Thursday, August 22, 2013

Martha Martha Martha

What is it with laundry rooms? Or in my case, laundry hovels. It's the one space I can't seem to keep nicey-nice.

Well, maybe not the one space. There are other areas in my home where you might also find an empty chapstick tube, seven bobby pins, a feather, and a Luna bar wrapper all in one square foot of space.

The only difference is I'll (eventually) do something about it when the stuff is found on the fourth stair going up. Or around the bathroom trash can. Or in my fridge.

But the laundry room? Takes months. I once kept staring at a lone mitten that lost its way after unpacking from a glorious Canadian ski trip in Whistler. Eh, let's be realistic - more like coming home after a trip through Costco's frigid walk-in refrigerator. (Guess I was holding out for the lost mitten to show up.)

It's no big deal, really. Maybe it's those Hoarder shows that have me spooked. Or maybe the new and trendy concept of minimalism - clean, uncluttered, sparse, calm - is the reason I'm over analyzing laundry room spaces.

I recently read an article about it - "Steps you can take to start down the minimal road." It all sounded good to me. But when the author explained how, after her kitchen got a simplified, modern makeover, her non-peaceful laundry room really started to bug...I then decided her case falls under the "it takes money to live like you have none" train of thought, and I moved on.

Though I will say, super put-together people fascinate me. How doooo they do it? As far as I'm concerned, magic powers are involved. It's like, nothing gets in the way of keeping their house company-ready at all times. Nothing. No amount of candy bars, Instagram sneaky-peakies, Target runs. Not even sleep gets in the way of keeping a house like this:


(I don't know, though. That plant thing on the right side of the room screams clutter. They may want to seriously reconsider the stress it's putting on their family's thought processes.)

Okay. Alright. So I'm not a minimalist. And Biblically speaking, I'm not much of a Martha. You know the story. Martha and Mary - two sisters, friends with Jesus. And one day, Martha was busy serving and cleaning when Jesus stopped by. And she got upset because Mary was busy not being busy, preferring to sit and visit with Jesus. Martha even complained to him about it: "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" (Luke 10:38-40) That gutsy girl!

And what'd Jesus do? What he's good at - showed compassion and lovingly corrected: "Martha, Martha, Martha...you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed - or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:41-42)

Looks like we've got two good attributes going on here - Martha's orderly nature and Mary's relational nature. Definitely not a "wrong vs. right" thing as much as it is an "important vs. necessary" thing.

Soooo, I'm thinking...coffee with a friend is better than picking up that dried-out baby wipe  peeking out from under the end table? I'm thinking yes. Though, I suppose I could do both. But whether I start taking steps down the chic-contemporary "minimal road" or the heart-warming relational road, I can certainly tell you that neither one will be passing through my laundry room.

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