My dishwasher had this bad habit of tipping over. See, it wasn’t screwed into the wall. I bought it off Cheapcycle for $100, but it wasn’t a portable. “Why does that matter?” I asked my mom when she expressed skepticism. Well, that’s why. A dishwasher that is meant to be anchored, and isn’t, will fall over. You have to open it just exactly perfectly, and have just the right balance of dishes, or the whole thing knocks over in slow motion. It will fall on your baby, your dog, your foot… and spill food and soap and dishes everywhere.
Or in this case, peanut oil. I had tried and failed to make home fries a few days before and I had left the fryer on top of the dishwasher to cool because I have no counter space and it’s not like the dishwasher tips over at random, just like it takes a special way to open it to make it fall over, or not. And sometimes I get distracted. Like on this day. I got distracted.
I wish I could remember everything leading up to that moment when I watched a flood of peanut oil land all over my dirty clothes pile. What was stressing me out that day? My daughter’s UTI that meant she was peeing through her clothes every singIe day? PMS? My boys starting public school and the inevitable behavior problems that my eldest was showing? Whatever else, I know that it was the final straw. I wanted to throw up. I remember going to take a shower while my husband took the last of the paper towels and mopped it up…the only time our floor ever looked shiny. Peanut oil. $13 a bottle. Ruining my clothes. Because I couldn’t afford to anchor my dishwasher.
I decided to go to a church fellowship even though, at that moment, all I wanted to do was crawl into bed and stay there forever. When I saw my friend Elizabeth, I tried to be lighthearted, but I told her truthfully that I had been crying all afternoon. About our financial situation. About how everywhere I turned, I felt destroyed.
She suggested we fast. I agreed. Desperate times…desperate measures.
I drafted this note on Facebook and invited people to join us.
The last few years have left my family feeling beaten down. No need to go into great detail, but suffice to say financially and emotionally we feel pretty fragile right now. Hugh went back to school to get a second bachelors degree when Alice was still a baby, and by the time he finished we had another precious little one in our family. Hugh graduated a year ago and has not found a new position yet.
Hugh has worked for the same company for 9 years, working long hours with no comp time for little pay or recognition. He is loyal, hardworking, and one of the best people they have. He desperately needs to find a career that is more upwardly mobile and emotionally rewarding as he supports his family. He needs to be somewhere where his education level and dogged determination to do things right are appreciated!
This is a man who achieved Eagle Scout at age 14 when most boys don’t make it until they are 18! He works HARD. He’s incredibly intelligent. He’s the perfect employee. And of course, he’s also modest, and would never say that to anyone.
But I’m his wife. And I will say it. He deserves a thousand times what he has, he deserves not just more financial stability but an environment where his hard work is received! Somewhere he is respected for who he is, which is a wonderful person, husband, and employee.
I told my friend Elizabeth tonight about what all has gone on…the tears I have wept as I feel squeezed from all sides, and she suggested we fast.
Hugh has a potential opportunity coming up where he will be in touch with a person of influence who can help him get on the right track. This is a HUGE deal and something we have been working towards for MONTHS now…praying, and asking, and trying to figure out how to make this happen. It first came to him in a dream, a literal dream while you are asleep! And we’ve been trying to figure out for months what it meant…who to ask for help…
If you pray, pray for Hugh on Thursday. If you feel called to fast, then fast. I feel we are hitting a wall of crisis right now and something HAS to change. What we want more than anything, is to be the person BEING charitable instead of always needing charity. We long to give out of abundance…for we will never forget how this feels .
The day came, and I fasted all day…till I was lightheaded. I prayed. And prayed. My friends prayed. My family prayed. My husband was calling an influential man on the phone. That’s why we thought we were fasting. To move his heart. That’s what we thought.
Until my husband texted me midmorning to tell me that layoffs were once again rippling through his company. Once again, the rumors were sweeping, desks were being cleared out, people were storming out angrily. The fifth time in 9 years.
Once again, he survived.
Shaking, stressed, sick to his stomach. But he still had a job.
And we got rid of the dishwasher.