Lessons Learned from a Basket of Socks


socksSome days I just feel braver than others. Today is one of those days for me. I woke up. Had my coffee. Read my emails. Checked my Facebook. Drank a second cup of coffee. And then I knew I could do it.

So I marched right into the laundry room and picked up the two large baskets full of unmatched socks and paraded into the room where my husband was so he could lend moral support to me. Of course, literal physical help would have been better but he hurt his back yesterday so I figured I’d just take what I could get at the moment, which was moral support.

I dumped out basket number one and began. Dark socks. White socks. Then short socks. Long socks. Then Eddie’s socks. My socks. Elliott’s socks. Nathan’s socks. Shoot, I even found a pair of Andrew’s socks and he has been married for two years. I’m sure there was some legitimate reason for them to be in my laundry basket but at the moment, I’m not sure what that is. You’d think I hadn’t sorted socks in years, but really I have! However, sock sorting is a never ending job when you have BOYS/MEN in the house. (Kudos to my daughter, Kara Beth, who is also married and apparently took her socks with her!)

The renegade items were there too. A Christmas hand towel. A dishcloth. A pair of shorts that needed a button sewn on. And it went on from there as I worked my way through basket number one onto basket number two.

As I took on the task, I mused as I sensed God speaking to me. You know, God really does speak during the most seemingly unspiritual moments. Here is what I gained from the experience, besides, of course the practical reward of everyone realizing that they did not really need to go to Wal-Mart and buy more socks.

  1. Even the most simple tasks become overwhelming when you ignore them. This works in the spiritual realm, too. For example, neglecting our daily prayer life and the confession of sin. Heck, it can take me a long time to confess my sins when I wait a few days in-between times! It really is meant to be a moment-by-moment conversational job.

  2. Everything is easier with help. In the last two years, I have learned to ask for help and I’ve given up my self-assigned role as the savior of the world. Now, I just ask my husband and kids to pitch in. I turned in my badge that said Superwoman. I’ve learned to COMMUNICATE, (gasp!). So I asked for help in my sock-sorting. This principle of asking for help applies in every area of life.

  3. When things have passed their time of usefulness, toss them. I had several, well, lots, of individual socks who had lost their mate. I hate throwing away a perfectly good sock when I know that all the while, it’s mate is under a bed or sofa somewhere. But today, I did it. I threw them away. After all, if a sock has not found it’s mate in a year, it’s probably not gonna happen. All women know that there is a monster that lives in our washing machines which eats, yes, eats socks – but never two of the same kind. This monster has a strange one-sock type of diet.

    This idea of tossing things which have passed their season of usefulness includes wrong ways of thinking and relating that most of us have taken up, many times unknowingly.

  4. Sorting things out can require insight from someone else. I called in the family and asked them to identify whose socks were whose, which ones were too little, etc. It was so much easier asking than guessing. (by the way, I so admire the women who have the gumption to throw all of the families socks away and start over, demanding that every child, husband, etc., have only one type of matching sock – or the women I’ve heard of who actually pin the dirty socks together before they go into the laundry and other such tales straight out of Proverbs 31).

  5. You need a lot of light to make the more difficult decisions. I always leave our darkest socks for last, although I imagine that the more godly among you probably take them on first. But not me. I wait. I mean, how many shades of navy and black and brown are there? I take the dark socks into the lightest place in our home, sometimes comparing black socks to navy socks to figure out which is which. It’s that way in the spiritual as well. Light dispels darkness and clarifies the tough stuff.

  6. Conquering one undesirable task strengthens you to take on another one. After planting the flag of victory on top of my empty baskets, I moved right on to one of the top drawers in my kitchen! So it is in the spiritual as well although we don’t really “conquer” most spiritual things; we just secure one victory at a time, most of which have to be fought again and again just in different ways. However, when I’ve fought one spiritual battle and then face a similar one, my faith tells me that I can do it.

Well, I suppose I could go on and on, but there is a load of laundry waiting to be taken out of the dryer. And there will be more socks in there I’m sure. Maybe I’ll just go ahead and match them right now, after all, I can do all things through Christ.

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  1. Duane Carter says:

    This is great Mikki!! My favorite line though is how God often speaks in the most unspiritual moments. I love that! I guess another way to see that is that every moment is a spiritual one :). Keep this up!

  2. Marie says:

    Great encouragement, practically and spiritually! Way to ‘sock it to me’!

  3. Kimberly Standridge says:

    I must say, I am so proud! I have to admit going through socks is one of the most dreaded of all household tasks. I mean why would companies make 12 different types of ankle socks anyway? Congratulations. Love you.

  4. What a great post! At first read one might be tempted to think that this post is about socks. It’s not. This post is about purifying the small details in life that get in the way of our spiritual connection with our Creator. I Love Love Love the lessons outlined in this post.

  5. Cathleen says:

    I am so thankful to have socks that need to be matched up. Grin.

  6. Natalie says:

    Your words are always such a blessing and so full of truth. Thank you for sharing!

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