Did you know that birds don't actually live in nests? Yes, the build them, and then they incubate their eggs in them. But once her young have officially flown the coup, Mama-bird abandons that nest. She doesn't sleep there. She doen't bring worms and berries back for snacking. She won't even seek refuge from a storm in that old nest. She doesn't ask where her next meal is going to come from. She just does what God put her here to do and He provides.
Not long ago our washer went out. A repair man came and, shaking his head, told us to make the washer as comfortable as possible in it's last days, and enjoy what ever time we had left. It was a goner. It was a slow, agonizing appliance demise, preceded by many leaks, until one day it...just...*sniff* ... died.
Friends who had bought a new home that came with appliances found themselves over-blessed in the laundry department, and they shared their blessings by giving us their old washer. It worked beautifully.
Next, our dryer began to fuss, or to be more precise, squeak. Soon, what had been the chorus of a few mice became like a frantically braying donkey on helium. Fearful that the police would be called on us for invisible animal abuse, I looked up "squeaky dryer" online and fancied I had learned all that would be needed to fix it.
You know how you can't beleive everything you read? Yah, you get me. I bought a $50 part from a local parts shop, then found the same part for eleven bucks online. Bought that one too, thinking I'd return #1. WELL... 6 youtube videos, both parts (#2 was crap) and a whole Saturday later, we nearly had a working dryer, but we couldn't get the belt configuration right before having to leave for the evening.
On Monday while Guy was at work, I called my Go-to Angel, Dan Mealey for advice (which means, of course, that he shows up in an hour, tool box in hand). We got the whole thing put back together, and I was feeling so proud. Not only had I saved us the repair fee that would have been about $200, but we had managed to get it working in time to surprise Guy when he got home. I imagined my husband beaming with marital pride at my handi-woman-ish-ness. Dan sweetly said, "You know, Marion got a new set of machines at Christmas and I almost just threw the dryer in the back of my truck, but I know you worked real hard on this one. Ya' done good, kid." Bliss. Compliments from Mr. Fix-It himself. Cloud nine and a half, baby.
As Dan pulled out of the driveway, I put away the tools with a smile on my face as I listened to the dryer hum perfectly. I picked up the waste basket to put back between the machines, but all the futzing had left them too close together to squeeze it in. I figured I'd give it a little bump with my hip to nudge it back over.
(You know how in the movies when the music gets scary and a girl is reaching for the attic door and you are screaming, "No! Don't do it!"??? Yeah, you can start screaming that now.)
Bump. Bump... SQUEAK!
"No. Oh, no! No no no NO! Don't do that!" I yelled at the cold, unfeeling monster. From deep within it's belly it laughed at me in a falsetto pitch. I wiggled it, nudged it, tried to put it back, tried to UNDO whatever the heck I JUST DID!
it answered back.
I walked out of the garage, leaving the beast to sing it's ridiculous song like a mockingbird copying a car alarm.
I consoled myself that while I had probably fixed the damaged part that was causing the first squeak, I must not have realized that there was some OTHER problem causing the first part to become damaged. Yeah. That's it. SURE it is. Then I called Dan. In a few minutes Guy came home.
This had not gone down at ALL the way I had planned. It was rather like they night I tried to be all woo-woo and give Guy a massage and the dang "warming" oil got to about 250 degrees and we had to go scrub ourselves down. Very romantic.
Yeah, this was sorta like that, only instead of thinking I was sexy, Guy was supposed to come home and be all proud and impressed with his wife for saving $150 and fixing the dryer. Which, now that I think about it, is even SEXIER. Not feelin' too sexy now, that's fer darn sure.
I summed up the afternoon to him with a helpless smile, and handed him back his keys. "Dan is waiting for you at his house. They are giving us their old dryer."
Fast forward one week. A child comes out of the garage with the dreaded call, "The washer stopped and it is all full of water."
Guy wants to call someone. I jump at the chance for redemption. Youtube, blah blah blah, parts store, blah blah blah... Ethan and I actually manage to fix the darn thing. It was a much smaller repair. The directions were clear and easy. It was just one of those days where everything went just as it should.
Sometimes we work hard. Sometimes by working hard we get just what we need. Sometimes we work hard, miss the mark entirely, and God makes up the difference.
And sometimes God just blesses us.
Birds don't sit around waiting for worms to wiggle up the trees and say "Here I am all plump and delish! Eat me!" The bird still has to hunt around. There is some work involved, but the bottom line is, God provides. And he does, and will, for each of us, too.
"Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?" Matthew 6:26