Monday, August 13, 2012

solitude, still small voices, and a big old whack!


Hanging clothes on the line to dry is one of my favorite things to do.  I LOVE when it’s warm enough in the summer to do this, and look forward to doing laundry just so I can hang it on the line. 

The little guys hate laundry day, so they have no particular interest in being around when I’m hanging clothes.  it’s quiet.  It’s peaceful.  It’s sunny and warm.  The sky is (generally) blue.  There’s typically a light breeze, and it’s exceedingly pleasant outside when I hang the first load somewhere around 9:00…

I love seeing how big the boys are getting.  Hanging their laundry reminds me that every day they are growing:  physically, mentally, emotionally, academically, spiritually.  As I hang each item, I take time to pray something specific for the person who wears it.  Ryan’s shirt that says “Play hard or go home” reminds me to pray for both of them to remember to win with dignity and lose with grace, not only in sports but in life.  Logan’s shirt that says “Mighty Warrior” reminds me to pray for him as he fights the battle against hearing loss and learning issues, as well as to pray for our sweet friend Katie (since her name is on the back of that shirt, and you can read more about her here)  There are things I hang that remind me to pray for others:  the shirt I wore at the reunion last weekend reminded me to give thanks for old friends and lasting relationships.   And when everything is dry and ready to come down, I go back out and take each item down, fold it carefully, and enjoy the time to be grateful for all the blessings we have.  The solitude of the task is where I most often hear the still small voice of God.

Sometimes, though, I find that even at the clothesline I am too distracted and too busy to hear that still small voice.  That’s generally when I get a big old whack alongside the head instead.  The other day, for instance, I was upstairs brushing my teeth when Logan came in and started talking to me.  As is typical for him, he started mid-story (without any context, of course) and asked me a question about the 3rd sentence.  But because he wasn’t in the room when he started talking, the water was running and the fan was on, I didn’t hear the first sentence.  Or most of the second.  So I had absolutely no idea what he wanted.  I gave him a funny look and asked him to repeat his question.  He looked frustrated, took a deep breath, and tried to ask again, but since I had no idea what he was talking about, we didn’t get far.  About the time I was starting to lose my cool, it hit me:  THIS is how Logan lives life EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  He doesn’t hear me when I talk to him unless I get his attention first.  Because of his hearing loss, he doesn’t hear all the words.  Because of his language processing issues, he doesn’t always hear the sounds correctly.  He lives in a state of perpetual confusion and frustration, and we only compound it when we get frustrated with him.  Talk about feeling guilty!  I don’t like these big old whacks!!  They are, of course, helpful, but the overwhelming sense of failure can be painful. 

Today as I hung laundry, I prayed about that big old whack.  Thanked God for showing me in a small way what life is like for my guy.  Asked that He would continue to bring it to mind BEFORE I lose my temper with Logan. And I asked for ears to hear that still small voice so I don’t need any more big old whacks! 

Contentment in everyday chores.  Joy in the work.  An opportunity to give thanks and pray specifically for those in my life.  I only wish every job around the house was as enjoyable as laundry!

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord and not for men…”      ~Col 3:23

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