Life is More Than Laundry

One Saturday not too long ago, my husband was having a particularly trying morning. His conclusion was that the only sensible thing to do was pack everyone in the car and go fishing…have a picnic too.

I was not so sensible that morning. Had you been in the kitchen while I was attempting to wrangle a picnic lunch without any heads-up, you would have heard (out of ear-shot of the kids, of course):

“Doesn’t he realize I have three lessons to finalize today for church tomorrow?”…”How can I get a lunch together for the whole family? It would have been helpful to be able to plan for this!”…”And what about the laundry??? I’m up to my eyeballs in it!”…”The baby is due for her nap in about 30 minutes, too!”

I had had the day perfectly planned in my mind. I knew exactly how each of the little colored containers of leftovers in the fridge would be employed that day. I was going to work on my lessons while Katie napped. My laundry would be happily humming away while all of this was transpiring…blissful multi-tasking. I would get so much accomplished!

Now, to my mind, I would get nothing accomplished except watching poor little crickets meet their demise as fish fodder. I would get to chase Kate around and keep her from drowning herself. I would have the privilege of cooking lunch on the grill while the mosquitoes feasted upon me.

Somehow I managed to gather some hot dogs, bread, fruit, snacks and drinks together. The chairs, grill, fishing gear all were packed, and we were off. Not ten minutes down the road, my husband turns to me with a big grin and says, “We’ll have family time together if it kills us!” I retorted, “It almost did.” I figured after that comment (which I safely cloaked in my own facsimile of a smile) I’d better keep silent.

God deals with us so graciously. We got up through Sinks Canyon on our way to Louis Lake. I turned around, and Kate was fast asleep. (Nap taken care of…check.) We drove for a little while, and as we ascended the mountains (Louis Lake is up around 9,000 ft.), we noticed the engine was getting hot. God was already ministering to my heart, just seeing the cliffs, the river, the blue sky. I suggested we open the windows and give the A/C a rest. What wonders fresh air can do for the weary soul, especially when scented gorgeously with pine and sage! The air temp had already gone down to 72 degrees (from almost 90 in town). Oh, it was beautiful.

A little while further, we came to stopped “traffic” (five vehicles). There was a delay, as they were putting in new culverts here and there along the road. We were delayed for probably almost half an hour. By then, God had unwound me so far, I was gleefully wiggling my toes out the window in the breeze, as Kate napped contentedly and the other two children played quietly in the back.

By the time we got to the lake, it was a delicious 67 degrees outside. We unloaded. Patrick got the rods ready. There were no mosquitoes as I grilled (check, check). Kate happily toddled after my husband, and he was patiently guiding her around rocks and over logs. Everyone loved the hot dogs. They’re full of awful stuff, but they taste so good when they are grilled in God’s great outdoors!

We only got to stay at the lake for about an hour. A storm moved in, and we got packed up and back on the road before the deluge began. On the way home, my husband was voicing his disappointment that our stay was so short. I said, “You know, if we only got to drive there and back, it would have been worth it.” (check)

The laundry got done Monday. No one passed out. The lessons came together just fine. God helped…He knew what I really needed was not intensive study and prep, but a breath of fresh air. Once again, my husband was right.

Here’s a fun poem, if you are in need of a break as I was:

Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better
To paint a picture, or write a letter,
Bake a cake, or plant a seed;
Ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must, but there’s not much time,
With rivers to swim, and mountains to climb;
Music to hear, and books to read;
Friends to cherish, and life to lead.

Dust if you must, but the world’s out there
With the sun in your eyes, and the wind in your hair;
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain,
This day will not come around again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
Old age will come and it’s not kind.
And when you go (and go you must)
You, yourself, will make more dust.

-Rose Milligan

Remember, a house becomes a home when you can write “I love you” on the furniture. (—unknown)


Diane Heeney is a stay-at-home mom, who enjoys some freelance writing, blogging, and speaking for ladies’ retreats and functions. She received her BA (Church Ministries) in ‘85 grad from Bob Jones University and went on to serve at BJU as a secretary in the Extension office and later as Director of Girl’s Extension Ministries. Diane and her husband Patrick have helped a number of churches in the past 16 years, and are now assisting the ministry of a growing church in Lander, Wyoming. They have three children: Erin (breathlessly awaiting 13), Michael (all camo, all the time at 9), and Kate (their sweet surprise, now 3 yrs old).
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There are 3 Comments

BryanBice's picture

A wonderful reminder of how a little re-creation can restore perspective. How easily we fall into the trap of thinking that relatively mundane stuff is so very important. Hope to get out for a nice fall hike soon!

Addy Forrest's picture

Thanks, Diane! I can never hear this kind of reminder too often!

KimM's picture

Loved this article and the poem made me smile. We all need that reminder from time to time.

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