Today, I’m so pleased to introduce you to my dear friend Robin from Robin Kramer Writes. Robin and I share so much in common that we often joke that we are cross-border twins even though we’re born years apart (myself being the older of the two of us). Robin is a wonderfully talented, loving, and gracious spirit. Her heart for God shows in much of what she shares and I truly appreciate her friendship, wisdom, and insight.
Written in true head-nodding, soul-uplifting, it-can-only-be-Robin-Kramer-style, I hope you enjoy this skillfully and beautifully post from one of my dearest blogging friends.
My nine-year-old daughter wears mismatched socks by choice. Each morning she reaches into her sock drawer, finds two in whatever colors and patterns she fancies at the moment, and puts them on her feet.
She’s done this for two years. Clearly, she’s uncaged, a free-thinker in the narrow world of traditionally acceptable foot fashion.
Incidentally, each time I’ve folded the laundry these past two years, without even thinking I’ve still sorted her socks, found the separated mates, and joined them in harmonious reunion with one swift inverted tuck. (You know, so those matched socks would be easy to pull apart the next time she’s searching for two different ones to wear.)
One day this summer my daughter and I folded laundry side by side. She watched me sift through the clothes, sorting and pairing out of dutiful habit, and said, “You know that my socks don’t need to be matched like that, Mom.”
Such an obvious sentence, given her daily practice. But in my world — a world in which I thrive on structure and predictability, a world in which I like to straighten things (whether books on a shelf, a problem at work, or a relationship gone askew) — socks are matched when they come out of the dryer.
To leave socks unfolded would be to leave something incomplete, to let something that should be done undone.
But just like that, my nine-year-old gave me permission to drop the ball, to skip a step, to save a minute, to let something remain imperfect rather than making it just so.
I picked up the remaining loose socks, handed them to her with her other laundry, and yielded. “Here you go, then.”
How freeing, that relinquishing of sock-matching, once I was called out, once I accepted that I could. Life continues when socks are not matched!
And how challenging to apply this lesson to other areas of life. It’s easy to thrive on control, to crave order and peace in all those unwieldy situations and scenarios. It seems haphazard and unwise (negligent, even) to let go of a messy situation, place it entirely in someone else’s hands, and yield.
Yet this is what God calls us to do. He asks us to let go, to release our close-fisted grip of control over our lives and problems, and to trust that He is good and His hands are capable to reach into our assorted piles of stuff and bring clarity into the disarray.
Without our micromanaging. Without our intervention. Without our bouts of worry.
Truly, this was the best epiphany I’ve ever had about socks.
Since I’ve resigned from sock-folding, I’ve reclaimed minutes of life that otherwise would have been spent tarrying over laundry. (Multiply this over years and imagine what I could accomplish. I could read more novels. Learn a new language. Watch extra episodes of Chopped or Property Brothers. Endless possibilities!)
I’ve also lost something. That need to fold those socks — that niggling voice that admonishes “Just reach in and pair them, Robin; just pull things together like you should” — has lessened. This is good. The temptation to put my hands back on the very thing I just let go of is real, as anyone who’s ever laid a burden down before God and then lifted it back up to shoulder again will admit.
Multiply this relinquishing of our fears, worries, and problems over years. Imagine what we could accomplish, free and unburdened.
Even better yet, imagine how much God could accomplish in us — that special kind of sorting in our souls when He rights things that are wrong by pairing those loose pieces, or the unexplainable peace that He grants to us even when our visible circumstances seem to be a heaping, disorienting mess.
I’m grateful I have a daughter whose quirks rub against mine. We work like sandpaper: irritating and then ultimately smoothing each other’s rough edges.
As for God? I’ll let Him fold my disorganized socks. Or leave them unfolded. His preference, really.
Robin Kramer is a wife, mother of three, teacher of college public speaking and writing, author, and speaker. She blogs regularly about finding humor and faith in the ordinary moments of motherhood and life at:
Robin Kramer Writes www.robinkramerwrites.com