Laundry and Grace

On Laundry and Grace | Faith and Composition

It sits on the baby’s rocker in a tangled, wrinkled mess. That pile of clean laundry I pulled from the dryer three days ago, that pile of laundry I’ve yet to find the time or the strength to fold. Just one room over, the boy’s bed is stripped bare. A midnight potty accident necessitated the stripping of sheets and the cramming of textiles into the wash machine.

There’s a pile on our closet floor and a filled-to-the-brim hamper in the girls’ room. It never ends. This wearing of clothes, dirtying them with the stain of soil and the stench of sweat, then drenching them in water to be pulled out clean. The cycle repeats, on and on.

And that’s the thing about motherhood, it goes on and on. This feeding of mouths, this calming of fears, the spit-up stains, the late-night wakings, the dirty diapers and the potty training, the disciplining and the redirecting, the encouraging and the loving.

It’s hard, humbling, holy. And sometimes it feels like too much.

Where is the verse that says: “Thou art a mother to three kids five and under. I will endow thou with super powers.” It’s not in there … I’ve looked.

But then I look harder, and I see what is in there … a story of ordinary people doing extraordinary things through the power of an all-mighty God. A regular girl who saved her nation, a fisherman who got out of a boat and walked on water, a tax collector who encountered a blinding light and the living God and brought the message of grace to the world. Ordinary people, indwelt by an extraordinary God.

That Jewish girl reminds that me I was brought here for such a time as this, and the fisherman proves the impossible is possible, and that tax collector encourages me to run the race with perseverance. And my God? He takes the soiled and the dirty, and He washes it clean with the blood of His son. And He steps into the magnificent and the mundane, and He whispers into the depths of my soul that His grace is sufficient for me.

The baby wakes in our bed, where I laid her for her nap, and I pick her up to find she’s soiled her diaper, and there’s poop on our sheets. Another stripping, another washing, another pile of tangled, wrinkled fresh-from-the-dryer sheets. Yes, it goes on and on, and there are times I feel like I’m failing, but with the right perspective, this laundry, this beautiful mess is all a reminder of the sufficiency of His grace.

Sufficiency for salvation, sufficiency for life, sufficiency for motherhood.

This post is inspired by Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five-Minute Friday series, just five minutes of unscripted writing on a prompt she posts each Friday. Today’s prompt was laundry, and I’m linking up with her here. You can find my other Five-Minute Friday posts here

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5 thoughts on “Laundry and Grace

  1. jerralea

    I love this, Shalene. You’re so right – it’s all about perspective, and the fact He gives us sufficiency in all things. Even when we have poopy sheets to change!

  2. Anita Ojeda

    Beautiful (both the photograph and the thoughts). Thank you for reminding us that his grace will always be sufficient–especially when we think we can’t go on.

  3. Jen

    This is so sweet…and true. Dirty and clean laundry… A reminder of grace. ..and of how there is only one who can wash us clean. The photo is precious too.


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