The persistent rain outside my Grandma’s kitchen window was teamed with a grey cloudy day.
A perfect day for laundry.
She had a weekly laundry schedule, but somehow these kind of days were absolutely perfect for spending the day in Grandma’s laundry room, at least for me, because I wasn’t on a schedule.
The single, incandescent bulb sat there against the wooden unfinished ceiling amidst the white wires threading their way through the 2 x 6 boards.
The room was small and quaint, just as I preferred it. Grandma’s washing machine and dryer we’re tucked neatly into one corner alongside a large wash basin sitting on a painted robin egg blue floor… so homemade multi coloured “bucha” it was for my little feet. (German for “knitted slippers.”)
Some of Grandpa’s things lived in this room also, along with some of grandma’s summer bowls and buckets reserved for the garden which had made their way in during the harvest. Grandpa’s potato buckets had its rightful spot alongside grandma’s ground cherry bowls, pale green in colour.
Grandpa’s grey and white farmhouse gloves, lived on neatly built shelves… a necessity for so many projects in his life, inside and out. Grandma’s neatly piled laundry dotted the floor. It was sorted to perfection.
It was a place my young heart loved as a child. But my most favourite spot was a small 60s chrome table with 1940’s plastic pattern covered chairs, tucked in on three sides.
I loved sitting here with my pencil and scribblers. It was all I needed as grandma went about her “wash day”.
My favourite of all, were the pictures this favourite laundry room of mine had. A smaller 5 x 7 picture of a Clear Lake sunset, taken by my grandma, was framed in the 70s gold frame. She loved taking pictures. So did I. Still do. I got lost in this picture every time. It was my happy place.
A little to the left was a large off white wooden frame with a relaxing winter scene with a frozen pond in the middle, with the moon dancing on every part of it, the snow bank glistening majestically.
It now hangs in my laundry room many years later… a treasured memory.
The ever infamous framed picture of two young children, a boy and a girl holding onto each other, walking over a bridge at night with boards missing and an angel, a large Angel with big wings and a very compassionate face, floating right behind them in their protection. It always brought much comfort to me staring into that picture.
But the thing I remember the most was a small plastic like ceramic, yellow gold plaque with the words:
My grace is sufficient for thee
hanging on a single sturdy nail my grandpa had aligned perfectly between the raw 2 x 4 walls.
I’m very sure I didn’t understand what that really meant at my tender age.
My grandma and grandpa came to a relationship with God as young adults in one summer afternoon. One experienced it in the farmhouse and one in the field, a short mile away.
I came to know many years later that many letters, written on onion thin airplane paper of the 1970s, held some heartache as they travelled to East Germany behind the Wall for many years.
The family stories of uncles suffering incessantly in Russian concentration camps, and their wives suffering… being left behind, taking care of the homesteads and sometimes almost starving to death not knowing when the days of suffering would be over.
For many years, I would have never known the hardships and horrors these things would have left in their hearts. Perhaps the nightly kneeling in opposite sides of Grandma and Grandpa’s double bed, heads bowed in their folded hands, German prayers quietly coming from their mouth, were where their strong source came from.
Atendance at weekly Sunday services in our local small town church and Sunday morning home visits Grandma and Grandpa would make on Sunday as representatives of the church, gave hope to so many in the less than formal spiritual care.
Many years later, I would have opportunity to experience There’s sufficient grace. etched in that small ceramic plaque.
Raising four beautiful daughters and the life of parenting and what that all encompasses, A marriage that has encroached on 35 years, would need much sufficient Grace and all of life in between, grace in my daily falters with just my walk was my God as I knew him. Grace in my relationships and Grace to love others and most of all… myself.
Grace to Love me.
Little did I know, gazing at the small plastic plaque, what those words would come to mean to me many years later.
Those special moments of that small, but happy laundry room, still bring much warmth to my heart, but the memory of that plaque would forever remain something etched in my mind and heart.
Those short but powerful words have taken on a whole new meaning to me for me now many many years later.
It now hangs proudly in my laundry room.
My God has promised and has followed through on this of many promises in His Word…. And he continues to tell me…
My grace is sufficient for thee.