flashback friday – 13 september 2008

It’s been so fun going back through my old blog and dusting off some of these old stories.  This one is from September 2008 and talks about one of the times that God gave me the desires of my heart: a microwave cart, just when I needed it!

In my Folklore class that I’m taking, we have to do a “collection project.” For mine, I decided to collect stories from people about times that God has worked in their lives in a supernatural way: in other words, that it could only have come from Him.  It’s been amazing and humbling to hear all the stories, and brought me to tears more than once.  Hopefully I’ll be able to share some of them here as well (but only with their permission).

Anyhoo – from the archives:

“You Know God Loves You When…”

…He gives you a microwave cart!

Alright, I know that’s a little bit weird, but it’s true. Let me explain.

Last year for Christmas, my parents’ Christmas present to Tom and me was wood laminate flooring for our living room and kitchen. We bought the house we live in almost 8 years ago, and let’s just say that the people who lived here before us did some very, ummm, “creative” things to “fix” problems in the house. It reminds me of a chapter in one of Patrick McManus’ books about a bicycle built by a guy with three hands. Anyway, one thing I’ve always hated is a counter that ran along almost the whole front wall of the kitchen: a counter which had absolutely no shelves built into it, and about 6 drawers in various states of disrepair (and really, we all know you only need one junk drawer – 6 was just too many!). The one redeeming feature of this counter that made it absolutely impossible to fit a kitchen table in the room (well, without also blocking the fridge door), was that there was plenty of space to put my microwave.

For the last 9 months, we’ve had boxes and boxes of our beautiful new flooring stacked up in the house. However, just because you have it doesn’t mean you know what to do with it! Tom is an absolute wizard at fixing vehicles, but he’s a little “challenged” when it comes to doing major home repairs (Sorry honey 😉 ). My brother Forrest helped my mom and dad install theirs, my cousin Kenny install his, and then did his own, so he is now a bonafide expert. Really, after helping with ours, he is an absolute magician, but that’s another story as well… Anyway, schedules being what they are and life being what it is, my mom and Forrest haven’t been able to get up here to help us, and we just haven’t had the money to hire anyone else to come and do it for us. Two weeks ago, my mom called to let me know they’d be here that next weekend (1 week ago).

Now we come back to the counter. Tom and I had previously decided that we’d rip out the counter when we did the floor. So, that weekend that’s what we decided to do. In addition, I decided to walk on the wild side, and ** gasp ** actually repaint the kitchen and living room (which are basically one large room divided by another counter) in a color other than white, off-white, or very light tan. We finally settled on forest green on the front wall, with a mocha color on all the other walls. Well, when we ripped out the counter, we discovered that the reason they had placed the counter there was to cover up two very large holes in the wall. Unfortunately, the sheetrock that part of the house was built with is only as thick as a piece of paper. All right, it’s ¼” thick, but it might as well be paper. Needless to say, nobody carries that thin sheetrock anymore, so we could either redo the ENTIRE wall in the living room and kitchen with new sheetrock, or we could improvise.

We patched the holes as best we could, and then settled on some knotty pine beadboard to cover the bottom half of the kitchen wall. It looks absolutely GORGEOUS! Last weekend we got the floor put in (mostly – I still need to decide on the baseboards I want and then stain and install them), and we moved the table so that you can actually open the fridge without having to hire a moving crew. In the meantime, we had to put the microwave on the only open counter space we had (another drawback of the kitchen), so I made plans to buy a small microwave cart to put where the table had once been. After one of my marathon shopping trips, and after looking at about 5 different stores, I finally found the microwave cart I wanted, but it was $70. Well, after spending so much on paint, beadboard, tools, etc., I decided we really couldn’t afford it “right now.” I talked myself into and out of it several times before finally leaving the store, figuring that I could live without one until my next payday.

That was last Sunday afternoon. Sunday evening, Savannah accidentally slammed one of her fingers in the front door, totally ripping the nail out of the nail bed, and as I was to later discover, fracturing the tip in 2 places. A few days before this I had one of my major vertigo attacks, so I had been nauseated and off-balance for days. Monday I stayed at work as long as I could take it and then decided to come home a little early to try to sleep it off. Savannah arrived home from school at the same time as I did, so I decided to re-bandage her finger before I went to bed. Well, it looked even worse than it had the night before, so I made an executive decision and took her to Instacare where she received her first stitches and x-rays. After finally getting done there (by this time it was about 8:30 p.m.) we headed to the grocery store to get her prescription filled. Again, we had to wait. We left the grocery store about 9:00 p.m., and got roughly half-way home before my vehicle started making really weird noises, all the gauge lights came on, and the temperature went through the roof. So, we pulled over, called Tom to don his Knight’s costume and come rescue us, and waited. On the way home, as we were all squished together in his little two-seater pickup, he casually mentioned that we have to tighten our belts as much as we can, because his boss had come to him that night to let him know that if the economy doesn’t pick up and things don’t get busier at work, he may have to close the shop.

Well, that’s just SWELL…

Needless to say, it had been a VERY BAD DAY. Tuesday I called in sick, sent the kids off to school, crawled into bed, buried my head under the covers, and slept for 5 hours. Later, I wandered into my beautiful-floored kitchen to find something to eat when it hit me: I could no longer get a microwave cart. Not this week, not next week, probably NEVER. I was in full pity-party mode about everything, and doing some pretty hefty grumbling, er, I mean praying to God…

Now here’s the good part: I logged onto the computer to check my yahoo email account (which I rarely remember to check) and found a Freecycle (great site) notice which had been sent several days before offering a microwave cart. I emailed the person, but figured it would already be gone as things tend to go quickly. Thursday I received a return email saying that the people who had contacted her for the cart had never shown up, so she gave me her address and told me that whoever got there first could have it. I stopped by after work (only 2 blocks out of my way from my regular trip home!), and there it sat: the microwave cart. And not just any microwave cart, but the EXACT one that I had wanted. And the best part? I didn’t have to put the thing together!

It just helps to remind me that God really does have things in control, right down to our smallest desires. What an awesome way to end a crazy week!

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