Skip to main content

Striving Laundry

It's not Manna Monday, but I have a great guest post by writer Alisa Hope Wagner for which I couldn't wait. Enjoy.


I have been anxiously striving to finish edits on my first book. My mind has been consumed with writing, and I’m constantly telling myself to get to work. I feel the pressure of a deadline, and I told God one afternoon, “I can’t wait until I’m done.”

I could sense God smile and say, “Then you’ll start your second book.”

I stopped in my tracks. I realized that I will never be finished. When I’m done climbing this mountain, God will have another one for me in the distance. While I’m alive on this earth, God will always place promises for my life in the horizon.

God places promises beyond each of us; and as we move closer to them, God is able to mold us into the likeness of His son. Promises are in the core of Jesus; they pull us toward Him like gravity and slowly perfect us into our original design.

At that moment, I had a reality check. Obviously my perspective was wrong because God would not want me to be anxious about anything (Philippians 4.6).

How do we strive towards God’s promises without becoming overwhelmed? How do we find balance and joy in a life that will always be pulled toward higher goals and greater accomplishments?

I would like to answer this profound question with one simple word: Laundry.

Laundry is never done. Whenever I go from room to room with arms filled with dirty clothes, I like to sing the theme song to the 1984 movie The NeverEnding Story. If that story were written by a woman, I am sure it would have been about laundry.

I’ve learned to do a little bit of laundry every day. I don’t even think about it anymore. When I wake up, I’ll notice that the hamper is getting full, so I’ll grab the clothes and start a load. That afternoon after I put the kids down for a nap, I’ll put the clothes into the dryer and forget about them. While the kids are playing before bed, I’ll take the load out, fold it and put it away. Never once was I anxious.

I used to let the laundry build up, but I noticed that I always became anxious. The lack of clean clothes would begin to affect my life, and my mind would send me distracting signals to “get to work.” Laundry would become a big deal, when, in reality, it is such a small part of my life. If I would simply give laundry a fraction of my attention every day, it would be manageable.

This concept is the same for God’s promises. God doesn’t want His promises to become anxiety builders in our lives. His promises are supposed to draw us closer in relationship with Him. The imbalance comes when we stop daily focusing on God, and we let our relationship with Him build up, unused in the hamper.

If we hungrily seek God everyday and align our lives in His will, He would ensure that we have just enough time every day to work on His promises. As we seek God, He will groom our lives of everything unnecessary, and we will have perfect amount of time to complete His will. Also, when we focus on God, He will fill us with joy and peace that will filter through every aspect of our lives, dispersing our anxiety, worry and procrastination.

The purpose of life is to glorify God. If we are not doing that in our daily life, we probably need to ask God for a healthy dose of perspective. I decided to give up on striving; instead, I’m keeping my eyes on God and allowing His grace to move me toward His best for me.

"Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46.10 NASB).

Alisa Hope Wagner

Faith Imagined

Comments

  1. Love this perspective!

    I struggle with the same thing. I think anxiety, perfectionism and procrastination are all linked in a deadly embrace :/

    I'm hoping I get it right someday :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great inspiration! Love the laundry analogy.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes Love this laundry perspective.
    kim

    ReplyDelete
  4. This was my favorite line: "The imbalance comes when we stop daily focusing on God, and we let our relationship with Him build up, unused in the hamper."

    I certainly do not want my relationship with God to lay in any hamper in my house!!! Especially here in New Orleans (below sea level!)

    Great word Alisa!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Very good lesson here...and one I needed to hear!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yes, us moms know a bit about laundry don't we?!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for this post. My to-do list is always full like a laundry basket. Thanks for separating my "want baskets" from my "need baskets".

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Alisa. I love the analogy :) The part that touched me most powerfully was "I decided to give up on striving; instead, I’m keeping my eyes on God and allowing His grace to move me toward His best for me.

    "Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46.10 NASB).

    Wow. I need to hear that - to live that. I can't even tell you.

    Thank you. Praise God for the many ways he can communicate His loving message =)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Alisa -

    Great analogy! I have an extra long to-do list right now. I'm learning to assign a certain amount of time to each task, and then move on.

    When I'm consistent with my devotional time, everything falls into place.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Alisa,
    Your words always speak to me!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Perfect analogy! Love the reminder about GOD's promises not being anxiety builders...also love that verse in Psalms.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great post and it's very appropriate for this time in my life. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great post Alisa! I left you a comment about your post on your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Awesome! And, I definitely needed it today.

    ReplyDelete
  15. and sometimes we need to remember that doing nothing at all is enough.

    Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God..."

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ah, the wisdom we can learn from every day examples! 'The imbalance comes when we stop daily focusing on God, and we let our relationship with Him build up, unused in the hamper' So true!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Good post!
    Thanks and blessings,
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  18. Just reread this. Alisa is a great writer. I look forward to her finishing her book so I can read it.

    I like this statement: “Then you’ll start your second book.” I stopped in my tracks. I realized that I will never be finished."

    No, we never will, not until that final redemption. I'm feeling that now, Alisa, with my next book. I've been stalled for a couple of months, essentially not working on it all. But I know I need to get going again.

    wb

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Characters That Work

I’ve heard countless times that agents, when looking for the next great manuscript and readers, looking for the next great read, want compelling characters. But, what does this mean? Compelling? And why have I never thought of characters as compelling when I can’t put the book down? Sure, these characters are amazing, and sometimes I want to be in the middle of the stories as if they were my own experiences. But why? Compelling characters make me --force me-- to be in love with them as they find their way through trials or charge fearlessly down hidden hallways and dark forests. This makes for wonderful literature, and for fascinated readers. But how do we do this? How do authors create compelling characters -- ones that not only we want to read but others too -- and convince our readers that they should care about them? Here’s a tiny list by which I try to strive: Make them human: This is a given. And most writers would tell you this is. Give your character flaws that lots o

Music and Me

So, this post is about music. Why? Because author extraordinaire Alex J. Cavanaugh  is doing a music blogfest. For those who chose to sign up and write about this subject, like me, we get the opportunity to muse about the top ten songs that have inspired us the most over our life. This is a rather subjective and varied blog idea, because sometimes the strangest music can inspire us, or move us, or allow us to remember a time or place or moment or person ... for the rest of our lives! And that is also why it is such a grand idea to make a list of the most inspirational songs: to remember, to pontificate, and think about such like: Wow, that song was awful, but I sure loved it! Warning: This list is going to be majorly filled with eighties music. Why? Again, for the reasons listed above. I was age "ten and up" in the mid-eighties. Talk about an inspirational and impressionable time of anyone's life! Because of that, I feel the eighties were good to me. And I don&

Write This Down

I had a great conversation with a writer-friend of mine this week. She and I have been in a similar predicament for the past few years, in that most of our energy and time has gone into raising our children, and not into the world we so longingly want to delve into: writing. Our kids, of course, and the time we give them is valuable time dedicated. We understand that. We chose to forego our passion of writing for them instead. But, we also discussed why some writers -- as busy as us --were still able to write while raising a family. Did they have extra help? Was their writing so miraculous that their brains just downloaded the stuff onto their computer in mere minutes? What did they do differently? Obviously, many women and men raise their children and manage to write; perhaps even write bestsellers (ahem ... Mrs. Meyers). So what’s the difference between them and us? What was it that made them more productive? It comes down to something very simple: these authors wanted to write