I gave up ironing many years ago. It was a good decision;
not an easy one, but a good one. It wasn't easy because
I was raised to iron. In my growing up years my good mother
taught her daughters how to iron. We ironed everything in
sight, from t-shirts to dress clothes. It also wasn't easy to give
up because I enjoy ironing. Ironing gives a person lots of room to
exercize thinking and dreaming; and therein lies the root
problem to my ironing and the ultimate reason I gave it up.
My nephew, Paul, from Orlando, was visiting Mayberry last
week. He is twenty-something, a wonderful christian man,
and lots of fun to be around. He is also the reason I gave up
ironing so many years ago. It all ties together, and his visit
just reminded me of the whole story.
Many years ago, somewhere around 23, I was standing in the
living room of our little duplex and I was ironing. I was also
pregnant and perhaps a wee bit hormonal. As usual, there was
a nice big basket of clothes that needed to have the wrinkles
lovingly smoothed out of them, and, as I was ironing, I began to
My brother and his wife had just signed on with Campus Crusade,
they wanted to go to Africa, but Crusade had need of them in
their main office, which was in San Bernadino, CA at the time. So
Mike and Debby were preparing to leave for CA, which is a good
four day drive from Missouri. I was mulling all this over while I
was pressing the warm iron to Kent's shirts. Then I started to
think about Paul and I imagined him all grown up. He, in my
daydream (which seemed so real to me at the time), was the one
to be called to Africa. I went through every detail of him preparing
to leave and then actually getting on the airplane to fly away from
his family and friends. Now, please realize this, Paul Michael was
only, maybe, 2 or 3 at this when time I was imagining his life away.
I had to quit ironing because I was soon crying so hard that I
couldn't see the clothes on the ironing board. Kent came home
to a wife who was sobbing her heart out over an incident that
was tricked out of her own imagination and which, even if it were
to come to pass, was twenty-something years in the future.
I missed Mike and Deb and family, and continue to miss them as
they have had to live far from the home base all these years. I missed
my sister, Becky, and her family, when they spent seven years in
the Philippines as church planters. I ached over missing them. Being
mission minded myself, and believing with all my heart they were
doing God's work there didn't take away the missing. But I must
admit that I have never in my life missed anyone as much as I
missed my nephew Paul when he got on that plane in my daydream.
So, there was only one thing I could do. I gave up ironing, except, in
emergency situations, like Sunday getting ready for Meeting times.
You know, I kind of miss those hours of daydreaming. Maybe I'll
take it up again in my old age. That isn't so far off, now that I think