Sunday, July 9, 2017

Crumminess, perspective and blessings

The past week has been pretty crummy.

Sunday night, as Katie and I were leaving a party, our minivan stalled. (Cooper was at Boy Scout camp in Bastrop.) We were crossing a busy, six-lane road. Traffic was mercifully light at the time. I was able to pull into a parking lot, where the van died.

Monday afternoon, someone gained access to my online bank accounts, changed my passcode, transferred money from a savings account to checking and then started transferring money out. I was on hold with the bank for 90 minutes, waiting to report the problem, as I continued to receive email after email about money leaving my account. I couldn't stop it, as I didn't know the new passcode set by the criminal.

Tuesday morning, my MacBook Pro, a valuable tool in my freelance business, refused to start.

I spent much of Tuesday in bed, exhausted from all the phone calls and decisions and worry and logistics from the previous days. I spent some of that time feeling sorry for myself, some of that time angry at myself. (I should have noticed signs of a dying alternator on the van. I should have had a secure passcode for phone calls on my bank account, preventing the theft that had occurred. I should have backed up my Mac more frequently.)

Sure, these kinds of problems happen to everyone. But why must mine strike all at once? And, good gracious, sometimes I'm tired of being the sole decision-maker in the house. Sometimes I'm tired from so many side jobs. Sometimes I don't want to be the problem-solver. And how long will I continue to rely on others to help?

Wednesday I worked on repairing my attitude.

When the minivan died, I called our friends the Wheeleys, who were at the same party. They arrived quickly and kept us company while we waited for a tow truck. They drove us safely home. They offered to help however they could.

The dead alternator was under warranty, as it was replaced last July. (Everyone keeps telling me that it's unusual for alternators to die so quickly.) I had some expenses related to diagnosing the problem, but it was much less expensive than a brand-new alternator.

Many people offered their cars when the dealership was short on loaner cars. I declined all the kind offers, as there was nowhere we really had to go Tuesday, but the Hammonds cheerfully ignored me and delivered their convertible sports car to my driveway.

The stolen money will eventually be restored. There are some other logistics to take care of, but eventually everything will be smooth and secure.

My hard drive had failed, but all the data was recovered. The replacement and recovery was not inexpensive, but I've been working lots of side jobs this summer, so I was able to pay the bill without too much worry. I picked up the laptop from the repair shop just in time to meet a deadline on a freelance project.

Eight years ago right now, Steve was in steep decline. He struggled to move, to talk, to eat, sometimes to breathe.

Good gracious, my problems are tiny in comparison.

I am thankful for the people who surround us, who rescue us, who check in on us, who make our lives easier. I am thankful that all of this mess happened in the summer, when I don't have to take days off from teaching to piece everything back to together. I am thankful for the families who allow me tutor their children and the companies that allow me to write and edit.

I am thankful for my health and my children, who have incredible opportunities to travel and serve others this summer.

I am thankful for grace on the days when I feel sorry for myself, and I am thankful that there are many, many more days when such thoughts never cross my mind.

Katie, Tyra and Cooper, Saturday, just after Cooper returned from Scout camp and a day before he left for mission trip