When we returned from our Christhankmas road trip, I discovered a water leak in the house. I was really hoping it wasn’t from the washing machine because I had lots of laundry to do, and because my laundry room is by far the biggest disaster area in the entire house. I’m serious, it’s really bad in there. I did not want to have to clean out that space so a plumber could get to a leak.
Thankfully, the leak was from the shower drain in my master bedroom and not from the laundry room. The plumber is here this morning and I’m praying it is an easy fix that doesn’t involve cutting large holes in my ceiling. I asked him to check the drains and seals on all the things, but he said it probably wasn’t necessary. He reminded me to not worry. He taught me things about toilets and sinks and drywall. It got me thinking about how anxious and fearful I get over these dumb things now. On one hand I know God tells me not to worry, but on the other hand I need to be responsible too, so where is the happy medium?
Before my husband died, I never once looked at our siding on the house and thought anything about it. I never considered drain seals, sump pumps or cracks in the driveway. Now I look at all of these things and worry. Does that loose shingle on the roof mean I need a new roof? Do I need stuff in between the cracks in the driveway? Do I trust the guy that says I need a new sliding glass door? When does the house actually need to be repainted? It all spins around in my mind. Worry. Fear. Anxiety.
On the bright side, I’ve learned many new skills and collected a team of trustworthy service people I can count on when things break. I’ve learned how to relight the pilot light on the water heater. I did maybe take a selfie first and send it to loved ones just in case I accidentally blew myself up. Happy to report I didn’t cause an explosion. I’ve also repaired trim on the garage by myself – with a power tool. I’ve collected estimates for so many things and single-handedly made big decisions…decisions my husband used to make or helped me make. It leaves me part sad and frustrated and part GIRL POWER!
I don’t like having to do everything by myself, but I’m learning I am capable. This is something my husband already knew, but I’m just discovering. It makes me appreciate him more. I really wish I could tell him how much I appreciate all of the things he did for me – but it’s too late. I just have to trust that he already knew. I have to believe when I didn’t know to thank him for all he was doing, that he knew how much I appreciated him anyway. I do know he took pride and joy in providing for us in these ways when he was able. Clearing the snow, mowing the lawn, installing light fixtures, organizing all the internety things, paying the bills, and changing gaskets and seals and other home maintenance doo-hickies.
If you’re missing all of the mundane but important things your spouse did for you when they were here, I want you to know I believe in your ability to do all of these new and difficult things too. If you haven’t lost your spouse, I challenge you to pay attention to all of the things he or she does for you. Show your appreciation while they are here. I also encourage you to be of help to someone tackling these things alone. If it weren’t for neighbors and kind, trustworthy service people, I’d really be a mess. These people have offered me their knowledge and skills, which have helped me to make important decisions and learn how to do new things on my own. I’m so thankful for the village of helpers God has put into my life.
I still often struggle with a lack of confidence and fear over managing a household alone. Usually I freak out for a bit and then I go here:
Deuteronomy 31:6 (MSG)
6 “Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”
Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Did you catch that? He won’t let me down! He goes before me and he’s right here beside me! He’s never ever going to leave me! He’s going to give me strength and help me. And that promise is for you, too.
You’ve got this. I’ve got this. GOD’S GOT THIS!