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Wash-and-Wear: Lessons from the Laundry Room

The following devotional was written by Ellen Miller, author of Lord, Have Mercy. Save 20% when you purchase in April 2017!

I am a freak about my clothes.

Oh—not so much about the brands I wear but about how they’re laundered. It matters so much to me that I always read the care instructions before toting any garment to the dressing room. Weird, I know.

But here’s why: I want my clothes to fit well and I want them to wear well.

After too many of my garments were stretched, shrunk, or damaged at the dry cleaner, I determined that the best way to ensure their fit and longevity was to take care of them myself.

Most of my clothes have care instructions that call for washing on the gentle cycle and then hanging or laying them flat to dry. A few garments can be fluffed in the dryer on a low setting. I take these instructions very seriously, and the time investment has paid off. I kid you not—I have owned and worn certain classic designer pieces for years, and they look brand-new because I take special care of them.

I want you to think of yourself as the most beautifully designed pair of slacks walking a New York runway. I’m thinking Stella McCartney’s Chellini trousers. Yes, you’re pricey—$1,375 last time I checked. You hang perfectly—no bunching, no binding, and—oh—check out that rear!

You are the perfect size and length, making legs look long and lean. You’re the most gorgeous, intense color ever found, and your fabric is divine; you are soft and comfortable and you never wrinkle.

But imagine that instead of being washed on the gentle cycle in cool water, you get thrown in a tub of hot water with an orange hoodie on a cycle spinning at 1,800 RPMs. Instead of being hung gently to drip-dry, you are placed in the dryer with a pair of sneakers and a few pairs of Levi’s 501 jeans.

Do you come out looking refreshed and renewed? Of course not! You come out of the wash looking completely worn out! This is no way to be treated; you deserve better than this.

You are the most beautifully made and priceless person in the world to your family, and you must be given special care. So over the next eighteen days, I’m taking over your laundry. Ha! Not really.

But I do hope to encourage you to remember that you are important and that to last a lifetime, you must take special care of yourself as you consciously consider those things that will refresh your mind and body in order to renew your spirit.

I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. . . . You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever. Psalm 16:8, 11

I can’t believe how much I enjoy writing about laundry. If this devotional thing doesn’t work out, I think I’ll try my hand at a jingle for Tide.


In Lord, Have Mercy, popular author Ellen Miller writes to moms who could use a good laugh (and sometimes a good cry) as they live through the trials and triumphs of parenting in the 21st century. All-too-real, always honest, and often hilarious, each devotional is filled with personal stories to remind you that God is with you in both the big and small moments of motherhood—especially when you’re on your last nerve!

Learn more on Tyndale.com and save 20% when you purchase in April 2017!


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