Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires...courage.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A valance, a lady, and her God

When I awoke this morning, I never could have imagined the battle that would later ensue. I happily got out of bed, anticipating a good breakfast and some hot coffee (decaf). Once I put the coffee on, I headed downstairs to wash and fold some laundry before making my breakfast. I put the kids to work too, putting towels away, cleaning the bathrooms, and finishing up with their other chores.

I had just sat down to eat when the phone rang...it was Karl, calling to say good morning from Washington, D.C. He'll be home later tonight, so that was another 'good' thing about my day. We spoke for a few moments then he had to get back to his meeting, and I to my breakfast.

I had a few sips of my coffee, then decided to go ahead and replace the valance that we had taken down when we moved into this house. We had hung a curtain instead, because it keeps the glare off the T.V. when we're watching. I thought it would be best to just get that task done...it would be one less thing to do this weekend before the move. It was easy enough to get the curtain off the rod and take it downstairs to be washed. However, when I returned to face the task of putting the valance on the rod...hence my battle.

You would think this an easy, 5-minute 'to-do' on my list. Nope, not for me. I am not mechanically inclined as my mother has always been, not did God choose to bless me with her creative bent. And, my dear husband is not here, so I could not call upon him for help. I commenced to wrestle with this rod and valance for the better part of an hour! I did not realize (not mechanically inclined) that the end parts that are bent were removable, so I tried to get the valance on over that...it did not go very far. Once one fell off...well, then I realized I could remove the end pieces and the valance should slide right on. Could this be easy? No. The other end piece fell off inside the valance...try getting that out!

At this point I'm starting to pray, "Lord, please let me just get this done. This is so stupid and frustrating!" You might think that praying for something such is this is silly...but I happen to believe that God cares about ALL the details of my life...even my wrestling match with this valance and rod! :) So I finally figured out a way to work the end piece out of the valance without ripping it apart(do they really need this thing anyway?)either purposely or accidentally. Then I began trying to slide the valance on again. Now it's easy, right? Oh, no. You have to keep in mind that I am 18 weeks pregnant, and by now by belly is in the way of certain things. I was unable to handle this thing like I normally would. So, I'm trying to hold the rod with my feet while pulling the valance on. I tried placing it on the table and pushing the fabric on...across the top of the couch, in my lap...all were a struggle, but it was going on inch my tiny inch. I continued my praying...now saying, "Please let me get this on without breaking the rod or tearing the fabric. We want to get our deposit back...Lord, I know you understand." Finally, the fabric is all the way on the rod and I can try to put it up...oh wait, I have to put the end pieces back on. You would think surely this is easy for me, right? No, again. One piece says left and one piece says right...believe it or not it took me a moment to figure out which side each went on....and I thought I had just put the valance on upside down! However, God did spare me that crisis(He loves me!), and I soon figured out where to place them. Now time to climb back into the chair to put the rod back in place. Again, no easy task for me. I called Logan down to hold it for me while I put up one side...it's so nice to have a child who is both old enough and tall enough to help his poor, challenged Mama! Once I got my side on I stepped up behind him, had him step down, and then dismissed him to go play. (we are supposed to be doing school work by now, but I am determined to show this valance and rod who's boss!)Once it was in place, I began straightening the valance...to make sure it wasn't too bunched on either side...when the end piece falls off again..inside the valance. "Nooooooo!!" is all that was heard through the house, and my kids reply(from upstairs) with "Mom, did you call us?" No, I did not. "Lord, please help me," is all I could say. And He did. I was able to get the piece back on easily, and snapped back into place...that was the problem, it didn't snap before...and get the valance straightened with no further issues.

Believe me when I say I am tired! My arms ache from trying to hold up that silly rod while sliding on the valance. My coffee,which I thought I would get right back to, was cold by the time I was done. But, I overcame....my frustration, my anger (momentary), my desire to cry...and I do believe it was because of prayer. Obviously I pray for bigger things, more important things; I think we all do...even if we do not profess to be Christians or lead a Christian life. But I often find myself praying for these little things, such as during my morning battle ;) or when I can't find a book I need, or when I can't find the building I'm looking for and I'm driving in circles....When I take the time to pray and ask God for help, He invariably steps in, calms me down, and gives me the answer...it's that still, small voice that says "Go look on the third shelf of the bookshelf in the living room one more time"...and there is the book. Or the voice that says, "Call your husband, he can help you with this." Or, the voice I heard this morning that said, "Just calm down, trust in me, and I will help you get this done." Now, these are not audible voices...but I do believe it is the 'voice' of God leading me to the answer I need. He is involved in the little things, and even when we're struggling, and we don't understand, He is there to guide us if we will just ask Him.

Now, I am going to get a fresh cup of HOT coffee....and enjoy it before I do anymore work. I think I deserve it after the battle I've endured. ;)

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