A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Matthew 8:2
Papi sweats. I know, I know, all men sweat, but Papi really sweats. His clothes when he comes back from officiating a game, or coaching, or a pick up game of baseball, are literally dripping and wet with sweat. In any other household, this wouldn’t be too much of a problem. After all, clothes get washed, right???? Well, here’s the problem. I do anywhere from 20 to 24 loads of laundry per week…so it doesn’t always happen that clothes get washed immediately. I try, but it is a LOT of laundry! And we live in Florida. Home of vicious, biting, fire ants. For some reason, they are extremely attracted to sweat. So here I am, Ms. Goodwife, grabbing a bunch of clothes out of the hamper to take to the laundry room and getting bit on my hands and arms by fire ants. Not a pleasant sensation, I assure you. So I create a new “household directive”. Any sweaty clothes Papi has must go DIRECTLY to the laundry room, do not pass go, do not collect $200. And he does it, because he is a sweet and kind and considerate hubby. The ants go away for a couple of days and I’m a happy wife. Then I go for a run (ugh, I hate running). And put my sweaty clothes in the hamper in our bathroom. Yep, you guessed it, flooded in fire ants within hours. Ah Hah! It’s not just HIS sweat, it’s ANY sweat that’s the issue.
Now this got me thinking. Follow me here, because I know that the connections my mind makes are not always easily followed by others. God is the ultimate laundry machine. (Oh, you can’t get to heaven – come on you Southern Baptists – sing it with me!) He takes all of our sweaty, dirty, fire ant filled souls, and cleanses them. He scrubs our very hearts until they smell as sweet as a freshly washed blanket. The cool thing about God, though, is He doesn’t have to wash us again and again. Once He washes us, we have a stain protector on that nothing Satan throws at us can get through. See, Jesus says in John 15:3, “You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.” We are clean! Just hearing and accepting His gift and we are Clean!!!!!
If you have not already received that gift, I beg of you, please, receive it today. Let Jesus wash all of the dirty laundry in your heart. He is waiting, ready and willing to cleanse you. He will take the Fire Ants (fear, rejection, anger, gossip, and anything else that stings) away!!!!
If you have already accepted that gift, rejoice! You have stain protector! You have assurance that the gift can NOT be rescinded! 1 John 5:13 says, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you MAY KNOW that you have eternal life.” Someone give me an AMEN!!!!
Now, if you are a mom who is struggling to get organized, here are some tips for your Monday chores:
1. Make your bed before you get going in the morning. In fact, unless you have babies or a hubby still in there, make it as soon as you rise. If you have children in their own beds, have them make their beds before they leave their rooms in the morning. Kids as young as 2 years old can do it with some encouragement. No, it won’t look like you did it….and no, it won’t be a routine right away. But if you emphasize making the beds as you rise for a couple of weeks a wonderful habit will be formed!
2. Get all the dishes into the dishwasher as you dirty them. Start the load as soon as it is full and keep the counters and the inside of the sink wiped out.
3. It’s Monday, Wash Day, so get all the laundry from every room of the house and start washing. As the clothes come out of the dryer, set aside any clothes that need to be ironed or that need to be mended, you will get to those later in the week. Your children, if older than 2, should be able to put their own clothes away (except for hang ups), so LET THEM!!!
4. I had a revelation a couple of years ago. I was at one of my girls’ soccer games, and as humans will, entered a conversation half way. Somehow the discussion came around to laundry. Someone made the comment, “You must do a lot of laundry.” (This is where I entered the conversation.) Another lady commented that she did 3 loads a day. i stated that I also do 2 to 3 loads a day (did I mention this was a while ago?) The woman who had asked the question looked at me and asked, “How many kids do you have?” This should have been my first clue that I was going to be handed something and it wasn’t the PuPu platter. I answered, “3”. (Yes, this was a really long time ago) She looked at me and said very bluntly, “She has 9.” Um, reality check anyone? I did the same amount of laundry as a lady with 9 children!!!! So I made a decision, I went through all of the girls clothing and took them down to less than 20 outfits. I donated all of the rest of the clothes to a local charity. My laundry was down to 10 loads per week and I got a great tax write off (they had a LOT of clothes). So today, if your laundry piles are WAY TOO big to get done in one day, start purging clothes. Have one pile of “give aways” beside your ironing and mending piles. You’ll love the improvement, I guarantee it.