Do you know the joy this sight brought me this morning! I don't think anyone can quite grasp it but me.
You see for the past couple of weeks we've had a series of plumbing issues. We got rid of our hot water heaters (because one blew out a few months ago which meant no hot water on one side of the house.) Yes for some reason we had two hot water heaters in this house built in 1949.
Anyway, we went tankless, but that has meant some little tweaks needed to be made. Like no pressure, showers that only are lukewarm at best, but arbitrarily go freezing cold at regular intervals with no warning.
My in-laws were visiting for the last eight days. And when my father in law is here my husband commissions him to join him in all sorts of household projects he has been putting off. My husband likes a partner for these sorts of things.
So they spent the better part of Thanksgiving weekend under the house fixing leaks and repairing holes themselves. In the crawl space on his elbows, yelling up for water to be turned on and off. All the while, our three year old is saying, "Are you ok down there daddy?" She was so concerned that she could hear him, but not see him down that black hole.
In addition our sink faucet has had a crack in it for the better part of the year. We've just been dealing with the subsequent spray across the counter and your clothes every time it is used. I don't know why we have just dealt with it, but we have. Part of it is my problem in finding the 'right' fixture first. And I guess we're just patient like that, or maybe it's lazy. Either way, other things have been higher on the list of priorities.
So the children's sink (which also had been turned off permanently due to a leak) and our kitchen sink had been taken apart with everything underneath all over the floor and counters. Since there was no running water, there were dishes dirty waiting to be cleaned.
Let's just say it was a royal mess and I was exercising my struggling ability to 'let it go.' Have I mentioned that when life is chaotic, the things that put me over the edge are clutter and messes like this. It's like I channel my need for order into the clutter.
But I know this is how life goes and ten years from now my kids won't remember the messes as much as they'll remember mommy being stressed. So the last couple of years I've been noticing God has been giving me opportunities to practice letting it go and being ok with the messes when they happen.
Back to this morning, my bleary eyes woke up when the alarm went off to rise for my quiet time. I crept down the hall (to not wake anyone else) and was thinking I guess I better make tea since I won't be able to clean out the coffee pot. I'm in a coffee phase right now and seriously feel like I need it in the morning again. I know bad, but it's the little things.
Much to my amazement and surprise I found this clean kitchen with a pot ready to go and a note saying I love you.
There's so much more to this story, that I can't really even go into. But I wanted to cry. It was a gift from God seeing this and my number one reason for JOY today.
Making it even more remarkable is that my husband worked until midnight last night. He came home and did all of this until two in the morning.
And I actually never said a word about it stressing me out.
I now have running water and a clean kitchen and I got to drink my coffee in perfect peace while having my morning quiet time all to myself!
Have I mentioned my kids have been getting up earlier than usual in the last month, cutting into my quiet time that I so desperately need. I'll tell them, mommy needs to do my bible reading, but inevitably they can stay quiet for only a few minutes.
So JOY #2 - An extended quiet time in the peaceful morning all to myself. Seriously I had to wake them at 7:30.. they were all still sound asleep. It actually killed me that I had to wake them. ;)
JOY #3 back up to that picture on the coffee mug. It's when my middle child, Ava was newly walking. It was a huge accomplishment because that child preferred to crawl for 20 whole months. Once she did walk, she only wanted to walk holding her big brother's hand. I loved that time. It was so sweet and precious. They fight a lot more now. Here's to praying for a renewed sense of sibling love between them.
JOY #4 This girl and her abounding Joy for life!
Ta-Da - Who can be around this and not feel joy!
JOY #5 That beautifully knit sweater she is wearing came with a hat and another set for her sister. The person who made them for us, doesn't even know us. She is a flight attendant with my sister and never had children of her own. She just knew about us through the times my sister would tell her stories while flying. She spent all that time and put all that love and joy for knitting into gifts for people she'll probably never meet. It gives me a renewed sense of the goodness in people and that brings me JOY!