At this moment I have a pile of laundry about two feet high thrown all over my bed. The plan is simple: I literally can’t get into bed tonight until the pile is gone. I guess I could throw the clean clothes all over the floor and then go to bed anyway, but then I’d just wake up angry in the morning at the mess all over the rug.

This photo was not staged. This is real life, my friends.
This photo was not staged. This is real life, my friends.

I hate to wake up any angrier than I usually do, so I’ll fold these things that have been waiting in baskets all week. Even then, my laundry management techniques are pretty lax. I toss all the kids’ things into individual baskets so they can fold their own stuff, throw all the socks and underwear into piles–one for me, one for Eric– fold the towels in a less than precise fashion, and then hang what I can.

The end.

Repeat twice weekly.

When I was first married I lovingly folded each pair of underwear and rolled every pair of socks. It was my love for Eric that blinded me to the fact that this is a terrible waste of a life. Who cares if my socks are sorted and rolled? Who cares if the underwear is stacked in a military-precise fashion? Eric certainly wasn’t asking me to micromanage his underpinnings.

I realize now that life should be more than perfectly sorted socks.

I want my life to matter, I want my life to reflect the talents and gifts God has given me, and I want to live it to the fullest. I want an abundant life, and I’m pretty sure that happens somewhere outside the sock drawer.

Not that socks and laundry can’t be part of a larger picture. I know mothers for generations have slaved over the laundry pile because this is a way we care for our families. Clean clothing=I love you. It’s servanthood and love in one linen-scented stack, an endless procession of small things that eventually equals a life of Christ-likeness. I get that.

But I think sometimes we focus on the small things because we’re trying to distract ourselves from the abundant life God is really calling us to. While I gave up on laundry perfection around 2001, I’ve let a host of other things distract me in the intervening years. I’ve let jobs interfere with God’s plan (reference the Great Pumpkin Farm Debacle of 2010), I’ve let social media snatch away my time for priorities (reference every day since 2011), and I’ve let my own fear talk me out of responding in faith.

Just this week I’ve dithered and stalled, procrastinated and over scheduled. While I should have had my butt in a chair so I could start writing my next book proposal, I’ve focused on a myriad of tiny and insignificant details.

By the way, my dishes are done and I even rearranged the junk drawer this morning.

By the way, I still haven’t started that book proposal, which is key to the abundant life Jesus is calling me to.

I was made for more than junk drawers and socks. I was made to love others and communicate God’s love through the written word. You were made for more than petty distractions, my friend. You are more than your social media accounts and your Pinterest-worthy crafts. You have your very own abundant life waiting for you, if only you’ll focus on the One who wants to give it to you.

So, what is it? Do you know? What’s waiting for you on the other side of the sock pile?

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.~ Jesus (Matthew 10:10)

It's a complete and utter miracle that I found a few pairs of matching socks.
It’s a complete and utter miracle that I found a few pairs of matching socks.

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5 Comments on Because I Want My Life to Be More Than Perfectly Sorted Socks

  1. David
    August 20, 2015 at 6:20 pm (2 years ago)

    We seem to be thinking along the same lines. My problem is not a pile of laundry but a pile of work I just can’t seem to concentrate on. I seem to have lost interest in writing reports. I think I’d rather do laundry!

    But it is the holiday period and we have had two short breaks away, and also entertained family (house will be bursting at the seams with ten here Sunday/Monday. Beth is probably the smart one – living in a tent down in Somerset while serving on the Sport Team at Soul Survivor.

  2. Jessie Clemence
    August 20, 2015 at 9:07 pm (2 years ago)

    Living in Somerset sounds good. The tent, not so much. 🙂

  3. David
    August 21, 2015 at 6:44 am (2 years ago)

    It appears to have been a bit wet in Somerset the last couple of days. As evidenced by John’s kit when he came home from there yesterday. Beth is there until 2 September! Two stints on Sport Team and then the last few days attending Momentum, which is the Soul Survivor for over 18s. Hopefully she won’t run out of clean/dry clothes by then.

  4. cherifields
    August 21, 2015 at 4:54 pm (2 years ago)

    Amen, sister! I’ve always been more Mary than Martha and only get stuff done around the house because I can’t stand the mess any more and like clean things. But folding undies? Never in my life.
    In fact, I catch myself daydreaming about when my youngest is old enough to be taking Home Ec seriously, I barely have to cook (my husband is the meat chef, and that’s what he eats), and the only messes I take care of are the ones I make. Sigh, it will be lovely, and I won’t miss the patter of little feet, because by then I’ll be a grandma and send the darlings home after a good hug fest. 😀
    But, as with everything there is balance. I don’t get to type and read all day, I have to get my hands dirty caring for bodies. Many ladies apparently have to grow in their ability to think beyond the external and remember the spiritual. Each of us have our struggles.

  5. Jessie Clemence
    August 22, 2015 at 9:10 pm (2 years ago)

    Very true. I try to remind myself that the exact things that bother me now were the things I couldn’t wait for a few years ago. There’s never going to be a perfect balance on earth, is there?