Day 4: Counting Blessings & Revealing Messes

I’m back! I took off for a few days while we worked on drying the basement after the recent flood on Thursday. Stick with me because I plan to catch up as quickly as I can.

Before diving completely back into the series, I feel compelled to share a little more of the experience. As I spent countless hours moving water-logged boxes and sucking water out with a shop vac, my mind often turned to prayer. They were random, not well thought out, and at times repetitious, but they were frequent and heart-felt. I also started counting my blessings, as the old hymn puts it:

  • It wasn’t sewage water; it was clear groundwater.
  • It could have been higher/deeper.
  • The box of pictures left carelessly on the floor (by me) could have been two feet to the side where it would have been ruined.
  • Nothing of consequence was destroyed.
  • The friends with the shop vac and dehumidifier might have missed my Facebook post.
  • Another friend sent out emergency messages and got people to help us within 10 hours.
  • Twelve other people showed up to help move wet furniture and boxes upon boxes of books to higher ground.
  • At least six of those twelve stayed for several hours to help clean up as much water as they could using a total of four shop vacs.
  • My husband’s past experience cleaning carpets helped him know what needed to be done, resulting in renting four air movers and two dehumidifiers to move and dry the air as much as possible.
  • Two more friends who showed up on Saturday morning to continue to wet vac.
  • Ten people came over on Monday night to rip out the padding from under the carpet and wash the walls with a disinfecting cleanser.
  • Friends volunteering to bring us meals over the next week to relieve some of the burden.
  • Finally tonight, feeling like the immediate crisis is over after a carpet cleaning company came in and did a thorough extraction, applying an industrial strength antimicrobial to kill bacteria and stop the growth of mold or mildew.

I’m thankful that I’ve been able to see the positive side of things for the most part (not that this has been easy). So what does all this have to do with kingdom crushing?

roomroom2

I had to laugh last night as the group was cleaning the walls. There really wasn’t much left to hide in my house. My messes, those closed-door areas of the house that are unsuitable for guests to see, were all exposed. All the furniture and furnishings that were in the basement have been crammed into every corner of the upstairs. Note these two different angles looking into my dining room – yikes, right?

So, if we’re talking about me treating my house like a kingdom, that’s been/being crushed. And what’s crazy is that I have so much enjoyed having so many people in and out of the house these past 5 days. It didn’t matter that we couldn’t even get six people seated on chairs in the living room or that my decorations weren’t pin worthy (most of the decorations were shoved in a box in the dining room anyway). At one point, I thought I should try to find some food to serve them, but then realized that wasn’t what they were here for or expecting.

Judging by the differences between my husband and myself, I suspect this post will resonate more with the women reading it than any men. Kingdom crushing can be the freeing of expectations, even the ones we put on ourselves to present a perfect house. Don’t let it be a flood that drives that lesson home to you.

Continue reading with Day 5: Sit in the hard places.
If you missed Day 3, you can catch up here.

View the whole series here

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Day 2: Four lessons from a flood

morning surpriseThis morning, I had an unpleasant surprise. On opening the door to our storage room, I was greeted by a rush of water coming out at me. Five inches of rain overnight on already soaked ground was more than our house could handle. The water continued to spread through the entire basement as the day wore on and storms continued to roll through the area.

The rest of the day was spent trying to dry the space with towels, removing boxes and items out of reach of the spreading water, and lots of squeegee action and shop vac suction. As the sun set (and another shower began), 12 friends and brothers & sisters in Christ basement floodshowed up to help us move all the furniture out of the carpeted areas, run shop vacs to remove the standing water as much as possible, and generally get wet and dirty trying to help us deal with the mess. What a blessing it was to have church family jump in and help as much as they could!

So, here’s what I learned from the flood in our basement today:

  1. Circumstances can crush your kingdom. We had absolutely no control over the weather or the water entering the basement. All plans for today (and tomorrow) had to be abandoned in an instant.
  2. Our kingdom, the house and its appearance, really didn’t matter. Having the house torn apart and possessions potentially ruined, is unsettling. But, in the big picture, even if all is lost, thanks be to God.*
  3. When our kingdoms are crushed, there’s room for God to (rightfully) be on the throne. When I step back and look at that big picture, how can I do anything but trust God? I’m so clearly not in control (as water continues to fill my basement). I suppose I could stress and worry, but what would that do? It wouldn’t stop the flow of water. It wouldn’t save my carpet or household furnishings.
  4. Kingdom crushing can lead to surprising blessings. If our basement had not flooded, I would have gone to work, had a normal day, come home, chatted with my husband over dinner and then written a blog post. Instead, I prayed. A lot. While running the shop vac, I spent several hours praying. Rather than a quiet dinner at home, we had twelve friends from church come by to help us move furniture and clean. Instead of watching a movie or Doctor Who, I had gospel conversations about trusting God in hard times.

Well, this isn’t the post I thought I’d be writing for Day Two, but that’s what crushing our kingdoms sometimes looks like. I hope your kingdom crushing takes a drier turn than mine has. 🙂

*a poem by Dom Julian, O.S.B., as recorded in A Severe Mercy:

If everything is lost, thanks be to God
If I must see it go, watch it go,
Watch it fade away, die
Thanks be to God that He is all I have
And if I have Him not, I have nothing at all
Nothing at all, only a farewell to the wind
Farewell to the grey sky
Goodbye, God be with you evening October sky
If all is lost, thanks be to God,
For He is He, and I, I am only I.

This post is Day 2 of 31 Days of Crushing your Kingdoms. If you missed it, here’s Day 1 (or Day 3).

Read all posts in the series here:
crushing your kingdoms

How to (not) be miserable

Last fall, I celebrated the big 4-0.

Years ago, for a friend’s 40th, her husband got all her girlfriends together for a surprise slumber party while he & their boys went elsewhere for the night. I loved the idea and ever since have said I wanted a big party for my 40th birthday. So with much help from Pinterest, I managed to pull off a lovely turquoise, yellow & grey candlelit evening party. Twenty five of my friends and coworkers came to help me celebrate my birthday in style. My husband even surprised me by flying my sister (aka best friend) up from Florida to celebrate with me! (more…)

An Attitude of Gratitude

What are you thankful for?

We flew home yesterday, having missed the midwest blizzards due to our well-timed vacation in Florida. Imagine our surprise and joy to turn onto our street and discover that, instead of having to shovel our driveway before we could pull our car in, the driveway was clear of all 17.7 inches! A group of wonderful people from Karis Community Church came and shoveled our driveway for us!

This has put me in a spirit of gratitude, so tonight I simply want to focus on God’s provision in my life (more…)

  • Hi, I'm Janice. I'm part bookworm and part creative. I love both science and music (and the science of music). I'm stumbling around trying to grow closer to God. Click the photo to read more about me.

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