Monday, February 6, 2023

Monday #3 - rain, and leaving it all with the Lord...

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. 

(above, in 2019, watching the water rise to the front door)

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 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.

(2023 above - one of the pump wells, covered, in our back yard...)

(2023 above - inside the pump well...)

(2023 above - pipes run under the ground from all the pump wells and up to the pipes along the fence line. These pipes carry the water out of the yard to the storm drain in the street)

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. 

(2023 above - some of the area we've been clearing to build more new garden beds)

(above - Harry is obsessed with catching lizards who run in and out of the exposed tree roots)

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,

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Lin said...

Oh so worrying Jennifer and I pray that your house will stay dry and you will both come through this soon. Thank you for taking the time to write this post. xx

Joanne said...

Hi Jennifer,
Thank you for taking the thought and time to take all those photos and posting today :) I was wondering about your swimming pool. That's a lot of work !
Wishing you dry feet !
hugs, take care,

Anonymous said...

Dear Jennifer, I will pray God’s covering over your tonight. These things are tough especially when we see our husbands having to work so hard after he’s already completed a full days work.
Lord May Jennifer’s area be free of rain for the next few days. May your beautiful sunshine dry up the ground and shine down on Townsville. Lord also while those pumps need to be on, we ask that they will do the job they are meant to do. That You for the ability to pray for each other Father God. In Jesus Name we pray .

Anonymous said...

What a blessed reminder of trusting our Lord and knowing He is there for us in each day. Praying for you and your family.

Allie said...

He will never leave you nor forsake you.....thankful for this post today, dear heart. Love you.

Anonymous said...

You are in my prayers!!

Mrs. White said...

I am so sorry you are going through this. "Walking in surrender and Peace," as you said, is beautiful and encouraging. God bless and keep you safe and protected!

savannah said...

This is a powerful post.
This spoke to my heart.
Thank you for the reminder to trust God for everything.

Susan said...

You have perfectly said what I often feel. I know the Lord is in the valleys with me, and still I sometimes am not diligent as I want to be. He has helped me still. I remember that terrible time of flooding, and I hope that the rain slackens soon and gives the earth a chance to dry out, and you two to get some rest. I pray that for you, among other things. I know there's a plan, and I know you have the faith to enact it with God's help.

Ondrea said...

I hope everything is ok and that you are both managing to get some rest. It must be exhausting for your hubby.The weather is all topsy turvy down here infact it has been very cool and we had a bad storm with lots of hail . I hope Blossom and her family are ok.

Miriam said...

God bless you for what you write and do for all who read your blog. I pray and hope that everything will solve well for you all there.
Miriam from Italy

knitster said...

Praying you get some relief soon and all will be ok. If you want you can send the extra rain to the Midwest here in the US we are in a drought.

Susan said...

Keeping you and yours in my prayers. Praying for the rain to let up and things to dry out.

Elaine said...

Thank you so much, Jennifer, for taking the time to write this post - a very encouraging word for me. I started a prayer journal the other week, but it lies closed on a table. I'm going to start leaving it in the kitchen where so many things seem to rise and expand like the bread dough.

Tammy said...

My dearest Jennifer. Oh how I prayed for you with the flooding and so much to do and clean and fix trying to save your new home when those floods occurred. I am so very sorry to know you are once again under flooding. I will be praying for you and your family. My daughter daughter will be starting her new job in about 2 weeks. She is so excited to be leaving Teaching and getting a Federal job with better benefits and more regular hours. In addition to the new opportunities it will bring her way after she has done it for some time. We are so excited for her Dear. I am still slowly cleaning out cupboard and storage closets and donating to thrift shops things that are no longer fitting or wanted. I still have a long way to go. I have been so tired the past several weeks and having to rest daily . So my cleaning out has slowed tremendously. But I am sure in his time I will get back to it. Be well my friend
Love Allways
Tammy Lyons