I heard Jeff's voice say, "... the basement is flooded."
I don't know how much time elapsed between the time he said it and when I got up. The moon was still shining through the window. Where am I? What time is it? Was that a dream?
I roll over. Jeff isn't there. Was that a dream?
I get up and go downstairs and immediately realize it wasn't a dream. There is water spurting from some pipe in the utility closet from the toilet upstairs. I try to adjust my eyes. I try to think rationally.
I remember Jack plunging the toilet earlier in the day. "Hippopotamus turd...", he had told me.
I start mopping up water. Jeff gets the sewage water hemorrage to stop. I consider that calling a plumber will be a very expensive ordeal, especially considering we just put our car in the shop yesterday and are looking at $600 at least. I consider crying. Decide against. What's the purpose? As we crawl back into bed, Jeff tells me, "You know what the worst part is?"
I reply, "Yes, we have been struggling since the recession hit, our income has been hit at least 20K this year, I'm working two jobs, our car is in the shop, we don't have the money for a plumber, and my basement is all wet."
"Nope. I was finally asleep." Jeff's been struggling with insomnia for months now and rarely sleeps.
"God is teaching us."
"Because there is a lesson to be learned. We are not living with margin."
At least that's what Pastor Tommy calls it. It's that extra cushion for things like a plumber, an unexpected medical expense, a car repair. We used to have it. Then we spent our life savings last year in Africa. Then we came home to $4 per gallon gas prices and business was going south. Then in October, the market fell out and things really went south. Then the kids grew and started eating $1500 a month in groceries and $1000 to play in an elite soccer league, and $100 here and there and everywhere.
Jeff was despondent at that point.
I had to tell him that it's just a lesson. It's a lesson we've learned. This too shall pass. And it's time to stop questioning and start acting. When things started going south with the economy, I knew we had to get into a spot where we could live on less. We have paid off 2 credit cards in the last 4 months. One car has 2 more payments on it. The other car has 8 payments left. We are SO close to having margin again, we can almost taste it. I think that's what makes this lesson so frustrating. We know. We know and have been working toward this for awhile, and we are SO close.
This too shall pass.