Thursday, February 14, 2008


*I waited a day to post this, thus the strike feature well-represented below*

It is Day Five Six of the coughing/aching flu.

It is Day Four Five of no water heater.

I was astonished to have the water heater installation guy arrive an hour early this morning yesterday -- joy! joy! joy! -- only to have him announce that we purchased the wrong kind of water heater and that the right kind would be astronomically expensive.

Erosion is the word that comes to mind. These little inconveniences have managed to erode away at my joy. No hot water for the washing machine. No hot water for the shower. No hot water for the dishwasher. These privileges, truly symbols of wealth and convenience for much of the world, feel like entitlements ripped from my deserving hands.

Well, and then there is the coughing. Do you ever find yourself becoming an embarrassing literary character? Mrs. Bennett from Pride and Prejudice is coming to mind here. All that coughing from Kitty, and horrendous Mrs. Bennett can only think of her poor nerves. Never would I wish to see myself in Fanny Bennett...but suddenly I have great compassion on her poor nerves. I find myself wanting everyone to just quit coughing ... as if life is all about me. That kind of perspective is as dry and empty as it sounds.

So, there you have me this yesterday morning, slumped in my favorite chair, trying to relate more to Eeyore as an improvement over Mrs. Bennett. I had to admit that inconveniences + financial strains + hormones + illness had worn me down, and I was coming up empty of inspiration. As an act of faith, I called a praying friend, yanked myself up, put on some make-up, and drank more coffee. I tried to keep my words to the necessary few, just in case I sounded as ridiculous as Mrs. Bennett, not just thinking like her. Continuing with the pace of the week, the household was moving slowly and achingly; improvement comes more and more, but we are still recouperating.

Amidst it all, I found a gift at Tongue in Cheek. Always a place to find beauty and gratitude, her words were the still small voice I was am in need of today everyday. Take a moment, click there, and remember: these words come from a woman sitting next to her precious dad in the hospital.

Later, I found these words:

The Lord will give strength to his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.
Psalm 29:11

Even when the joy cannot penetrate down to the heart of my heart, it is still true: there is still peace; there is still strength. I may not feel it, I may have to wait to taste and see it, but it is there. That knowledge helps in the waiting.

And hot water, renewed to our humble abode this afternoon, helps me more than I like to admit.

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