So one thing you need to know about me is that I hate doing laundry. Well, perhaps hate is too strong a word…um…nope, that’s the right word. I hate it. Actually the part I hate is taking the clothes out of the dryer, folding them and getting them put away. I make my kids put their clothes away, but I have been known to lay my shirts over the back of the chair in my room and just wear them from there. (Actually, I’ve also been known to leave clothes in the dryer for days at a time.)

This is a great explanation why I have been avoiding writing lately. I feel like my mind is one of those huge industrial laundromat dryers and my thoughts are the clothes – getting warmer and fluffier and going round and round and round and round.

I can see this clump of ideas, details, and thoughts – some pieces are more colorful than others, some have cooler patterns. I am able to identify some of them as they tumble past the big window but inevitably they roll back into the larger pile and continue their journey.

Unfortunately, there comes a time that the laundry has to come out and be folded and that is where I’m at with my thoughts. I need to begin to pull individual pieces from this dizzy mess. I need to fold them, then wear them or put them away.

So here are the items that I’ve taken out of the dryer today:

1. Today would have been my dad’s 66th birthday. As I thought about this I began to cry and wondered why, after 12 years, do certain moments still make my heart miss him? I know he is home in heaven, but some days I just wish he was sitting at my kitchen table having a cup of coffee with me. The tears remind me the power a parent has on his or her children. And it also reminds me that I am not guaranteed another day with my kids, so I had better not squander it.

2. I have also been thinking a lot about something a friend said to me a few weeks back. We were talking about a certain spiritual practice of hers and how difficult that practice was for her at the time. I asked her why she continued to remain in it if it was proving to be so frustrating and her answer resonated with my heart. She said she kept with it because it was teaching her to “give her attention to [certain] things rather than things grabbing for her attention”. The difference in those two phrase was quite pronounced in my mind and I felt my whole self saying “YES!”

As I read the “I am” statements, my heart is becoming exposed in this arena. So often I let things grab for my attention, my affections and my trust. I find myself “hungry” for something and let stuff grab my appetite, but Jesus says to me “I am the Bread of Life. Give your appetite to Me.” I find myself worrying about finances and let money grab my attention, but Jesus says to me “I am the Good Shepherd. I will take care of you. Give your worry to Me.” I find myself wanting the applause of people and find situations grabbing for my attention, but Jesus says to me “I am the Vine. In Me you will find your sustenance. Give your significance to Me.”

I am learning that these “I am” statements come into play in so many moments in my day. I want to give myself to Him and not be grabbed by fleeting fancies or idols. Oh Lord, help me!

Since the evening is drawing to a close, I’m going to turn the “dryer” back on and let the thoughts take a few more spins around (another practice I do in real life when I don’t get the clothes out soon enough!)  I’m exhausted from trying to fold it all so neatly!  I think maybe next time I’ll hire a maid!!  And one more thing….can I tell you how much I hate ironing???

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