It was November, just 2 days away from Thanksgiving and I was oh so dangerously close to my breaking point. I mean right there at the edge, toes hanging off the cliff and the twitch is about to begin. That’s when Murphy’s Law seems to take great joy in popping up and throwing a monkey wrench in EVERYTHING. I had everything all prepped and set for a Thanksgiving meal to rival those of years past. My husband at the time was due to come home from a 3 week deployment the next afternoon. Despite a bizarre string of catastrophes popping up in an ungodly short amount of time, the house was in perfect tip-top shape. Somehow, I had managed to retain my sanity after 3 weeks of Murphy’s Law, homeschooling, keeping all 6 kids of our kids alive and preparing for the holidays. Finally, I was ahead of the game! Or so I thought.
To say it was one thing after another is a rather mild statement, to say the least!
For military spouses, Murphy’s Law is just a part of life when their loved ones deploy. That’s when things go missing, break, break down, burst or even explode. Does that ever happen when they’re not deployed? HA! Of course not! That would be too easy, right?
In that 3 weeks, here’s just a sample of what good ‘ol Murphy threw on my plate:
- 2 flat tires on the van
- 4 of the kids sick (and myself as well)
- Basement flooded
- Washing machine drain backed up…AGAIN. The plumber came out twice and it still kept backing up into the toilet, sink and all over the floor!
- Lightning struck 2 houses down and the was T.V. destroyed
That day things had really kicked into high gear. The dog threw up on the couch (lovely, huh?), the power kept going out and apparently the plumbing throughout the house decided to revolt on me…AGAIN. I had managed to fix the garbage disposal and the clogged bathroom sink that morning. The laundry room floor was cleaned up after the drain backed up AGAIN that afternoon. (I was really hating that #@$*!!! drain by that point!!!)
Surely things couldn’t get worse, right???
After fighting with the drain in the laundry room, things seemed to settle down. As a matter of fact, everything started to run smoothly for the first time in weeks. Hallelujah!!!
‘Ol Murphy was finally off my back and I couldn’t have been more relieved!
Little did I know that I was about to encounter the mother-load of all catastrophes…
So there I was standing in the kitchen, basking in triumph as I gazed upon the counter full of pies, cookies and other holiday goodies, prepped and ready to go into the oven. Everything is coming together at last! Then, Murphy’s Law decides it isn’t quite done with me yet. The oven had been preheating – or so I thought. I grabbed an apple pie off of the counter, opened the oven door and quickly realized upon carefully placing it on the rack that the oven was cold. Stone. Cold. After ever so calmly checking everything I could think of, I hung my head and sighed. Not ready to admit defeat, I started to look up local appliance repair shops and began making calls, praying that one would be available, know what they’re doing AND be affordable. Not too tall of an order, right?
Enter Murphy’s Law…
I found someone with a 5 star rating and rave reviews that was more than willing to come over right then and get my oven back in working order and his rate is affordable.
Now, about that whole “knowing what they’re doing” bit….
I still don’t know exactly what happened next. All I can remember is blinking and next thing I know, my oven door is completely disassembled and the parts – along with other parts of my poor oven – are strewn from the stove, to the table and out the backdoor. A tray of cookies have been knocked to the floor and I’m pretty darn near the point of tears. Then, I hear him say, “Well ma’am, I can’t find exactly what’s causing your problem. Here’s the number of someone I recommend and here’s the bill, you can pay me next week. Have a good evening, ma’am.”. He gathers up his things, heads for the front door and just like that, he left. He didn’t even attempt to gather up the strewn-about parts, just left everything in complete disarray. Uh, come again?!
I wanted to say, “First of all, I can easily tell you what’s causing my problem right now buddy, and that’s YOU! Second of all, pay you for what, exactly?! Playing Bob the Builder on crack while destroying my kitchen? Heck, I’ve got toddlers that could have done that, easily!”. However, I’m too stunned to speak. Did this really just happen?! Am I on Candid Camera?!?! Were the people that gave him such rave reviews blind, high on crack themselves or paid off? Or am I just the lucky one he decided to lose his ever-loving mind on?!
Having decided to deal with his worthless behind later, I went back to the phone and started making calls again. And no, I did NOT call who he recommended. One Mickey Mouse Operation was quite enough already! Thankfully, it didn’t take long to find someone else willing to come by and help me out. While waiting for them to arrive I start cleaning up a bit. Now my “friend” Murphy’s Law rears it’s snarky head again. I had just swept up the floor, bent down to sweep it all into the dust pan…
And then it happened. The dustpan broke…and then I broke. My eye started to twitch. I was beyond DONE.
The doorbell rang and I went answer the door, twitching all the way. He takes one look at me and I guess I looked pretty bad. I’m wearing my dough-encrusted apron that by this time is slightly off-kilter and my hair is all over the place. My hands, arms and jeans are filthy from God only knows what and of course, there’s the twitch. Needless to say, I was quite the sight by that point.
God bless the man at the door!
I opened the door and there stood a very ragged and tired looking, yet friendly older man. He took one look at me in my twitchy-state, smiled and said, “Don’t worry ma’am, it’s all gonna be OK. Let’s go take a look-see and fix it pronto.”. Well, that right there was exactly what I needed to hear. It must have been quite apparent by my sudden outburst of, “OH THANK YOU, GOD!”, which was followed by pathetic sobbing.
Just as quickly as the disaster had happened, this angel of a man had everything all fixed and in perfect working order! Oh praise be to God! Things were back to looking up again as a huge wave of relief hit.
Then came another blessing I did NOT see coming…
As he was packing up his things, I went and grabbed my wallet to pay him for his time and amazing work. I walked into the kitchen, fairly beaming with joy and I asked him, “How much do I owe you and what form of payment do you accept?”. His reply just about knocked me over. “Ma’am, there is no charge. This one’s on me.”. Before I could even attempt to insist upon paying him, he continued. “I was active duty once, with a wife and kids at home. There were many a time when things went wrong while I was deployed and kind souls stepped up and went above and beyond for my poor frazzled wife. It is my honor to be in a position to pay it forward.”.
I had no words. All I could say was, “Thank you so much! God bless you!”, with fresh tears streaming down my cheeks yet once again. He smiled warmly, turned and headed for the door.
If not for God…
So yet once again, when everything was going wrong with no end to the maddening chaos in sight and Murphy’s Law is threatening to derail my life, God intervened and provided more than ample help. As odd as it may sound, I’m grateful for such times. It is in them that I remember God doesn’t expect me to figure it all out for myself or fix everything on my own. I can simply be human and say, “This is not something I can do, God, I need help.”.
Never will I forget that ragged, tired, kind man with his warm smile and reassuring words; nor will I ever forget God’s help and blessings that evening or the humbling lesson I learned…again.
Do you have a similar experience to share? Words of wisdom and encouragement? Please feel free to comment below!
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