Dirty Laundry Dates are the BEST!
I want to take a moment to share some of our “dirty laundry” with you; and, it’s not what you might be thinking. March 4th, several years ago, a Saturday, our washing machine broke down. What’s the big deal, you might ask? Well, for someone who did 2-3 loads of laundry every day, the thought of being without a washing machine could seemingly become overwhelming.
We did what anyone would do and called a repair service. They said they could come Monday. I was elated; however, the repairman meant Monday a week from March 4th. OK…no problem; we can handle a week without a washing machine. Of course it was also the week to wash all of the sheets from 5 beds (LOL). So, my superhero husband, Bill, took all of our laundry to the laundromats and faster then a speeding bullet–because laundromat cycles are 23 minutes– he cranked out the laundry and brought it all home to dry.
The blessed Monday arrived and the repair man showed up only to tell me that the machine tub needed replaced because it was broken and had detached. How does that happen, I asked? He said, “Was it dropped on delivery? This machine is less then a year old?” Ummmm…my response, “Not that I’m aware of.” (Like the delivery guys are going to say, “Here’s your brand new washing machine and by the way we dropped it.”) So, I was a little repetitive and asked again, “So how do you think this happened?” Our awesome repairman looked at me and says, “Dropping it on delivery would do it.” So, he ordered a new replacement part to be delivered to our house and we scheduled again for the following Monday, a week later, to have it fixed.
The next day we got a big snow storm; so when the part didn’t show up Wednesday or Thursday, we weren’t too concerned. Friday…no part; Saturday…no part. Monday, our repair man arrived and had no idea where the part was. After a few phone calls he was told it was on back order. So he ordered another part to arrive Wednesday or Thursday and we scheduled for the following Monday…going on 3 weeks.
What about all of our dirty laundry? Well, we decided to make the best of it. So we had “laundromat dates”. We picked a day, made sure the kids were off to school and would leave at 7 a.m., stop at the laundromat to start the laundry, go next door to one of our favorite places for breakfast, have breakfast together, then go back to pick up the wash, put it in my car and I head home to dry it all while Bill would head to work…all before 8 a.m.
Oh there’s more to this story! The part finally arrived and the 3rd Monday came for the washer to be fixed. The repairman opened the box to find the new tub was broken in shipping! He was so apologetic…certainly, not his fault…what are you going to do? I chose to laugh and said, “Well, I guess my husband and I will be having more dirty laundry dates!” That comment will get you some funny looks! So once again, the repairman ordered another part and it arrived Thursday. My husband, Bill, decided to open it before the anticipated Monday fixing date and you guessed it…IT was BROKEN! To make this comedy of errors funnier, the following day we received another washing machine piece that didn’t even go with our washing machine…not sure where it came from. At this point we had 4 very large front load washing machine pieces in our garage and another repair date for April 12.
We celebrated a month anniversary of Laundromat breakfast dates.
I am sharing this to say we all have unexpected, inconvenient, potentially stressful and overwhelming circumstances…it’s called LIFE. Sometimes those circumstances are completely out of our control. But what we do have control over is how we react to those circumstances. The Word of God says to be filled with joy and peace (Romans 15:13); that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10); and that our joy will refresh & encourage others (Philemon 1:7).
The KEY is we have to CHOOSE JOY when unexpected circumstances arrive. If I CHOOSE JOY…I will have peace. If I CHOOSE JOY I will be strengthened and not weary. If I CHOOSE JOY others around me will be refreshed and encouraged. Let’s ask ourselves some questions in those moments when we could be overwhelmed: “Is how I’m about to respond going to bring me peace? strengthen me? encourage my spouse and family?”
In the midst of our DIRTY LAUNDRY, we chose JOY. “If the devil can’t steal your joy, he can’t get your goods”… in this case…our washing machine. LOL. In all seriousness the enemy can’t come in and steal your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self control.
(Check out Jerry Savelle’s book on JOY)
Why not make an unexpected set back something to enjoy and celebrate when we look back and remember it? Really in the whole scheme of life a broken washing machine is just a slight inconvenience, not a serious set back.
So the next time you have some DIRTY LAUNDRY: a set back, an unexpected circumstance, a disagreement, a rough day….choose JOY TOGETHER. Allow God to work through your DIRTY LAUNDRY so you can look back on the “set back” and see you have come out clean and stronger individually and in your marriage.