Practice Makes … Better.

So then, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. – Colossians 2:6,7

Last Friday high winds tore through our area, toppling large trees, which tore down power lines affecting nearly 400,000 people. We were without electricity for four days, although I was grateful we had water, some heat from a gas fireplace, and a functioning gas stove.

Thankfully, our daughter Joanna’s family did not lose power. I say, “Thankfully,” because Saturday night she was throwing a big party for my 70th birthday. That day, as she was busily cleaning the house and telling the kids to stay out of her way and not undo all her work, I sheepishly asked if I could shower there, as our water heater is electric. (I’m not a fan of cold showers.) She said, “Sure.”

Assuming I had the same instructions as my grandchildren, I tried to contain my presence to the bathroom. I say “tried,” because it didn’t quite work out that way…

Joanna has one of those versatile showerheads I love that’s on the end of a hose. I realized, though, that I should have at least glanced at it before turning on the shower, as water immediately came spewing out all over the bathroom floor. I reached for the showerhead to aim it back into the stall, at which point it popped off the holder and fell onto the tiles of the stall (The hose was, of course, just long enough to reach the floor.), where it bounced, landed in the middle of the bathroom, and separated itself from the hose. (Uh-oh…)

I was busy grabbing towels to soak up the puddle, fearing my darling daughter would start seeing water dripping from the ceiling. (That wouldn’t add to the stress, would it?) I didn’t notice until I tried to reconnect the showerhead to the hose, that said showerhead was broken.

My first instinct, as always, was to call for my husband Marty, handyman extraordinaire, to come to my rescue. My phone, however, was downstairs, where my busy daughter was preparing for my party. I didn’t want to stress her out by letting her know there was a problem until it was at least on its way to being fixed. I called (yelled) for my granddaughter and asked her to please bring me my purse. She complied immediately. (I love that kid.) I tried to text my husband but got a cheery “Text not sent. Tap to try again.” Realizing I had no cell connection, like the dignified 70-year-old, I checked to make sure no one was upstairs, then tiptoed from one room to another, wrapped in a bath towel, desperately trying to get a signal.

Marty finally got a couple of my frantic texts and realized I had a problem and needed him to come “Fix it!” I got two texts from him: “Do you need me to come over?” and, answering his own question, “Yes.”

“What Are the Chances?!”

It just so happened that my other daughter, Kelly, had come up from Tennessee for the occasion, and had already given me my birthday presents: A bottle of perfume … and a new shower head! She and Marty had already installed it, and that next morning as my hero flew to my rescue, he brough the old one with him, just in case.

All’s Well that Ends Well

The happy ending of this story is that (1.) the old showerhead was a standard size and fit perfectly, and (2.) when we came downstairs, far from being stressed out, Joanna was laughing.

It turned out she already knew something was going on. While I was tiptoeing around upstairs, stepping over toys and clothes in the kids’ rooms, trying to find a cell signal, Joanna’s husband, who knew I was (allegedly) showering, had asked her to go upstairs and get the car keys off the bathroom sink. She had tapped on the door and, not getting an answer, opened it to see water and towels on the floor with a broken showerhead in the middle of them. She had merely thought, I don’t wanna know, grabbed the keys, and gone back to work.

I look back on that series of “crises” and smile. I can see where I have grown, probably very gradually, as I have faced the unexpected events of my life, large and small. Twenty years ago, something like the shower crisis would have thrown me into a full-blown panic attack, extreme irritation (rage), and/or a bad mood affecting my attitude for the rest of what was supposed to be a very special day. As it was, besides the annoyance of not being able to reach Marty right away, I was aware even at the time that the whole thing resembled a sit-com; no one was going to die, and God was probably up to something I didn’t yet comprehend. Relieved to see Joanna laughing (far more mature than I was at her age), I felt free to laugh, too.

I enjoyed telling the crazy story to my friends at the party. It was fun seeing their expressions go from Oops, to Oh no! to OH NO! to amazement at the “coincidence,” to laughing with me at … was it “Murphy’s Law,” or “God’s got this!” ?

I am acutely aware that there are believers suffering in unimaginable ways, and as far as trials, tribulations, and persecutions, I know little or nothing. But in learning to trust the Lord in these smaller things, I truly hope I am being trained to trust Him in the bigger things later on. I should not expect to bravely die a martyr’s death someday, if I’m losing my temper at minor annoyances that come up on a daily basis.

(Baby steps.)

Prayer: Lord, we like to think our faith is strong. We trust You to sustain us through the great hardships that are ahead. Help us practice that faith in the smaller things that come up today and not be so set in our own agendas that we lose sight of You the moment something goes “wrong.” We want to trust You in those things, too! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

31 thoughts on “Practice Makes … Better.

      1. I love this response! Laughter’s such a good way to take everything in stride and trust the Lord. My devotion this morning was talking about a woman who believed the enemy hesitated to attack her because he knew it’d turn her to praise. Laughter and Praise. πŸ™‚ Message received, Lord! Now it’s time to apply it.

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      2. Jennifer, I feel the same way. My prayer partner and I would occasionally sense the enemy’s trying to divide us through our different personalities. We would laugh together, and that was the end of that. πŸ˜‰ (My next post includes a mishap that could have discouraged me, but instead I thought, “Nice try,” and carried on.)

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  1. What a memorable way to never forget your 70th birthday party! God provided a good dose of laughter, if not for you, for everyone else who hears the story. And I think the “dignified” 70-year-old Annie has learned to laugh at the “small” stuff too. God bless you.

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  2. Ann, I was laughing throughout your story, and I’m thankful that Joanna was laughing as well–at least eventually! You’ll be able to tell this story again and again years from now, and your “audience” will still laugh. One of the best parts of getting together with my large family of origin is telling such stories again and again; no one ever seems to get tired of them! And my wife, my two kids, and I enjoy doing the same thing with our own stories; when you’ve been camping 11 years, plus having spent two summers together in a Third World country, you have a lot of great ones!

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      1. No kidding! One of the saddest stories I ever heard was about a family that stayed intact; however, they hadn’t spent time–and done fun things!–together as the kids were growing up. Now when they get together, they just sit around rather quietly and have very little to talk about.

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  3. You possibly could have used one of the wet towels to put out the small fire on top of the cake! I guess I’m different, but I started recalling the commercial, “Help! I’ve fallen in the shower, and I can’t get up!” I’m certainly glad this “Mile Marker” posted to help you remember your 70th turned out the way it did. Over the years, you have been transformed by the renewing of your mind. A famous scripture that has taken on flesh and become real. I’m so glad God never gives up on us. (Sorry no electricity. We didn’t lose power at all where we are in the area.)

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    1. Hey, if we never lost power or flooded the bathroom or fell and couldn’t get up, (etc.) I would have no stories to tell. πŸ˜‰
      I doubt anyone would want a piece of a cake from under a soggy towel. :/ As it was, I was mindful of those still squeamish about colds, flu, and Kovd, so I blew out the candles with a cold-free, flu-free, Kovd-free hairdryer.
      (One year I got a t-shirt that said, “I’m talking and I can’t shut up!” lol)

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  4. It did feel like a situation from a sitcom. Oh, I think I tend to assume my faith is strong but the panic that we get into when small things don’t go smoothly helps me remember how much building up needs to be done. This story will surely be one to remember and repeat 😊

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    1. Laughing is the only sensible option, isn’t it, Alan? I read recently that one of the many benefits of laughter is reducing inflammation, so I’ve added an episode of the “Red Green Show” to my arthritis regimen, so I can chuckle my way through physical therapy. πŸ˜‰

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  5. Oh I love that in the midst of all that crazy, there happened to be an old shower head to use…not random at all, instead God providing (teaching us to be thankful in all things)!!! So that like you said if we can trust Him and keep it together in the small upheavals, then we might better pull it together in the larger inconveniences..glorifying Him all the while!!

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