Thursday, July 29, 2021


Watchman on the Wall – Lesson from a washing machine

Loraine Joy | Community Columnist

As a young mother with a 2-year-old and a baby, life can get pretty hectic. I loved being a mom, learning to cook, taking the children to the park, and being involved in the Women’s Ministries at church in Citrus Heights. I had volunteered to be the correspondence secretary and write the missionaries and report back any news or needs they had. 

I loved my home with its Koi pond in the backyard, built-in barbecue, play area for the little ones, and enough room for all to play. The one hitch was THE WASHING MACHINE. When it went to its rinse cycle, you had to run and shut it off or water poured out on the floor. Having two rinse cycles and multiple washes a week, it could get pretty hectic. 

One day in the midst of washing the clothes, doing the dishes, changing the diapers, putting children down for naps, cleaning the house, I had already missed two cycles. That meant an extra load of wash for all the towels I used to mop up the mess. 

Then spill-over number three! I really missed it that time. Not only was the kitchen flooded completely, but it had spilled over into the dining room and down the hall, soaking part of the rug. That did it. I’d had enough. This was too much. I AM NOT PICKING UP THIS MESS. I was crying and screaming (under my breath since the children were napping). I left the water everywhere and walked out.

I heard the mailman arrive, went and got the mail and sat down to read it. The usual bills, magazines, and a letter from our missionary in South Korea. My church was supporting an orphanage there, and I loved getting their letters with anecdotes and pictures. I eagerly opened this letter wanting some relief from the horrible stress of being an overworked mom. I began to read . . . “South Korea has been experiencing some of the worst flooding in recorded history. I’m sorry to say that the orphanage was completely flooded. Almost everything at the home and school has been lost, but we are praising our Lord because all of the children were spared. Not one of them harmed. Please keep us in your prayers as we begin to rebuild.” It was signed by the director of the orphanage. 

I held that letter to my chest, and the tears began to spill down my cheeks. Such devastation, such loss. I felt so ashamed as I looked about my lovely home. I had electricity, running water, two healthy children, a church family to support me, friends and family, my car, and the list went on and on as I began to pray out my gratitude and ask forgiveness for my immaturity and childishness over some spilt water. 

I got up, put the mail away, grabbed more towels, and began to sop up the water after learning my lesson from a washing machine.■

— Loraine Joy is a small business owner and Arbuckle resident. Contact Loraine at

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