2.25.2008

laundry day.

Often I allow the mundane chores of life to overwhelm me. I walk by an overflowing laundry basket or a sink full of dishes and instantly start tensing up. Laundry especially seems to have a life of it's own, like a parasite that only grows larger when I try to make it disappear. Some days I'm fooled into thinking, "I'm finally done" only to walk by a room (usually all of them) and see folded clothes not yet put away and baskets overflowing with more dirty clothes.

The story of the Bible is set in a world that was once perfect and harmonious, but which has been marred by humanity's rebellion against God. This perfect world, which was a gift from God to his people so that they could live peaceably and work fruitfully was corrupted and stained, but not totally destroyed. Peace in this world was no longer guaranteed, and work would require constant toil and sweat to produce "fruit" and keep away the "thorns."

It may sound silly, but I actually see my laundry, and my inability to ever conquer it, as fitting into this story. And, because the Bible's story ends not with rebellion, but with redemption, it helps to keep me from going crazy when I walk by those doors and see another pile of clothes. I remember that because I live in this broken world my work doesn't ever really come to an end, but that there is a real hope that one day the toil and sweat and thorns will be taken away. So today, even laundry can have meaning as I work to produce fruit (or clean clothes) in a world of thorns (or muddy puddles).

The other day I was thinking of some of this as Oliver, Abi and I sorted our laundry into a rainbow. (can you even tell in the pictures?) Somehow, by looking for beauty and fun in the dirty mess, the constant routine of washing, drying, folding, dirtying, washing, drying, folding, dirtying... didn't seem so bad. And today, as I am in that laundry cycle all over again, I am reminded that there is a "backstory" to life in this world, one that gives meaning both to the mundane, and even painful things in this world, as well as to the beautiful and delightful.

14 comments:

jess said...

this looks all too familiar.

Jean Joiner said...

i love the rainbow...reminds me of the racks at goodwill.

MLS said...

I always think about the "toil" the Word talks about when I am dusting =)

The Kelly Family said...

Katie - just wanted to say hello and i am so glad i found your blog! I love the way you capture your children thru such amazing talent (too bad i didn't know about that in Orlando!) I love knowing how you all are doing!
Delta

Laura H. said...

Remember all that laundry in my bedroom when you did Audrey's photoshoot? I should have just put in rainbow order. The organizers do that for clean clothes in the closet! It looks just as good (or maybe better because it is real!) with dirty ones! Color coordinated mess: that is something I can totally get behind!

Kjerste said...

The "rainbow" was the first thing I saw. Love it!

Anonymous said...

katie, this is so beautiful, how you see life. you're wonderful. -peggy

Tirzah said...

Ilike how you pulled the colors across the coach. You have to do something to get through it.:)

2OutsideTheBox said...

I DID notice the rainbow! I was going to comment about it, but you beat me to it. Even with just three of us, I don't think I've ever been completely done with laundry.... there are always a few extras lying around.

Now when I buy new clothes, I think "How would this look in a heap on the floor?" :-)

Angie Davis said...

I was just looking at this again, and noticed that my comment never posted.......

but I had to say again that I loved this - thanks for turning mundane into beautiful for us. I'm glad that you let your kids jump on your bed and "organize" your laundry, and that you remind me that there is always hope and redemption.

kristen said...

I love this, my couch looks just like this, without the rainbow. Thanks for helping me to see the beauty in it. I shudder to think that I am going to have to keep up with laundry while our house is on the market, in addition to all the other things I am juggling.

emilymr said...

HA I noticed the rainbow right away, but I thought -- "Man, Katie's a domestic goddess; I can't believe she sorts her clothes like that before she does the laundry!!!" Duh...

little dresses said...

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! I hate laundry!!!! My couch looks exactly like that right now and I am so overwhelmed! You just said what I am feeling!

Allison said...

Hi! I just found your blog...through someone who posted on kristen's site. I am enjoying your blog. And I LOVE the rainbow! It's the first thing I noticed.

I want to arrange my closet like that someday.