Bleach and Blunders

positive thinking tip: Even a laundry room catastrophe can teach a valuable life lesson.

Big MistakeWhen my oldest son was seventeen, he was given the assignment to do the family laundry for a solid week.

With nine people in the household, that is no small task – especially when (at the time) the laundry room had no folding tables, and no floor space unless you stepped on the piles of clothing waiting to be processed.

(We eventually remodeled to remedy the problem, but I thought you should have a visual of what my son was up against.)

While he was at school, and realizing that he was too busy to keep up on all of it, I helped fold and put things away.  Occasionally, I’d notice an article of clothing that didn’t look quite right.  There were swirly designs on certain shirts, and faded spots on certain pants.

I asked him, “Honey, are you using bleach on the colors?”

“No, mom; I’m only using detergent.”

I thought, “That’s really strange.  Maybe our washer is acting up again; maybe it’s holding bleach from previous white loads and releasing it into the colored loads.”

Finally on the last day of his assignment, he pulled out one of his favorite shirts.  It was navy, but the sleeves were now light brown.

He exclaimed, “What is going on?!  That was one of my favorite shirts!”

“Are you sure you’re not using bleach?”

He pulled me into the laundry room and showed me the detergent.  Or, at least what he thought was detergent.  Sure enough, it was bleach.

He thought the loads would run better if he used the liquid detergent instead of the powder.  However, as he finally realized to his horror: it was not liquid detergent after all.

He had washed an entire week’s worth of laundry for nine people in NOTHING but bleach!

(No wonder why they didn’t have that springtime-fresh smell!)

Here’s what I gained from that experience – besides a few new items of clothing – I noticed that his blunder didn’t get his attention until something meaningful to HIM was affected.

The same goes for our lives and the laws of success.

We might go around violating certain principles, possibly even unintentionally causing pain for those around us, but until our blunders affect something meaningful to US, we may not care or pay any attention.

However, life has a way of getting our attention, and putting us in a position to where we start asking the right questions.

But how much better would it be to remain in learning mode – discovering ALL the principles of prosperity, and practice living by them, even when things are going pretty well, so that we might avoid personal catastrophes meant to teach us the lessons we may be unknowingly disregarding?

Pay attention when that inner voice speaks up and suggests there may be something more to learn.

If it comes and you disregard it, God just may allow you to lose your shirt, so that he can get your attention and so you’ll start asking the right questions.  Sometimes that’s what it takes in order for you to be receptive to the simple adjustment He hopes you’ll make, so that you can live life a little more abundantly.

I think we’re first given hints, a subtle nudge from that inner voice, like when I asked my son if he was doing something wrong.  If we don’t pick up on the hints life sends our way, then we’re on a collision course with an experience that will really get our attention.

Leslie Householder
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Leslie Householder

Leslie is the award-winning, best selling author of The Jackrabbit Factor: Why You Can, Hidden Treasures: Heaven's Astonishing Help With Your Money Matters, and Portal to Genius (all FREE downloads!). She aims to help you crush every challenge, achieve every goal, and vanquish every monster under your bed. Above all, Leslie is a dedicated wife and mother of seven children.
Leslie Householder
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2 thoughts on “Bleach and Blunders

  1. I enjoyed the story. Having 4 kids of my own, I know that you REALLY have their attention when it’s something important to them… The thing I struggle with is defining WHICH lesson to learn as there always seems to be more than 1 lesson available in each experience? I seem to get a little flustered working through each lesson trying to decipher which one was the most important to learn from so I don’t put “bleach” in the next time instead of powder????? Thanks for relating the experience though, definitely food for thought…

  2. I LOVE this story!! I work with the Young Women in our church, and this story will be an awesome object lesson to an upcoming lesson! Thanks for sharing!

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