Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Flood, Flu, and A Week In Review

This last Sunday I took a long, long nap. I needed some recovery after the previous week's craziness. It wasn't just "stuff" going on, it was emotions, plus a spiritual awakening and complete physical body depletion. Am I sounding a bit melodramatic? Probably, but let me explain.

  • I started the week on a high note with a date night with my husband. Man, I love that guy. I love driving around with him in our rockin' minivan, holding hands across the ultra practical, multi-compartmented center console and talking about whatever without any interruptions. We ate Chinese food and then I found some 90% off Christmas sales at Joann Fabrics. Awesome! It's the stuff romantic movies are made of.

  • At the beginning of the week I also started and finished a novel called, The Lost Wife, by Alyson Richman. This was a library book that, in typical fashion, I did not have time to read the description of before I checked it out. I liked the cover and I thought anything written by a near "Alysun" twin couldn't be all that bad. The book was completely compelling and deep and nothing like the light-hearted drivel I thought I was in for when I started it. 

The Holocaust. Enough said. The story was riveting, beautiful, tragic, tear-jerking, sad, joyful, and lovely. I was spell-bound by the love story. My normal life has me thinking nothing about the millions who were tortured and killed during that terrible time in history, so bringing it to light in this book was startling and I couldn't help but view my peaceful, easy life in a more blessed light.

  • With the backdrop of that book's story in my mind, I watched my beautiful kids play in our snow. I am SO absolutely, crazily blessed! I thought to myself a zillion times during the first half of the week. 

  • It snowed a little (about 2" total) and then it rained. It rained and it rained and rained some more on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. We didn't realize how much it was really raining (it is Oregon -- it rains here) until Wednesday morning when we woke up to flooding in our basement. Before we did the big remodel downstairs last spring, we did quite a lot of waterproofing. In the past, our basement has "seeped" a little when it rains a lot. But this was actually flowing like a river across the cement and under the new carpet. I used every absorbent thing in our house to get the water to flow away from the carpet and toward the drain, the shop-vac also came in handy and I was exhausted by the end of the day when my knight in shining armor came in to save the day. 

If I had the time, I would have posted to Facebook, 

"A River Runs Through It," now playing in our basement theater. 

At least I amuse myself.

  • We received somewhere between 9-10" of rain in two days. The river by our house crested at 34.23 feet, just short of the record of 34.52 set in 1964. The endless river banks covered the road and all the fields around us were giant lakes. A story in nearby Albany caught my attention when a car accidently drove into a culvert out of a flooded parking lot. The car was sucked under almost immediately, a father and 5 year old son made it out, miraculously spared, while a mother and her 20-month old son were killed.

  • Again, I couldn't help but think of how crazy blessed we are. We have our health, we have our children, we have a house that is warm and the resources to keep it *mostly* dry. The stories of those who are/were so traumatized (the news stories of thousands of families displaced, the deaths in accidents, and the book on the Holocaust) were my silent partners as I cleaned up our minor mess and irritation in the basement. A little thought-of passage in Habakkuk kept running through my mind,

"I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come. 

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, 

 though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, 

 though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 

yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. 

The Sovereign LORD is my strength

 he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, 

 he enables me to tread on the heights."

  • Thursday to Friday brought flu. When my kids are sick, it is gross and tiring. When me and my kids are sick, it is gross, tiring, and exhausting. When me, husband, and children are sick, well it is just nasty. I wrote some love-songs to my washer and dryer during those days. Those die-hard machines ran continuously through mountains of flood-drenched laundry and then puke piled clothes and rags. Friday morning we woke to standing puke messes in the girls' room and Rem's room. The smell had me tossing my chips instead of cleaning. Jeff was THE MAN and championed through the nastiness, from laundry to baths, he did it all, even while being sick himself.

  • Allowing the sickness to run its course, I had to cancel three different events we were looking forward to. Bah! I quickly lost ground on my "still I will rejoice in the the Lord" attitude while I suffered physically. "Woe is me" was more like it. God knew what I needed. In a moment of calm I checked my email and got an message from a friend, Ashley. She's a new contributor to Drops and her writing has been a blessing to supplement our daily devotionals. Even better, she sent a contribution from her friend, Mindi, which I posted for Friday. 

It could have been written for me. For. Me.  

Read the whole article here, but the gist of it was this:

"For right now, He has me where He wants me, and He's teaching me. He's refining me.... How many times do we feel like we have to have amazing amounts of strength to accomplish our tasks at work, at home, in motherhood? That is not the correct way of thinking. God calls us to endure. That's it! For when we endure, then God gives us the strength we need."     

" 'My grace is sufficient for you, 

 for my power is made perfect in weakness.' 

 Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, 

 for Christ's power may rest on me." 

 2 Corinthians 12:9

Health restored, laundry *mostly* washed, dried, folded, and put away, my perspective is light years away from how I started that long and tiring week. The bumps in my road, which were major at the time were not surprises to God. He led me through them, He gave me strength when needed, He provided amazing helpers when I couldn't go on. 

HIS power was made perfect in my weakness. Whether the trial is a complete devastation like the stories that are still haunting me from that book and the tragic deaths due to flooding, or a slight irritation, God knows. He knows and He cares deeply. There isn't anything too big for God. 



KT Barnes said...

Your words ALWAYS make me laugh, statuses, blog posts, or otherwise.

April said...

I agree with KT :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. Our kids kept asking how much water was in your basement. Your family's picture from 2010 is by my bed and I have been praying for you. I had no idea that you had such a long week. I am thankful the sickness and waters are behind you now. Thankful also for Jeff and his faithfulness to your family. Jenni B

Linds and Manda said...

Wow...what a week! Thank you for sharing and using your experience to remind (and teach) me about the attitude I need to have when the bottom drops out. You're so right...the things that I get so frustrated about are really not that huge compared to what some are going through. Linds is away right now on the Ministry Practicum trip in Vancouver with the juniors. My parents have been here all weekend and we painted the dining room and kitchen. Now the kids are in bed and its quiet. Missing Linds but glad that I know I AM NOT ALONE! His strength is made perfect in my weakness. As I look at a week that I know may be trying at times it is good to read your words here.

Stacy Coleman said...

I'm so sorry to hear that you ALL had the flu, especially just after "the flood." David became very sad when we went to the park and saw the river covering the playground and the amphitheater. I reassured him that by summer-time it will be dried up and we will be able to play there again. Your words are always encouraging and uplifting.