Linn County Leader - Brookfield, MO
Getting a better laundry sorter — and a better handle on what my kids are teaching me
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Oct. 14, 2012 12:01 a.m.

Photo courtesy of Lori Ostling

I really didnít mean to cause a scene or to serve as a bad role model for my son. I was just tearing apart my laundry sorter Ė the kind with cheap metal bars and nylon bags for holding clothes Ė and doing it with a little gusto when I was ďfound out.Ē

For three years Iíd been rolling that sucker around the laundry room, stopping once or twice each trip to re-insert one of the metal bars that always seemed to work its way out of the corner joint. That fateful night, I had to stop four times to fix the crazy thing Ė and I hadnít even rolled it a few feet.

And I had had it.

I started pulling apart the metal bars and dropping them one by one on the cement floor. I was not being careful or quiet, and I called my laundry sorter a name Iím ashamed of.

Apparently this caused quite a racket because my husband came running down the stairs to check on me, and our oldest son was close on his heels. I growled at Jessie to go back upstairs because I wasnít sure I was done calling my laundry sorter names.( I allowed my husband to stay because he served four years in the Navy, and I was confident he had heard far worse while out at sea.)

Photo courtesy of Joyce Schurr

Then, once all the pieces were on the floor and my husband and I had a good laugh at my expense, I called Jessie back to the basement to explain myself and to apologize. Itís a spiritual pattern that Iíve found myself repeating a lot in the last five years since Jessie came to live with us.

When we first started the adoption process, I thought God was allowing me to help Jessie. I didnít know how much Jessie would help me.† I had all these great lessons that I wanted to teach him and characteristics that I wanted to model for him. What I found is that Iím terribly flawed Ė and that if you live with me, I canít always hide my impatience or even my slowness to forgive.

Iíve tried for years to serve God, and he finally handed me a mirror with mousy brown hair and lanky arms. Itís not always a flattering picture, but itís accurate and it keeps me honest.

Photo courtesy of Lori Ostling

Writer’s note: In my defense I was pregnant when I threw my little fit… and my husband did go out and buy a sturdier laundry sorter that has never come apart!

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