For the record, I am not a Cleaning Diva. In fact, I don't even come close. I loathe housework and the only reasons I really do it is to avoid public humiliation and embarassment and the thrill of satisfaction once it is over and done with...for now. If left to myself things would be scattered here and there on top of and beneath piles in "plain view". The experts who claim to know about these sort of things would say people like me do not do well if things are tucked away out of sight. They need things out in the open or they can't find them, I guess. Sigh...
For most of my married life, there was one thing that typically was tucked away and that was my ironing board. Oh, I would get it out occasionally, when necessary but my typical routine was to race down to the dryer when it stopped and get things folded or on hangers ASAP. Yeah, I hate doing laundry too. There are much more interesting things to do like go out and wander about in the world. This technique worked pretty well actually and I thanked God quite often that I was born around the advent of "wash and wear" and "permanent press".
Then in January 2014 my husband started a new job. His previous job over the last 27 years required what is often referred to as casual/casual business dress. Since he was often crawling around up in high places or underneath things, usually he leaned more toward casual/business casual and wore khakis with polo or button-down shirts. While his new job did not require him to wear a suit or even a blazer, a dress shirt with a tie is mandatory. Thankfully his employer had the common sense to allow him to wear suitable shoes rather than dress shoes!
In the past, he wore professional attire so rarely that usually I would drop off a few dress shirts to be washed and ironed when I had his suit cleaned. This is fine when one is only dressing up a couple of times a year at most but when it is five days a week... yeah. It would add up really quick! I really had no choice, especially since funds were tight since he had been unemployed for over a year. I dusted off my ironing board, found my iron tucked away behind some things in my laundry room, bought some starch and started a new routine. Every week finds me standing at the ironing board. I loathe ironing but I dutifully starch and iron dress shirts so that my husband will look like the professional that he is.
I got a coupon once and decided treat myself and drop off five shirts at the cleaners. I gathered the shirts and drove five miles in order to drop them off. I was told to return for them in two days. On the appointed day, I got into my car once again, drove five miles, picked up the shirts, carefully hung them up and drove back home. On an impulse I decided to unwrap the shirts when I got home. I'm glad I did because when I did, I gasped in horror. Apparently someone did not know how to operate an iron or had their attention elsewhere while they were doing it. I paid them how much to turn dress shirts into pleated shirts?
I hopped into the car and drove back to the cleaners to show them their handiwork. Oh. The manager assured me this was highly unusual and offered to have them pressed again. It would be another two days though. Sigh... I needed the shirts now so I would have to do them myself. She gave me a coupon to have five shirts laundered for free. I trudged back home, got out my ironing board and went to work.
A few weeks later, I decided to use the coupon. I shouldn't have wasted my time. Apparently they were done by the same person. This time I said nothing because I decided it was futile. It took me less time to iron the shirts myself, they were done right the first time and best of all, it cost me nothing except for the cost of the starch and a little electricity. Sigh... I loathe ironing but I love my husband so I do it anyway. Neatly pressed and starched shirts hanging in the closet are just another way to say, "I love you" and actually my husband knows it. Every once in awhile, he will look in the closet and then turn, wrap his arms around me and say, "I know you hate ironing. Thank you!"
It is easy to do the things we love for someone else. For example, I love to just simply get out and drive so if I learn someone needs a ride somewhere, I happily volunteer. I'll jump at any chance to be out and about and if it takes most of the day, fine. It is little or no sacrifice for me to do so. Ironing though is a different story. It is not a one time deal either. I find myself having to do it over and over and over again. It is neither glamorous or exciting. I have no audience except my cat who sometimes perches on the loveseat and watches the iron go back and forth. Sometimes things get rather warm standing over a hot iron and if my back has been acting up a bit, well, that doesn't help either.
Sometimes God wants us to do things that we really do not want to do. We would prefer doing something else more pleasant and exciting. Perhaps we even want more of an audience than just a cat. Are we willing to do things, not just for ourselves but for God? Do we want to bring a smile to His face or merely our own? Those mundane and ordinary little things are just another way that we tell God, "I love you."
Strange as it may I enjoy ironing and apart from my wives clothes I do the majority - but starch on shirts! never a quick iron would do me. Thankfully I do not need business shirts in my job.