We put alot of thought into what the FIRST aspect of our chaotic life we should tackle. There are so many things that we need to address as a family, but over and over again we kept coming back (together and individually) to the same thing. So we decided to go with it…..
Challenge # 1….CLOTHES
Do people really have a set time that they wash, dry, fold AND put away clothes?? And is there ENOUGH time in this SET TIME that they actually ACCOMPLISH this goal?! We have been married 9 years and I can count on
my hands one hand the number of times I have had the laundry under control (as in caught up, all done, finished). I have (with very good intentions) set out to get everything all caught up and figure this laundry thing out. And then it happens…again. I get distracted with life. With diapers, and dishes and playing with children and teaching math and my laundry gets left in the washing machine. Or in the dryer. Or on the couch, waiting to be folded….f o r d a y s. I always seem to have plenty of clothes waiting to be washed….waiting to be folded AND waiting to be put away. I am day in and day drowning in a sea of laundry.
Where are these laundry fairies that other people seem to have??
Over the years, in trying to figure all of this out, we have come to the conclusion that maybe it’s not that we don’t have enough time or that we don’t have enough diligence or whatever. Could it be that we have TOO MANY CLOTHES? It was probably a couple of years ago that we first had the thought. And then more like a few months ago that we actually started looking. Looking to see….
Who needs this many shirts? Shorts? Pajamas?
LITTLE BOY CLOTHES?
And for goodness sake…..do not get me started on the BASKET OF UNMATCHED SOCKS
So then we started thinking. Maybe we are not overwhelmed by laundry. Maybe we are overwhelmed by materialism. We do not have all of these clothes because we NEED them. So, WHY do we have them? What makes us buy that TENTH pair of pants or that (who knows what number) shirt just because it is on clearance at Target? Those are some of the things we are trying to find answers to. And freedom from.
While thinking all of this through, we were lead to this scripture…
Mathew 6:19, 25, 28-34
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[c]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
So, how do we relate this to socks?!! 😉
I can easily spend all day talking about the many truths of these verses, how they relate to each other, and what our Savior was trying to teach. But for our purposes we are going to focus on just a few of the verses.
Verse 19 tells us not to store up treasures on earth. Webster defines meterialism as “the tendency to attach too much importance to physical comfort and well-being” That sounds a lot like storing up treasures on earth.
Verses 25-29 are talking about worrying….and how we shouldn’t do it. It is talking about how we should just trust God to provide for us. He knows what we need and we don’t need to worry about it. Our (personal) problem is not needing more (clothes) and worrying about how we are going to get them. Our struggle is with worrying about how to manage and care for and keep under control what (clothes) we already have. We think these verses still relate, because it boils down to worry and trust. In our house, there is no telling how many hours have been wasted thinking about clothes and laundry. What should I wear? Does it need to be ironed before church? WHERE IS THE OTHER MATCHING SOCK?! When will I ahve time to fold these clothes? Why can’t I seem to keep up with this and everyone else can? Worrying about things actually shortens our lives. It can cause fatigue, headaches, irritability and a whole slew of other things. Instead, we can let go of perfectionism and cling to grace. We can figure out a doable laundry schedule without being afraid of failure. We can learn to let go of our earthly possessions and give to other that do need clothes. We can trust God in all of this. We can trust God….
Even with laundry.
Even with materialism.
Clearly, clothes is not the only area where we struggle with being materialistic. But that’s what we’re focusing on this month. We feel a call to come away from the stress, the worry, the mess and the Chaos that the abundance of clothes has brought to our lives. We have set up some goals for this month as we are trying to follow God’s leading into a less materialistic, less crazy, more giving, more organized, more trusting way of living.
Goals for this week:
1. Clean out our closets
*Sometimes its best to just jump right in with the hard stuff. We are going to remove any clothes that are old, unused, and worn. starting with our closets (That old sweater from our 1st date has got to go) then working towards the kids closets.
2. Organizing the laundry area
As the the week progresses we are going to be updating with things we’ve done. This will lead us to next week when we continue discovering what works for us. We will explore the many options as to how to keep up with clothes.
We will start with these simple goals as our first steps towards family reclamation. Little by little we are going to win back our lives. We would love any input on how laundry works in your house. Have you struggled with materialism? We would love to hear your story!