We had many plans for our quarter acre when we moved into our very first purchased home in late September 2018, so over the next few months we threw ourselves into the garden with energetic gusto. But everything changed with the historic Townsville flood of January/February 2019. Much of what we'd accomplished was ruined, and all that energy we initially had was emptied out, as for almost two weeks we worked night and day to keep water out of the house.
There were two pump wells already installed, one in the front yard and one in the back, but they were old pumps and had never needed to work this hard, so my husband bought four new pumps, just before they disappeared from the local Bunnings shelves (and just before that huge Bunnings store went under water!) and then dug two extra trenches for the extra pumps and layered them with rocks, trying to keep the water which saw our yard become a rising sea, from getting inside. We had sandbags across the doors, but eventually the water came up through the floor in two rooms, and down through the ceiling at the rear of the house. The clean up was exhausting, and the mould in every room a sight to behold...but we fared far better than 1500 other homes which were afterwards declared uninhabitable.
Every summer wet season since, I pray we never have to go through an event like that again.
This summer's wet season has not given us an event like that, but there has been sustained rain over a longer period, with a few days scattered here and there of sunshine to help begin drying things out. The past couple of weeks the rain has been fairly consistent, and at night, very heavy. With four pump wells now dug and installed, four new pumps in place, all the pipes fitted to carry the flooding water out of the yards and into the storm drain out front, we thought we could breathe and just let everything do it's intended work...in fact a couple of weeks ago I was writing that the work hubby had done last May had made all the difference.
But the rain lately has come with a vengeance, usually all through the late afternoons and throughout the night, and one pump after another has failed. Standing by the back or front door many nights, around 1.30am, watching my husband, in shorts and wellington boots with a light attached to his forehead, in the thunder, lightning and torrential rain, pull apart a pump, ascertain the problem, clean and reassemble, then reconnect as he submerges it into the pump well once more and PRAYS...well, I can admit to being a bit nervous about how much worse this weather can get, and wonder if we're going to find ourselves in the same predicament as four years ago.
I can hear a critter in the roof, obviously escaping from the storms, but for now, hubby has no time to go up there exploring. He's still working six days a week, and when he's home he is working to replace or repair pumps, clear debris from inside the pump wells, and also digging out tree stumps from those trees he chopped right down early in January. He'd begun clearing areas to build new raised garden beds, and when the ground is sodden it is much easier to remove the stumps and root systems.
Last night was the worst so far, and we have barely slept, but he's gone off to work anyhow, always mindful of his responsibility to be our main provider under God. When he comes home tonight, if the rain stays away, he'll be out there clearing around and inside the pool, which has had to be emptied every day for a while now, but continues to fill with debris from the flooding waters which spill over into it, carrying dirt, leaves and branches along.
So where am I going with all this??
The rain issues we're facing at the moment are just one of a few 'troubles' that seem to have descended this year, both in our own situation, and in the lives of those close to us. And it is so easy to find our minds scrambling for ideas on how to fix things, how to help those close to us, what to say, what to pray. For when a lot happens at once, or you find life to be like a trail of dominoes falling one after the other for a long period of time, anxious thoughts can cloud common sense, feelings of inability can dampen hope...but when we are in the valley, when we have exhausted ourselves and finally accept that crying out to God AND letting go of self's ideas and solutions, in order for ADONAI to take the reins and direct our path, then Hope floods our soul and lifts our heart as nothing else can. We need to make our requests known to God, and then leave it with Him, and move on with our day.
I was reminded of this very thing last week when re-reading a book of blog posts by Mrs Sharon White (Homemaking for Happiness). She wrote about a time when prayers and worries were hard to bear due to the trying circumstances her family faced, and how she changed her attitude by keeping a prayer journal...
"At other times the prayers and the worries were so hard to bear...I would write down the prayers and the needs, and then get back to mothering and homemaking. I would leave it with the Lord." (page 75)"
(You can read that particular blog post of Mrs White's HERE as I'm sure it will encourage you.)
Making our requests known to God and then leaving those problems with the Lord, we can move on with our day and attend to other things, fully trusting that He is in control. If the Lord needs us to do something, believe He will prompt us through His Holy Spirit...but if there is no prompting, just continue with the next thing you would normally do.
Years ago I kept a prayer journal, and have recently begun slowly reading through it, a little each day (it is very full!), and two things stood out. Firstly, answered prayers and my diligence to pray them. Secondly, the unanswered prayers, and my lack of diligence to pray them.
I wrote last week of the need for us to see God with big wide eyes, not small eyes, and to give all our needs, hopes and failings to Him in prayer, trusting He will answer at the right time, in the best way, in a holy way. These past sleepless nights of relentless rain and watching my husband at work outside in the stormy darkness, it has become easier and easier to pray, and then leave it with God, knowing He controls what I cannot.
Putting my trust for every circumstance in Him, knowing that should He need me to do something a prompt will come, and setting my attention to the everyday chores and rhythms of homemaking - the things that help create a sanctuary in our home - in the meantime...this is what walking in surrender and peace means right now.
I can only imagine the many trials many of you are facing in life at the moment, because we each have our own story, highs and lows, and one cannot compare to another. Just as we are uniquely made, we have unique life experiences and relationships too, and what may seem hard to one person, may not be hard to another. Let us not judge or compare our challenges, but thank God for being right there with us in the valleys, never leaving us without help or hope...but let us also praise Him through the day, thanking Him for the things we see, as well as the untold things we will not know He has done until we meet Jesus face to face.
I'll write again in a couple of days with some updates from the sewing room, the kitchen and something fun to share....
Bless you heaps,