Comfort and Joy

This morning I got home about 6 am from my workout, and I was blogging about my rough day yesterday. It is always good to see how any situation can diffuse so much with some rest and time. As I recounted my repairman experience, I was aware that it had lost some of the energy and I was grateful.

As I wrote I had my music playing.

I began to sing along with Welcome To Our World. This song has deep meaning as it is one that was sung at Len’s funeral. It always kind of stops me in my tracks as I can feel the memory in my heart and I can hear the promise-filled words. And then two songs later was Amazing Grace. I sang along and teared up. Yes, another song from Len’s funeral. And as I was getting ready to head to the office In Christ Alone came on. Can it be? Three songs that we sang in our grief five years ago now play within 30 minutes time on my Pandora.

I had to smile. Comfort and Joy. These words have marked my Christmas season and this year I prayed that I would be very aware of God’s provision of both. This morning felt like the perfect gift of both the comfort and the Joy of the promises brought in each of these songs. The Joy of God’s gift to me in my home as I prepared for the day. The timing of having Len’s son Noah overnight and feeling how Len’s life continues through this handsome, funny, spontaneous, caring, loving, extravagant college-age kid. It was a sweet perfect moment where God met me and reminded me how much He cares. I will carry that close in the coming days!

Would he have given the same advice to a man?

Yesterday was one of those days.

I had committed to blogging every day, but last night I could not find anything kind to say, so I found grace for myself and decided to blog this morning even though it changes my blog everyday goal.

I had to remind myself that as a Social Worker, I invite others to explore truth and embrace what is true. I needed to apply that bit of wisdom yesterday as my day unraveled with one call from an unknown repair guy.

Now, I find that as a single woman, appliances and repairs can feel overwhelming. Sometimes it just takes more from me than I think I have. So my washing machine and dishwasher over the last 5 years have been more than frustrating. I bought the high-end good brand name to try to prevent issues, and it is clear to me that is no guarantee. Next time I think I will check Consumer’s Report.

Anyway, yesterday I had the repairman coming again for the 3rd broken door latch this year on the washing machine door and the fourth visit this year for the dishwasher that seems to continually provide me “clean” dishes with a layer of grit on them.

I had done my best to let them know that their past visits were not resolving the issue and I was weary of paying for the same repair issue. I also assured them the only reason I continued to work with them was that the door part was under warranty.  I found myself almost pleading with them to just identify the cause.

And so, in the past, they always called before they left my house. They did not call. I called the primary number, and she assured me she would have him call me. No call, no note, I found myself oddly anxious wondering if they had finally resolved the issue. Eventually, about 630 pm the repairman calls. It went something like this.

“well, I have the solution to your reoccurring issue with your washer, and I think you will find it quite manageable. YOU must be more gentle when closing the door.”

I could feel the wave of emotion waving over me. My internal thoughts went something like this: Are you serious? What do you think I do, rage while I do laundry? More gentle? What does that even look like? I simply close it like any other reasonable person.

What I said was, “I do not understand what you are saying and wonder how you concluded I am the cause for the reoccurring broken latch?”

It is the only thing I can conclude. YOU must be more gentle. It is that simple.

I assured him that I am gentle and am offended he has drawn that conclusion, but it is clear to me he feels settled with his resolution. What did you conclude about the dishwasher?

“You will find this manageable as well, The cause of your dirty dishes is because of something going in the door. The spray wand is blocked, and the only cause can be something going in the door. You must be washing a water filtration system, perhaps a Brita? I see that with my wife’s Brita. There is charcoal in the water.”

“Do you want to know if I have a Brita? Or even a water filtration system? I don’t! He had the nerve to say, “are you sure?” He continued on with something I am putting in the door or the water filtration system.

I am not sure what, for the last year, I am putting “in the door” that is causing my dishes to be dirty when coming out. I am a single woman I do not cook like crazy. I am not doing heavy duty dish cleaning.  I interrupted him and asked him if he was listening, he had mentioned a water filtration system 6 times. I do not have a water filtration system.

Yes Maam, it is something going in the door and nothing related to the function of your dishwasher. Do you rinse your dishes or consider how you load it?

Are you serious, you are asking me if  I know how to load my dishwasher or if I rinse my dishes? Are you serious that your conclusion to this also is something I am doing wrong?

Well, you get the idea. It was not a positive phone exchange and indeed dissolved me to tears after I hung up. I kept thinking, would this repairman have spoken that way to a man? Is this about something I don’t know how to do? What do I do now? Do I just buy a new washer and a new dishwasher?

And so, I had to remind myself I am a smart woman who knows how to handle my laundry and I do not slam my washer door.

I also do not have a water filtration system that is causing my dishwasher issue nor do I put unusually dirty dishes in my dishwasher. I wish this repairman would help me find the cause, not the blame and I will not join him in this space of making me the problem.

It is a new day. I am doing some laundry and gently closing the door. I am rerunning my dishes to see if by some magical way my glasses will be smooth again. It is a new day, and I will choose joy and spread love and leave yesterdays tensions in the pasty. But, I can’t entirely lose the thought that I doubt they would have given that same repair advice to my Dad.

Enjoy today my friends and if you have a repairman in your home today. Offer them some extra grace on my behalf. I surely did not use any yesterday!