dad

I hate home repairs.

Last summer I woke early and began cleaning up the kid’s toys when I walked into the “toy room” from the kitchen.  The floor around the threshold was soaking wet.  At first I assumed that one of my little angels had spilled water from the night before.  Yet when I asked my wife about it she said she had tried cleaning up water from the same spot days before.  Yikes.  We soon discovered that the water line behind our refrigerator had been leaking for some time.  It had damaged a sizable portion of the kitchen floor, dining room floor, basement ceiling, carpet and drywall.

I hate home repairs.  Whenever anything breaks around my house I feel incredibly inadequate.  Though my dad taught me a powerful work ethic, he was not particularly handy.  Therefore I never learned any of typical home repair skills.  Plumbing, electrical, woodworking, flooring, etc.; all are mostly mysteries to me.  So when confronted with the reality of major water damage I not only have to deal with the inherent frustration of an impending repair, but my latent father and personal insufficiency issues.  Joy.

The culmination of this is that it wasn’t until two weeks ago that I actually began to repair the damaged floor.  In defense of my stalling I should point out that it took my dad took roughly seven years to hook up a second faucet in my brother and sister’s bathroom.  So postponing this repair was practically a genetic certainty.  My wife had patiently put up with my procrastination, but stated, “everything must be finished” by Thanksgiving.  It was therefore at approximately 1:45am on Wednesday morning that I finished installing the new tile floors.

I learned a couple of lessons from this experience.

  1. I have wonderful friends who were willing and able to help.
  2. Installing tile is hard, frustrating work, but totally doable.
  3. Blessings often masquerade as hardships on the front end.

Our linoleum floors were reaching the end of their life.  They were stained, yellowing and curling up as the glue had dried out over time.  As much as we knew we needed to replace them, we also knew we didn’t have money in our budget to put down the tile we hoped to replace them with.  Funny how God works these things out.  As I write this, I’m sitting in my kitchen looking over the freshly installed tile floors that God perfectly provided for.  Not only did insurance provide the needed funds, but several dear friends provided tools, time, guidance and the encouragement needed to make the Thanksgiving deadline.

I am humbled how God so faithfully takes difficult situations that are initially painful and redeems them into something beautiful.  Julie and I spent time last night listing out a few of God’s bigger “masqueraded” blessings over the past twelve years.

  • A heartbreaking miscarriage that was redeemed through a “surprise” redheaded blessing years later.
  • A long drawn out adoption process that resulted in a second adoption and  a family of six that I can’t imagine any other way.
  • My dad’s excruciating battle with cancer that was used to bring him to a destiny changing relationship with Jesus.
  • Eleven months of unemployment that allowed for me to be near my family during my dad’s illness.

This Thanksgiving, take a few minutes and thank God for His masqueraded blessings.  The real trick though, is in choosing to thank Him before the blessing is revealed.  I am hopeful that an obnoxious home repair job will result in a powerful lesson learned and a deepening ability to choose a posture of thanksgiving before the blessing is revealed.

What a stack of blessing you have piled up for those who worship you, Ready and waiting for all who run to you to escape an unkind world. Psalm 31:19 The Message

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!!

Joel Thomas