Folding Clothes…Finding Comfort

A recent phone conversation…

“What ‘cha doing?” Mother said.

“Folding clothes. I wish Thomas would pick up his stacks of clean clothes off the steps.”

“I always folded clothes sitting on our steps, remember? I sat there folding clothes in hopes that my four children and husband would pick up the correct pile and carry them upstairs. It seems reasonable, but no one did it–not even when I placed a polite note at the bottom step.”

“Yep, we ignored your note. His clothes keep getting knocked over. Why can’t he just pick them up?”

“When your daddy was dying with a brain tumor, only two things in life made sense. Giving  a signal to turn left or right when I drove and folding clothes. I loved getting an armful warm from the drier. The warmth was a comforting spirit.”

I sensed something sweet was happening.

“On good days, I would pray for each of you as I folded your clothes instead of grumble,” she said. “Sitting on the steps, I could see who was coming home out the living room window. Usually, at dusk. In retrospect, it’s good when people come home, even if you have to carry their clothes upstairs.”

She’s so right.

“Don’t look at his clothes when you walk up and down the steps. It’ll be over soon,” she said softly.

I folded a pair of Thomas’s jeans, slowly, lovingly, as though I’d never seen them. I placed the stacked clothes on the steps. “Lord, overshadow him when his wears these jeans. They’re his favorite ones.”

One day there’ll be no more clothes on the steps. I’ll miss them.

Thomas 18 years ago


Thomas high school graduation

“For this boy I prayed….” 1 Sam 1:27 (NAS)




  1. Brenda Osborne says:

    Very sweet post Julie. Folding clothes seems so simple, but when you don’t have to do it anymore
    it takes on a completely different meaning. There was a time in my busy life, with work , cooking,
    laundry and being a Mom to two boys, I would say, “Someday I am going to go live all by myself and get some peace and quiet.” Well, that time is here and it is very lonely!
    Time passes so quickly, enjoy your moments with your children because they will come to an end !
    Wishing you a happy and busy day~

    • I have a feeling that “some day” comes quicker than I know, Brenda. Like everything else in life. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. Much love to you today!

  2. What a wonderful perspective to take when folding and doing! Praying over the one who will wear them. Taking a chore and turning it into blessing and honor. Thanks for sharing this awesome story and lesson!! Blessings to you all!

  3. Thanks for another wonderful story, Julie. Very moving. Such timing too! Just yesterday I sat here looking at the pile of clean clothes my son had bunched up on a chair. He does his own laundry these days but doesn’t bother to fold. I was wanting to tell him to please fold him clothes neatly, but the day got away from us and I forgot about it. Now here I sit reading your story and to my left is that bunch of still unfolded clothes. I love the idea of praying for my family as I fold their clothes. Maybe I’ll fold them for him this time and pray as I do. Thanks again 🙂

    • Ohhh, Julie. Yes! That’s it. And my son can wash his clothes…but his room had gotten so messy, I decided to get busy. I bet you know the feeling. So glad you understand. We’ll be praying together as we fold. xoxo

  4. Helen Barlow says:

    Thanks for the thought. I will start praying for the person whose clothes I am folding. Yes, time does go by so fast. Cherish each moment.

  5. Mike Roberts says:

    Good day J ~
    I never gave much thought to folding clothes until Betty Jean passed away.
    She had five to “fold” for and I never heard her complain…..not once. I wonder
    if she prayed for us as she faithfully made life better for all of us…..I think she
    probably prayed for us as she folded our clothes.

    “Don’t look at his clothes when you walk up and down the steps. It’ll be over soon.”

    Thanks Julie for another well thought out and crafted story ~

    • Ohh, Mike. Knowing Betty Jean, I’m almost positive she prayed and folded. Especially since she never complained. Whew. How time changes the way we understand things.

      Thank you so much for reading, commenting, and caring.

  6. “…it’s good when people come home, even if you have to carry their clothes upstairs.” (your Mom’s quote) Wise words from a wise woman.

    I would fold all of my father’s clothes for him, and my mother’s too, if they were here to wear them. I would wash and fold my big dog’s blankets, if he were here to lie on them. I’m grateful for those I do have in my life, my wonderful husband who not only likes his clothes folded but put into his dresser drawers — and I’m happy to do this loving act for him. And for my new little rescue dog, Charlie Bear, I wash his blankets and take his freshly washed towel and fold it into the bottom of his crate so he has a cushy place to curl up.

    Thanks for the reminder of how we can show our love.

    • You’re right B.J. You used the word “grateful.” Gratitude changes everything. Even the so-called chore of folding clothes.

      I love you.

  7. Wonderful reminder J. I think almost every irritation becomes endearing when someone we love leaves this earth. And yes you did pray for your boy. Sweet memories-

    • So well put, Robin–almost every irritation becomes endearing. If I could only learn that NOW. We both prayed for our boys, didn’t we?

  8. You know what joy is to a mom? It’s when her grown child still lives at home but pays rent and does his own laundry! That’s PURE Mama joy! 😉

  9. Love this, Julie! Mama Joy!

  10. Love that comment. Says it all, Christy. Thank you for reading!!

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