Need I say more?
Seriously … can’t these people just wear their clothes longer? Can I get an Amen?
Not long ago I was trying desperately to stuff the dreaded stinky stuff deeper into the hamper so that I could still shut the lid and not be forced into doing another load at that moment. I know – it is not like it is going away, but there are just some days I don’t want to deal with it!
I pushed and shoved getting it down far enough to wear I could shut the lid … almost.
Good enough, I thought.
However, our laundry room is one of those you have to walk through to get to the garage and car, so I had to walk by it over and over again. Each time I did, I couldn’t help but notice a “unique” odor possibly belonging to one of the athletes in my house. Darn it anyway! If I didn’t take care of my responsibility, the odor would only travel and become worse. I had to deal with it.
I know most of us have been in some kind of stinky laundry dilemma, however I think most of us have also found ourselves in the midst of another dilemma.
A dilemma that strangely resembles that of the stinky laundry.
I am a recovering confrontation avoider. Every fiber of my being always wanted everyone to just be happy. Saying yes and not setting boundaries was a small price to pay for the peace I thought others could experience by my actions. God asks us to love others and in my mind love did not resemble a confrontation. It never did work out, though. Maybe for a moment, as I was stuffing my feelings away. But, in the end, those that were unhappy remained unhappy and they only moved on to the next unhappy topic. My stuffing didn’t fix their problems, nor did it fix mine. I grew up searching for ways to make others happy, only never discovering that which would make me happy. I became the picture of codependency.
My responsibility needed to be in the identity of myself – in the setting of boundaries and learning to say “no”. If I look at the life of Jesus, I am given many examples of Biblical support for setting personal boundaries.
Throughout His life on Earth, He set boundaries to care for himself. Even though others needed Him, He left taking time away to rest. Jesus maintained His focus. Even when many, including his family and those close to Him, called, He stayed true to His calling. He didn’t help just everyone, but required faith and desire to heal those in need. He rebuked and confronted people that were doing wrong. The list is long and the example is clear.
Healthy boundaries are a part of living the full life God has planned for us.
They give us the option of allowing the good in while keeping the bad out.
Many years ago I began the work. I will still find even today that my tendency is to stuff my needs in order to avoid confrontation, but I have made significant progress … especially in the last few years! God seems to be making sure that have many opportunities to grow in that area!
I clearly see now that when I don’t correctly handle the responsibility of boundaries, just like the laundry, my problems eventually get bigger and lead to more problems.
I may have thought I had pushed it down and made it “good enough”, but sadly, it only lasted for a moment. The only way to handle a stinky situation is to face it prayerfully and with love, but head-on. God will work out the rest.
So, for the love of an unstinky house, please just do the laundry already!
I regularly link up with these encouraging sites.