Playdates with God: How Folding Laundry Can Baptize a Life

A little something from the archives as we slow to take a deep breath this week: 
We awaken to rain this morning. A liquid sky falls down and I fold the laundry.
I sit on the steps and press towels into neat bundles, caress cloth that will soon caress skin, sorting as I go—the jeans on the bottom of the pile, then sweatshirts, t-shirts all together, and then underwear and socks. They are not fluffy fresh from the dryer; rather, they mingle in their cleanness all night, tumbled together through the dark hours.
I have a “delay” setting on my dryer and I don’t hesitate to use it.
I fold while my boys eat breakfast, while my husband rushes around getting ready for work, while the world is waking up.
This morning, as I fold, I remember how my mother used to fold our laundry at night. She would wait until we kids were in bed—after the supper dishes were all clean and air-drying in the drainer—and fold while my dad watched TV beside her. How many times I would get up to tell her I couldn’t sleep, I don’t know. But I have a memory of her face—intent on this task—a memory of contentedness.  The folding of the laundry was the winding down of her day, the deep sigh at the end of all the work, the pause to hold and savor a bit of soft in all the hardness of the day.
And as I sit on these steps and look out the French door windows at trees lit with raindrop diamonds framed by a white sky…I think how different my life is than that of my mother’s. How her days were filled with chasing children and chasing the dirt away and the chasing out wrinkles and wiping and sweeping and bending to the rhythm of a family in motion. How her hands were filled with the substance of life.
I know these things I chase are elusive. Some would say that to chase after beauty is a fool’s game. And to fill my hands with color and words and the lift of a bird’s wing…well, how can a person touch that?
On Sunday my Pastor preached on the baptism of Jesus. She talked about John the Baptist and how people came from all over to him.
“Those who had some yearning in their hearts for something new,” she said. “They came.
And if it wasn’t beauty that made the call—that internal recognition of the Divine—if it wasn’t beauty they were chasing, I don’t know what else it could have been.
And I think about how different two lives can be but they can still be about beauty and I am astounded to realize that my life and that of my mother’s are not so different after all.
Whatever you are chasing after, Beloved…let it take you closer to the Fairest of All. Beauty has many faces, but there is One who authors it all. Whether it is folding laundry or writing poetry or taking photos or feeding babies…it’s all divine.
It’s all Beauty.
Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us:


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Comments

  1. Barbara Isaac Croce says

    Oh, I long to chase Him in all of my chasing today. Thank you Laura for reminding me of the joy of being pursued by Him.

  2. Mia says

    Dear Laura
    I agree 100% that beauty has many faces as well as the fact that all earthly beauty can b no beauty at all unless it is a reflection from our Lord’s face!
    Much love xx
    Mia

  3. says

    Oh, Laura…this is beautiful. As always. When I read your posts almost always, they are like soothing balm to my soul. Quieting my heart. Caressing my back. You writing is beautiful…just like you, my friend. Continuing to pray for you as you work on your book.

  4. bluecottonmemory says

    I re-posted about Goose Chasing last week – and you re-posted about chasing this week – Folding towels is soothing – matching socks is agonizing! When I look back through the works of my mothers, grandmother’s and great-grandmother’s hands – I see such a difference in what their hands did to find the beauty in life – and, in their journey – their hands always eventually reached for the beauty of God!

    Wishing you beauty in the blessings this week,Laura!

    Maryleigh

  5. Sharita Knobloch says

    Lovely, Laura… Simply lovely. Apparently this is something God is trying to tell me today since this is the second blog I have visited with a similar message– to just bring him glory in whatever I do. Thanks for this, girl. Thanks 🙂

  6. Janel A says

    this reminder that ‘it is all divine’ is something that has been resonating in the past couple days for me. thank you for this. For seeing the beauty in the everyday, and for calling it glorious work. And the winding down of the day…that was such a restful picture for me.

  7. Sharon says

    Yes, Laura, much truth here. As we are reminded to do everything as if to the Lord, we do well to look for His beauty in it all, too. His world, even though flawed for now, is a beautiful thing. And in creation, we are given a peek into the glorious and majestic character of The Creator. And sometimes, even in a pile of dirty laundry…

    Beauty indeed.

    GOD BLESS!

  8. smoothstones says

    I love this for many reasons. I’m not prone to nesting, and I don’t tend to enjoy housework, but I like folding laundry…especially when the babies aren’t kicking over my piles. 🙂

  9. Kim Adams Morgan says

    Beautifully said. Beauty does have many faces, but Christ is above (and in control) of all.

  10. says

    Oh, I remembered this post from the photo! 🙂 May the Lord richly bless your slowing and deep breathing this week. May He draw you nearer through all the beauty of your days.

  11. Jody Ohlsen Collins says

    Laura, this reminds me of something by Kathleen Norris about the monks doing laundry as a form of worship. Those mundane tasks….not so mundane.

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