We live in a broken world. And, at our house, lots of things have been breaking. First it was the ignition in the van. The Warrior Poet, in a massive show of ingenuity, uninstalled the ignition, took it to a locksmith and had it retooled, then reinstalled it. He saved us around $200.
Then it was our wireless router. No, modem. No, router. AT&T keeps telling us it couldn't possibly be the modem they provided, but we have tried three new routers, and our wireless still goes off-line. Two of the three girls do their math lessons online.
Aravis' phone has been intermittently breaking, too. (This is unrelated to the router.) She uses the phone to contact us whenever she drives somewhere, and yes, I know when I was sixteen my parents were not able to give us cell phones to keep us in contact with them, but we have them now. Sometimes I think all this technology is a ruse to suck us into more bondage to stuff.
Then, with a brief flash and a sizzle, our oven's heating element went out. We had nine little girls over for the night, and I was just opening the door to bake some brownies. No one was hurt.
Then... our van broke again. Smoke started coming from the hood, which is never a good sign. We paid off this van last July, and it now breaks down every two to three months. We took it to our favorite auto repairman and he said it was the something-manifold. (I'd have to look at the paperwork to give the proper name-- those things go right out of my head as soon as they are spoken.) He had to remove the engine in order to fix it, so that was a very, very big deal. It cost one arm and one leg. But I will say that even with this and other repairs, we are still coming out ahead of a car payment. (Not much ahead, but still.)
Then we had a big hail storm, which broke one storm window (outside pane only) and damaged our fence. We aren't sure about the roof yet. We're waiting for the insurance person to come out. It also pockmarked the van, which, as you will recall, has a pristine new something-manifold. There is a slim possibility the vehicle will be totalled, but I don't think that will happen. The marks aren't very deep. Surprisingly, the van being totalled would be a good thing for us, making us able, without going into debt, to purchase another beater vehicle with fewer miles and perhaps a better internal outlook. Haha. Ours has around 160,000 miles. Such are the twists and turns of the world.
(The Warrior Poet said to be sure and mention our Blue Ice packs that leaked and then broke. He says he was very traumatized when that happened. Lol.)
This has been since the end of March. Most of these things are small. There are a lot of them, though. After the oven, one of my friend said, "These things come in threes, so you are probably done for now." I think they come in a slow trickle at times, often in a shower, and occasionally as a deluge.
Of course these things will happen. We live in a broken world. I don't know why I expect things to work all the time. We have a plaque hanging in our house that says, "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's learning to dance in the rain." I love that, because when I look at our life in one way, it's always raining.
But looked at in another way, I see the gorgeous blessings in which I can revel if I have eyes to see. Here are some of the good things that have happened since the end of March.
We had a time of celebration and worship with our church during our annual meeting, which is a three-day series of services with meals in between. The girls invited their friends home after the Friday night service and I got to treat them to a slumber party before bringing them back to church on Saturday morning. And we got to see one of the little girls join the church on Sunday morning.
My mother, who just retired, and my dad, who is rejoicing in Mom's retirement, came over and fixed us breakfast one morning on a school day. Just because they love us.
Aravis went to the state science and engineering fair and actually placed fifth in her category. I didn't even think she would go to state. When they called her name I blurted out, "No WAY," embarrassing my family and drawing stares from the people around us. It just popped out, honest.
During that trip, we had a great time visiting with my mother as well as some family and friends. We were especially delighted with our little cousin, a laughing, friendly one-year-old boy.
My dad had the opportunity to visit Botswana and preach and study with folks who are interested in our doctrine. As he sent his updates, we got to learn about another culture and also rejoice in the teachings of the Lord.
Cornflower and Mariel got to participate in a special performance for relief efforts in Japan. The concert raised around $4,000, and Mariel had her first experience as concertmaster.
THEN, a year's worth of hard work and creativity culminated in two terrific performances of Peter Pan by our homeschool drama club. All three girls got to be involved in the production. The sets, directing, everything was done by students (with adult guidance), and it was fabulous.
Occasionally, I considered fretting over the broken things, but so many blessings occurred at the same time that it seemed ungrateful to pout. Besides, it's more fun to dance in the rain than to sit at the window waiting for it to stop.