Monday, July 29, 2013

If I Wash Thee Not

I was looking through a different blog where I used to post, and I found this story I had recorded about five years ago. It was sweet for me to see how the things I learned then are still affecting my life now.

(And in an effort to create a single spot where my grandchildren and great-grandchildren can read about my life and my love for the Lord, I thought I would repost it here.)

Hope you are all having a wonderful summer!


"If I Wash Thee Not"

A sink bath is one of those experiences I have treasured with each baby. Spence loves it, especially.

I love getting him sparkling clean, wrapping him in a towel, and snuggling him before I put his jammies on. Keeping my children clean has not always been so fun, though.

I remember when I had three preschoolers at home, and we had white tile floors in our kitchen. They would run in and out of the house all day--getting the floors FILTHY--and I would get awfully frustrated.

Finally, I started wiping their feet with baby wipes each time they came inside. We went through several wipes a day, and I would think, "Why can't I have dark floors? Why can't my children learn to keep their own feet clean? Why do I have to stoop down like this twenty times a day?"

I think I was mainly upset because the workload was hard all around the board. Laundry, dishes, vacuuming, meal preparations, etc. took hours a day, and I was exhausted.

One day, as the wipes and the muddy feet had their hourly rendezvous, a scripture I had been reading from the New Testament came into my head. This is from when the Savior is washing His disciples' feet, and Peter says, "Thou shalt never wash my feet." Jesus' response is, "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me." Peter then responds: "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head."

It's a beautiful story, but what I loved best was that teaching, "If I wash thee not, thou has no part with me." 

Washing my children helps me be a part of their lives. When I wipe their feet or their hands or their faces, it gives me a chance to talk to them, give them a hug, and make sure their day is going all right. When we do dishes together, they ask questions about why they have to do timed tests at school or why their friends' parents don't live together. When we fold our laundry as a family, they talk about the funny book they just read or tell me about the picture they just drew, and while we wash the car together, they tell me how much they love the suds, and they squeal when I spray them with the water.

When we come to the Lord to repent of our sins, we give Him that opportunity to "wash us" and have a "part" with us. He wants us to be happy, and He knows that we'll feel better when we are clean. I think of that now each time I pull Spencer out of the high chair (he's inevitably covered with watermelon juice and cracker crumbs). I think of that when our kitchen is totally messy at the end of a busy Sunday or when the laundry pile is seriously taller than I am. I think of it when I realize that every inch of my living room has dirt on it.

Cleanliness and unity are eternal principles, and by remembering the Lord when I wash my children and take care of my home, I understand that one day we will all have a "part" together.

Do you have any ideas to share about keeping a bright perspective on family work?

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