Thursday, September 8, 2011
Our Little House, and theirs
Tim and I are not farmers. We have never built anything with our own hands or moved with our family to a whole new place. But today, I find myself thinking about the Ingalls family and feeling a lot like I can relate to them.
Our house has been a challenge since the day we moved in ten years ago. We have had problems with the air conditioning, plumbing, air conditioning, electrical system, and air conditioning. We have replaced doors, carpeting, duct work, windows, the roof, and the air conditioning. Every time we make a list of things we’d like to do in our house- things like re-paint the family room, buy a new kitchen table, upgrade the cabinets, get a new fence in the backyard, etc… something else goes wrong and we pour more money into the house without ever really getting ahead. The maintenance is killing us. We can barely keep up, and yet things keep going wrong. Last weekend, Tim spent his Labor Day working on the house. Tuesday evening, I put our dinner into the microwave expecting it to be hot and delicious in just 25 minutes. 40 minutes later, our potatoes were still crunchy. They hadn't cooked at all. The microwave was clearly broken. This morning, I noticed the air conditioner did not seem to be kicking on. I checked the thermostat, and went outside to check the unit. Everything seemed to be fine but there was no air coming through the vents. None at all. This is the fourth or fifth year we have had problems with the air conditioner that we just replaced 6 years ago. As I held my hand in front of the vent that no cool air was shooting from this morning, I felt my spirits sink into a state of deep depression and self-pity over the whole thing. But then, (maybe it's message from God?) the old Little House stories popped into my head. I feel like the Ingalls, trying so hard to get ahead, trying so hard to do the right things for our family and make a nice safe home for our children, only to be hit with bad luck at every turn. The Ingalls learned to persevere despite their struggles. They appreciated the gifts of family and friends and the opportunity to start over when things went wrong. Like the ideas of embracing my suffering, praising God in all things, and finding joy in even my challenges, I am just not there yet. But God sure does keep giving me opportunities to try to get there…..