Last Updated on March 20, 2018

Mount Laundry was staring me down this morning, as I have just returned from a 10-day family trip. Two large suitcases had regurgitated their contents all over my living room floor.  The sink was full of dirty water bottles and snack containers. My poor garden was wilting in the Arkansas heat, so my first task was to water the tomato plants. After watering one plant, the spigot gave a sputter then went dry.  A quick check of  the water inside and a phone call to the water department confirmed that we would have no water for most of the day. A tractor had hit a water line.

The moment of frustration quickly passed as I realized I was just given a reprieve from the urgency to finish all my tasks in one day. I gathered my children around to explain that toilets could not be flushed, hands would be washed with baby wipes and anti-bacterial gel, and we would be drinking milk, tea, and juice today.  I was reminded how spoiled we are by my daughter wailing, “Oh no!  What will we doooooo?”

Time for a lesson on the daily lives of others outside the United States.  We learned about other children who walk for miles to bring home a bucket of dirty water for their daily needs.  No refrigerators to keep chilled drinks on hand. No faucets dispensing water or washing machines to fill.  Their creativity kicked in, coming up with ideas to conserve and collect water.

Fortunately, our water was turned back on late afternoon, though it was disturbingly umber-tinted.  We could only use it to flush.  Less than an hour later a storm blew through leaving us without power.  Lesson number two for the day: Life can exist without lights, computers, televisions, and air conditioning.  Again, creativity kicked in and we played board games, play dough, and found chores that could be done without electricity. The kids enthusiastically helped me move our dining table and chairs into the brighter family room, set the table with candles, and helped me prepare a wonderful meal on our grill. My son mashed potatoes better than my electric mixer!

After dinner, we retired to the front porch to cool off and witnessed a beautiful rainbow—a symbol of God’s promise and reminder of His blessings.  What a perfect day!

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