This is a guest post from Lori Dunham. Lori is the wife of a Navy Chaplain, a mom to three energetic children and one very lazy Bassett Hound. You can find her at www.standingwiththemilitaryfamily.com
When my husband pulled on his Navy uniform for the first time, a very thoughtful Spouse’s Group gifted me a book titled, Dare to Repair: A Do-It-Herself Guide to Fixing (Almost) Anything in the Home.
Some of the topics include:
- Repairing a running toilet
- Adjusting or replacing a toilet flapper
- Restoring power to a water heater
At the time, I thought it was a very thoughtful and considerate gift. Little did I know how often I would need to seek instruction from this little book, and how I would grow to hate what it represented.
You see, I remembered each deployment by the dog-eared pages in this book.
Ah, the broken garbage disposal…Darin was in Okinawa.
Broken garage door? Ah yes, Iraq.
No hot water? That was ship #1 to the Middle East.
Running toilet? Ship #2 to Africa
Blown fuse? Ship #3 floating who-knows-where
One of my favorite chapters begins with this quote, “Honey, when life hands you a lemon, don’t let it sour your day. Just take out your toolbox and fix it!” I thought this quote was fantastic when first given the book. Girl power and all that, right?
16 years and five deployments later, I just find that quote downright annoying. I don’t want to take out my pink toolbox and fix it. I want my husband to! But guess where he is? Not here, that’s where!
And so I indulge in my very own pity party. And I wallow, and feel sorry for myself, and can’t imagine anyone having it as tough as me!
It doesn’t take long for me to realize my self-imposed pity party does nothing to change the fact that I have no running water, or the fact that I am locked out of my garage. Eventually I do need to get that toolbox out and just fix the darn thing.
At this moment, I have a choice to make. I can choose to continue to frequent my pity party, with its half eaten cake and deflated balloons, or I can choose to look toward the ONE who is there when no one else is. To reach out for the ONE who is our ever-present help in times of trouble.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” Psalm 46: 1-3
It is inevitable. Trouble will come while our husbands are gone. Cars break down, basements flood, and roofs collapse. Yet, we can be confident in knowing our Lord Jesus Christ will be there in our moment of need to strengthen and help us through those little, and not-so-little disasters.
So my love/hate relationship with this little do-it-yourself book is resolving. Now I choose to see it as a reminder of how the Lord was present during the breakdowns of my life, instead of remembering my husband’s absence.