In His own due time

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The other day I lost it.  I really lost it.  I was so very, very frustrated.  The situation??  Well, here in our neck of the woods, it was hotter than normal.  Not anywhere near as hot as the rest of you get, but hotter than normal for here.  I have a great house.  It has air conditioning.  I never need to use it.  That day, I needed it.  It wasn’t working.  My sweet son, #2, was trying to fix it, at dinner time, while I was trying to put dinner together.  The house was broiling and my dear son had all the doors and windows closed because he was sure he had fixed the air conditioning and it was working.  (It was not working.)  We were all grouchy, sweaty, stinky people, and it was hot.  I finally made an executive decision, declared the air conditioning not working and demanded the doors and windows opened, sent the little ones outside to play in the sprinklers and left to pick my sweetheart up from work.

When he got into the car, he could tell I was frustrated and he asked if I was OK.  I indicated that I wasn’t and he asked me to clarify.  I growled in frustration and then I unloaded on him.  It wasn’t just the heat, or the fact that we couldn’t get the air conditioning working.  It was the accumulation of all things not working in my house and all the adjustments we have made so we can live and function anyway with all of these things that kind of work, but just not quite.  For example,

…..until last week, we had two vacuums, neither of which worked completely.  One would (six weeks ago) vacuum the floor, but the hose wouldn’t work.  The other wouldn’t vacuum the floors, but the hose would work. Six weeks ago, they both kind of quit, so we had been without a vacuum.  (That is fixed now, so don’t worry about us…another story for another day.)

…..we have a cordless phone with two handsets, one won’t charge, the other you cannot talk on.  So one sits in the charger, charging the battery until the one you can talk on has a low battery, then we switch out the batteries, so the low one can charge and we can still talk on the phone.

……a year ago our van died and we had to get rid of it.  We were left with a small missionary car (five seat belts, if you squish, which does not really work with teenage boys/men).  We have still not been able to replace it.  We have made adjustments and for the last year have worked with the one car.  Fine.  It is only a little obnoxious because I cannot take my entire family anywhere unless I ask for help shuttling them, so I don’t ask often….only for stake conference and missionary homecomings or departures.

….at the beginning of the summer, my hairdryer died, my crock pot died, my iron is almost dead, our TV and computer have been acting up and last week I thought the washing machine had died (it didn’t, we just blew a fuse).

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Anyway, you get the idea.  Now none of these things are necessary…all temporal, and just obnoxious.  But $50.00 here and there would take care of most of these issues (with the exception of the car).  We just don’t have it in the budget.  Normally that is OK, but when we couldn’t get the air conditioning to work, when I know it does and we just can’t figure it out, I just lost it.  I had had it.  Normally I am not a complaining person.  It takes a lot before I blow my top and just feel like I cannot handle another thing, but I was there.

As I unloaded on my sweetheart, I could see in his eyes the pain at not being able to fix those things for me and having them just function.  My heart softened as I realized how hard my frustration must be for him, as he is doing the best he knows how to provide for our very large and demanding family.  I sunk into the driver’s seat and apologized and we changed the topic.  I felt ashamed for complaining.  Our life is good, I was just frustrated.

The next morning, we got into the car to take everyone to school and work.  I noticed something in my bushes out front, but we were running late so I didn’t get out to check it out.  It looked like a propane tank……?  I said so.  Drew said, ‘So someone dumped their propane tank in our bushes.  Whatever.  Let’s get to work.’

When I arrived home, I parked the car and headed into the house when I remember the propane tank.  I went to the bushes.  It wasn’t just one propane tank, it was two, and they were full and brand new.  Now, since you do not know the rest of the story, this is not such a great thing, but here is the rest of the story.

Two years ago, my boys helped our elderly neighbor put together a new bar-b-Que grill.  She was so excited that she paid them and bought our family pizza that night.  Two weeks later, she decided the grill was too big for her.  She bought herself a smaller one and gave us the brand new big one.  It just needed a propane tank.  At the time, my husband didn’t want a propane bar-b-Que.  But I did.  He didn’t want to spend money to buy the tank and the propane.  Because he is managing the budget, I didn’t argue with him.  In my heart, I just wanted a propane tank.  For the last two years, the grill has just been outside, under its cover, me wishing for propane, but resigned that it wouldn’t happen.

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So here is my interpretation of the events of the last two days:  Heavenly Father hears my frustration.  He knows it is irritating.  He knows the desires of my heart.  He inspired someone to bring me propane, not one tank, but two—two new tanks, just because he loves me and because who else knows I wanted propane??  It isn’t something I talk about or have advertised.  It was just a secret desire of my heart.  They put them in the bushes because if they left them on the front step, someone would take them, and they would have.

Last night, the same air conditioning son hooked up the propane and grilled the chicken.  It was delicious.  (And if someone shows up at the door step and asks for their propane back, I will be sad…. but I will understand. 🙂

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