Around our home there is a light-hearted joke that the laundry room is my favorite room in the house. Seems to be a place I am frequently located. Brooklyn still gets a kick out of telling the time I asked her to set the table saying, “We’re eating in the laundry room tonight.” She repeated it back to me in question, with emphasis as given, “We’re eating in the laundry room?” I realized what I had said and corrected, “the dining room, the dining room, we are eating in the dining room tonight.” The girl still gets a good laugh each time she recalls it.
I’m so grateful my mode of an overloaded brain brings such joy to the home when it can. Like my brain, which overflows at times with more information than my mouth can accurately articulate, my washing machine did something similar, malfunctioning, releasing all of its water onto the floor. Of course, we were not home when this occurred, [as I’m a big fan of setting the delay button to have the load ready for the dryer when we return], but it was quite evident the moment we arrived, because the laundry room is one of the first rooms we see when walking in the door.
For those who remember some of the posts composed from this past summer’s events and the storms I mentioned in Meadows in Massachusetts, Nurse’s Cry, Deflated, and Crummy Mom, you won’t be surprised at all to know that of course, the washer malfunctioned around the same time. Didn’t seem like too big of a deal then. We cleaned up all the water and started toting laundry down to my Mom’s during the interim of having the washer replaced. Let me say, I’ve never been so grateful to have purchased an extended warranty. We had only had the washer fourteen months. We don’t typically go for extended warranties, but as much as we use our washer and as much as a service technician charges, we figured it was worth our while. Evidently, it was.
Unfortunate bummer inconvenience, but simple fix, right? We thought so. That is until our wood floors buckled.
Apparently the water released from the washer that day ran under the laundry room wall which backs up to our dining room and kitchen, flowed completely through the kitchen even reaching into the living room! It was incredible and unbelievable at the same time. Who would’ve thought it could flow that far and who would’ve thought it could cause so much damage?
Disappointingly, this incident marks a first for Brandon and me…our first homeowner’s claim. We’re counting our blessing that in the sixteen years we’ve been married, this is our first, but you people who carry higher deductibles feel our pain. It’s not a fund you plan to dip into, nevertheless, are so grateful it’s there. Occurrences like these emphasize the importance of those annual budget meetings for sure.
Thursday was another first. Movers came to pack up our entire downstairs. Since the wood has to be replaced, it has to be refinished; therefore, so do all the rooms. We’ve never had movers before. I kept trying to help and they were so polite, “It’s okay, we’ll get it Ma’am.” I won’t chase the squirrel of being called “Ma’am.” It’s such a courteous reference, and I receive it as such, I just still feel a bit young for the name, so I’d encourage them, “Oh, please just call me ‘Heather.’” Regardless, I was in the way and needed to let the nice men do their job, so I met my Mom for breakfast.
I continued to run errands for the day and returned home to the demolition in full swing.
I got out the vacuum and started cleaning up what I could. We’re living in the house for the first week of the project, sleeping in Caden’s room; watching TV, folding laundry and working on the computer in Brooklyn’s room; and using our good ole laundry room for coffee, making sandwiches, washing dishes, feeding the dogs, oh yes, and for laundry too. Jaron and Gavin are packed in as well, storing some of our downstairs items in their rooms. Therefore, the floors needed to be relatively clean for our continued stay in the house.
While cleaning up a bit, my mind pondered that question, “Who would’ve thought it could flow that far and who would’ve thought it could cause so much damage?”
My heart became stirred thinking of our words. Thinking about the damage the flow of the water caused, illustrates the damage caused when we allow our words to flow. Like the washing machine releasing the water, sometimes we release our words without first taking into account what it may damage.
Proverbs 11:9 NLT
With their words, the godless destroy their friends, but knowledge will rescue the righteous.
“With their words…” And we’ve all seen it happen. Words can destroy.
Our wood floors and sub-flooring have been removed and we are hanging out in our home without starting any work to replace them for several days. Why? Because the concrete, our home’s foundation, has to have time to dry. Otherwise, we’d be laying new floor over a moist surface providing for substandard results.
Unfortunately, many of you are feeling exactly what I’m talking about. You’ve been wounded by words. Someone felt their opinion was of so much value that they were going to speak it whether it was right, whether it was helpful, and regardless if it was hurtful. Let me share some encouragement with you, The Word says “but knowledge will rescue the righteous.” After you rip out the warped wood, while you’re allowing your foundation to dry, go back to what God’s Word says, and stand firm in who you are in Him.
Perhaps you’re the washing machine. Perhaps you released a flow of words and have seen the damage it’s caused. You know, the beautiful thing about our relationship with the Lord is He knows all so well how human we are and how, despite our progress to grow and mature spiritually, sometimes we find ourselves walking in the flesh. So what do we do? Philippians 2:3-4 “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” Lay out your motives before the Lord. Allow Him to search your heart. Forsake pride and humble yourself for the interest of the one you hurt. It’s not for the weak, because you may be rejected, but it will honor God because it’s all about your heart.
Maybe there isn’t any water damage in your life right now. Maybe there haven’t been any words spoken or received in a destructive manner.
First of all, take just a moment and say, “Thank you, Jesus for the peace I have in my relationships. I ask that you wrap your protection around each individual I love and guard our hearts that we may not hurt one another, but continue to love one another as You love us. Unconditionally, faithfully, and genuinely.”
Secondly, take a moment to soak in some of what Proverbs teaches us about our words. You may have heard people say they read a Proverb a day. Since there are 30 to 31 days in a month, and there are 31 Proverbs, it is a great benefit receiving of the wisdom found there daily.
When using our words, choose which side of the Proverb you will stand.
The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain; the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions.
The words of the godly encourage many, but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense.
The lips of the godly speak helpful words, but the mouth of the wicked speaks perverse words.
Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.
The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking; the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words.
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