Sunday, April 20, 2008

I must be thinking about this the wrong way...

Since we purchased our fixer upper (code for severely ravaged crack house) we have fixed nearly everything under the roof. After we finished the basement portion of the remodel, the skies turned gray (literally) and we had our first rain storm of the season. We were surprised to find out that the foundation leak, thought to have been repaired by the previous owner, had not been repaired at all, and our newly carpeted baby's room was now damp with the season's storm.

We planned our solution to the problem and deducted that we would need a back hoe, shovels, a warm day and a good sealer. One trip to home depot supplied us with the necessary tools to seal the leak and yesterday, when the weather looked sunny and warm, we contacted a friend who had access to a small back hoe. While I was away at my photo shoot, the men labored to dig a large, deep hole.

After my shoot I rushed home to check the progress of the working men, only to find the project at a stand still. Moments after I had arrived home, Mark, wearied eyed with the days work and what he assumed my reaction to his news to be, announced half heartedly that they were just about finished digging the hole, unfortunately on their last dig, they had also cracked the Main Sewer Line. "What?!? You did what?" I gaped at him. Calmly he replied, "Don't worry." As simply as that, he turned, walked into the house and called the plumber. It was my turn to watch as his expression changed from calm to, "Are you kidding me? It is going to cost how much?!?" He in turn must have seen my reaction to his reaction and calmly said again, "Don't worry" as he turned to the phone again and dialed more numbers.

5 minutes later, 2 wonderful apprentice plumber friends showed up to take a look at the damage done. In that minimal, squinted eye, plumber way of communicating, the older shorter plumber friend looked at me and nodded, "No problem." The men crawled down into the hole and worked tirelessly on cutting the pipe and securely replacing it.

2 hours later, those wonderful friends of ours had the sewer line fixed, generously announcing that the total cost came to a mere $20.00 (the price of the parts) Of course, I agreed to give them free photography for years to come.

At the end of the day, I shrugged off the sewer line fiasco feeling grateful that the cost was a mere pittance compared to what it could have been. I walked into my home to find a letter from the state. Apparently they just now calculated that we owe $500 more dollars on our 2004 taxes than originally estimated!

A confusion of feelings washed over me. I felt like we narrowly escaped a major financial burden just to walk smack into another one. Considering our recent Jobless struggle (see previous posts) I am grateful that Mark has found a new job and will be starting tomorrow and we will have the money to pay for these unexpected taxings, but COME ON?!? Do the bills already have to start racking up?

So, the point of this long and drawn out drama is: Years ago I had a poignant conversation with a very spiritual and uplifting man. I expressed to him that I felt like as soon as we saved up enough money to cushion our savings, or to do anything out of our normal budgeting expenses, some major catastrophe would happen and we would have to use all that we saved to fix the problem. A particular instance happened just prior to that conversation. Mark had a bonus of $1000.00, and the next day both front axles on our van went out and the cost to fix them was about $1000.00 dollars! I aired my frustrations to this man, and he replied that I must be thinking about our situation the wrong way...and in fact, God was simply holding our van together until we had the funds to pay for it.

So although we escaped the major cost of the sewer pipe repair, we must have enough extra money coming our way to pay for the added tax expense imposed by the state...and God must have been holding back the state until Mark had found a job...and the good fortune bestowed to us by plumber friends is God's little sock in the arm saying, See, I'm watching out for you Kid!


Kahilau said...

I am so impressed and happy for you that you are able to see the situation like that. That man was truly inspired. It is true that the Lord always knows what is ahead and truly does take care of us, and definitely true that we choose how to see those situations! Way to go!!!!

Unknown said...

I know of no one else who can turn a major plumbing job into a $20 dollar expense. You are truly my hero!
We have had similar experience from the INS (with a much smaller amount though), it is truly a very depressing letter to be getting from them. Maybe you could go on another secret mission for the government in exchange for the money. :-)

Robyn said...

I'm so glad that things turned out so well with the sewer situation--I was really worried when Caleb told me what had happened. Also, your backyard is looking great and I love the new & improved (aka: smaller) fire pit. We will have to use it again this summer!

PS--Why no pics of the hot guy on the backhoe?

Just SO said...

That man was inspired. What a great way to look at things like that. I know that we have been blessed in similar ways many, many times. ((hugs))

Peggy Eddleman said...

Aw, Erin. You always know how to look at things! Thanks for sharing the great story!

I'm with Judy-- you are the only person I know who could turn a several thousand dollar job into a $20 job. I think you should teach a class. Some of us could really use that skill. :)

sanaejames photography said...

There is a really good book that got me through some tough gave me a better perspective on how the Lord works. The book is called, "When Your Prayers Seem Unanswered" by Michael Wilcox. It's a short and good read. YOu should read it...I'm glad things turned around for ya...Let us know if you need anything.

Rach said...

that is a good thought. I would automatically thought the same as you. I need people to remind me of the other - that GOD is watching out for us.

Nikki said...

I agree with Ohana, very good thought. Good way to look at it. I'll remember that next time we have to replace our transmission or washing machine. how's that baby cookin'? she alright?

A. said...

We just had somethign happen today that made me start down the same thinking process as you, "Why do things happen right when we get our ducks in a row?!" I'm very grateful for your post to remind me of how I'm looking at it the wrong way. God is good! How easily I forget that He says His palns for us are to prosper not for evil. And that He never gives us more than we can bear.

By the way.... WOW! What a huge hole. Nothing near the size of the one I imagined in my head while reading the post. lol

JoMamma said...

It would take me years to figure out the positive in these types of situations.

Life is to hard to go at it alone. We need the help of friends, and knowing plumbers is a great blessing.

Marcie said...

I know I would have been looking at the situation the same way as you! What great wisdom and perspective your friend has.

Leslie said...

That is so crazy that you guys seem to have one crisis after another that come out of the blue. I feel so bad for you guys but glad it got fixed and didn't happen before the job offer. I think your new perspective is awesome and makes me think that most of the time we all really are so blessed to pull through those problems with divine guidance and awesome friends like you have there in PG.

Mariko said...

I thought you should know that your inspirational self caused me to do something-- (check for details). I only gave it a thought because of your rave review.
I'm glad Mark got a job. I had a slight hope that it would be back in Hawaii, since we've had a serious lack of an aerobics teacher for a while now.

Unknown said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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