, every circumstance.
Deidra, you take the things that we all struggle with and encourage with your beautiful words. This is a sweet reminder to do all that we do as service to Him and to those who are so dear to us.
Wow, that touched me in a way that I haven’t been in awhile. I am pondering your words here today, they are what I’ve needed to hear, and you said it all in such a beautiful way.
I get stuck on the laundry folding, too, as my couch proves this very moment. Usually I am overwhelmed or discouraged by chores. But seeing the chores as tabernacles, sacred places, as worship– I needed to hear that. Love your perspective, and your sweet way of saying it.
Beth Williams says
Thanks Deidra for a terrific way to look at mundane/simples chores at work or home.
This is just what I needed to hear today! God Bless you!!
Michelle Derusha says
I think infusing the everyday grit with a bit of prayer would probably go a long way. Honestly, I never thought of doing that before. Thanks, D!
Missy June says
wow – I practice many of those same rituals, especially about laundry which is now a meaningful chore to me! It make the mundane magical!
i love that god reaches us in the mundane….gonna look for him while i do dishes tonight!
Wow! You’re all like a little Amen Corner today! I love your smiles and your words of encouragement here! I have found a new pep for my step, thanks to you!
As I sit surfing and checking email instead of cleaning the toilets, this really got me. Like so many moms I know, I get stuck in the “have-to’s” instead of the “get-to’s”. Thank you for sharing your insights.
Wow! What a revelation! Thank you for sharing these insights and very wise words. It’s just made me refocus on the importance of my role as mother, wife and home-maker.
Oh, wow! That was amazing! I’m going to do this!
Kate @ Songs Kate Sang says
Beautiful, absolutely beautiful.
Absolutely LOVED this!!! YOu could have ben describing my laundry roo!!!What a great idea!
Deidra, I adore this post! Your perspective is life-changing…what sacred ground we wives and mamas walk in the everyday.
I love you, Deidra!
colleen laquay urbaniuk @ thegiftofmondays.com says
we own a mom and pop motel and when i’m cleaning rooms i often pray for the guests who will be staying here. but i never thought about extending those prayers to the laundry (and other areas too). i have a load to fold in a few minutes. guess what i’ll be doing while i put it away?! thanks for your post!
I just had a vision of a travel website where one of the “amenities” listed would be “rooms prayed over by the owners.” 🙂
Amanda K says
This just reinforced what I read in my devotions a few weeks ago. I want to glorify God in all that I do even if it’s cleaning that grout in the bathroom. Blessings to you.
God had really been speaking to me on this area of my life. So this stay-at-home mommy read this with tears today knowing that God was speaking directly to me through this post. Thank you for being used by God even if it was talking about laundry!! I want home to show CHRIST in EVERY area!!
Would you be surprised if I took one look at the photo — and put off reading your post? Until today, Monday morning. Now, thanks to you, the machine is humming and the blinds are opened and the coffee is brewing and I am going to try again:) Thank you!
I know. That picture is pretty scary. And that’s my actual laundry room!
This morning my table already is covered in construction paper, gems and glitter glue. I know it was clean when I went to bed last night. The kitchen floor already has cereal on it. I know it was all swept when i went to bed last night. The living room is cluttered with an empty diaper box being used as a table to color, a tote full of crayons, slippers, socks and flip flops. I know it was all put away when I went to bed last night. Housework is endless when you have three kids and recently I have been actively pursuing turning these cringe-worthy, repetitive tasks into something positive and taking ownership in it. Thank you for your words.
Link: Everyday Tabernacles « Wednesday Grace says
[…] Everyday Tabernacles […]
Kimberly S. says
Funny I would read this one a day when I was growling about doing laundry. I despise folding the most. But after reading this post, I felt different about doing it, as if God had sent me here in the middle of doing the laundry so my attitude would change.
I am a perfectionist when it comes to folding and hanging the clothes up, but I never prayed over them or the bed sheets. You can bet I prayed over them and the sheets and when they woke this morning I had a big ole’ smile knowing they were wearing those clothes today that I took pride in folding and had laid out for them.
Thanks for a GREAT post.
Chores as tabernacles! A lovely perspective.
I do this, too, praying for my family when I fold their laundry! Sometimes, my daughters pray and fold right along with me.
Thank you for sharing in that special way that you do, Deidra. I love your heart.
Where did all the laughter go? « My life is like the shoes on my closet floor … says
[…] to the fact that I need an attitude adjustment. I need to change the way I think about things. Read here one of the posts that is inspiring me to change my thought […]
Samuel Van Der Wall says
Great post. I was having a hard time with a pile of mundane chores today. Your article came along at the perfect time for me. Funny how that works… !