Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My Own Comedy of Errors, and My Rescue

Can you hear it?  The constant drip... drip... drip of the leaking bath tub faucet.  Annoying enough.  Then it's drip, drip, drip.  And soon it goes to dddddrrrriiiiiiiiiipppppppppp, a nice, steady stream...  What's a girl to do?  She can call her Daddy, or she can look it up on the Internet (watch the video below) and figure it out herself.  After all, she was raised to be independent, to be able to do things for herself. 


Okay, so I watched the above video a few times, and it seemed simple enough.  I lined up my tools in the bathroom, took a big breath.... and I couldn't get the handle off.  Yes, I was using the 1/8" Allen wrench, but the screw must have been stripped.  I tried and tried, to no avail.  So I went to bed and couldn't sleep for thinking.  How am I going to get that handle off?  I haven't even started on the real work yet.  I don't want to ask Daddy to drive 30 minutes one way to come to my rescue (he had done just that three weeks earlier when my car broke down).  I can do this!  I just have to figure out how.  

The next morning I was determined to get that faucet off and the water leak repaired.  After all, that WAS money going down the drain, and I'm not rich.  Once more I tried the Allen wrench, still didn't work.  So I brought out the big guns (I sure hope my Dad isn't reading this, because he just might disown me...).  My electric drill.  With a nice drill bit on the end that fit just right into the hole in the faucet.  Yep, if I couldn't make the wrench work, I could certainly drill through the head of the screw.  Or so I thought.  The drill bit wasn't quite long enough.  Talk about frustrating!  But apparently it was long enough to drill out the center of the screw, because I tried the wrench again and out the screw came, fitting neatly over the tip of my wrench.  That screw certainly can't be used again!  So, off came the handle.

Now things would certainly be much easier.  Couldn't get any worse, could it?  Especially since all the parts were coming off as the above video said they would.  I didn't even need a wrench on the fitting that held the valves in place!  To pull out the valves and replace those rubber fittings and springs was going to be a piece of cake!  

Except... when I managed to pull out the valves, I released a jet of water!  I'm talking about 65 psi (as I was later told)!  Sixty-five pounds per square inch!! It was like someone was using a fire hose in my bathroom, or at least so it seemed.  I mean, I certainly didn't remember the video saying anything about this happening!  In a panic, I forgot all about putting in the rubber gaskets and springs, and desperately tried to force the valves back in place.  It wasn't happening... I was standing outside the tub, and it was filling up fast.  Nothing to do but climb in and shove for all I was worth.  I was desperately praying for God to give me the strength to put that valve back in place.  Wasn't working. I started bailing water by the bucket full and dumping it into the toilet, then slipped and ran to the laundry room where I turned off the hot water on the furnace.  I bailed some more, jumped back in the tub, and once again tried to force the part back in.  Finally!!!  Shaking so bad I thought I was going to drop my parts, I tried to put the outside fitting back on, hoping it would hold and slow or stop the flow of water.  No such luck.  Well the fitting held, but it didn't hold back the water.  At least now the water was coming out of the faucet at a regular fill-up-the-bathtub rate, which gave me some time.  I bailed some more.  I called the water company and asked them to come turn off the water, since I couldn't find a shut off valve to the house.  I must have been a sight!  They said they would come turn it on whenever I was through with my repair, which was now much easier to do.

Unfortunately the drip was worse than before.  The water guy had said I was losing water at the rate of 1/2 a gallon per minute.  Start adding that up!  So what do you think I did next?  I called my Daddy!!  He didn't seem amused when I told him I thought I had tried to drown myself that morning.  But after explaining through my laughter, he did see the humor. And of course, in true Daddy fashion he said he would fix it for me.  What a relief!  

Daddy called me Monday morning to discuss my problem.  Did I know that I could have turned the water off in the wall behind the tub?  All I had to do was take off the face plate and there were the cut off valves.  No, I didn't know that.  That video above, you know.   Must have been made for someone with some basic plumbing skills.  Because I still don't remember it saying anything about cutting off the water, or how or where to cut off the water.  I guess the guy just assumed that MOST people would KNOW to cut off the water first!!  I have watched my Dad and helped my Dad work on so many repairs of various kinds that I should have.... well, you know.

Upon telling the guys at work my story and after hearing their raucous laughter (and heartily joining in, I might add), I was told that I should never, ever try to do any electrical work.  Because failing to turn off the POWER would not allow me a second chance (guys, I'm not THAT stupid!).

More seriously, I left money for my Dad to use to replace the parts of my faucet.  But he called and told me that the money was on the counter, that it was "his privilege" to make those repairs for me.  I'm having a hard time writing this part, because I'm writing through tears.  I am so fortunate to have a dad like mine!  

When Daddy told me it was "his privilege", it made me think about God.  He is waiting for us to step back and allow Him to help us, but He'll never force His way.  Can't you hear Him?   It was and is His privilege to help us.  He loves us.  He sent His Son to die for us, and WE DON'T EVEN DESERVE IT!  Just because He loves us, like my Dad loves me.  Remember Philipians 4:19 says, "But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."


BOOK REVIEW: The Girl's Still Got It

The Girl's Still Got It by Liz Curtis HiggsBy Liz Curtis Higgs

Published by WaterBrook Multnomah Released July 2012

Ladies, if you have never heard of Liz Curtis Higgs, you really need to check her out!  THIS girl's got it.  In her new book The Girl's Still Got It, Liz explores the story of Ruth.  A story completely about women (well, the men do play minor parts, although they are sort of wimpy, all except for the HERO of the story,  wait 'til you get a load of HIM!).  In her characteristic style, Liz tells the story of Ruth and her mother-in-law Naomi.  She explores verse by verse, phrase by phrase, and it is not dull or boring at all!  Liz definitely has the gift to transport you back in time, to be able to stand in the shadows and see this story unfold under God's guiding hand.  You will fall in love with the characters.  You might cry, and you will most definitely laugh.  After all, the narrator IS Liz!

Take a moment to visit the Liz Curtis Higgs website.  You can get a jump start by watching the video, and don't forget the Righteous Ruth Rap, Liz's own take on rap music.  Plus you can join in on the online Bible study that's available.  Whatever you do, reading and studying the story of Ruth with Liz will allow you to see Ruth and Naomi from a whole new angle, to be sure.  And I guarantee you will learn something new, and hopefully new things to apply to your life.   I know I have!

In order to comply with new Federal Trade Commission regulations, please note that this book was provided compliments of  the WaterBrook Multnomah book review program.

Monday, September 3, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: The Power of Happiness: A Comprehensive Guide to Daily Joy and Well Being

By:  Timothy McKinney
Published July 31, 2012

Wow!  What do you say when you get a book with a title like that!  Everyone wants to be happy, don't they?  Unfortunately not everyone is happy.  Happiness can be elusive.  And really, what is happiness?  Is it a result of our actions?  Our emotions?  Can it be as a result of both our actions and emotions?  In "The Power of Happiness" author Timothy McKinney seeks to help us learn how to become happy people. 

"The Power of Happiness" is separated into three easy to read parts covering the definition of happiness, determining if you are really happy, and how to be happy.  Through the use of vast amounts of controlled research, life examples, quotes at the beginning of each chapter, charts and graphs, questionnaires and even the suggestion of the use of certain foods and physical/mental exercise, along with a touch of humor to get the point across, Mr. McKinney has made this book an excellent tool for achievement of and recognition of one's personal happiness.  There are even questions and lists to be completed in some of the later chapters. 

There are so many quotes from this book I would like to share, but I'll settle on just one:
The secret to lifelong happiness is to really understand that Life Isn't Supposed To Be Easy.  It's not!  Think about that for a moment.  The VAST majority of our unhappiness comes from expecting things to be different than they are.  We as humans are under the false impression that life is supposed to be easy and that when life isn't easy, there is something wrong.  (pg. 59)
Although there was much in Mr. McKinney's book I liked and will personally use, I must admit I disagree with some of his points.  Most importantly I disagree with "The Golden Key" of Emmet Fox from which Mr. McKinney quotes, which basically states that you can call on God and He will solve your problems.  Better yet, you can think the name of God (or any religious icon you want), and just by thinking, you can make your problems go away.  Let me yell this out -- based on what the Bible says, I disagree!  You cannot use God as a talisman or good luck charm.  You cannot think of God or the name of God and your problems disappear!  Just because you may believe in God does not mean that all of your problems will go away or that God will work in your favor.  God says that all things work for His will, not mine. 

I also have to disagree that the goal of life should be our own happiness, although I don't believe there is anything wrong with being happy.  To the Christian, the Bible tells us to put Jesus first, then others, and lastly ourselves.  When our goal is only our own happiness we have missed the point and have become self-serving.  Colossians 3:12-17 gives the Christian virtues, and verse 17 makes this point: 
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
So what are we to do?  There is nothing wrong with being happy or trying to be happy.  But don't make that the goal of your life.  As a Christian speaking to Christians, this is a good book with much great advice and wisdom.  Use this book to help you achieve your goals in life.  However, temper it with God's wisdom.  If you are a new Christian or are not grounded in the Bible, I would have to say it would be best not to read this book.

I received this book free from the author, who requested an honest review of his book.  I am under no obligation to give a favorable review.