Never-ending Laundry and My Heart

I have a confession. Today is one of those days that I’m glad that my laundry room isn’t the pretty kind you see in magazines. In fact, my laundry room isn’t really a room at all–it’s more a corner in the basement. If it was the pretty kind, I’d have to climb under the piles of laundry sitting on the floor and hide out of embarrassment. It’s bad, ya’ll.

(So I am not a Southern girl, but my mom grew up in New Orleans, and I so I say things like ya’ll. And “Oh dear Gussie!” And “ma’am.”)

My family (that’s my husband Toben, my daughters Audrey and Emma, and my parents who are known around here as Gran and Papa) spent last week camping in the Grand Tetons. And Yellowstone. I have to stop and say, WOW! and WAY TO GO, GOD! But that’s a whole other post. If you’ve never been, put it on your list. Near the top, preferably.

Anyway, back to the laundry. As I headed down to the basement yesterday to start the seemingly never-ending, towering mountains of camping laundry I worried that it would be out of control. That it would take far longer than I’d like. That it would never, ever end.

So when I just scrolled over the Laundry Room sign on the front page of A Martha Heart and saw what it says under the sign, I had a little epiphany. It says “A cleansing of the heart.” And isn’t that true? Heart cleansing–being changed and transformed and made whole and new–doesn’t always fit into a pretty magazine picture.

Getting our hearts cleansed can get messy in the process. We start to feel wrung out, a little ragged, like it will never end. And sometimes in the midst of a heart cleansing, we’d really like to climb under the piles of junk in our life and simply hide out of shame.

Like the laundry in my basement, it seems like heart cleansing is an ongoing process, one that gets done again and again. One stain gets removed, and in the next wearing, something new gets spilled. The wear and tear of life means cleansing is a repeated process.

And that’s okay. Because that’s how God designed it. One load at a time.

But when it’s finally done–and God always finishes what he starts (Philippians 1:6 says so!)–we find ourselves in the place David prayed to be found–cleansed, washed, renewed.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow…
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Psalm 51:7,10

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  1. Beautiful as always Joanne when you share your heart!



  2. Amen, my friend! I stand in the need of cleansing on an hour to hour–day to day basis. I remember as a child, I’d go to bed praying/saying, “Lord I haven’t sinned today.” So full of puffed-up pride over my goodness. And my goodness was a lie. But God in His kindness, exposed the truth to me. And I have never been the same. Thank you, Joanne!! Love you!!

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