Last year, we worked on some projects around the house. The most expensive project was to get our home painted. After getting several estimates, we picked the company and scheduled the job.
We’ve had our house painted twice before, and usually they finish completely in 1-2 days. So, I made sure to take a before picture because I expected it to be done quickly.
Only, it wasn’t going as planned.
They started late, and instead of having an entire crew show up, we had two people show up. It was a husband and wife team, and I will call them Jake and Joanna (not their real names). On the first day, they power-washed the house, and on the next day, they started replacing the boards and painting.
Day after day, they backed into our driveway, emptied their van of supplies, and started working while his radio blasted music from the ’70s and ’80s. After an entire week, we were concerned and a bit frustrated, mostly because we had no idea it would take this long. One day they didn’t get to come because of car trouble and some of the other days it rained.
Have you experienced similar frustrations regarding a big project or expense?
After a few days, I came home around lunchtime, and they were sitting in their van to escape the heat. I lifted my hand to wave and headed to the front door. Right before I went in, I sensed that still small voice saying, “Bring water to them.”
Instead of getting water and bringing it to them, I turned around and went to the van, and asked if they wanted any cold water. He said, “No, ma’am, that’s ok.”
So, I asked again, “Are you sure? I have plenty of cold drinks inside.” She shyly mentioned if I could bring some water, that would be great. I went inside and grabbed cold water bottles, orangeades, tea and got as much as I could carry out to them.
He smiled big and said thank you.
My husband heard from the paint company owner, and he explained why it was taking so long. They were expecting a crew, but it didn’t work out. They should finish soon. His explanation seemed to satisfy us.
Later that evening, as the painters cleaned up, my husband and I went outside to look around at the progress.
Jake looked up at my husband and said, “Your wife saved us today!”
We both looked puzzled as he went on to explain, “Today was the hottest day, and at lunch, we realized we forgot our cooler with all of our drinks in it, and we were really thirsty. But, your wife brought us cold drinks. We loved that tea!”
Do you know that moment when you feel tiny? If I could have fallen to my knees right then, I would’ve. But instead, I went inside and grabbed more cold drinks for them to hydrate on the way home.
God, forgive me. I was so worried about money and getting the job done quickly. I lost sight that there may be a purpose in the inconvenience.
God whispered, “Bring water to them.”
What if I missed it? What If my frustrations got the best of me?
God forgive me. It is just money, and people are thirsty. I honestly don’t care how the house looks. Please help me love them and love them well.
The next morning, the wife knocked on the door and said, “Jake brought something for you – it is on the porch.”
I went to look, and it was a beautiful plant in a watering can that he had painted. He told my husband that his mom had passed away last year, and this plant was a piece of hers.
I was so moved by it. I loved it, and it was such a sweet gesture.
For the next several days, I waited to hear their van back into our driveway. I made them a casserole for breakfast and picked up cold sweet teas for them. I brought them drinks and made them brownies.
On their last day here, we wrote them a Thank You card with a tip inside along with this verse:
I miss the sound of their truck backing into our driveway. I miss that music blasting into my window, and I love my freshly painted home. I miss Jake and Joanna, and I’ve even tried to google them.
Thankfully, I have their beautiful plant to remind me of one of my favorite lessons from 2020: Money isn’t everything (People are thirsty).
Have you experienced a time where that still small voice whispered and you moved? What did you learn? I’d love to hear your story!
I am sharing the lessons I learned from 2020 that I am bringing into 2021. You can click on the links below to read:
Lesson 1: The sky is not falling. (Don’t be afraid.)
Lesson 2: Go for it! (You have nothing to lose.)