Being Scrubbed Clean

When we lived in Germany from 1955-1958 with the RCAF, life was not easy, especially the first 18 months. The town had been bombed to bits by the Canadians and here we were 10 years later trying to ‘keep the peace’ and were living in as wretched conditions as were many of the Germans. There were married quarters for Armed Forces personnel but they were not always available.

For those 18 months, we slept in a single bed…it was a cozy arrangement but my husband was prone to leg cramps and I got some nasty kicks sometimes. No hot water, no central heating, a coal fire in the kitchen to keep us warm and a scrubbing board hanging on the wall. Those were the days of cloth diapers and our baby was just four months old…get the picture?

I often think of that scrubbing board. The only nice thing about doing the laundry was that my hands were in the hot water (that I had heated on a 2-burner gas stove). It was the one time of the day when I was actually warm in that tiny apartment.

When I remember the years since, I can recall so many times life was like that scrubbing board…up and down and up and down. The baby caught whooping cough at ten months…scary! I became dreadfully ill with asthma and when we finally got into married quarters…it was like heaven on earth. Yes, life was a process of ups and downs, like using the scrubbing board.

Since then, like many of you, I have weathered various storms, moved many times, been broke, comfortable (but never affluent) and in all this took “my scrubbing”. In retrospect I can find reasons for all of what happened and certainly I have ‘grown’ through the process but at the time I wasn’t looking to be cleaned up, I just wanted to get out of the washtub (trouble) and get on with my life.

God really scrubbed me down with Harry’s death. I wondered at times if there would be anything left of me, but the warm water of His love carried me and I can see a learning curve in the whole process.

So, if you are being “scrubbed” right now, do not despair. Hopefully soon, the scrub-board can go back on the wall and you will better see what God’s plans are for your life.


About Patricia Schneider

Patricia Schneider is a proud mother and grandmother living in Alberta. Her articles are posted each Monday and Thursday. You can continue to follow her after December 1, 2016 on her new blog, Reflections by Pat (