In A Month, Oh, How Life can change!

19 11 2007

On October 2oth, nowhere in my brain was any alert that trouble was around the corner.  I had been working on deep cleaning and painting the main floor of our home for seven weeks.  Somehow, I did know that being able to do that project both   time and money wise was a gift. 

The culmination came with having an open house for my friends and family.  Our priest, Fr. John Oliver ,and his family drove from Murfreesboro, Tn. to bless our home.  The sun was shining, my home was sparkling clean, the table was set with all kinds of good food–everything just seemed wonderful.  We had 37 friends come by for the occasion.  My son and his wife had bought me two large pots of Mums for my front porch.  I even received some housewarming gifts–which I certainly did not expect. 

Then on October 22, our lives began a series of trials. Jim came home from work that Monday ,telling me that he would have to make a switch to a rotation job that would entail 12 hour days and having to work two Sundays a month.  Next, the furnace wouldn’t work.  Thankfully, my son-in-law supplied the labor free but the part was almost $100.00.  Our story continues with water flooding our basement–when there wasn’t even any rain.  That ended up with a $1,000.00 investment of labor and parts.  Inbetween all of this, I had been for a mammogram, and had been called back for more pictures.   Then I had an ultra sound and lastly, I had a biopsy.

This morning, I was cheerfuly trying to adjust to Jim’s first 12 hour day.  It was different waking up by myself.  I felt a bit lonely–not having Jim with me for our morning prayers.  However, I was okay with that.  My two dogs and one cat cuddled up in bed with me while I ate my breakfast and then had my prayers.  I really wanted to blog early today but knew that chores had to come first.  I loaded up my washing machine only to have it not agitate normally.  There was also a nasty rubber smell.  Another thing to add to our month of trials.  Now this was a used machine for us.  However, it has worked great for 18 months.  Our machine went out during the time when Jim was starting back to work just four hours a day.  I also went back to work as a substitute teacher.  There just wasn’t money to buy a new washing machine.  Ben, our son, had an extra machine that someone had given him.  So he  brought it over and installed it for us.   We  really got a great deal of use out of that machine before it quit on me this morning.

I went to my room and closed the door.  I was frustrated and almost in tears.  I stood before my icon of Christ and my icon of  the Theotokos (Mary) and just expressed my sadness and feelings of hopelessness.  The best I knew how–I relinquished this new trial into God’s hands. 

I finished out my morning, cleaning.  I learned through my experience of cleaning prior to painting that I could save myself alot of time if I would pay more attention to cleaning woodwork, dusting the ceilings for cobwebs and dusting off all the pictures in each room on a regular basis.  So I try to take an old paint brush and dust doors, pictures, woodwork etc at least every two weeks.  I never have been a clutter person but I’ve never been a detailed cleaning person–except in a mad rush to entertain.  So I spent my morning dusting and cleaning and looking forward to my reward of being on the computer. 

Mary, my Orthodox friend, dropped by for a little bit.  Maria was in town and dropped by for lunch.  By the time I finished cleaning and visiting with Mary and Maria–I knew that I would be able to accept the washing machine situation.

I never do seem to fully comprehend that life is difficult.  In fact, M. Scott Peck,M.D. tells us just that on the first page of his bestseller:  The Road Less Traveled. He writes:  This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths.  It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it.  Once we truly know that life is difficult–once we truly understand and accept it–then life is no longer difficult.  Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”

In the book of James we read something similar: “My brethen, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

I’ve been reading the words  of James for over 30 years now and the words of Dr. Peck for at least 20 years.  I’m a slow learner.  I do complain, pout and carry on.  Thankfully,  I’m quicker to get back into a state of trusting God than I was as a young mother or even the days when I was a mother to  four teenagers.  Once again ,I’m reminded that there seems to be no explaination of how or why trials come.  In our lives they always seem to come in bunches. 

This has been one of those months that I could never have predicted on  that wonderful day of our open house.  Yes, God really did give me a gift of time and money to clean and paint our home.  I look back now and wonder how I ever accomplished such a feat.  We will grow through this difficult month.  I’m still waiting to hear about the result of my biopsy.  And, that will be the food for  thought ,for another blog.

God bless each of you!




2 responses

20 11 2007

Dear Nicole,

I found your blog via your comment on my blog at morningcoffee. I’m curious: Is there a parish in Western KY? I went to college at Western, in Bowling Green and I heard a few years ago that there was a group of folks (russian, perhaps) in that area, but no parish. I’ve been praying off and on for God to allow there to be a parish in Western KY ever since then. my e-mail is

20 11 2007

Sorry I missspelled your name! I just realized it after I hit the send button.

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