These are the words running through my head as I'm standing in my rain boots watching my dear, sweet neighbor tromping through our pitch-black yard trying to find the cut-off for our water in the freezing cold. You see, the rain boots were necessary because at some point in today's warm-up, a pipe burst in our utility room behind the water heater and water was shooting out about 5 feet from the wall. It's then shooting into the garage because I had opened the door, of course, when I arrived home from a 12-hour day to find water pouring from beneath said door and streaming down our driveway. Before the opening of said door, it had been damned up behind said door…slowly leaking under the wall into our laundry room.
"JOY. I CHOOSE JOY"( Now they are audible words coming out of my mouth and I'm wondering in my neighbor thinks I've lost it, but they are my mantra.)
Oh, and let me mention here that Jeff is currently out of town (thus my sweet neighbor tromping through our yard) and has been since Sunday morning. So, it's been four days of (wo)manning my jobs, his job and taking care of the boys. #exhausted
"I CHOOSE JOY, dadgummit !"
To add to the context of my already stellar frame of mind, upon arriving to church tonight I am greeted with the news that the youngest of my strong-willed boys has had an "episode" with one of our amazing children's ministry volunteers. He decided a seat belt was not necessary today…despite FOUR YEARS of wearing one every time he was in a car. #youretryingmypatienceboy
"I CHOOSE JOY!!" (as I drag him to the bathroom to "discuss" this situation).
I've heard it said that when you pray for patience, God sends circumstances to test your patience. Now, I don't know if that's biblical or not, but just in case - I quit praying that prayer about the time Riley turned 2.
As I sit here rehashing the events of the night over Double Stuffed Oreos and a Dr. Pepper (#comfortfood), I'm trying to figure out if this principal could also apply to my prayer for JOY. Maybe God just wants to see if I'm serious about this thing in 2014 or if I'm like all those folks cramming into the gym right now because they've resolved to lose weight this year…
Of course, I've also been reading Job in my daily quiet time for several days. I'd like to believe that I've found favor with God and that He and Satan are dueling it out over me. Like Job, He's given Satan permission to test me and try me… Ok, that's unlikely, but a girl can dream.
After turning this no-water-don't-flush-the-toilet ending to our day into a "camping adventure" - complete with teaching the boys how to bath and brush their teeth with bottled water - we finally made it to bedtime. Eli chose to read from his picture Bible tonight and you'll never believe the first words of tonight's story --
"And after the flood…"
First words out of Eli's mouth?
"Mama! Just like in the garage!"
Yes, baby. Just like in the garage…and laundry room…and mudroom.
I CHOOSE JOY. I choose joy in this terrible messy moment. I choose joy because I have sweet neighbors willing to brave the freezing cold to help me stop the flood. I choose joy in having praying friends who lifted prayers and offered beds and showers and homes to us. I choose joy because I'm typing this in the comfort of a warm home tonight (albeit without water) and my boys think this "adventure" was fun.
I CHOOSE JOY.
Amen and Amen.