Saturday, April 21, 2007

Alas and Alack

WARNING: Pity party straight ahead. Detour to another blog if you're allergic to whine.

Like many areas of the country, we have been experiencing unseasonal and even dangerous weather; in our case, this past week brought several days' worth of downpours which resulted in roads and bridges being washed out all over our town and adjoining communities. The town next door to us is pretty nearly shut down.

Our basement was filled with almost a foot and a half of water, thanks to a faulty sump pump, causing the demise of our well's water pump and the washing machine's motor. The furnace didn't take kindly to it either, and expired without a qualm. All problems have been remedied except for the last inch of water in the basement, an issue with which we will have to live as long as the water table is high. We do not have the financial means to install any type of drainage system at the moment.

The ceilings in our bedroom and Anna's are sporting unattractive new water stains. Guess the roof needs some more work. The porch's roof has been leaking since we moved almost a year and a half ago. One corner is especially soggy. I imagine that we will need to rebuild the entire thing. Of course that is dependent on finances.

We were told by our insurance company that they no longer wish to insure our barn as it is "falling down" and "shingles" on the roof are missing. I wonder whose barn they were investigating since they've never stopped by for a tour of the place. Being about two hundred years old, give or take a decade or two, our barn may have a few issues but it is by no means in danger of collapsing. As for the roof......um, it's made of metal. Hello? No comprendo. Perhaps they are architecturally challenged.....let's give them the benefit of the doubt......since it is the siding on the barn that is composed of shingles.
Even the guineas have had their difficulties (in addition to their genetic heritage, that is). Before the rain storms, we had a doozy of a snowstorm that collapsed the outdoor run Dwayne had built for them. He's just been able to repair it today. It got so I was actually feeling sorry for them being penned up inside the coop for the past couple of weeks.

Dwayne hasn't made a profit on any of his jobs in the past several months. He has been mired in a job painting a high school almost two hours away for over a year. It's a nightmare but it's almost over. I think we'll go on a cruise when it's done. Or at least shoot off some fireworks. Maybe dance around the yard in sombreros at midnight shooting our six-guns. Maybe not. Our neighbors already think we're strange. After all we're the weirdos with those bizarre quails or turkeys or guineas or whatever they are. What were we thinking? Speaking of guineas, stay tuned for an upcoming post with some surprising news. Not all is rotten in Denmark.

I pulled my back out of whack again last week by sneezing for goodness sakes. My chiropractor says it's a common way to traumatize the back. Mine anyway. Coughing works well, too. It's taking forever to heal. Not unusual for me. ~sigh~ I should have been born an invertebrate. Spineless jellyfish, anyone?

Not to be left out of the mixed bag of trials and tribulations, Calvin decided to eat something he shouldn't have and was sick again. All over the bathroom, thank you very little. This time I decided to wait it out rather than rush him to the vet, dosed him up with a kitty laxative along with some red raspberry leaf tea mixed with probiotics and herbs, and left him alone to sleep for a day and a night. It appeared to do the trick. Either that or he determined on his own to get better so he wouldn't have that vile mixture dripped down his throat again!

All joking and moaning and gnashing of teeth aside, I must sincerely say that my experiences are not the worst in the world. They mean that the Lord is not far from me, that He has been pleased to allow my sufferings, and anything that sends me to my knees and causes me to seek His face is worthy. Oh wretched person that I am, how much worse to be in distress and to be separated from Him? All the while I am being refined, He is holding me in His hands. As the clay does not direct the potter in his manipulations or techniques, so I do not question our Maker. Rather, I become pliant and yielding beneath the pressure of His fingertips, trusting Him and having faith that He is guiding and molding me to conform to His image. One day I will be finished and He will be pleased and say, "It is good." This is my hope.

This song called The Potter's Hand by Darlene Zschech is one of comfort and assurance:

Beautiful Lord, Wonderful Saviour
I know for sure, all of my days are held in your hands,
Crafted into your perfect plan
You gently call me into your presence
Guiding me by Your Holy Spirit
Teach me dear Lord to live all of my life through Your eyes
I'm captured by Your holy calling
Set me apart, I know you're drawing me to yourself
Lead me Lord I pray
Take me, mould me, use me, fill me
I give my life to the Potter's hand
Call me, guide me, lead me, walk beside me
I give my life to the Potter's hand

I know many of you who are enduring far greater pain than I. May your spirits be soothed and hope renewed by these inspired words of timeless truth in a prayer written so long ago by a Puritan brother in Christ:

GIVER OF ALL GOOD,
Streams upon streams of love overflow my path.
Thou hast made me out of nothing,
hast recalled me from ignorance to knowledge,
from darkness to light,
from death to life,
from misery to peace,
from folly to wisdom,
from error to truth,
from sin to victory.
Thanks be to thee for my high and holy calling.
I bless thee for ministering angels,
for the comfort of thy Word,
for the ordinances of thy church,
for the teaching of thy Spirit,
for thy holy sacraments,
for the communion of saints,
for Christian fellowship,
for the recorded annals of holy lives,
for examples sweet to allure,
for beacons sad to deter.
Thy will is in all thy provisions
to enable me to grow in grace,
and to be meet for thy eternal presence.
My heaven-born faith gives promises of eternal sight,
my new birth a pledge of never-ending life.
I draw near to thee, knowing thou wilt draw near to me.
I ask of thee, believing thou hast already given.
I entrust myself to thee, for thou hast redeemed me.
I bless and adore thee, the eternal God,
for the comfort of these thoughts,
the joy of these hopes.

(From The Valley of Vison)





10 Comments:

Blogger Randall Gerard said...

Emily,

Remind your insurance guy of all the premiums you've paid. And then call the scoundrel's boss. I speak from experience, these guys won't pay for anything unless you hold their feet to the fire.

By the way, how's the church hunt coming?

4:11 PM  
Blogger Karisa said...

Emily,

My mother can relate to your back problem. She completely threw her back out just by brushing her teeth. The second time it happened she was bending to pick up a piece of trash. She was unable to walk for several weeks each time without excruciating pain.
Hope you are feeling much better soon.

Karisa

7:13 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Randall,
Thanks for the advice....I'll pass your comment on to No.1. As for church, we've been going to a Reformed Baptist church not too far away for the past couple of months. The preaching is excellent and very refreshing compared to what we had been accustomed to when we attended a dispensational church, though we do have some difficulties with a couple of issues. Nothing to work up a lather over though. We'll see.

Karisa,
Thank you! Oh, your mom and I could probably sit around and swap war stories. She sounds just like me. First time it happened to me, I bent over in the shower to pick up the soap. Wrong move! I have learned the hard way never to bend or lean over first thing in the morning. Excruciating pain, uh huh. I would rather be in labor. At least then you gain a reward for your suffering!

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Carmon said...

Dear Emily,

I'm so sorry about all your trials. I will pray for relief for you in all of them. I appreciate your good attitude about it all and the song and prayer to lift the spirits.

I'm sorry but I can't remember where I got the picture. Whenever I find something I like on a website, I save it in case I want to use it to make a card or put on my site. If I figure out where it's from, I'll let you know.

Blessings,
Carmon

12:08 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

Carmon,
Thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement. I read your blog regularly and your writing is a constant source of wisdom and enlightenment to me. You make me THINK! Guess you'd say I'm a Prairie Muffin in progress. ;^D I can try my own search online for that print but if you do come across the artist, I would appreciate hearing from you. Blessings to you!

6:09 AM  
Blogger Marci said...

OH Emily, I am so sorry for all that is happening in your life my friend. God must really trust you. I will pray for you and the things happening around you. Here is a song I wrote about my barrenness. It is good for all sorts of troubles. I really believe that God gave it to me.

My Song

It seems that pain is a part of my life...
and I decide what part it will take.

As the enemy it tears me down
and I want it to go away.
I let it lead me far from God
into a place of sorrow...
and there I stay for many days
wanting no tomorrows.
I want to cry out...
God, where are you?
Have you left me here to die?
But in my heart
I know who put me here.
I say...yes, Lord it was I

Chorus: Lord, help me keep my eyes on You,
when my way gets rough.
Help me to keep singing praises,
when my way is tough.
Lord, use the pain to refine me,
so Your image I will gain.
And yes Lord...I want to say...
Thank you for the pain.

As a friend it makes me grow
and I know it has a purpose.
I let it bring me near to God
for I'm told within His Word...
that before the pain reaches me,
it must go through my Lord.
He's the Refiner...
and I'm the gold.
He uses the pain for fire.
He looks within me
for His reflection
For that...Is His heart's desire.

Chorus

Treating your pain as a friend isn't an easy thing to try.
But Jesus' love is so complete
He wants to do it for you...
Give Him this burden that you bear
let Him, your heart renew.
Sing praises to Him...
and bless the Lord.
Thank Him for making a way,
a way to be made
more like my Savior.
And yes Lord...Thank you for the pain.

Marci Blubaugh
April 1987

3:09 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

Emily,

Girl...you guys have had all kinds of trials lately, haven't you? :-)

I'm grateful that the Lord has allowed you to retain your sense of humor throughout all of the problems and am assured that He will continue to guide you through these difficulties.

I also pray that your back will be on the mend soon. I have a miserable back as well that is forever bothering me but, like you said, in comparison to so many others it's nothing...

Hope to see you at church soon!!

Kim S. (from Calvary)

10:40 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Marci,
Thank you so much for sharing that song with me. Words to live by, it really spoke to my heart. Suffering is no respecter of persons. We all have our share, but it is up to us whether to yield to our Lord or struggle and fight. I hope that I become more pliant and grow stronger through the trials he allows.

Kim,
Thank you! I hope to be back at Calvary this week. Pastor says it's okay to get up and move around if I'm in physical distress. My back tends to freeze up if I sit too long. I've said before that humor is my secret weapon! :) It's definitely a gift from the Lord. See you Sunday, Lord willing!

6:36 AM  
Anonymous judy said...

Hi Em,

I guess I'm a month late commenting here since I just checked in to read for the first time in a while. Thanks for taking the time to capture the moments of your life and let the Lord use your words to bless others. It is funny how laughter and tears can both be the thread that join hearts. I am blessed by your words,and the song and prayers give voice to my inner groans. May the Lord hear our cries and transform them into something beautiful for His Glory.

I'd love to hear "Marci's Song" someday,I really do believe they are timeless words given from heaven.

I think the Lord allows the pain in me that I would draw close to Him.Most trouble comes when I run away and bury my feelings rather than bringing them to Him for His help and healing.

Your words,the prayer,the songs lead me to cry out:

"Lord!
Don't let me stay in the past
hemmed in by my suffering and pain
but lead me to the other side through it
that I may see your gain."

3:05 PM  
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9:56 PM  

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