When Dirty Laundry is the “Court of My God”

“For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust” Psalm 103:14

I finally got her down. It was a pre-naptime process that involved tears, restraint, wrestling, ear-piercing white noise (why is that soothing to them!?), a stress ball, and countless breath prayers.

I made my nursery exit feeling an awkward mix of gratification and frustration. I tripped over the dirty laundry in the hall and stumbled down the stairs over dog and baby toys until I found my coffee. This morning would require an extra dose of coffee. And Jesus.

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I put on my mom uniform (yoga pants and a nursing tank) and took in the landscape of my home. Dishes cluttered the counter, three suitcases were scattered about on the floor; Open and disorganized, because who has time to unpack and put away clothes when they have a non-napping, high energy child?

Now would be the time to unpack. To do a dish. To take a shower. To eat breakfast. To have a quiet time.

Nope. I just can’t. I feel tired. My soul feels worn. And that is okay.

I laid down in the middle of the dirty laundry and open suitcases and stared at the ceiling fan. I was so tired I could hardly articulate a prayer, even in my mind. And I’m learning that, too, is okay.

In this moment, among the pile of laundry, dog toys, and baby paraphernalia, I realized that absolutely nobody had any expectation that I would shower and clean the house. My husband and my baby would be completely content if I allowed my soul to rest and was physically and emotionally present with them.

I realized I have been holding expectations over my own head, and formulating/perceiving expectations on behalf of the Lord and other people that simply were not real or true.

Actually, I’m not really a “people pleaser” as much as I am a “self-pleaser.” At the end of the day, I want to be impressed with myself. I could not care less about what others think most of the time. I am learning this is just as dangerous as people pleasing.

The truth is that God would be utterly thrilled if I chose to spend a day sleeping in a pile of dirty laundry if that is what my body needs. He is okay with the fact that my brain is mush and can’t even think a prayer. He is okay with the fact that I smell bad and that I will not be cooking dinner tonight. And He is familiar and impressed by my capacity for enjoying life.

He knows my frame. He sympathizes with my weaknesses. His burden is light.

So I rested in the filth. And I felt more alive than I had in a while. Because sometimes a nap is a quiet time. Sometimes mount laundry is the court of our God in which we are called to sit and rest.

Lord, help me to discern true, biblical  expectations from those I’ve created or those that have been projected on me through the world. Forgive me for living under false pressure that has chipped away at my body and my soul in ways You do not desire. Thank you for giving me a light burden and permission to rest with You in my dirty laundry.

“For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere” Psalm 84:10

“…You are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her” Luke 10:41

“For whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience” Hebrews 4:10-11

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” Hebrews 4:15

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