“Do everything without complaining and arguing.” (Philippians 2:14) Surely everything can’t include laundry and the dishes and cleaning toilets can it?
This morning as I was doing laundry, which I call my nemesis, I was also reading the Bible. I’m still reading Philippians (I’m reading the whole book of Philippians… all 5 pages everyday). Anyway as I was folding laundry and putting wet clothes in the dryer, my self talk went something like this, “I hate laundry, why do we have so many clothes, this job never ends, we should be nudists, I can’t stand picking dirty clothes up off the floor, I hate my washer, ugh – I forgot to check the pockets first, what exactly is laundering money…” and on and on. Did you notice all that complaining?
Then when the clothes from the dryer were folded, the wet ones from the washer put into the dryer and a new load put into the washer, I sat down with my coffee cup and Bible and began reading Philippians again. “…Do everything without complaining and arguing…” Uh oh! It was 9:00 in the morning and I already had way too much complaining. I tried to justify it… but I truly hate laundry… at least I’m doing it… “Do EVERYTHING without complaining”
Alright God, I get it… but you are truly going to have to give me the desire and the power to do what pleases you here (Philippians 2:13 – see yesterday’s post on deodorant to learn more about that.) because I get really grumpy and tend to yell at my kids when I do housework. So as it was time to do more folding and loading, I pressed on to do so without complaining.
That quiet voice whispered in my head and heart, “Be thankful.” Ok, I’ll try. So this time as I was folding the laundry my self talk went something like this, “Thank you God that we have so many great clothes to wear, thank you for Jeff’s co-worker who gave us these great hand-me-downs for Jarrod, thank you for Jeff’s mom who gave Bryan this shirt, thank you for my mom’s co-worker who gave me all her clothes that are too big for her now, thank you that this shirt is too big for me now, thank you for my boys who look so cute in these clothes…”
And then when I was starting and stopping the washer (right now our pipes are slow and the washer drains too fast for them, so I have to stop it and let the pipes clear and then start it again several times in each rinse cycle. We need to get a plumber in to take care of it, but we are waiting until we have the money for it) instead of grumbling my self talk included, “Thank you that I don’t have to walk down to a river to wash clothes, but that I have a washer right in my house.” And you know what? I actually felt more joyful while doing the laundry!
So that’s my tip of the day… if you want to do everything (including all your housework) without complaining, try thanking God instead. I think next time I clean the toilet I’ll try to remember to thank God for the indoor plumbing!