Thursday, January 3, 2013

Lessons from the Laundry Room

Thank you to my friend Sandy for sharing with you Gods words to her at the Sabbath-Living Retreat she attended last May. When she verbalized this in front of all the women that afternoon, we were laughing, wondering, and challenged by the creativity of God.

LOL, and ponder this appropriate New Year’s message from Sandy.

Why do I consistently try to cram thirty two hours’ worth of stuff into a twenty four hour day?  Why at the end of the day do I wonder why I feel so frustrated?

The minute the Sabbath-Living pamphlet was placed in my hand, I knew God was calling me to change.

When the day arrived, my friend Laurie and I, filled with anticipation, drove to the Glen Eyrie conference center where the retreat was being held. The day was filled with thought-provoking speakers, a fabulous lunch, and wonderful fellowship with other Christian women. It was a time to learn new concepts, reconnect with my good friend, and best of all, enjoy one-to-one sessions with God.

My first session with God went well. It was exciting to experience how God used nature to speak to me and calm my anxieties. The second session for me was even more profound.

As I left the conference room heading outside again, I passed a small laundry room and heard God say, “Go in there”.  Surely not, I thought. But determined to do what He asked, I sat down in a small plastic chair facing a washer and dryer in this very tiny, unattractive, windowless room. Why did God want me here?  Maybe he didn’t want me to get distracted with the beauty of creation.

It soon became clear. God directed my attention to the sign on the wall providing the instructions for the washer and dryer. Half way down on the dryer instruction side of the sign, these words leaped off the wall. They read, “One washer load equals one dryer load and allows the clothes to tumble more freely”. God spoke to my heart, “Your life of compulsive busyness is robbing you of so many things, but mainly, a closer relationship with me! Your worth is not measured by how much you can load into a day. You need to let me help you recover your time so your life can flow more freely just like clothes in a dryer”. Suddenly all I heard and read that day jelled into one important message:  I need to feel okay with doing less; l need to heed what was written in BIG LETTERS at the bottom of that laundry room sign:  “DO NOT OVERLOAD”!

It would be great if I could report that I am now perfect since God spoke to me that afternoon in that laundry room, but alas, I am a work in progress. God continues to deal with me and my “Over-do Lists”; and I am getting better.  I can’t wait to find out what other lessons he has for me and where! 
Sandy Marthaler

My words: Being an idea person, it is easy for me to come up with ideas, many ideas, good ideas. Coming off of sabbatical a few months ago, I was once again reminded, I need to choose between the good and the best. My husband put it this way, “Sue, before you decide what to add to your life, you need to know your God-designed boundaries”. This is a good reminder for the new year. Don’t overload. Live within my boundaries. What about you? 

"The (boundary) lines have fallen for me in pleasant places:"
Some versions add the word boundary.
Psalm 16:6, ESV

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