Thursday, April 11, 2013


Call me butter cause I'm on a roll!

Today I went to the microwave and set the timer for thirty minutes.  Except that I didn't push the timer button, I pushed the "cook time" button.  It was down to 23 minutes when I walked back by.  I stopped the cooking and when I did, the thing lost power.  Thankfully it came back on after a little while.  Whew.

A week ago I was working in a flower bed, about to break for a moment, when I thrust my pitchfork down into the soft earth beside me.  Except that I forgot where I keep my feet and instead of stabbing the earth slammed the fork down onto my foot.  It went through the rubber boot but only left a small cut on my skin.  Initially I thought I'd broken my foot.  I was relieved to find I could still walk.  Whew.

Sunday I lost my phone.  I looked everywhere.  Except behind the pillow (the round one the boys use as a Frisbee) on the chair you would never expect could hide a phone.  Monday morning I found it.  Whew.

Ten o'clock yesterday morning, after dentist appointments (at which all the kids were declared cavity free.  I'll take a pat on the back thank you.) I pulled into the driveway, looked out across the lawn and thought I really should do some yard work before the storm hits.  The internet said it could start raining as early as noon, so I needed to hurry.  In the 7 seconds it took to cruise from my mailbox to the house my mind voluntarily ran through 8 or 10 things I needed to accomplish in the next two hours.  Besides that, it was time for Brady to nap.  What better time to get things done.

First thing was to put the sleepy child in bed.  I lay him down then jog back down the stairs.  Coming down into the kitchen I look at the sink and think, "I've got to get that chicken out of the freezer.  Otherwise no dinner."  I stop up the sink, turn on the water and set the two packages of chicken breast down into the water.  While standing at the sink, I turn and see Austin.  Austin, the two-year-old underwearing little boy who has stayed dry for 4 hours. (We had a pretty major setback in our potty training after a super fun visit to the grandparents so I was proud of 4 hours.) 

"Austin, let's go potty.  Hurry to the bathroom."  It seemed like a good idea to use the time while the sink was filling up with water to take Austin potty.  Efficient.  I like to be efficient.  It doesn't take but a moment to pull down his drawers and lift him to the seat.

Maybe I need some medication, maybe I just need to take on less, but by the time I took 5 steps toward the bathroom, the last thing on my mind was the water running in the kitchen sink.

I got Austin fixed up then turned toward the front door and walked outside. 

Outside!  I love being outside.  I was looking forward to getting the riding mower running (it hadn't been started in a couple months) and the battery had died.  Dad told me how to jump it off with the van so that was my plan.  I push it out of the garage, jump it off, let it run for... at least 5 minutes, drive around to the front where I was going to hook up the cart full of yard debris and haul it to the woods.  The mower died when I got off of it (why do they make them do this???)  I tried to start it back up but the battery wasn't strong enough yet.  Sigh...  I push the thing back over to the van, pull out the jumper cables, jump it off again.  This time I left it running while I walked a few feet away to the flower bed to pull weeds while waiting.  I made sure to keep myself between the running mower and the children. 

A couple minutes later Ty runs out to me:  "Mom!  .... water.... I turned it off.... everywhere..."
I couldn't really hear him cause of my bad hearing and the fact that the mower was running behind me.

"OK Ty, thanks."  I say.

He stands there a second then turns around and walks off. I go back to my weeds.

Pulling weeds, pulling weeds, wow they come up so fast don't they... I think about which bed I'm going to put the mulch in, how I should plan on tackling the unwelcome monkey grass I have sprouting up everywhere...

Ty walks back up, interrupting my thoughts and says: "Mom, the water is still all over the floor and it's spreading out everywhere."

Guess what scene flashes back into my mind.

"Ah!"  I gasp.  "The kitchen!"

I jump up, turn off the mower (thank goodness I have some sense left), and run into the house.


I see it as soon as I open the door.  Apparently the floor slopes down toward the garage.  I grab towels and soak up the water running along the baseboard and into the laundry room.  The next 10 minutes are kind of blurry in my memory. However, I do remember that I sprang to action.  I threw down towels, dried up what I could see than began investigating where the rest of the water could be.  I pull out the stove.  I walk outside.  I look in the laundry room and under the water heater. 

Then it began to sink it.  I sat on a step stool in the kitchen, rested my chin on my fist and thought: "I've ruined my house.  We are going to have to find a new place to live.  This water, the water that was pouring out of the sink for 15-20 minutes is somewhere, probably under the cabinets pooling, waiting to grow mold and ruin drywall."  I felt myself sinking.  My confidence was taking a nose dive.  I was like the book "The Little Engine that Could" read backwards.  I had started off with: "I thought I could" moved down to "I think I can" to "I'll never get to the good little boys and girl on the other side of the mountain."  Haven't read the book?  Oh nevermind then.

Not knowing what to do, I called mom.  She gave me hope and calmed me down a little.

I texted 7 friends who live relatively close asking them if any had fans I could borrow to dry out my kitchen. 

Immediately I got a couple responses.  Two offered to bring fans over.

Corrie arrived first.  I was still not sure what else to do at this point.  So when she walked in I was standing there in the kitchen just looking.  I told her what had happened.  We talked about what to do next.  She said she was sorry this happened then asked if there was anything else I needed.  "A husband,"  I said, half-jokingly.  Then the tears came.  I stood there and cried while Corrie hugged me. 

I felt momentarily defeated.  I felt tired.  I'd been working hard for three months to keep things together around here while Mike was away with the air force.  Honestly I thought I'd been doing pretty well.  We'd held up fine, the children seemed happy, I was content in my role and God had been giving me strength to do the work that had to be done.

Through this military wife gig I've learned that when you have something tough in front of you, you just take a deep breath and do it.  People have told me, "I don't know how you do it when your husband deploys."  Well, you just do it.  I always respond with, you'd just do it too if you had to.  I can't describe it better than putting on your game face.  There's no place for weakness and failure isn't an option.  You get up and do. 

But then, in the midst of the deployment, there never fails to be moments like this.  Moments when you feel like you've failed and the persona you put on in order to survive deflates like a balloon.  So you cry --sometimes for a long time.

Then you blow your nose and you feel better.  You get up and again begin to do.  At least this is how it always goes for me.  Maybe it's not like this for everybody.  Resolve is one thing, but how far does that take you?

I think it's my Jesus that is picking me back up.

It's when I am at my weakest that He reminds me He is near.  He whispers, "It's ok."  He holds me while I cry.  He so gently shows me He loves me.  He reminds me, "I'm your strength."

He does it every time.  He did it yesterday.

Yesterday He used his Church.

I got texts or phone calls from each person I messaged.  Two dropped everything to come help.  Three told me they were praying.  Two called and asked what more I needed.  One cooked my family dinner.  Corrie even let me borrow her husband.

I felt loved.

That evening, as the fans blew the cabinets, I sat on the couch and with great joy in my heart, praised the Lord for his goodness to me.  I thanked him for his provision.  I thanked him for an understanding husband who cared more about my well being than his house I almost ruined. I thanked him for his church and what a gift it is to those who follow him.  I thanked him for Ty (who discovered the water). 

I did something foolish yesterday, but God (as He always does) took the opportunity to flood me with his mercy (pun intended).   


No comments: