Do you often get those weeks too?
Just recently, they seem to come more frequently in our house. Or perhaps it’s just made worse by the pandemic and expectations that every week there is a new rule or outbreak to contend with. Last week wasn’t too bad but the week before was one of those weeks.
I have a friend who has been going through a tough time recently and needed a bit of practical help. So, being the ‘Martha’ that I am (yes, I do know that this is me), I offered to take away some of her washing. It was the least I could do.
As soon as I got home, I sorted the washing ready and in went a throw. It was a brand-new washing machine as my previous one was quite old and could often be found in the middle of the kitchen floor, especially after a ‘jumper’ wash (perhaps it was misinterpreting the term jumper??). I shut the washing machine door, put in the powder and conditioner, selected the most suitable setting and pressed the button. Off it went.
After about an hour, I heard the melodic sounds of ‘The Trout’ by the great composer ‘Schubert’ coming from the kitchen. Absolutely no idea why a washing machine would need to play a tune to let you know it’s finished its cycle but there you go! On first glance, I thought there was a pile of soap on the inside of the washing machine door but, on opening it, I was horrified to discover it was tiny little balls of cotton. The throw that once had a soft pile was practically threadbare and had disintegrated during the wash cycle – disaster!! Not quite so bad when the item you are washing belongs to you but when it is someone else’s, it’s a totally different story! It looked like the machine was full of those little polystyrene balls that you get in beanbags.
Handful by handful, I emptied the machine of the little white cotton balls. They were everywhere!! I sat on the floor with towels and bowls (to catch and mop up all the water) and eventually managed to unclog the machine.
As if that wasn’t enough drama for one week, the following day, I popped over to see my Mum to deliver her shopping. On the way, I stopped by a retail park (doing another one of my Martha chores)/ . All was going well until it was time to leave. Let’s just say that it’s time they made the trolley park bollards more visible and when they are made of solid metal, they do a lot more damage than the plastic ones!! I guess you could say that I cost my husband a lot of money that week so it’s a good job that I do everything for free the rest of the time!!
I was very thankful that my disasters for the week were not life threatening but, all the same, it can be tough when everything happens all at the same time. I’m not really one for sharing about life’s challenges and I’m sure we can all be mistaken sometimes in thinking that because someone seems to have it ‘all together’ on the outside, they are coping well on the inside too. I’ve been reading a book recently by Patrick Regan called ‘When faith gets shaken’ and it has given me plenty to think about. As Christians we often put on a brave face and try to hide our vulnerability but it’s often through these journeys that God is able to use us the most. Painful as it might be, it’s often the impact of our journey that helps us to grow and encourages others. It’s through making ourselves vulnerable that people are able to show true courage by allowing people to see us as we really are. It’s by showing courage and sharing how we really are that we find the right support too.
I love this quote by Mary Ann Rachmacher which says:
“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it’s the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’”
I am forever grateful that I do not journey alone, and every tomorrow is another opportunity to try again.
Psalm 31:24 (The Message)
Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up.
Expect God to get here soon.