Joy In The Midst

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So, our well pump stopped working on Saturday afternoon, leaving us without any water. Oh the joys of living in a rural area!

Why do these things always happen on the weekends?

A big storm was rapidly approaching, so Doug immediately put in a call to the emergency number for our local well company.

Apparently, “emergency number” means, “We’ll see you first thing Monday morning.”

Of course, they said they could come out on Sunday, but the price would be double what it normally is and it basically amounted to the cost of our son’s spring semester of college.

Clearly, we needed to weigh our options about where to stay until Monday. Eventually, it was decided that all five of us would descend on the very small home that my brother is currently care-taking while the owner is wintering in sunny Florida. (What a smart man).

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It is hard to detect tone of voice via text, but I definitely sensed a certain panic in Jeff’s reply. He asked me to give him a minute to see what he could do.

Long story short, he secured and paid for two lovely rooms at one of the many local inns in our small town, complete with wonderful lakeside view!

Problem (beautifully!) solved! (Our neighbor graciously agreed to watch Buddy for us).

Now, I would like to tell you that I handled this latest inconvenience with peace, calm, and joy.

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Not necessarily.

The fact that one of our businesses closed in November has made things very tight financially. (Not complaining, just stating a fact. He has provided abundantly for us in the midst of it all and we are grateful). So the prospect of having to get our well pump replaced felt daunting and a little heartrending; especially for my husband, who is very tired.

Before we knew how this would all play out, I was throwing some clothes into my luggage and trying not to cry as I talked it out with Jesus, “Really, Lord?” I asked. “You know how tough things are. I don’t get it. Why now? This is the worst possible time for something like this to happen.”

How quickly we forget.

Back in November, I read one of Ann Voskamp’s blog posts. She had declared November to the “November Niagara Of Thanks.” She challenged her readers to list 1000 gifts in the month of November alone, reminding us that the depth of our joy is directly tied to the depth of our gratitude.

She assured us that this was do-able. We just needed to list roughly 33 gifts a day to make it to 1000 by the end of the month.

I knew I needed to do this, as life was hard and a fresh perspective on all the ways He shows His love to me was much needed. I read that blog post on November 10th, so I was determined to catch up that very day. I simply needed to list 333 gifts in one day! So, I grabbed a fresh notebook and got to work!

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I wrote #333 before midnight that night…and completed the 1000th gift before Thanksgiving. I am still writing down all the gifts, and I am approaching #1500. Try it for yourself. Your joy will increase one hundredfold, I promise!

His Presence…and His endless, lovely, tailor-made gifts are everywhere. All we need are eyes to see.

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Despite the stress of that particular season, my joy and my peace were abundant because my prime focus was definitely not on my problems, but on the One who controls all things and loves me with a perfect, fiery love.

As I continued to pack, I resolved to still count my gifts, right there in the midst of a house with no water.

My mind cleared, my spirits lifted, and my attitude improved dramatically.

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Doug, Josh, Julia, my mom, and me threw our luggage into the car, got some takeout, checked into our rooms and had a carpet picnic for dinner in one of the rooms while the snow swirled outside.

The inn where were were staying was beautiful and cozy.

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Mill Falls-0030It was the perfect place to ride out the big snowstorm that blew through town. We were toasty warm, very comfortable, had plenty of running water, and best of all, we were all together.

Over the next two days, we talked, laughed, used the pool and the hot tub, and I had plenty of opportunities to take photos. What started out as a stressful situation turned out to be a sweet time in a lovely place.

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How He delights to give us good gifts, even the midst of the mess.

Each night, I fell asleep watching the twinkling white Christmas lights on the trees outside our window, counting my blessings and thanking Him for His lavish provision.

This morning, it only took two hours for our well to be fixed.

It was glorious to have fresh, running water once more! I will never take it for granted again!

By 11:00, we were all home.

At 1:00, one of my crowns was pulled right out of my mouth after I ate one of my son’s sour cherry gummy bears. I have an appointment with the dentist on Wednesday morning.

At 4:30, our daughter came into the house and announced that her car would not start.

Is it 2016 yet? 🙂





Filed under Devotions

4 responses to “Joy In The Midst

  1. Lol! I can so relate. One thing after another, last year topping them all. Hoping 2015 brings our reprieve. Keep counting those blessings!!! They are abundant, and it definitely helps the mindset. Great post. Great pictures! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Judy johnson

    Your photography as good as Ann’s. Lesson learned and then we get to learn it again!!!

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