“Don’t you just love the fresh scent of sheets off the clothesline?” A number of years ago, I could not relate to that question. I was the proud owner of a large dryer and loved the fact that I could use it, instead of hanging my laundry outside for all the world to see. I enjoyed my privacy and really did not want everyone to see my sheets, not to mention everything else that a person washes each week.
Looking back, it seems that the Lord smiled at my somewhat lame excuses for not using a clothesline. He put a giant twist in my journey of life that landed me and my family as global workers in the Amazon Basin of Brazil, South America. I suddenly found myself facing a whole new approach to washing and drying my laundry. Dryers became a thing in my past, and laundry went from being a twice-a-week task to an almost daily occurrence.
Life in a tropical rainforest is extremely hot and humid. With little change in temperatures throughout the year, four active children, and a husband with an effective body cooling system, I suddenly found myself overwhelmed with laundry. Every morning found me outside hanging yet another load of laundry on the clotheslines. It became my most redundant and dreaded chore.
I longed for purpose in this daily drudgery. I agreed that making sure my family has clean and somewhat (it is the rainforest, after all) fresh-smelling clothes is a good thing. I should find joy and purpose in that, but it just was not happening. I was logging hours of time each week pinning and unpinning laundry from my clotheslines, often with a frown on my face. How could I change this monotony?
Then the idea hit me! Prayer Pins! I use clothes pins in numerous ways here: as napkin holders, chip-bag closers, giant ‘twisty ties,’ and more. Why not turn my clothes pins into a prayer tool: Prayer Pins. There are many people for whom I desire to pray each day. By writing their names on my clothes pins, I could pray for that person when I am using ‘their pin’ to hang my laundry. I believe this was truly a God-inspired thought.
So, on a day when I miraculously did not have anything hanging on the lines, I took my clothes pins and wrote down all the names of our financial supporters and churches, our family and friends, our ministry needs and colleagues, and whoever else the Lord brought to my mind. My mundane chore of hanging up the laundry became a time I now anticipate. As I pin my laundry on the lines (for all the world to see), I lift before the Lord the needs of each person whose name is on the ‘Prayer Pin.’ I have new purpose and joy in hanging my laundry.
I can definitely relate to that earlier question now, and I have discovered that even the fresh scent of Bounce on sheets straight from the dryer is not nearly as sweet-smelling as sheets fresh out of the sunshine. Maybe some of that has to do with them being held up by my Prayer Pins.