Everything was on schedule—a roast chicken dinner was about to be served, the next day’s cottage pie dinner was being prepared, and the last load of weekend laundry was happily spinning away in the washing machine. We were about to sit down at the kitchen table when I heard an unrecognizable beeping noise coming from the utility room. My load of laundry had stopped mid-cycle and a warning code was flashing away on the screen! Little did I know then that this was just the beginning of a long evening of troubleshooting.
With sopping wet P.E. and work tops locked in the drum of the washing machine that were needed for this week, I prayed we would be able to sort this dilemma quickly. With lots of extra water needing to drain, my husband did the dirty and wet job of draining the overflow tube and cleaned out the dirty filter. I then tried to continue to finish washing the cycle but without any success. After turning the electricity on and off to the machine, I was at least able to open the door and salvage the saturated clothes. I managed to wring out most of the water and thankfully do a spin cycle before putting most items in the tumble dryer.
Although frustrated and annoyed that my whole evening (and my husband’s) was spent trying to troubleshoot the washing machine and salvage the clothes needed for this week, I couldn’t help but say a “thank you” prayer to God. It could have been a lot worse. The door lock could have stayed on and the needed clothes might have been trapped indefinitely.
Still in the midst of figuring out how to problem solve the washing machine, I have chosen to spend no more wasted time getting overly annoyed or upset. Machines can’t last forever and need fixing from time to time—I’ve also overloaded the washing machine more times than not, which doesn’t help! I am thankful that all of the laundry I needed for the family this week has already been washed, so even if it takes a few days or the week, we will manage just fine. There is grace in the middle of the everyday challenges.
My laundry fiasco can so easily parallel my life. I can find myself taking my everyday blessings for granted and then only when something doesn’t work out, do I stop to humble my attitude and re-evaluate the situation. I know I can have that “mama” determination to get everything done quickly, but sometimes, I need to be reminded that this life of mine isn’t really fully mine—that I am not in control. I have been given lots of responsibilities in this unfolding story of mine, but the Author is the one in charge.
As a character in my own story, there are moments great and small that act as reminders to me to keep trusting God’s sovereign plan. Earthly life is full of small and large challenges that we can either stay annoyed about or choose to let go of our need to be in control. We can trust that God is with us and He will guide us in how to troubleshoot washing machines or emotions of the heart.
God cares for all our needs and as we choose to praise Him, even while the challenges are still being sorted out, there are rich blessings of peace, trust, and comfort along the journey.
*My loving and mechanically-minded husband literally ended up dismantling the washing machine and gave the drain pipes, tubes, pumps, etc., a thorough cleaning—and now we have a working and very clean washing machine again!