05 Apr 6 Valuable marriage lessons from my washing mountain
This is probably the most vulnerable I have ever been on this blog. I invite you in and let you see the situation in my utility room. I know it is in a pretty sad state, right? This washing mountain grows rapidly in height every time I walk in there. I try to avoid that corner of my Kitchen. I work hard to pretend that there is nothing behind that door. It is starting to get so bad that our wardrobes are soon empty of fitting clothes. All my children can find in them at the moment is either Christmas jumpers, summer tops or the itchy ones. Their clothes have moved on to become a ginormous art installation in my utility room. Like most of the modern art, it doesn’t make any sense, its pretty ugly and no one would like to have it in their own homes. I have even in my head given it a name “The unclimbable mountain”. Still, it is a mountain I need to fight and face. I know I need to do it today, well I knew it yesterday. I knew it weeks ago…
I have given myself many good excuses for why I haven’t done what I have told my family is my responsibility, why their wardrobes are full of empty hangers. I have even gone down the root of being angry because they want clean clothes. I have in a grumpy mood asked -is it my fault? Is it my responsibility? So it is essential to let you know that I have over the years, with pride and purpose taken on the task to provide for my family, clean, ironed and folded clothes. It is essential because you might in the back of your head have a little voice saying, “she shouldn’t be the one dealing with it, let someone else do it in the family.”
But this one is on me. I actually learnt years ago that our marriage benefitted from having a good structure, so Johan and I created that structure based on our abilities, time and strengths. The washing was a big issue in our marriage for years, and I have no idea of how many times I have had loud and nasty arguments with the person I love the most because, he folded my jumpers wrong, or put dark colours with light courses in the washing basket… I know, how silly of me.
Finally one day, one sunny and bright day I came to my senses. So with a newbirthed pride and with deep joy, I suggested to Johan that from that moment, the washing was my responsibility, and has been ever since. It has developed to a golden time for me. Might sound strange to you, but it is actually a very special time for me. I take the time to pray and be with God. Sometimes I listen to a podcast, sometimes only music and sometimes I just spend the time of folding my family’s jumpers, ironing Johan’s Shirts or paring colourful socks in prayers. I pray for Johan’s business when I iron his shirts, I pray for my children’s education when I sort out their uniforms, I ask God to bless their paths when I deal with the socks. It is really a golden time for me.
Back to my unclimbable mountain. You can easily see that this golden time of mine has not been prioritised, for me to see the state of my utility room is not only a utility room issue, or empty wardrobe issue. No, for me it is more than that. I haven’t actually given time for something that I know is important for me but also for my family. I know prayer makes a difference, I know God hear every little prayer I pray, and I know the importance of being with Him in His presence. Yet, I have given time to other not so lifegiving things.
I believe Faith can move mountains.
When I looked at the “situation” this morning, a thought came to mind, and I started to compare this mountain of clothes to my marriage before it crashed. Before I went bananas and ultimately fell for the lies, that my life would be better, happier, funnier and more fantastic without Johan as my husband.
So here are six valuable lessons from my Utility chaos.
#1 I began to avoid the mess in my marriage, I knew it was there but did everything I could to avoid it.
#2 I made excuses and felt pity for myself. Is it my fault?
#3 My marriage looked ugly weird and anything but beautiful.
#4 I started to neglect something that had been my Priority.
#5 I thought of my marriage as, beyond repair, it was my unclimbable mountain.
#6 I stopped praying for Johan and our marriage.
Before I this morning closed the door after helping my daughter find matching socks, I looked at the mountain and said out loud. “You are not unclimbable, you are beatable, and tonight you will no longer exist”. One item at a time I will sort, fold, iron, pray and sing.
Exactly as God did with my chaos in my marriage and the terrible state it was in at the time. I don’t believe God looked at the mess and said, “oh no, I don’t want to deal with this mess, It’s unbeatable, I cannot fix this it’s beyond repair.
No, God would never say or think like that.
He said, “Finally Linda, can we do it my way now? may I help you clean this mess up?”
Tomorrow, my family is not only blessed by clothes in their wardrobes but also blessed by all the prayers I will sing over them in a little while when I begin to deal with a climbable mountain in my utility room.
Faith Hope & Love.