Last night I was making German pancakes for dinner. My kids love these babies but Josh doesn't care for them so I tend to make them when he is away (and since he is at youth conference in Idaho, this was a perfect opportunity).
Anyway, I mixed the ingredients and popped the pan into the pre-heated oven and innocently went about my business.
After a while I noticed Ellie was hanging out near the oven, which is odd. I asked her what she was doing and she said she was watching fireworks.
So I came over to investigate.
Upon opening the oven I noticed that although they had been "cooking" for nearly 20 minutes, my pancakes were still entirely liquid mush and not at all pancake.
I also noticed the fireworks. Ellie was right. Fireworks in the oven. Not a good sign.
I watched as the sparks crawled along the heating wire (I'm sure it has a real name, but I don't know what it is) until it all sputtered and went out and then nothing. The oven is no longer willing to function.
That's the kind of year it has been.
Earlier this week our printer decided it wouldn't print black anymore (which turns out to be a common issue with that model) I spent hours trying fixes from youtube, but to no avail, so we had to get a new one (not something in the budget). We've replaced the fuel pumps in both cars. We also replaced braked and calipers on both cars. We've purchased tires for both cars (four for one and two for the other). We've had three bouts of strep throat, three sinus infections, two ear infections, once case of shingles and one bout of chicken pox. We had to do braces for two kids, with more of those to come in the future. Computer issues, shoes galore, unexpected repairs and bills, I could go on. We even let our bad luck dribble onto my parents who had car/trailer problems when they were hanging out with us.
It had been a year of one problem after another. Seems like over and over something new lands in our laps which is NOT something fun.
I just keep thinking, "I am not yet as Job...I am not yet as Job..." (and that is not an invitation in any way to become more like Job!!!). I'm really trying to see the good, but the pile of trouble is getting awfully large by my side.
Still, when I look at my life, I feel like I really don't have any right to complain. I have an incredible family. Josh was hired at the perfect part-time job which will (hopefully) help us keep on top of the financial obligations that are sliding into our life left and right. I was able to find a part time job at our local school which will let me work only while Ellie is in Kindergarten for the coming year so hopefully that will help a bit too. My kids make me smile every day and that really means something. I am surrounded by an incredible world that I love to explore.
I guess what I am trying to say is that even when struggles and problems and troubles are cascading around us, we are not forgotten. Even when we feel so so buried and like we can barely claw our way out from under it all, there is a hand there to help us up. Our Father in Heaven loves us and I would rather go through problems while relying on His strength to keep me from falling completely to pieces than I would cast Him aside and go it alone.
No, he has not chosen to let our life be easy. He has not chosen to quietly push problems from our path and let us walk smoothly to the finish. His plan for our family (and yours) is not always a comfortable one. He cares very little about our comfort. He is much more interested in helping us reach our greatest potential, helping us become the people He sees we can be, and that sometimes means letting us face hard things. It sometimes means letting us get to the very edge of the cliff to see if we will trust Him to keep us safe.
And I do.
So, despite a now dead oven, I will shout from the rooftops that my Lord loves me and I will know that He will not leave me alone.
Even if I have to do it without baking.
I never much liked baking anyway.