We are semi-camping in our house right now. A plumbing issue has left us without use of our washing machine, kitchen sink and guest bathroom for about a week and a half thus far. It's likely that this is going to be a costly fix. Like really costly. Bill Gates would probably close off that wing of his house to save on that kind of cash. Ok, so it's not tragic and we can swing it, but we are not happy about it.
Although the thought of having to spend that kind of money was staggering to me, what scared me more was going through an inestimable amount of time without a kitchen sink and washing machine with two littles. You can tell that I have both a love for adventure and that my priorities are in line.
We've had different plumbing companies in and out of the house for the past week making bids and killing naps. One to three PM seems like the best time to bang on pipes in the echoing hallway between two sleeping toddlers. Sigh. Anyway, we've been doing ok with it all. I'm now personally acquainted with several of my friends' washing machines and I plan to meet a few more over the course of the week. Talk about airing your dirty laundry. I'm trying to spread out our laundry needs so as not to over burden one person (cough, Phylis). Also, if anyone finds a pink Ariel sock in Katy, Texas - it's ours.
Speaking of Ariel socks, my daughter has had to confront personal challenges of her own this week due to a slower laundry pace. Her almost daily pink polk-a-dot dress is not always clean and mom is not making a trek to someone's house just to wash said dress. The struggle is real, folks. Is it ok to use the phrase '#firstworldproblems' with your three year old? Numerous teachable moments. Ahem.
I have also become a Dish Nazi. The children are limited to a daily sippy cup and if I so much as hear the utensil drawer opening, I immediately break into a high-pitched yell. Think battle cry. There is a dish ban in effect, folks. The Dish Nazi is watching. Currently, we're washing dishes in a little tub in our bathroom and rinsing in the bathroom sink. (The toilet is in another room, people, so we're staying sanitary here. I know what you're thinking. I'm a germaphobe so believe me, I'm on the lookout. Joey thinks I should be committed for my fear of raw chicken [this is a healthy fear, fear the chicken]).
Our friends and church family are awesome. They've invited us over for dinner, made no clean up meals for us, offered their laundry rooms and homes and are constantly praying for this issue with us. Such a blessing.
We've really been doing ok with everything, but today I reached my limit. It's the tiniest of things that can throw me sometimes. I was driving home from Bible study...this is so weird y'all...and my one year old started screaming in the back seat. Fortunately at a red light, I was able to look back. He had several giant ants crawling on his body. Claire had them on her too. I immediately pulled into a parking lot and got both kids out of the car, getting ants all over me as well. Keaton had them on his face! When I got us all dusted off I looked into both car seats and saw several of these large ants. They were fast and looked like large fire ants (They were the size of tree ants, but looked different. Any ants on my babies are treated as venomous). I have no idea how these ants got in my car. I'm wondering if one of the kids brought a stick or branch into the car with ants/eggs. This is also how we had an asp in our car not long ago too. I am now instituting a mandatory pat down before entering to make sure wildlife is not included.
No one was bitten thankfully. I couldn't clean out the car seats without putting my one year old down and we were in a busy parking lot. Thankfully, I wasn't too far from the church and my friend came to our rescue by watching the kids while I searched for and killed the ants. Poor Keats was traumatized and refused to get back in his car seat without a serious wailing fight (I don't blame him) so we ended up eating lunch at Target until the fear passed away and I could get him back in a car seat. Poor little guy is still suffering a little Ant PTSD on our second outing today.
Getting into my car I stepped on a blob of sticky red gum and smeared it everywhere. The gum did it. I didn't lose it with tears, but I was mentally done. I put my head on the steering wheel and said God, I just need something to be easy!
Thankfully, his grace is always sufficient and perfect in my weakness. God reminded me of what I had just witnessed that morning. How quickly I forgot. A woman who is a refugee from a Middle Eastern country joined our Bible study today. She shared with us how she fled from her country because of intense religious persecution. Thinking about this reminded me of another woman of faith in our group who escaped becoming a child bride in her home country by the grace of God. And here I am, wallowing in my tiny issues of comfort. All because of gum on my shoe.
Laura Story's Blessings came on the radio:
We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things
'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless night
Are what it takes to know You're near?
What if trials of this life
Are your mercies in disguise?
We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
And all the while You hear each desperate plea
And long that we have faith to believe
Thankfully, God's response to my cries - even those that are so small- isn't "#firstworldproblems, deal with it". Sometimes I'm not too far off from a little girl who stomps her foot because she can't wear her favorite dress each day. He gently reminds me of those who are going through so much for his name and yet, he doesn't dismiss my somewhat trivial concerns. In fact, he welcomes them and invites me to lay them at his feet. He is sweet to give perspective when we can't seem to see past our own self.
I wish I could say the day was all roses after I snapped to, but I have had to purposefully fight for perspective all day. Come what may - from gum on both shoes to Godzilla Ants in hair, my prayer is that my perspective becomes His. Come what may. And long that we have faith to believe.