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Lessons from My Washing Machine

This was to be our first “normal” day of homeschool since returning from our vacation.

Have you ever noticed that God’s idea of “normal” is often very different from our idea of “normal”?

What I learned from a leaky washing machine.

[Tweet “Have you ever noticed that God’s idea of “normal” is often very different from our idea of “normal”?”]

As I was finishing a great quiet time this morning, feeling rather satisfied with the teaching I had received from the Word and the quiet, homey day I had planned for us. I heard my oldest daughter, who is very soft spoken, yell, “Eric! Eric!” When Emily raises her voice we all come running. She had water running out of the ceiling of her bedroom AC vent and closet door frame. I followed the path upward in my mind to see where it might be coming from – the washer! I ran to the kitchen and sure enough the floor was flooded.

Tuesday when we did laundry I wasn’t getting any water into the washer, so Eric fiddled around with it and finally got it running. We always turn off the water when we’re gone and I’m not sure what was wrong but he finally got it working and pushed the washer back into its space and we did the laundry. Later I asked him to push it back a little farther since I couldn’t close the door, and thought that was the end of it.

Every year we have our children work on one character area that we feel they need to improve. This year Eric is learning to see tasks through to completion – tie up all the loose ends. Interestingly enough, our home group leader had also asked us to be listening for prompts from the Holy Spirit this week and share how we did or didn’t respond promptly, or what lessons we learned.

As Eric was frantically working to disconnect the washer and stop the flood of water he said, “Mom, I thought several times yesterday that I should check this. I was worried that I hadn’t put the drain hose securely into the drain pipe or that when I pushed the washer back it may have gotten tipped out slightly, but I just kept putting it out of my mind. It’s all my fault!”

Praise the Lord that I had responded to the promptings of the Holy Spirit by thanking the Lord for this situation and asking Him to use it for good in our lives. I’m often slow to do or only do in retrospect. I think having done that enabled me to respond to my son in a good way and point him to the Lord’s gracious forgiveness – and mine. I believe this was a lesson he won’t soon forget, one that will go a long way to help him improve his thoroughness.

Yes, we have two wet carpets, two closets full of damp and wet clothes and ten times the laundry we had planned, but… clean-up has been peaceful, with everyone working together calmly and efficiently. And as my dear husband would say, “We’ve had a great day of school.”

[Tweet “My dear husband would say, “We’ve had a great day of school.””]

I have been studying Psalm 119 through some writing a friend of mine is doing. This morning I was reading in verses 26-27:

“I have declared my ways and you answered me. Teach me your statutes, Make me understand the way of Your precepts: so shall I talk of thy wonderous works.”

I remember lingering over these verses and asking the Lord to teach me His statutes – His laws – His way of doing things, even as I go about my daily tasks. Sometimes His answers come quickly even if they aren’t what we are expecting.


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© 2007 Phyllis Sather


  • Becky
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 6:12 AM

    Thankful for great school days and you sharing spirit, Phyllis.

  • Tamera Svanes
    Posted April 13, 2007 at 2:29 PM


    Isn’t it wonderful how God uses everyday experiences to teach us such profound lessons?


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