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For When You Can't Even Do Laundry

This week a dear friend showed up at my door. Typically when I have a guest, I love to welcome them with a frothy cappacino, light a candle or set out some fresh flowers on our dining table, maybe serve a scone or two. Even if it requires moving a pile of laundry right in front of them off the couch, I want to make sure they know they are loved and that a place has been prepared for them.

But this week? This week my friend took hold of the laundry. Not the clean sunny scented stuff either, but the dirty, stinky pile calling out for a double rinse cycle. She made four runs to my basement laundry room, and when it was done, she fluffed and folded. While she waited between cycles, she scrubbed my counters, swept and vacuumed my floors, played card games with my children, and when she thought I wasn't looking, she even went after the grime at the base of my bathroom toilets. 

As for me, I laid on the couch the entire time. I had nothing to serve, nothing to give. I was wearing sweatpants and the same t-shirt I'd had on for three days, with my hair tied up in a greasy top knot. And although I was so thankful I cried when my friend headed home, I mostly felt guilty. Guilty that I couldn't do the basics around here. I'm on bedrest with my pregnancy and am on orders to sit still from my doctor. I know in my head that I must heed her instructions, but there is this part of me that is still crying out to do more and be more and prove my worth in the output of work.

Do you live this way too? Measuring your worth by what you can do and then doing too much, or doing it all alone? 

Are you trying to do it all? As moms, we often get overwhelmed by trying to take on everything, and with a complex that we must be supermom, never asking for help and never taking a break. Its easy to see our worth in our tasks, but maybe God is whispering that your identity lies elsewhere.

As moms, we can get stuck here. Stuck pouring out and performing, stuck in isolation, brooding in resentment when it all becomes too much. And when the tasks that we allow to define us are taken away, we are left feeling guilty, empty and wondering where the "real" us has run off to. 

What I learned by sitting on the couch this week, watching someone else serve me and love me by taking on tasks that I'd hoarded as my own for so long, was that sometimes, being on the couch is exactly where Jesus has called us to be. He longs to come into our homes, to scoop up our dirty piles, scrub away at our toilet seats. . . and wash our clothes fresh, clean and as white as snow. Our only worth comes from resting in Him, in all He has accomplished for us, in all He gives us to go about the tasks that keep our homes humming each day. 

But if we forget to rest in Him first, if we can't let go of performance and sense that we can do it all ourselves, then we miss showing our truest source of strength and life to our kids. 

What is God asking you to lay down this week? Is there an area of your life where He is calling you to the couch? 

Praying that we can all find true rest and value in Christ alone today,


This post is a part of The Better Mom Book Club. Right now we are reading Hoodwinked by Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk. You can join us here each week for posts that compliment our study together, reading schedules, discussion questions and join our private Facebook group where we'll share and encourage one another and have an opportunity to talk directly with the authors. Click on the image below to learn more and join us!

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