Thursday, June 5, 2008

The moral of the story is...

Okay, so I was listening to Fall 2007 conference yesterday whilst sewing. Believe it or not, I get a lot of deep thinking done when I sew and this time was no exception. During the loooooong stretches of straps and mind-numbing ironing I remembered something that happened to me years ago. Then I was inspired to share it on my blargh and to force some of you to share ocassionally too. I might start doing this occasionally, like a wrap up to the week or the end of an episode of Scrubs or Grey's Anatomy (shut up, I liken myself to Christina and I know a bunch of you just saw the resemblance too when I said that).

Anyhow... here it is:

Kimber's TRUE story of the Fridge Door

So, this happened when Sam and I first moved to Rigby. It was a rather stressful time for a few reasons. First and foremost was that we were still in the midst of dealing with Isabelle's bad burn and the plastic surgery ('nother story for 'nother day) and the disheartening realization that while Sam did have a great job and a steady source of income, that income was so low that we were barely scraping by in a little apartment with only one kid and food stamps to boot. I was also having some weird health stuff going on and not knowing exactly what was wrong was expensive and not pleasant. Needless to say, things were a bit tense.

Well, one spring day (evening rather) Sam was heading off to work. Neither one of us were in good moods as I'd just balanced the checkbook that day and found we were once again in the red. So out he stormed and to the kitchen I stomped. Belle was toddling around behind me, barely 18 months old. I was having aspirations of potty training her so she was diaper free at that time.

Wanting to drown my sorrows, I went to the fridge for a Mountain Dew and darndest thing happened: The door on the NEW fridge fell right off and onto my foot! Needless to say, that hurt. It was also heavy since it was full of food, so I was trying to get it off of my foot somewhat carefully. Right then, I turn to Belle gleefully peeing all over the kitchen floor. So, now I'm shrieking, trying to get her to the potty, sop up pee and get the fridge door off my foot. I was getting a little worked up.

I finally take care of the door and moved all the food in it. Got Belle diapered (seriously, what was I thinking?) and cleaned up the pee. Now I had to put the door back on the fridge. I'm pretty independent, so I hopped right to it. But, no matter what I tried, that door kept falling off! I tried putting it back and it just fell off. I tried tape but it wasn't strong enough. I even tried super glue but all that got me was all the fingers on one hand glued together. I was getting irate and a bit stressed since there was a ton of food in the fridge and no door to keep the coldness inside. Plus my hand was stuck together so it looked like I had a claw hand. So, I started calling anyone and everyone I could think of (with my claw hand) to help me. Nobody was available. Awesome.

Now I was desperate and more than a little upset. So much had been going wrong; things that were big and unfixable to me. This was a stupid fridge door and frankly, the only thing I could do much about and yet I was unable to even take care of that. So, in complete anger and frustration I said my version of a prayer (I use that term a bit loosely right now). I said, "Lord, get down here right now and fix my fridge door or I'm becoming Catholic!" (For the record, that is not a slam on Catholicism. I have actually gone to mass a few times and while all the kneeling and getting up is a bit hard on the knees, this old gal enjoys the exercise it brings.)

Seriously, not even a minute later there was a knock at the door. I open it and there standing in front of me are two spanish speaking missionaries. I DID NOT have time for them. They're going on with these questions:

Them: Do you speak spanish?
Me: Nope.
Them: Do you know any spanish speaking people investigating the church?
Me: Nope.
Them: Do you know anyone who speaks spanish?
Me (really impatiently): Nope.
Them: Do you know anyone we could visit tonight?
Me: (getting flat out mad at this point): No!
Them: Okay, thank you for your time.

They turned to walk away and then one turned back.

Him: Can we do anything to help you tonight?

I was so mad that they had taken my time and now they were standing there like dopes asking if I wanted help, so I snapped at them, "Yes, I do need help. My fridge door is broken and I can't fix it." I showed them too the door and off to work they went. I paced around my living room watching them work on the door thinking to myself, "serves you right stupid missionaries. That's what you get for knocking on my door."

Then, something happened.

You know that still small voice you get sometime that inspires you, tells you what to do or warns you of danger? I don't get that voice. I get a semi-sarcastic voice that tends to bark orders at me as opposed to gently urge me. So, I hear that voice in my head and what it said completely stopped me in my tracks. It said, "Well, you told me to fix your door."

You could have knocked me over with a feather. Of course. I had the audacity to tell God what to do and he did it, in the form of his missionaries... his emissaries here on earth. That is about as literal as it gets. I was so humbled in that moment. All I could do was thank those missionaries (they somehow rigged the door with a metal hanger and some of the super glue) and give them a few bags of food stamp groceries (thanks government).

This experience has stuck with me over the years for a lot of reasons. One was of course, the literalness of it all. That still gives me pause today. I mean come on... I sure God has better things to do than listen to some half crazed housewife order him to her house to fix a fridge door. Yet, I know for a fact that my prayer was heard and immediately answered. In a moment when I felt very alone and helpless; a moment of need that was perhaps emotionally a bigger deal than it was physically, someone was listening and helping me. I've had bigger, much crappier things happen since then. But I often remember the fridge door and it helps me remember that someone is aware of me and what I really need.

Lately I've been a bit down in the dumps. Nothing horrible is going on, but sometimes the small stuff in life (bills, the people around you and more bills) can bum me out. I've felt a bit like no one would care if I dropped off the face of the earth (other than angry customers and all the people relying on me for clean underwear). Maybe that's why I remembered this experience now... to remind me that God is still there and aware of me and willing to fix my fridge door if it's that big of a deal. That reminder helps me to put things back in perspective and to have patience with the bigger problems in life. If he can answer my tiny scream (and temper tantrums) for help, then he MUST know about the big stuff and is taking care of it too.

eta. 6/6/08
I also just thought of this a second ago. I was so busy being upset during all this that I very nearly missed that fact that my prayer was being answered! I wonder how often we all do this? I wonder how often in the past year I have done this? I mean, look at this experience... how much more obvious could the prayer answering have been and yet I totally would have missed it had that semi-sarcastic voice not piped on up! Do we miss miracles every day because we are wallowing in upset, anger and self pity? Just something I'm chewing on right now.

Anyhow, there it is. My fridge story.


  1. I'm crying right now because that is exactly what I needed to read right now. I too have been bummed and I'm so stressed and I just want to lay in the freakin sun and not do a dang thing ever again! But you're right, I know that the Lord does know me and my problems, and yours too. Thank you so very much for sharing that with me. LOVE YOU!

  2. Aw, Kimber. What a great story! I'm always amazed (and I don't know why) at God's timing and sense of humor. Once I was driving through this terrible rainstorm -- could barely see my windshield wipers, hydroplaning everywhere. And I was on the interstate. Super nervous. I sort of ha-ha-not-really-joking say to God, "Hey, uh, didn't you promise not to flood the earth?" Right then a semi truck passed me:
    COVENANT trucking lines.

    Hardy, har. =)

  3. Thanks, Kimber. No wonder in the scriptures the word "remember" is used so much--because sometimes what helps us is thinking about all the OTHER times we've been helped . . . then we know it'll be okay.

    This is exactly what I needed to read today.

  4. I got chills. And I'd care if you dropped off the face of the earth (and I am neither an angry customer nor do I rely on you for clean underwear). That was well said, I'm passing it on to L. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Funny story, the funnier thing is that I can actually imagine you in the whole setting! Ok, I need a little advice, I am considering going to cloth diapering, and I just wanted to pick your brain, so please hit me up!

  6. Ain't nuttin' wrong wit us Catholics, woman. Funny story and a great immediate answer to prayer!