Thursday, April 26, 2012

Shot of Joy

Thanks so much for you who pray!

Yesterday I booked no sub jobs so I could be with my husband. I also got important work done at home and then in the afternoon we went out on errands. We went into Brandon to go to Macy’s so I could buy a wedding gift for my friend Barb in Minnesota. Then we went to Sweet Tomatoes for dinner. This time my husband didn’t major on the “where’s the beef” rant at Sweet Tomatoes and enjoyed the chicken from the chunky chicken noodle soup. I could stick to my Weight Watcher’s diet also.

As we were walking hand in hand to the car to go home, I noticed something dripping under the Ford Expedition, our only car since the crash of the newer Saturn with a DUI driver in December of 2010 written up earlier on this blog.  When we turned on the air conditioner, there was a horrible smell. We kept the air off and drove home safely without smoke or needles on the dashboard going bonkers.

Now my husband can obsess about something in the middle of the night and this can disturb my sleep. Fortunately when he did so Monday night, I was still able to function on Tuesday when I substituted. However, last night it was me who was not sleeping, and needing to work today. At one point I found that he was awake and I asked him a question, as if wanting back my old husband without Alzheimer's who could make decisions about car repair.

“Should I cancel substitute teaching so I can bring our one car in?”

“What’s wrong with the car?” I tell him about the water leaking when we left dinner last night.

“Yes, go ahead.”

I get up and get on the computer and cancel the job due to car trouble. I turn off the alarm, return to bed, and to try to sleep.

“What is the problem with the water?” he asks, interrupting my sleep. “Don’t we have enough?”

“Sweetheart, it is not the well water pump or the water to the house this time. It is the car that was leaking last night.”

We were able to sleep in to 8:00 am but I got up worried about getting the car repaired. I worry while doing all my familiar morning routines of feeding the dog, letting him outside and getting breakfast and lunch ready for both of us. While I am doing all of this, my husband keeps asking what the plan is for the day. It’s on the clipboard, but I remind him as if he is asking for the first time, not the fourth or fifth time.

My first car trouble. There was a time in college when I used a family car to get to my student teaching assignment; I froze the engine on our "senior sneak" with girls friends in the car and I remember this experience to this day. Other guy students had to pick us up and the car had to be towed to town. I remember my naiveté about cars and the generosity of my parents who in 1965 paid $300 to fix that car.

Surely I could destroy the whole engine again today on my way to getting it fixed as I had in college. And it wouldn't be that cheap to get it fixed!

DH prayed for me before I left and he said, “Lord, give Carol a shot of joy.” Knowing that our great God can answer prayers even of someone with dementia I left the house. I passed a field off workers picking green peppers. Soon I saw a yard sale with so many items I wondered if the family had emptied out their whole house. I drove the five plus miles to our Plant City Ford dealer and didn’t have to call AAA. Thank you, LORD!

A sign at the Ford dealer said “free inspection”. I explained more than they needed to know about me and Alzheimer’s and why our one car needed to work so that I could pick up extra jobs. I was cordially seated at a desk where I could work. I plugged in my Nook so I could power it up to read my morning devotions  from the reading version of the Daily Audio Bible. I plugged in my notebook computer so I could write this blog. THE SHOT OF JOY WAS COMING!

With my Nook recharged I read the Prayer for April 26 from the NIV Passages Bible
Lord, I ask you to renew my mind. Holy Spirit, please guide me so that I can find wisdom. I pray for the wisdom that can come only from your counsel and through a deep, abiding love for you. Guide my steps so that the kingdom may advance through me. I want to be a person of your Word through prayer and action. Amen.
Then I continued reading from Judges 6:1-40. The Lord has sent the Israelites a prophet to remind them that they have not been following Him. Nonetheless the Lord tells complaining Gideon to go in the strength you have (vs. 14) and I will be with you (vs.16). Gideon starts obeying even taking down the altars of Baal. Nonetheless he needs a fleece; it is wet one night and dry the next night while the ground around is the opposite both nights. Sometimes I need that reassurance of a fleece as well.

Next came my reading from Luke 22:54-23:12. Peter denies the LORD and Jesus is brought before Pilate and then Herod. Interesting verse (23:12) I hadn’t noticed: That day Herod and Pilate became friends—before this they had been enemies. Even though I have read/listened to the Bible every year for several years now, I had not noticed that interesting verse before.

Meanwhile Service Consultant Kent comes and tells me the problem is that a water pump needs replacing. They are ordering that part which will come in tomorrow morning and will work on the Expedition tomorrow and give me a ride home today.  Kent says something that makes me believe he is a Christian and I hear that he became one in his 30’s, his grandmother having prayed for him for years, never knowing on earth the fruit of her prayers. I lead him in prayer for his mom who is depressed now and write down that I will pray for her once a week. Another shot of joy!

Next I read from Psalm 95 and 96 and Proverbs 14:5,6 in my Nook.

  • Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock off our salvation (Ps. 95:1)
  • Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth (Ps. 96:1).
  • Let all the trees of the forest sing for joy (Ps. 96:12).
A shot of joy for me--what my husband prayed for!  I get a ride home from James at the dealer. Of course I say home James. When I got home DH has forgotten about the car and where I have been but he is happy to see me. I thank him for his prayers this morning.  I can't substitute tomorrow because the car will be in the shop, but somehow I believe that the LORD will provide for our needs iincluding this car repair.

Added the next day (4/27). A day home with hubby and no car. It was so confusing to hubby especially in the afternoon. Lots of questions. What had happened to that car that he loves and now I drive when we go out? I call it the gas guzzler, but he loves being chauffeured around in it--says it is his favorite car ever.  His questions include how did we get home. Hubby even suggested that he should have handled this repair although I realized that his thinking was confused and it would be hard for him to handle.

The dealer called and said that it is the radiator rather than the water pump and they were working to get our car back that very day. They found the part in a warehouse so that it wouldn't be next week. The repair was much less expensive than anticipated and James picked us up about 4:30 and drove us back to Ford to pay for and get the car. All in all it was wonderful working with Kent and his crew. Thank you, LORD, for this shot of joy experience.

After we picked up the car we went to a movie, "Lucky One". This movie was one that my husband could comprehend, we both enjoyed and it had dogs in it! I reflected how simple our life is now, and how confusing for DH if one element, such as a car, is missing.


  1. Congratulations, CArol, for enjoying the wonder of a praying husband who knows His God!! Enjoy this time,

  2. Thanks, Dana. I enjoy your blog so much. We serve a gracious LORD who is there for us even when our husbands are losing their abilities.

  3. wow! Always wonderful to hear of the Lord's work in everyday lives!
    would you believe it is the water pump that needs replacing in my car as well.

  4. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective James 5:16

    So happy for you that your car issue was able to be handled quickly :)

  5. Hi Carol, enjoying your book! Are you having trouble with the new blogger format? I can't italicize, it removed a picture I added to yesterday's post "Clarkstown," and the page is impossible to follow. They also posted my post as one smashed up paragraph instead of in paragraphs as I typed it. I wrote them my feedback this morning. Please pray as I am considering what other service to follow and hope they change things.

  6. I do the same kind of work as you, but in Australia, substitute teachers must have a teaching degree, so the system is a bit different. I have only been able to work 5 days this year because of being unable to leave Mum on her own any more. But I do have 3 days of help now, so I should be able to work more this term.

  7. Louise, nice to hear from you in Australia. I admire your dedication to your mother and her cats.

    I am a retired public school teacher with all of those degrees for teaching; I substitute teach and also teach several other kinds of classes--first-time drivers and mandated classes for DUI offenders who have been caught driving while impaired. I am working to pay off credit cards before I am forced to stay home to care for my husband as you do for your mother.

  8. You're in much the same position as I am, then! Without those few days of teaching I'd be in a spot of bother. My Volvo has required $3000 of repairs this week, which has been a terrible financial blow. Still we battle on! My next door neighbour is a teacher who now works in a jail teaching inmates to read and write.