on being contented…

“Faith does not need to push the river because faith is able to trust that there is a river. The river is flowing. We are in it.”
―Richard Rohr

I didn’t even realize the dryer had caught fire. There was no smoke that I could see, no signal from the smoke detector. The only tip-off was the faint smell, a chemical or charred scent, like an aftertaste of flint and fire. The whole load of laundry lay on my bed, ready to be folded and as I shook it out I could detect the smell. When I checked the dryer itself I realized it inhabited the empty drum. If there had been fire inside the machine it was over now, suffocated inside, thanks be to God.

We opened it up to take a look. The burnt lines and charcoal interior confirmed my suspicions. The repairman came a few days later, took the dryer apart, cleaned it out and repaired it. He suggested that the vent from the wall to the outside of the house was to blame. The dryer would not heat until it would have access. So I made that call, another repairman, another bill, another wait of a few days or a week with no way to dry our clothes.

First world problems.

A few days later the kitchen flooded. The water line from the refrigerator had burst in the night, soaking into the floor and through to the finished basement beneath. I slogged through the water in the morning, shutting off the supply, throwing down towels, swearing, calling my husband in Los Angeles. I broke from clean up only long enough to get the kids off to school then spent the rest of the day making calls to repair the damage.

It was a helluva week.

The estimates on the damage are coming in now. The insurance adjuster has come and done his measurements. I lament the loss of what is probably the nicest kitchen I’ve ever had, the hardwood floors we just had refinished about 6 months ago when we bought the house, of the spacious and nearly new finished basement, where the boys spent most of their time.

I’m swimming in this river because it’s my life.

Henry asked me today over lunch what I’d do if I could have any job I wanted. I considered it seriously. If money was no option what job would I choose. I thought about the jobs I envied in the past, the tasks I hated in my current job which I had to admit to the insurance adjuster was basically, “stay at home mother” because when I said, “writer” he had to ask my yearly income from that profession. I defaulted to “stay at home mother” because though it also does not pay well, it is how I spend most of my time. In the end, when I really gave it thought I had to admit that I would not give up what I have. I told Henry that I would take the jobs I have now, mother and writer. He pressed me, “but if you could do ANYTHING, I mean ANYTHING” he stressed. Still, I shook my head. “I have everything I need in my jobs. I feel really good about what I do now” and that’s true, though I admit it’d be nice if they paid better.

2 comments:

  1. The greatest payment of all in that job is seeing the amazing accomplishments of your children as they weave their way through life with you right beside them and behind them….supporting them all along the way.

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