20 January 2009

Out with the Old, in with the New, part 2

Why not pick inauguration day to start again, again? Ahem. It's amazing how much stuff can happen in such a short amount of time! I just wanted to get caught up on a few of the things, and we'll see how much I can write while I have no interruptions.

New Year's: It seems like so long ago, doesn't it? We had quite an interesting one. Back in November, I attended my church's women's conference, and was fortunate to win (just in time for our wedding anniversary) a gift certificate for a free overnight stay for two at America's Keswick for their New Year's Eve celebration. If you've never heard of America's Keswick (pronounced "Kezzick"), you can click on their name to go to their website. It's an 111-year-old Christian conference ground located not far from the Jersey shore, and it's primary ministry is the Colony of Mercy, a residential addiction-recovery program for men. The Keswick also ministers to the spouses and children of the men, and they have great facilities and I could just go on and on. Your best bet is to check out their website. What has impressed me most about this organization is it's commitment to the gospel, and the truth that the only answer for the problem of addiction (or any sin problem) is to surrender one's self to Christ and to be made a new creature in Him. I've also been struck by their apparent humility--as they don't seem to be ambitious about becoming some big and important conference center, but to simply focus on the main reason they began in the first place. If this sounds like a commercial, then good--I think they deserve any endorsement I can give them, and I'm happy to do it.

Old washing machine/"new" washing machine. All that said, we pick up the story: a couple of days before the big event, our washing machine gave its last performance, in the middle of a valiant attempt to conquer "Mount Laundry." Wile we were planning to use every last minute afforded us to prepare our home for overnight sitters, we had to include a $50 trip to the laundromat. (Sigh!) But we got our house in good enough order, and nearly all the laundry done before we left, and Enoch (and Brendan) and I enjoyed a relaxing time away to rest and to discuss our plans and goals for the new year (I'll hopefully touch on those in the near future). It would be nice to make this a recurring event. We returned from our brief mini-vacation, and by Saturday the 3rd, we had purchased a "new-to-us" washing machine for the price of two visits to the laundromat. I was back in the laundry business, and had no need to delay putting the new machine to good use.

Old water heater/new water heater. The next day, Sunday the 4th, as we were taking the Christmas tree outside, I noticed some water on the basement floor. Just a little. I wished that it was merely a result of the new machine splashing too much, but touching the tiny puddle with my fingertips confirmed otherwise. The water was warm. The 13-year-old water heater had given its last performance. After assessing and confirming the reality, we drained the hot water into the frozen backyard, and thanked God that I discovered the leak when I did, since we were about to go to bed! Since we had just freshly renewed our commitment to not take upon ourselves any more credit card debt, and we had also just freshly drained our emergency fund on the new washing machine, we decided to tough it out for the week, and wait until payday to come up with the funds for the water heater. By our good fortune, we all had taken baths or showers that day or the day before, and I knew we could boil water for any other hot water needs we would have. So we did it. And you know something? It was joy to do it! I think it was a blessing from God, and we actually enjoyed going through that trial, knowing that we were sticking to our commitment, and trusting the Lord to provide for our needs. And we just had a mindset to not complain about it. And we became so much more thankful for a warm house, warm clothes, food to eat, and running water--all those basic things that we sometimes take for granted--realizing how easily God could take it away from us and how important our hearts' attitudes towards Him are though it all.

So life is hard, but God is good. And life is a little crazy at times (for me right now it seems like most of the time), but God is good. And I'm so thankful for my husband and how God continues to use unique ways to draw us closer to one another while drawing us closer to Him. I'd call that a domestic victory!

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