I am heavily burdened tonight. And after a very rough day of parenting a defiant three-year-old, missing my mom so much I ached all day, and discovering two leaking windows, here I sit burdened and without any chocolate at home. At least I have some decaf hazelnut coffee brewing (which of course would taste better with chocolate).
After spending most of the morning crying because I miss my Mom, this afternoon I discovered two leaking windows. As in, the rain is actually getting into my house. And my windows are only three years old. WHAT?
The rain is leaking through the window, under the trimwork, and onto the window seat. Alot. So much that the towels I have on the window sills are sopping wet. Maybe it's deficient windows (with a warranty?) or deficient installation or who knows what. The window man said he'll call me back tomorrow. He better.
But let me tell you, the leaking windows made me cry alot. And not being able to call my mom to ask her what I should do about leaking windows made me cry even harder. And not having money to fix my windows made me cry even harder. And having my three-year-old continue his defiant attitude all the live-long-day in the midst of leaking windows and not being able to call my mom and not having money to fix my windows made me cry even harder. That equals alot of crying. So I have leaking windows and leaking eyes.
And no chocolate. Seriously.
Some of you are thinking this should be no big deal because we should have an "emergency fund" right? (Surprise: We don't.) And maybe it won't be a big deal (maybe they are under warranty!?)
But maybe it will be a big deal. And maybe it'll be very expensive. And although every financial person in the entire universe says our emergency fund should have 3-6 months income...um...yeah right.
I'm not sure we have 6 DAYS worth of income saved up at this point. Maybe, but that's too much math for me to do right now. We just transitioned to being a single income family to preserve family sanity, despite the fact that the bank account didn't necessarily agree with the decision. So, leaking windows are not just an annoying issue that we'll take care of. It has potential to be a very stressful financial burden that I am not sure what we'll do about.
I know it's not typical to write about this in a culture that doesn't openly discuss bank accounts. But I think alot of you are right there with us. Maybe it's not leaking windows in your house. Maybe it's something way more important or life-altering than leaking windows. Maybe it's medical bills or car repairs or student loans or braces or new glasses or the fact that your kids soon need snow boots and snow pants or the fact that Christmas shopping is right around the corner. And in our fairly well-to-do part of the country we all smile nice and pretend that our ducks are all in a row and our bank accounts are just fine. But I think alot of you are feeling my pain and crying these tears with me.
Now, I don't want to over-dramatize this. Our family has everything we need (minus good windows apparently, which I think falls into the "need" category considering the tundra we live in) and most everything we want. (Well, I want a new fleece sweatshirt, but I don't think that counts). Our pantry and our closets are overflowing, so we're clearly not hurting for anything of importance. But you know what I mean.
And it brings me peace to know that God's got it. I certainly don't have it. But I know God's got it. God made it abundantly clear that for the sake of our family we needed me to stay home. God knew it was going to rain all day and He knew my windows were going to leak. He knows what's wrong with my windows and He knows if there is mold in the wood underneath. And He knows how the windows are going to get fixed and He knows how it's going to get paid for. I don't know any of these things. I'm so glad God does.
And this whole experience today has shown me this: God wants me to need Him. To REALLY need Him. I don't know how to train my son into obedience. I don't know how to not have a Mom. I don't know how we are going to pay for these windows if we have too. I need God. To teach me how to discipline my son. To love me when I miss my mom. To provide for us when ends don't meet. God wants us to need Him. He's being very clear about this.
And I'm pretty sure He's trying to make me more like Him, which is the whole point of following Jesus anyway...to be more like him...in the way he loves and in the way he serves and in the way he speaks and in the way he brings light to the darkness and beauty to the ashes, and in the way he sacrifices and in the way he only cares about things that actually matter and in the way he depends on his Father.
I want to be more like Jesus.
And I'm not sure leaking windows are part of God's plan for making me more like Him. The leaking windows may be just some crappy thing that happened. But God knew it was going to happen, allowed it to happen, and can use it to help me need Him, depend on Him, and be more like Him.
I don't really know how. But, at the end of a day filled with tears, it brings me so much peace to know that God is big enough to take care of my leaking windows and loving enough to hold me close and wipe tears from my leaking eyes. And that's even better than chocolate.