Last week was a no good, terrible very bad week.
And it started over a month ago.
We moved out of the Airbnb we’d been living in while our house was gutted and put back together, and planned to travel 2 and half hours to my parents for the weekend. Any transition like this is hard enough.
We were going to see my dad, who was back in the hospital. He’d been dealing with an issue related to diabetes for years now.
That morning we moved out of the Airbnb, but our house wasn’t done, and we didn’t plan to leave until the evening—meaning there was no good place to land during the day. No fun.
In the evening, I went to pick up Finn from day care, and the moment I got there, and looked through the glass, he projectile vomited onto another kid. (Sorry kid!). We made the trip to my parents with a bucket, everyone tired, grumpy, and hoping he wouldn’t throw up again. He did. At least three times. What a mess. Poor kid.
When we left, we came back home, except it wasn’t quite livable. (The guys working on the house are AMAZING, but like any project, unforeseen issues came up that has pushed the time table back… including some structural issues. Yuck, but glad it’s getting fixed). I decided to live there, and for two nights I flush my toilet with a bucket. Over the next week, Allyssa and Finn stay with friends. (Thanks Denise and Jim!).
I spend most of the week trying to help get the house ready for Finn to move back in. He’s still on and off sick—and potty training (at night at least)—and so one thing we needed was a washer and dryer.
One night I stay up till midnight laying the floor in our new laundry room, and the next night I stay up that late again painting and installing our new washer and dryer.
I was super happy and feeling super accomplished that night!
Pretty great, right?
So I decide to do a test run on the washer.
Next thing I know, it’s raining in my kitchen. (Did I mention our laundry room is now on the second floor?). Yes, it was raining in my kitchen. I was devastated. I could only assume the plumbing was wrong. It wasn’t. What happened is this—the bathroom behind the laundry room wasn’t done yet. I knew it wasn’t done. This was not a secret to me. The sink wasn’t installed, and it turns out that the sink runs on the same line as the laundry—once again, I knew this. But it was midnight and I wasn’t thinking clearly. So yes, most of the water escaped through my bedroom floor and rained down on my kitchen.
I was up most of the rest of the night cleaning up that mess—and it got cleaned up, and no permanent damage, thank God! But I gave up at that point—and the rest of the week was trying to bounce back from the lack of sleep and the embarrassing hit to my ego.
Eventually, the laundry gets fixed, the rooms get done, the toilet no longer needs a bucket, and we paint the rooms (and re-paint rooms because the first color was driving my crazy)—all while Finn is still sick off and on, throwing up, and not sleeping well. So neither are we. And I’m not getting any church work done, so add a hint of professional guilt into the mix.
The first night in our house, Finn slept in his bed, myself on a small couch in his room, and Allyssa on the floor. (Did I mention how great of a husband I am?) It’s ok, I was up at 4am to start working again.
Then it’s time to preach a sermon, on “difficult families” (trauma and ACE “adverse childhood experiences”) and… well, I had an outline‚ but let’s be honest, it’s not a topic you want to “phone in.” I did my best, and pray I did more good than harm—and hope for grace from any harm I did do, if any.
It was a really bad week, but we’re fine now. Finn is feeling better, got a hair cut, and will go back to school tomorrow (Praying he really is better and doesn’t throw up again tonight!!) I’ve gotten some rest. My dad is home from the hospital and we’re praying for healing. Allyssa isn’t sleeping on the floor. We survived.
And as I’ve reflected on this time, I think survive is a good word. I searched for a deeper lesson—as I know hard times often are the best teachers—but the best lesson I’ve learned this time around is this: It’s ok to just survive hard times, if only to show us what we’re capable of. No deeper meaning, just the reminder that if we survived that, we can survive anything. It’s ok to just keeping going, one step in front of the other, hoping and praying the hard times will eventually end. It’s ok to just be faithful as best as you can in the midst of it, and wait for them to end. It’s ok to wait. And having survived them, it’s ok to say “I survived, and that’s good enough.” I don’t need anything else from it, just the knowledge that I survived without too much lasting damage—and if my ego is a little soften in the process, all the better.
You’re going to have bad days. Some days are just like that.
If you’re having a hard time, I’m sorry. I hope you can make it through. If nothing else, I hope you soon see the light at the end of the tunnel sooner than later. We made it because people came around and loved us and supported us and helped and watched Finn and let us stay at their house, and because the people working on our house put in countless overtime hours to get us back into it…. the people God has placed in our lives has made the difference. I pray you can find people like that.