"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

28 October 2008

In the Midst of Messes

Well, remember my post about how I wanted to just have a weekend at home, doing family things? I got my wish! Only it wasn't exactly the family time I had envisioned. Nope, not here at the T----- home. We had to call the above company on Sunday a.m. Yeah. Can you say $400?? Yup, that's the cost that went onto my husband's credit card (I was in church at the time praying that the cost would not be too exorbitant and that we could afford the plumber).
And wow....did God ever teach me a thing or two about my attitude and response to a mess.

Here's how it started: Friday nite was awesome. I had had a headache after the Moms in Touch meeting and just did not feel like cooking dinner. Plus, I had no idea what to cook. Ever have those days? I am usually so well organized but for some reason, last week was a hectic one for me. So....Dave brought home Chinese food which we all like except my teen. I gave her leftovers from the evening before which she loved. She wanted to stay home on Friday evening to do homework because she had youth group the next nite and a shopping trip with me during the day so she knew she needed to get HW done. Dave and I decided to have "Family Game Nite" with Claire so she chose Clue. I went to bed early due to a raging hormonal headache.

Saturday wasn't bad. Did some housework, took the teen shopping while Dave took the preteen to the library. Courtney went to her small group and Emerge (youth group) while the rest of us enjoyed a quiet evening of reading, watching the game, etc.

Then Sunday came. We all slept in a bit and I made blueberry pancakes for Dave and I. We go to the 11 a.m. service so I usually head into the shower about 9:30 while the girls eat breakfast, get dressed, etc. I was just about to reach for the shampoo when Dave started banging on the bathroom door and yelling at the top of his lungs "Turn the water off". All I could think of was the house was on fire and the thought "great, what did he do now?" ran through my mind.
He had been going down to the basement where the office is and heard water spilling out of our pipe. You know: the one that is connected to the washer and is the backflow one?
And yup. You guessed it. Dirty water was gushing out and over. Down the wall. Onto the washer. Down the wood platform the washer and dryer sit on and onto the carpet. Yeah. Dirty water as in from the toilet that had just been flushed. Yeah. You're guessing right. As in a smell that in my teen's words "this smells like the horse manure from the barn where I used to ride." Gee, thanks Courtney...like we didn't know this!

So.....you would think we would be used to this by now. This has happened 3 times since living here for the last 14 years. The last time was just dishwasher water so at least the smell wasn't too bad. This time was by far the worse. Dave told me to go ahead and get the girls to church (Claire had SS and Courtney had signed up to help with the Harvest party set up. It takes our church a whole week to set up for the Harvest party....it is a HUGE affair...and a whole other post!). She would be gone all day. So...off to church I went after NOT taking a shower...at least I was able to style my hair ok and was thanking God that I hadn't gotten to the shampoo since I wouldn't have been able to rinse very well. We also were thanking the Lord that it was a nice, sunny, warm day. We could open all the windows in the house.

Dave called the plumber who found the problem quickly. Unfortunately, the bill was high but at least they took a credit card. And by the time the bill is due, we will have been paid again so we can pay the whole thing off.

However: now the clean-up. Yeah. I came home from church expecting my husband would help me clean. And he said he would. AFTER the meeting at church he needed to attend for all youth group leaders. Yeah, I groaned. I could NOT just leave that basement alone. I mean, like, there was poopy water on my wall and washer. so....I changed into grunge clothes. Filled a bucket with hot water and lysol cleaner. Donned rubber gloves. And scrubbed. I had to use FOUR buckets of lysol before I was satisfied that my wall and washer were clean enough. Then I attacked the carpet with the Kirby shampoo and a scrub brush. This took about 35 minutes. In total, I was down there cleaning for about 3 hours. I had decided since I was forced to clean on what was probably the last nice autumn day of the year (and boy...did that prove to be true...today we are getting tons of rain and wind, low temps in 40's and in outlying hilltowns there is wet snow!), anyways, I decided to tackle the entire basement. So....it got a good cleaning, dusting, and sorting out. I started with our laundry area which is where the pipe had overflowed. I moved on to our office area/computers/bookshelves. Then I tackled the playroom area which is overflowing with Bratz dolls. Courtney assured me that she would pack away her dolls during xmas vacation. If she doesn't, I am planning on selling them and all their little accessories. I think we must own every Bratz doll that Target ever sold. (and no, I didn't buy them all. Most came from friends for birthday party gifts). Anyways.....we have plans to make part of the basement a preteen/teen hangout area....the tv and dvd and DDR are already set up. Maybe we will get Daddy a Wii for Xmas and set it up down here as well. I felt organized. I felt clean again. (especially after I changed my clothes and ran a load of laundry).

During this whole time, of course my spirit was grumbling. Things like "I could be hiking today. Or biking. Or just sitting on the deck with a book." "But no, I am stuck cleaning up poopy water. And he gets to go to his leaders meeting and have fun." And of course, what made it worse was that the plumber found, um, well, let's just say it was not Dave's fault that the pipe was clogged. Men don't use feminine products. Yeah. A feminine product was clogging the pipe. $400 to clear the pipe of a feminine product. Only in my house. So...I couldn't blame my hubby for that one!

God clearly told me to get an attitude adjustment though. This might sound weird. But...while I was cleaning away the yuck from the wall and carpet, the Lord reminded me that He cleans away alot worse than that. He washes away our sin. Our disgusting, stinky sin. And He doesn't need Lysol to do it. He gave His LIFE to clean us. Here I thought I was sacrificing a day for this mess....that is nothing compared to the sacrifice Jesus made for us in regards to our mess!
Life happens. As Dave said "#$%&* happens." (did it have to happen literally on my wall on a Sunday a.m.??!) The girls caught Dave saying that word that means poop. We had a chuckle out of it because....we are human. We are Christians. But....we are so. not. perfect. The girls never hear us talk this way. It led to a great discussion of what swearing is vs. what just "icky language" is. Of course we reminded them that as Christians we don't want to use foul language. But, it was kinda funny to hear their reactions regarding Mom and Daddy using "icky language". It showed them that we are human not perfect. Children often think their parents do no wrong. (well, my girls learned early on that wow...yup, their mommy and daddy do wrong. We don't hide much from our kids).

And....life just happens. We have to deal with messes.
I am so glad I have a loving Father who is capable of dealing with my messes. He never grumbles. He doesn't run from us. He doesn't need Lysol to make our heart as white as snow. If we are willing to be cleansed, He forgets every sin.
And He even surprises us with little treats when we are having a bad day!

What was my treat? My husband willing to take us all out to dinner at The Outback for a yummy steak dinner because I was tired from all that cleaning. (and it helped that I still had a $25. gift card for the place!).

My point?
We don't know what life is gonna hand us. We might need to deal with messes that come up. God never leaves us alone to deal with them. He is always there. Even in the midst of our messes.


e-Mom said...

Ouchhhhh! I laughed, I grimaced, and I grumbled with you all the way through this. Aren't you glad the worst is over now??? Hugs...

Amy said...

I am sorry this happened, but what a wonderful lesson for all of us! And isn't it nice to know that when we are full of &@#% God doesn't gripe or complain how nasty we are when we turn back to Him. He greets us with arms wide open!

Sandy@ Jesus and Dark Chocolate said...

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, there that scream was for you. What a mess......but what a lesson. I love how you wrote about God cleaning up our messes, and your whole spiritual analogy. Great perspective in the middle of chaos.
Hope your week is going better. :)

Kimberly said...

Oh, my! Oh, my! Oh, my!!!!!!
I am SOOOO sorry! Wow. Really, my weekend looks pretty good in comparison now.

I am so glad God can speak to our hearts any time through any circumstances.

Wow. I'm still just so sorry!!!

Mrs. C said...

Oh, I'm so sorry that you had to deal with such a mess!

I myself had to do an "attitude check" last night. My son came down with a stomach virus and never would make it all the way into the bathroom before getting sick. I used quite a bit of Lysol myself, but felt frustrated with him the whole time I was cleaning up. The Lord reminded me of my need to be gracious to my boy; after all, he's only 8. ;)

Homemanager said...

Praise the Lord! He is so patient with us...His love...
"love suffers long and is kind..."
We all know how to suffer (perhaps not always "long") but that word "kind" can be the hardest.
I'm so thankful that the Lord shows that kind of love toward me! He is just so awesome!
Thanks for sharing what the Lord spoke to you, Faith.

Susanne said...

Oh, what a way to learn a spiritual lesson. But you are so right, I'm so thankful that God cleans up my ugly messes and forgives me and washes me clean.