Love folds and chooses and remembers and smiles

by Craig on October 3, 2011

1 cor 13 love - gitzngirl-Sara Frankle-choose joy-dyingsource

It’s a little thing…
and I won’t stop doing it…
because it’s like gobbling up little dots of happy…
Only a handful of people even know I do it.
And now you’ll know too.

As a kid I didn’t want to do it.
I hated it.
I grumbled.

She said it was the right way.

I complained that it took too long.
She said, “Anything worth doing is worth doing well.”

So I argued it wasn’t well. It didn’t make sense

She told me it was because they fit better in the closet.
I said. “Every closet we’ve ever had?”

*We had at least six different closets in 3 different states.*

But all debate ceases when the trump card is played…

1 cor 13 love - gitzngirl-Sara Frankle-choose joy-dyingsource

Meh.

So I took each towel…
tag on the inside…
folded it in half…
then in thirds…
then in half again…
the mom tri-fold…
it was her thing.

And my mom is gone from this earth…
and I still do it…
and it makes me think of her…
and I smile every time.

Every. Time.

I never made any grand promise that I would do it. I just remember the very first time after she was gone. And I didn’t think about it. I just…

took each towel…
tag on the inside…
folded it in half…
then in thirds…
then in half again..

1 cor 13 love - gitzngirl-Sara Frankle-choose joy-dying

I did her thing.

And I smiled.

And Sara is gone now.

And I don’t know how she folded her towels.
But I know her thing.

1 cor 13 love - gitzngirl-Sara Frankle-choose joy-dying

And I immediately want to say, because she’s gone, that I will choose joy now, for the rest of my life, in memory of her, to carry on her legacy, to honor her life. But love doesn’t  over-promise and under-deliver.

so I I’ll just do it like the towels…
and not think it to death…
just do it and get two smiles…
one, because it makes the bitter a little sweeter…
and two, because I’ll remember…
and that’s worth a smile too.

And yesterday I had one of those days where everything went wrong.

A bunch of things.

And negative thoughts…

A bunch of them.

And I thought of all the negative feelings and ways to look at everything…
and I jotted them down on a pad from last year’s blissdom conference…
and I thought of the positive ways, the “choose joy” ways to look at it all…
and I jotted them down…
and I kept the positive paper as is – and reread it a bit…
and I smiled…
and I thought, “Could it be this easy?”
and I wanted to crumple up the stupid negative list…
but instead…

just for fun…

I folded it in half…
then in thirds…
then in half again…

and I smiled.

and then I looked at it and saw this…

and how could I not smile about that?

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Cora October 3, 2011 at 10:44 am

I was taught to fold towels the same way. And I got a lot of practice, since there were 7 of us in the house. I’m not always that “routine”, because over the years, it seems that my towels are all different sizes. And I try to get the stacks to look even in the closet, so that means adjusting the folds. I’m not sure which is worse — different sized, folded towels in the closet, or different fold patterns!!!!
But one routine that never changes is the way I do the ironing of shirts, pillowcases, etc. I was taught an order — first the collar, then the cuffs, then the sleeves. Then the shoulders. Then the fronts, and the back last. I had to do all my Dad’s shirts, all my brothers’, and . . . well. . . everybody’s ironing in the house. My job. And believe it or not, I sang through the hymnbook as I did it.
I have not always chosen joy. In fact, I used to think it was something that was given to you as a reward or a prize for being good, that it was passive and just happened. It has only been recently that I found out I could actually CHOOSE it without looking like I had a plaster cast of a smiley face!!!
Craig, I can understand the flood of negatives coming on you. I think of those horses on your wall (and mine!), and they are so familiar, and can sound like “friends” at times. They look comfortable and we seem to understand their language better than we do the language of love — especially when love brings tears, loss, separation and choices that are hard. Keep that folded paper! Fold a million of them if you have to. And I’ll keep ironing shirts and singing JOY songs!

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Craig October 3, 2011 at 3:57 pm

I still don’t get it – it makes no sense – the towel is a rectangle – so half and then half and then half should do it just fine – but it was my mom’s way – I’ll take my smiles anyway I can godly get them. Actually, if it weren’t for the smiles I get when I fold the towels – and just between you and me –shhhhhhhh- I wouldn’t fold among all – just roll them up and throw him in the closet. And just because you shared – I’ll share back my ironing – first the collar, then the front and back, then the sleeves, then the top part – I guess that’s the shoulders. Interesting huh? And my mom always – ALWAYS had a stack of ironing to do – and us rotten kids never lifted a finger. And I heart that folded paper – I heart the little miracles! God bless you Cora.

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Victoria October 3, 2011 at 11:32 am

I love a Godcidence.

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Craig October 3, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Godcidence.—- nice word Victoria – I may have to steal that sometime – and by the way – an interesting twist to the little Godcidence – the full line that you can’t see because of the fold is this – I’ll never have joy – and I shake my head as I reveal that to you – and I’m growing a little – because I don’t want to take it back – I just want to be honest. God bless you Victoria.

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Victoria October 3, 2011 at 11:41 pm

all the more interesting. ..and I appreciate your honesty.

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Sharon @ Hiking Toward Home October 3, 2011 at 1:01 pm

oh. my. I fold them that way too. and so does my mom.
I too was bombarded by those negatives yesterday.
I think I need to try your way next time.
I think I’ll also slow and remember to pray for you next time I fold towels.
:-)

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Craig October 3, 2011 at 4:03 pm

I think that’s hilarious – and that makes me smile – I’m smiling now, really, really, really big – and smiles have been rare this month – but it’s time to choose joy – and smiles are returning – and this one was sponsored by you my friend! And Sara said – it’s just as easy is having one set of feelings about something and another set of feelings about the same thing – and just choosing the one with more joy. She said, for her, it was Just. That. Simple. God bless you Sharon!

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Katie October 3, 2011 at 1:21 pm

:) I love how God works! My mom had us fold towels that way. My husband does it different and now it drives me crazy just like I drove my mom crazy not folding them that way. I now fold towels just like her.

Choosing Joy….I love how God works when we choose joy. I like how you listed the negative and then the choosing joy aspect… I think I will try that.

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Craig October 3, 2011 at 4:06 pm

goodness! Another crazy towel folding mama. And I know about how that drives you crazy – it drives me crazy now when I see a towel and its not folded the “right” way. It makes me smile that we share this in common. And the listing thing – I think I’m going to try that too – and I won’t fold up the negative list – next time I’ll just crumble it up and dump it – I have no problem remembering that part – but the positives? I’ll keep it – and read it – and read it – and read it. Thank you Katie, and God bless and keep you.

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Andrea Dawn October 3, 2011 at 7:00 pm

I do not fold towels the way my Mama does . . . I kinda developed my own style. An end to end fold and then the tri-fold. That’s it, unless it is a really big towel . . . then it gets the end to end, throw in another fold in the same direction and then the trifold. I love folding towels . . . always makes me smile.

Your folded paper makes me smile even bigger. Have joy, friend . . . it’s their for the choosing. And I will have a large helping myself!

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Craig October 4, 2011 at 2:04 pm

and Andrea Dawn, the description of your towel folding – I could barely keep up with it – I’m still not sure if I get it – and it made me smile. Thank you! And that trifold paper – I heart the little tiny miracles ツ and I don’t know if you read the comment above – but the full line there, that you can’t see because of the fold, was “I will never have joy”. I guess that must be wrong huh? we just have to choose. Thank you Andrea Dawn, and God bless you my friend.

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Mari October 3, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Ha! I love it! Love it when in seemingly insignificant ways God shows us the answers. What a blessing, that at that moment God spoke to you in such a tangible way “have joy”. Now I’m off to fold my towels =)

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Craig October 4, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Mari, one of the things that makes it easier and easier to believe – the longer we have a relationship with Our Lord – Are these petite miracles. Which is good, because the parting of the sea doesn’t happen very often ツ but these little touches of God on our life – they add up over the years – and they leave you with the feeling of – how can I NOT believe. Happy towel folding my friend – God bless you!

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Debbie October 3, 2011 at 7:42 pm

There is something so precious about all of this. Thank you. Joy was my word for the year, and I haven’t always chosen it. :( Pray that I think of this each time I want to be negative . . .and smile. God bless you as you choose joy and the mom fold!

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Craig October 4, 2011 at 2:08 pm

I had forgotten that was your word Debbie – and don’t worry – you have brought me a lot of joy ツ thank you Debbie – and as always – as always – God bless you!

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Tracie October 3, 2011 at 11:12 pm

This is so beautiful.

My mom taught me to fold towels the same way.

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Craig October 4, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Tracie, thank you, really, thank you. I heart that so many mamas taught this – I’m finding more all the time – it makes me smile even bigger. Happy towel folding! And God bless and keep you!

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