Socks and Everything

Lisa-Wingate-porchpicthumb65-1Happy Monday everyone! Here on the porch in Central Texas, the sky is clear, the screens are open, and a gentle Indian summer breeze is combing the winter-bare trees. It’s a good day to sit, and chat, and enjoy.

Valentines weekend turned out to be a man-child weekend around the Wingate house. A conspiring of events brought the college boy home all weekend, and our hard-working #1 son showed up on Sunday, along with his sweetheart. As family life drifts farther and farther into the grownup realm, it’s a special treat when everyone ends up here at once.

It’s my favorite kind of day.

If there was anyone in the house who enjoyed the busy weekend more than the mama of the house, it was Huckleberry, the new ENTP (Empty Nest Therapy Pup). For Huck, there’s just nothing better than having the big boys to play with. It’s a chance to deploy fun new skills, like the early-morning-stealth-pounce, the sly-shoe-steal, the superspeed-out-the-front-door-escape, the soda-bottle-taste-test, the-lap-plate-tongue-swipe.


Ah, yes, the lap-plate-tongue-swipe… scrambled egg sandwich only inches away…

The manchildren have the most delightful habit of leaving things where a pup a very small stature can reach them.


A typical manchild room in a state of weekend occupation. Doesn’t this look like puppy fun?

The coup de grace of these delightful items seems to be the amazing, the glorious, the fun and fascinatingly funky… used manchild sock. Huckleberry can steal one of these and disappear with it faster than a manchild can turn around and say, “Where’s my other sock? Hey… Huckleberry!” (Yes, manchild #2 has been known to recycle socks more than one day.  In fact, he seems to treasure pre-worn foot gear almost as much as Huckleberry does.)


Don’t let that cute look fool you. No sock is safe here.

So, early Sunday morning, the War Of the Socks turned epic over a pair of black baseball crews that had been to both a sweaty umpiring clinic and a fishing excursion. Suffice to say that said socks could be detected solely by scent, even in a fairly large room. No matter how fast the manchild was, Huckleberry was faster. If the manchild managed to recover one sock, Huckleberry made a strafing run through the bedroom and snatched the other. If the manchild offered toys and clean socks in exchange, Huckleberry was uninterested. The manchild’s most vile creation was, weirdly enough, the object of Huckleberry’s greatest desire.

An odd parallel came to me amid the smell of dirty socks and clatter of running feet and scrambling puppy.

Please remember, I said this is an odd parallel, but

This, I realized, is the battle we fight on a soul-deep level every day. Not with dirty laundry, but with the dirty pieces of ourselves. God is our adversary in the war of the soul-socks. He’s after our dirty laundry. He seeks it in our hearts and souls, and finds it, and we keep trying to take it back, to substitute something cleaner. We offer up things that are already washed and folded and prepared. We try to tell God the dirty stuff isn’t what he wants.

Yet, he does. He loves us so much that nothing is too filthy, too stained, too smelly. God seeks after the parts of us that carry, down to the very fibers, the soil of this world.

Which brought to mind this video, since we’re on the subject of manchildren.  Those of you who’ve been following the blog a while may recognize the bearded manchild in this drama set to Lifehouse’s Everything.  Though not a word is spoken in this performance, there’s so much truth here. It makes me cry every time.


Lisa Wingate



To learn more about Lisa Wingate’s books, click here.

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Selected among BOOKLIST'S Top 10 of 2012 and Top 10 of 2013, Lisa Wingate weaves Southern settings with elements of women's fiction, history, and mystery to create stories that Publisher's Weekly calls "Masterful" and Library Journal refers to as "Lyrical and beautiful." She is a seven-time Carol Award nominee, and a two-time Carol Award winner. She once dreamed of making the Olympics and winning the National Finals Rodeo, but was thwarted by an inability to do a back flip on the balance beam and parents who wouldn't finance a rodeo career, so she took her first-grade teacher's advice and became a writer instead ;)

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    • Lisa Wingate says

      Yes, I know… dirty socks… who would think, but when you live in a house full of men and man-children, you have to take your epiphanies where you can find them.

      Glad you enjoyed the video. I was too busy crying to video tape when they performed the skit — luckily I found out later that someone had taped it!

  1. says

    Yesterday, our pastor spoke on tearing off our grave clothes, no matter of how they might smell or how vulnerable we might feel without them. I think your analogy is right on target, Lisa; I love how God speaks to us through everyday things. It keeps us attuned to that still, small voice. So happy you had a wonderful weekend with your manchildren! :)

    • Lisa Wingate says

      Thank you, Jolina! It was a wonderful weekend. I never realized how much I would miss all those manchild shoes piled by the door… until there were no shoes piled there anymore.

  2. Nicole Seitz says

    Loved this, Lisa. My boy-child is still a boy, but it gives me great pleasure to realize he will always be my child, even when he’s a man-child. I’m claiming that one!

    • Lisa Wingate says

      Oh, yes, that boy will always be your child, even when he is a man. I’m sure the daughters are amazing, but the mother-son bond is a sweet one, too. And it stays sweet now matter how much they grow 😉

  3. says

    That’s one of my favorite “performances” … our youth did it too.
    On another note, this is our anniversary weekend as well … and our oldest daughter and her family came. Which brought our youngest daughter and her family OVER. There’s an entire side of the house I don’t even want to look at, much less photograph! LOL

    • Lisa Wingate says

      LOL! Eva, I haven’t been in the manchild room yet to see how much of the mess is still there.

      So glad you had a wonderful weekend with girls and families. What a blessing!

  4. says

    Lisa, I’ve seen this enacted before and, like you, I cry every time she reaches for the Answer.

    Love the sock analogy and how we try to hold onto the dirty stuff as if it’s a treasure! :) Wonderful words today. Thank you for them, girl!

  5. Laura Lou Bashlor says

    I will never look at a pair of my son’s dirty socks again the same old way. I can’t wait to share your insights with him. He will appreciate it as much as I treasure it.

  6. says

    I loved the message you shared from the dirty socks, your man child, and Huck, pointing to God! The video is one of those awesome ones I want everyone to see. Thank you for sharing your faith and your family with us.

    • Lisa Wingate says

      Hi Cindy! It’s so good to see your smiling face here. Thank you for sharing the porch with us. I’m so glad the message of the manchild socks makes sense to other people — when I put it on the blog I was a little worried people might think I’d gone ’round the bend.

      Who would think God uses dirty socks, too 😉

      Hugs and blessings!

  7. Eyedee says

    :). Hopefully I will be smiling and writing when my 3 boys become “man-child” as well. The messy room now is phew!

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