Frustrated, stressed, overwhelmed — these are some of the emotions I experienced this week. It has been a trying week but I have learned a few lessons in the midst. One, in particular, had a profound impact.
A Rude, Soggy Awakening
Five weeks ago, we awoke to a saturated bedroom floor due to a burst pipe. We quickly shut off the water to the house and removed everything from the closets to drier ground upstairs. A clean-up crew was able to come that afternoon and begin the process of getting rid of the excess water and drying the floors. Unfortunately, the water seeped into the adjoining rooms and damaged our wood floors.
Plumbers came the next day and repaired the burst water pipe and suggested that since our home was older (built in 1965) we might want to consider re-piping the house to avoid the possibility of another water pipe bursting. That seemed like a good idea so that’s what we decided to do.
Which brings me to my frustrating, stressful, overwhelming week.
Tackling The Problem
The plumbers arrived Monday morning bright and early to tackle the job. They anticipated being finished by the end of the week. We were optimistic about the improvement to the plumbing in our house — definitely didn’t want to wake up to squishy floors again.
Well, like I said, our house is older so there’s some quirky stuff going on. In addition to that, twenty years ago we added onto our house. Ten years ago, we remodeled our kitchen. It has been quite a challenging project for our plumbers to say the least.
We had to remove everything from under every sink in our house. And all those things had to be set somewhere. They had to cut into walls and ceilings to find hidden pipes. It’s a mess over here.
Here are some of the lessons I have learned.
- It’s a good idea to expect interruptions in your life. This isn’t really a good time for me to be dealing with major home renovations. But, honestly, is there a good time?
- Things are going to get really messy before they get better. My house looks bad now with its combination of wood and concrete floors but it will eventually get fixed and look nice again.
- There are a lot worse things in life than a messed-up house. That sobering thought came to mind with yet another school shooting this week, in the town where my son, daughter-in-law, and grandson live.
- Sometimes it’s not anyone’s fault. Our plumbers are doing the best they can do with a house full of old pipes.
The most profound lesson I learned came from a conversation I had with my husband. He was talking to the head plumber and the man was very apologetic for having to cut into the drywall and cabinets to get to the pipes. He commented that he hated to have to do that because we were such nice people. He added that he had worked on jobs where the homeowners were rude or demanding and in those homes, he didn’t feel so bad about what he had to do.
That really struck me.
Are You Who They Think You Are?
I looked around my house that these three men have spent the week working in. I have crosses on the wall of my foyer and in my bedroom. I have Faith Hope Love and Pray Big signs in my kitchen. I have a wood relief of Jesus’s last supper over my door to the family room and a picture of a boat with the Bible verse “I am the way, the truth, and the life” — John 14:6. I have all of these things in my home that would indicate to someone that I was a Christian, that I believed in God and his son Jesus.
Now, what if I had acted out in my frustration with my situation? What if I had been unkind or rude to these men who were simply trying to do their jobs? What if I had taken out my stress on them? I imagine they would have felt very cynical about whom I was portraying myself to be.
I was humbled when my husband told me what the plumber had said. I was humbled because I know I could have easily let my emotions get the best of me and lash out at someone who didn’t deserve it. I know because I’ve done it before. I am so thankful that I, that we, were able to show patience and kindness to these men in the middle of an aggravating situation. Who knows? Perhaps in their week of work at our house, a seed has been planted and they have been encouraged. I sure hope so.
How about you? Do you have trouble keeping your cool in stressful situations? It’s not always easy. I’d love to hear.
4 thoughts on “Is Your Attitude Showing? Humble Lessons Learned From A Burst Pipe”
Great blog! Made me think of Phil 2:5 “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had”. Two days ago I was in DC and came to the end of our trip. I got in the car with a driver to go to the airport. I was chatty with my friend and the Lord quickly reminded me that we had a third person in the car (the driver) and that they might not know my Jesus! Over the next hour drive to the airport, I was able to get to know this man who did not believe what I believe about Jesus. I got to share the full Gospel of hope with him and also listen to him and get to know him. I am so glad you were kind to the workers in your home…..which is as you said, way more important than pipes….it obviously impacted them!!!
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Thanks, Christi! You are so good at that! I love watching you interact with people, like the man on the airplane from London!
WOW! What a great post! I especially resonated with this quote, “ I am so thankful that I, that we, were able to show patience and kindness to these men in the middle of an aggravating situation. Who knows? Perhaps in their week of work at our house, a seed has been planted and they have been encouraged. I sure hope so.” What a good reminder to put on our “Jesus eyes” and see the people we come into contact with everyday as sheep without a shepherd. May we be a sweet reflection of our Shepherd in every way, that they may want to know Him too!
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