So the past couple months I’ve been doing laundry with God and as you may know, laundry and I have a hate/hate relationship. I recently realized there was a growing mountain of mental laundry in my brain and heart. It accumulated rapidly and was actually starting to stink. God said we can come to him with anything, so I gathered it all up and went banging on his door. Although it feels super vulnerable to show up with a basket of dirty socks and whitey tighties (tidy whiteys? the internet is split) asking for help, God is my “go to guy” and promises to have my back. (He’s your guy too….btw)
So I basically dumped out a giant basket of longings and desires for the future at his feet. I desperately needed God’s help sorting it out because everything in my soul was starting to feel itchy and all I wanted to do was hide and watch Netlfix. David Benner says the core of the spiritual journey is “learning to discern the presence of God, to see what really is”.
That’s what these weeks have felt like. God being present by doing laundry with me, to help me see what really is.
The deal is that I’m a little scared of the next decade. I see changes ahead, stops and starts that I’m not necessarily asking for looming off on the horizon. Hope shares snippets of what I want the next 10 years to look like and fear immediately shows me what I don’t want. It’s gotten wadded up together in my head and I needed help sorting all the light from dark.
Just like real laundry, it’s a process that never ends. But I think I’m more confident of the pieces in the pile after a few weeks of working together. He was able to see some things that needed to be mended and some to be trashed and was able to spot treat all the stains.
So here is this week’s laundry list of my heart wants. Not plans, not goals, but foggy longings for the next decade. I’m hoping that by cleaning up this pile with God ahead of time, when life begins to unfold into the next seasons, I’ll be able to recognize the stories that will lead me toward His greatest glory.
- I want to seek out the wild places that pour cold clear water on all that’s dry and not feel guilty about how He made one for the other.
- I want to wake up the dreams that have slumbered since I first pulled the blanket of motherhood up over my shoulders.
- I want to be bold with my deepest desires, especially the ones that don’t sound spiritual but feel holy.
- I want to learn how to love my husband with fresh passion in aging bodies.
- I want to understand why I shed tears of longing over visions of exploring new places and meeting new people.
- I want to go on a honeymoon with God. To get to know Him deeper and richer than ever before, because it feels like we’ve only just begun our love affair.
- I want to embrace the adventure of a life with the best yet to come.
- I want to believe to my bone marrow that some of the best stories are yet to be lived.
These WANTS? They all feel strong, like the physical needs of hunger and thirst, so maybe I should go ahead and call them what they are. NEEDS.
- I need to live like I don’t care what any body thinks, but Him.
- I need to be wide-eyed and open-handed to new possibilities and opportunities.
- I need to refuse to let routine and ruts determine the next decade.
- I need to avoid inertia and apathy and boredom.
- I need to be an example of aging gracefully, not shaking my head in disgust at my aging body, but rather showing hospitality to the softening and shifting and expanding with respect and wonder.
- I need to allow gratitude and wonder, not illness or heartbreak, to define the next chapters.
- I need to remember it’s never too late to be made a new creation.
- I need to hold loosely the successes and failures of my independent children, to cut the tether and allow them to fly and fall, all by themselves.
- I need to walk steps that seem right and frightening, all at the same time.
- I need to believe when my soul whispers…Go and Do.
- I need to believe when my soul whispers…Stay and Rest.
- I need to lean into past experience while remaining focused on being teachable.
- I need to believe that all the good isn’t going to just dribble out the bottom when the seasons change.
- I need to believe God can refill my cup with purpose and usefulness.
So there you have it, the desires of my heart for the next decade, airing out to dry like laundry on a line. My story always reads best when I let God take responsibility for the process of writing. Gosh, His faithfulness is such a comfort as I look away from the idiocies of this world and toward the abundant future He promises.
Doing laundry with God is just the best therapy out there.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in his toil–this is God’s gift to man.” Ecclesiastes 3:11-13