Saturday, January 17, 2009

Big Weariness, Big Blessings


2009 is already shaping up to be a year of uber-gackiness. Not even a week into the new year and Kevin begins to suffer with what we later find out (after a trip to the ER) to be appendicitis. After an emergency surgery and him out of commission until February 9th, I am completely and thoroughly overwelmed with being SuperMom, quite literally.

We were supposed to have daughter #5's birthday last week but due to Kev's situation we put it off a week to give him more time to rest. We'd planned for her birthday for today then, and I wake up to a dead fridge. No running motor, thawing food in the freezer, the whole deal. So, I check the budget, find some grocery money and run off to the closest used appliance place and find one for sale. It's working, it's in pretty good condition so I buy it and come home make a call to my pastor to pick it up for me and bring it out. I may be SuperMom but even she can't single-handedly stick a fridge in a Chevy Cavalier's trunk.

Pastor and another dear brother from the church bring the fridge out, I put it where I want it for now and suddenly hear something I shouldn't be hearing. A humming, and an oddly familiar humming. I think to myself "you have GOT to be kidding me" as I open the door to the dead fridge to find the light on, and the motor running just fine. Not having a clue why it raised itself from the dead, I figure there is still clearly something wrong with it and I'm glad we have the new (used) fridge to keep the food. Did I say keep the food? Silly me. Silly, silly me.

The new (used, and all sales are final, thank you very much) fridge has been plugged in and running for roughly 8 hours now and yet, it doesn't work. The ice cream from Rachel's birthday was now Cream Soup, inside the freezer of the new (used) fridge. It worked just fine at the store, as the styrofoam cup in the freezer was filled with ice that wasn't at all melty, but I guess once it crossed the threshold of my doorway, it decided it wasn't going to work anymore. I know absolutely nothing about these things, so I'm hoping it will just take some time to regulate itself and maybe by morning it will work. If not, I now have 2 refridgerators that do not work, and a cooler full of food sitting the garage where it's so cold even I'd be frozen if I were out there. I can honestly say that today was the first time in 44 years I have ever cried over a broken appliance. It sounds silly, but it's true.

On the good news front (praise God for such blessings!), we were gifted yesterday with a new heater which we desperately needed, and 2 new snow shovels which we also desperately needed. For those who've been asking about Kev's recovery, he's doing pretty well but still can't get around too good and tires very easily. Nary a word from insurance so we're just trusting in the Lord for provision there. I'll be completely honest and say, it's really hard.

So just a little while ago I saw something on my friend Ann's blog and it brought me a great hope, a great encouragement and new tears to my eyes. Bittersweet tears I guess, partly from sheer exhaustion ( I actually excused myself from the party today and passed out for an hour upstairs - something I never do, but being SuperMom is starting to get really old), partly from weariness of life's struggles, partly from sweet brothers and sisters in the Lord who have already pitched in to help us and bless us. We're snowed in again and while I'm so incredibly tired of shovelling and missing church every week and seeing the look of disappointment on the kids faces when they realize we can't get out in time for church, this video on Ann's blog truly lifted my spirits. I hope it does the very same for you, no matter what your present circumstances.


Well, just to update on the Great Fridge Disaster of 2009 (all life events should have titles, and theme music if possible)...

The used fridge I just bought was damaged in transit and lost it's ability to work properly OR be fixed. Appliance Repair Guy (which is actually Dryer Guy from a few years ago if anyone remembers him) said "it's garbage".

The other fridge is apparently fixable but requires a new thermostat and some digging around to find out where the leak is coming from. Appliance Repair Guy (henceforth known as ARG) rigged the old thermostat to work for now, and will call in the morning for a new one, but he has no idea how soon it will arrive or IF the rigged thermostat job will hold until it does arrive. It seems that someone decided to set the freezer temp to it's coldest position, which eventually caused it to freeze in place, and in turn messed up the thermostat, somehow. I don't know a thing about fridges and thermostats but we did indeed have a little talk with kids who like to mess with things. Ahem.

Now here's the greatest news of all: my church not only sprung for ARG to come and fix our fridge (if indeed it's fixable), but they're REPLACING the used one we just bought with another one (from a place with a warranty) AND they covered the cost of the one we just bought that died in transit, in the form of grocery store gift cards! Okay now I'm crying as I type this because kind, generous, gracious people make me cry. By the end of the week it's entirely possible I will have TWO working fridges, instead of two broken ones. It couldn't have happened at a worse time, with Kev off work for another three weeks, but we have been so blessed by our church that I'm deeply grateful. It's funny too because I keep telling Kev I'd like to have another fridge/freezer for when the grocery store has big sales, but I really never thought we'd get around to getting one for the next year or so.

What's more (yes, there's more!) is a dear sweet friend who also contributed to the relief effort has been a tremendous source of encouragement to me every single day, regardless of her very busy schedule. She just reminded me today that the Lord did not lead the Israelites out of Egypt and into dangerous territory just to say "okay I got you out, you figure the rest out on your own and I'll be over here". Of course I know He didn't leave them, but being reminded that He never leaves us without direction and hope is exactly the reminder that I've needed the last few days. It's funny, she could have said "Carla, shut up and stop whining" but she hasn't. Not once. She's been a cheerleader and a voice of hope and I appreciate her more today than I did before. Fine, now I'm crying again.

God is good. Even when life really stinks.

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