Follow Washing Instructions

I love the picture in this series banner! If there’s anything Mama was known for it was washing clothes. One of our aunts said, “Nobody but Martha Lou could get freckles on the underside of her arms from washing and hanging out so many clothes.”

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I’ve been thinking a lot about Mama (or Lu-Lu, as the cousins called her) lately. Maybe it’s moving into a new home, with lots of homemaking tasks to do. Or maybe social-distancing making me do more of those chores than usual.

Either way, it got me to thinking about some of the “housewife-y lessons” Mama tried to teach me and I tried to blow off. Over the years, most of them ended up making sense.

You know, lessons like “Follow Washing Instructions”. I thought it was just my OCD, rule-following mom being bossy. Nope.

Has anyone else dyed underwear or towels lovely pastels because you didn’t “wash with like colors” or use the right water temperature? Or in a fit of zealous cleanliness wash something in hot that came out two sizes too small?

Maybe Mama and the manufacturers knew something we needed to know after all.

God’s kinda that way, too, isn’t He? He’s given us some lessons and commands. They’re all for our own good, and not following them often leads to unpleasant consequences. 

I’m betting Mama understood that all along.


Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 MSG

0 thoughts on “Follow Washing Instructions”

  1. I remember several of Mother’s OCD symptoms — like moving every stick of furniture in a room just so she could have us sweep. I miss just being able to call her to ask, “Mother, how do I make biscuit bread like yours?” or some such silly thing. Lulu was known and loved by everyone she met.

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