Some time around the first of this month, one of our air
conditioning units went out – the one that cools all of the bedrooms. When you
live where we do, and it’s summertime, having no air conditioning is a big
deal. The upstairs bedrooms were hovering in the 90s.
It’s not the best thing that could happen, but it’s far from
the worst. After this rather tumultuous season, we just rolled with it. We let
the kids bring a couple of their mattresses downstairs. This made them felt as if the room
was now one giant trampoline and spent a large portion of their days teaching
Felicity how to jump off of the couch onto the mattresses. Heaven help us when
we put the house back together again.
We continued to sleep in our room since it was on the bottom
floor and slightly cooler than the rooms upstairs.
We kept the fans on high and the doors open.
Felicity’s room is also downstairs, but since she needs the door closed to
sleep in the midst of the noise of the acrobatics, she got sweaty and didn’t
sleep quite as well.
It’s all been reminiscent of the January after Felicity was
born and our water heater froze and broke. Consequently, our bedroom, closet,
bathroom and hallway were flooded with several inches of water before we found
out what was happening. In the midst of the crew drying out everything, one man
tripped and broke our bed. An hour later, another guy stepped through the
ceiling bringing down loads of insulation with him…while the industrial fans
were blowing the carpets out. It was lovely.
Everything had to be moved out of those spaces so for nearly
two months my underwear and other clothing drawers were stacked up in the
family room, Felicity and I bunked with Mackenzie, Nelson slept in Aiden’s
room, and the three boys slept together (this was during Felicity’s reflux
stage when she spent a large amount of time screaming – Mackenzie could sleep
through it and Nelson couldn’t).
The difference was that for the most part, we were able to
live our lives. It made me kind of crazy to stack and unstack my dresser
drawers to find my clothes in the middle of my family room, but I learned to
cope. Well, I had to cope with that because I was struggling to cope with
Felicity and that took every ounce of energy I had.
This time there’s no school or activities to get the kids out for
a while. They are sleeping and living in our main living areas, which means
we’re all together…all the time.
I’ve learned one thing from this new adventure
– I need my own space sometimes.
It’s too long of a story to tell you why the A/C still
hadn’t been fixed when we left for vacation last week. The short part is that
the unit is still under warranty and because the part has gone bad so many
times, we have the option to replace the whole unit at a fraction of the cost
of a new one. As we left for vacation and we were talking about when it might
be fixed, I asked Nelson if we should just replace the other one while we’re at
it. Even though he agreed that would be good, he said the deal doesn’t work
unless the unit fails. It was a passing conversation at the beginning of a
vacation week, so that was the end of that. I was hopeful that by some miracle,
it would be replaced while we were gone and we’d come home to life as usual.
I didn’t think about it again until we were driving home Saturday
night. We were about an hour away from home when Nelson looked at his phone (I
was driving) and said, “Oh no.”
“That doesn’t sound good.”
“Looks like our other unit is out now too,” he said.
“So, the good news is that we’re already packed and ready to
head to my folks,” I offered. “And, now I guess we can replace both units.” Not
exactly what we wanted to be doing right now, but much better than it happening
six months from now when the warranty runs out.
We pulled into my folks’ driveway with the car still fully
loaded. We brought in the suitcases and pillows we needed and hit the sack
grateful that we had a cool place to sleep. Temps here have been in the 100s,
so toughing it out at home was not an option.
I did great the first two days. I told myself this is an adventure.
I convinced myself to think of it as an extension of our vacation. My parents
are getting ready to move out of the house they’ve been in for thirty years so
I figured it was a great excuse to spend some quality time there before they
move. I’m typing this from the bedroom that was mine from the time I was a
freshman in high school until I got married.
If I gained anything from this journey, it’s the ability to
Today, however, something came over me that put coping out
the window. It’s now day three here at my folks. They are wonderful and I’m so
grateful, but it’s not my home anymore. I felt like I was in limbo. My
mind was racing with all the things I could be doing if I were at home, and
about mid-afternoon, as I was putting dinner together, and changing over
laundry, a funk came over me. Suddenly, I went from this totally secure person
in control of this out of control situation, to an insecure weakling. My mind
swirled with thoughts like, “I’m useless”, and, “My life consists of cleaning
clothes and feeding people.” Those thoughts and others like them threw me into
a kind of self-pity tailspin that was dizzying.
I fought it, but not totally successfully. Thankfully, I had
an errand to run so I escaped in this weakened state. I got in the car and
turned the radio to the Christian station hoping for some help. “Blessed Be the
Name of the Lord” came on just at that moment. It’s been kind of like my
personal anthem during the journey
and I tried to sing through the tears that
It’s tough to be in a place you know you shouldn’t be.
I have everything to be grateful and nothing to complain
about. I should not feel this way, but sometimes I do - even when I know
I had to sit in my car to wait for a prescription to be
filled. I turned the radio off and sat in silence begging the Lord to help me.
“Whatever it is You’re trying to teach me,” I begged Him, “please help me learn
it quickly. Use this time to make me stronger, more faithful, more grateful,
but please, please, let me be a quick study.”
It wasn’t much of a prayer, but it was sincere. I prayed it
and sat there in my hot car waiting for Him to respond.
I’ve learned to say, “It’s just money, you can’t take it
with you.” I’ve acknowledged that I can’t do it all on my own. I’ve learned
lots of little lessons along the way, but I’ve missed the big one.
If God is enough, I don’t have to worry about where I’m
staying or how much money we have. If God is enough, I don’t need to be
concerned about what I’m doing with my life, only that I’m doing what He’s
called me to do. If God is enough, nothing can bother me.
Sitting in my hot car in the middle of that parking lot, I
knew that I’m nowhere close (even though I often pretend I am) to total trust
By the time I started up the car, I found a peace in knowing
which direction I was headed.