How to Change the Laundry into the Chore You Love

How to Change the Laundry into The Chore You Love

She’s not really going to write an entire post on laundry, is she?

It’s alright. I know what you’re thinking and I can hardly blame you.

But, yes, I am.

Slightly disturbing, isn’t it?

But I’ll tell you why.

Laundry is a big part of my life. I mean, if I could figure out a way to include it on my resume? It would be truly impressive.

Something like this:

Laundress Extraordinaire:  Lisa is known to average 25 loads of laundry every week and earned her Stain Master degree in only a few short years.

Wow. I know.

Okay, but seriously, with 8 children – including 3 little boys and a special-needs girl – my washing machine is hardly ever lonely or bored. It chugs away both day and (often) night.

In the beginning, I fought this job. I hated chores that were never complete. Never knowing the satisfaction of “finished” because it seemed there was always another load waiting to be washed. But over the years – believe it or not! – this one has become one of my favorites. The chore I love most.

And I’m hoping that you’ll come to love it too. Or, at the very least, like it more.

Here are some ways that can help change laundry into the chore you love:

Change your mindset. Like our daughter once announced to us, “I used to have a bad attitude, but then I changed it.” She made it sound so simple. But there really is some simplicity to it. I had to decide that if laundry was going to be a part of our “family”, then I might as well embrace it. And get good at it.

Set up an effective system. And it has to be a system that works for you. For instance, I’m the one who washes all our clothes – mostly because I’m so persnickety about our clothes. Unusually so. I practically faint when someone throws a color in with my whites. Freaks me out. So I assign the folding and putting away to our children, while I wash away.

I have other friends who assign each child a “day” for when they have access to the washing machine and he/she washes all his/her own clothes. She reserves the week-ends for her and her husband’s laundry, along with other household loads. Good idea, huh?

Don’t hesitate to delegate. Share the job with kids, or a husband if he’s game. When our children were little, my mother-in-law came over and helped with the folding. For a time, we had a sweet older woman from our church offer to help me out and I’ve never forgotten her ministry to me. I’ve even “hired” a mother’s helper to give a hand and it was a terrific arrangement!

Invest in a cheerful environment. This is critical. I mean it! Do all you can to turn your laundry area into a pleasant place. And this is spoken by a woman who has a fairly tiny laundry room for such a big family. Let’s put it this way: it just barely fits two adults sneaking chocolate  ice-cream bars together. (Don’t ask how I know this. I just do.)

Yet I managed to turn my little space into a mini-Paris with a bit of inexpensive decor and fun touches. I get some strange delight in announcing, I’m off to Paris! each time I go in to start another load of laundry. And voila! it makes me smile . . . and my kids roll their eyes.

Laundry Room in Paris

Why not create a space that is inviting and lovely to be around?

Real-Life Homemaking SeriesConsider it a spiritual opportunity. And, no, I’m not merely trying to tack on a spiritual message to an everyday chore. I’m perfectly serious. I really do try to remember to be thankful that I have a family to wash for and that we have clothes to wear.

A friend of mine once shared that she prays for each person as she folded their article of clothing. I sure liked that idea and try to remember to do that too.

So there you go – an entire blog post about laundry!

I hope you’re lovin’ it! ;)

*If you have any extra tips for getting laundry done 0r making it more enjoyable,  please share!

In His grace,
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6 Things Every Sister is Really Hoping to Hear from Her Brother

6 Things Every Sister is Really Hoping to Hear from Her Brother

I am a middle child.

The only sister between two brothers.

And we grew up the way most families grew up in our neighborhood. Sometimes we fought and sometimes we had fun. We played board games together, rode the bus to school, went on camping trips, and launched huge pillow fights when our parents weren’t home (sorry about that, mom!).

I don’t remember my brothers every being truly mean to me and I knew, deep down, that they loved me.

But we didn’t really talk much about that.

Okay, we didn’t talk about it at all. It just wasn’t cool or comfortable for brothers and sisters to say that kind of stuff to each other.

So I had to wait until we were older – as in, grown-up, married-with-families-of-our-own, older – to hear that they loved and appreciated me.

And by then I was glad to hear it. Really, really glad.

But I don’t want our daughters to have to wait until they’re married and moved out to hear from their brothers. I want our sons to say what should be said now, while they’re still living in the same house together.

Because although he might not realize it, a good brother can make all the difference in a girl’s life.

Why wait until years down the road – if ever – to tell your sister what she needs to hear?

So, for all you dear brothers out there, this is for you . . . . 

6 Things Every Sister is Really Hoping to Hear from Her Brother

You are valued. You mean a lot to me and, if I’ve never told you this before, I’m thankful to have you as my sister. You’re the best!

You are lovely. And I don’t only mean “pretty” (although I think you’re that too), but that you’re a really lovely person. You bring beauty into all our lives.

You are smart. I know we don’t always see things the same way, but I like how you think and appreciate hearing your thoughts about life and ideas and adventures.

You are protected. Because I’ll do all I can to look after you. I’m watching out for you, Sis.

You are gifted. You are one talented lady and I admire your many strengths. You’re so good at whatever you set out to do and I believe you’ll go and do great things some day.

You are loved. In case you’ve been wondering, yes, I love you. And always will. No matter where life takes us and what God has planned for our future.

I will always love you, Sis.

Then you just might prepare yourself for the big hug that will probably come your way.

Because sisters can be like that.

And then you might want to hug her back.

Because you can almost bet that she’s really hoping for that too.

So go ahead and say it. A brother can make all the difference in a girl’s heart. 

What Every Sister is Really Hoping to Hear From Her Brother
*This is the companion post to 6 Things Every Brother Needs to Hear from His Sister which was in response to a young reader’s original question:  What does my brother need to hear from me?

In His grace,
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(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

100 Ways to Love eBooks Tiny*Our books are now available:  100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L. Jacobson

If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get the FREE eBook, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage).

A Peek Into This Woman’s Everyday Marriage (and memoir giveaway)

*Guest post by my lovely friend, Emily T. Wierenga—because sometimes marriage comes hard.

Lisa Jacobsen

The other night we left the boys with my sister, rented a hotel room in the mountains. We planned to snowboard the next day.

We bought take-out and I couldn’t rest that night. For hours, we lay there in our separate beds because the room came with two, but I couldn’t sleep. And I cried.

Trent stretched out his hand across the space between our beds, his fingers reaching for me in the dark. “Hold on to me, Em,” he said. “I’m here.”

“Hold on to me, Em. I’m here.”

We’re not exactly John and Yoko.

Trent’s a math geek and I’m a literary nerd. He’s loud and I’m quiet. He’s athletic and I run into walls. We both like books. We both love camping. And we’re both over-the moon crazy about each other and our boys.

But marriage has come hard for us.

Hard, with years of anorexia and insomnia and fists punching the wall.

I’m putting away the laundry, the seven loads which Trent folded for me while playing a computer game, because between my books and my boys, I can’t seem to take a shower or do any house cleaning. Let alone fold the laundry.

And I’m putting the baskets away when he calls “Suppertime,” because Trent’s made burgers, and on the table, a salad: with peppers and grated Jalapeno cheese, lettuce, bacon bits, and grated carrot, and chopped onions which always make Trent cry–it’s the only time I see him cry– and “I made you fancy salad,” he says.

Like my friend says, there’s nothing sexier than a salad-making man.

But truth is I’d be a wreck without my salad-making man.

The one who held me those long, skinny anorexia years.

Our best conversations happen over a board game because games are Trent’s love language, and we’re still getting the intimacy thing.

I used to fight him when I got mad, sometimes with my fists, and he’d shake his head and grab my wrists and then finally leave. Slam the door and drive off while I wept into the couch pillows, but that doesn’t happen anymore.

No man is perfect, and Trent will say things that unintentionally hurt me, or he’ll forget to take out the trash, but I will also do things–like forget his birthday, as I did one year–and ours is the kind of marriage that throbs with love.

Ours is the kind of marriage that throbs with love.

The kind of love that will not give up: not through anorexia, not through insomnia, not through moves to Korea or moves home to take care of parents with cancer, not through slammed doors or tears or fists, because there’s also the salad. There’s the laundry. There’s Trent taking the kids to his parents so I can write. There’s him reaching out in the dark to hold me, to pray for me.

I want the kind of marriage that dances into its Golden Anniversary, that kisses each other on wrinkled cheeks and laughs at each other’s jokes long after the sun has wound down.

I want the kind of marriage that dances into its Golden Anniversary.

And maybe the secret is to never stop reaching out in the dark. To never stop taking hold of each other’s hands. And to never let go.

Not even for a moment.

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(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

My memoir, ATLAS GIRL, is releasing this month, and I am excited to give away TWO copies today. Just leave a comment below to win!

The giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the two winners: Jennifer and Tammy!

And thank you to everyone who participated, as well as for your encouraging comments. ~ Lisa 

From the back cover:

“Disillusioned and yearning for freedom, Emily Wierenga left home at age eighteen with no intention of ever returning. Broken down by organized religion, a childhood battle with anorexia, and her parents’ rigidity, she set out to find God somewhere else–anywhere else. Her travels took her across Canada, Central America, the United States, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia. She had no idea that her faith was waiting for her the whole time–in the place she least expected it.

“Poignant and passionate, Atlas Girl is a very personal story of a universal yearning for home and the assurance that we are known, forgiven, and beloved. Readers will find in this memoir a true description of living faith as a two-way pursuit in a world fraught with distraction. Anyone who wrestles with the brokenness we find in the world will love this emotional journey into the arms of the God who heals all wounds.”

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Click HERE for a free excerpt.

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I’m also giving away a FREE e-book to anyone who orders Atlas Girl. Just order HERE, and send a receipt to: atlasgirlbookreceipt@gmail.com, and you’ll receive A House That God Built: 7 Essentials to Writing Inspirational Memoir an absolutely FREE e-book co-authored by myself and editor/memoir teacher Mick Silva.

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ALL proceeds from Atlas Girl will go towards my non-profit, The Lulu Tree. The Lulu Tree is dedicated to preventing tomorrow’s orphans by equipping today’s mothers. It is a grassroots organization bringing healing and hope to women and children in the slums of Uganda through the arts, community, and the gospel.
64519_10153705975080099_2037134714_n Emily T. Wierenga is an award-winning journalist, blogger, commissioned artist and columnist, as well as the author of five books including the memoir, Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look (Baker Books). She lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband and two sons. For more info, please visit www.emilywierenga.com. Find her on Twitter or Facebook.

6 Things Every Brother Needs to Hear from His Sister

What does my brother need to hear from me? As his sister?

That’s the question the young lady posed to me.

While I’ve been asked many things since I started this blog, this one was a first.

And it was a great question.

You see, we have four sons and four daughters. Four brothers and four sisters.

And we’ve seen the power that a sibling’s voice has in your life. We’ve watched it play out over the years – for building up, or for tearing down.

We also know adults who still struggle with the voices of their childhood and have been impressed with the staying power of a sibling’s influence.

In other words, a sibling’s voice is strong . Very strong.

When you and I were growing up? Families focused on simply trying to stay together. Not a lot of thought was put into sibling relationships and how they would affect the rest of our lives.

Sure, kids bicker and fight. Some get along and some don’t.

But what a brother needs from his sister? What a sister needs from her brother? Probably not much purposeful guidance there.

So let’s do it differently. Let’s teach our daughters what their brothers need to hear from them. Let’s help them understand the powerful role they have in their brothers’ lives and how much they can build up and influence them to be their best.

6 Things Every Brother Needs to Hear from His Sister:

I respect you. Every young man – no matter how young – needs to feel respect from the women in his life. I can’t even explain why this is so very powerful, but I can testify that it’s a strong need in every guy’s life.

I appreciate you. Your brother wants to know he is valued for the contribution he makes to the family – and more specifically to your life. Don’t neglect to express your thankfulness for who he is and all that he adds to your lives.

I depend on you. Even our very youngest guy like to feel he is somehow indispensable. He needs to know we count on him and that he plays an important role in our family.

I like you. Just the way you are. I enjoy your unique qualities and, yes, even your very own personality quirks. Basically, I think you’re a neat person.

I am loyal to you. You’ll never need to worry about what I’ll say to others about you. You can be assured that I will always have your back. I’ll keep our disagreements between ourselves and not put you down in front of others.

I am there for you. You can count on me, if you need something or just someone to listen to you. I’m not going anywhere and plan on being your sister for a very long time. My hope is that we’ll always be close, wherever God takes us down the road.

Sisters, you might not fully realize what a difference you can make in a young man’s life, but you have the chance to be the voice in your brother’s life that he will carry with him for many years to come.

Use your voice well. Say it with words and say it with actions.

Let him know that you love him and you want to be the sister he needs.

What Every Brother Needs to Hear From His Sister
*You might also be interested in the companion post: 6 Things Every Sister Is Really Hoping to Hear From Her Brother.  And ,while all these might also apply in the reverse, this post is the specific response to a young lady’s question: What does a brother need to hear from his sister? and was addressed as such. Thank you for understanding.

In His grace,
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(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

100 Ways to Love eBooks Tiny*Our books are now available:  100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L. Jacobson

If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get the FREE eBook, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage).