Without a doubt, one of the most memorable events in 2016 happened just after Thanksgiving. And we give thanks to God for what’s unfolded since.

The Big Bang

Around four o’clock in the morning on November 30th, I was awakened by a horrific crashing and banging, and more crashing, and more clanging. I whispered urgently to Francis to wake him, though he was already as wide-eyed as I was from the incredible sound happening below us. As we crept down the stairs cautiously, we peeked into the living room. Christmas tree was still standing, everything looked normal. Then glancing into the kitchen… oh my word. There were no words for the scene before us.

Shock and awe moment

Broken glass and kitchen items completely filled the floor and spilled out into the dining room. Shock! The kitchen cabinet, the massive L-shaped cabinet that held practically everything, had fallen off the wall. It just peeled off and crashed down to the counter below, dumping and shattering it’s contents. (The result of a decade of termite infestation and decay from moisture.) Francis was silent as we found our tennis shoes and trash bags. As we stared at the mess, I was a mess. Waves of terror, grief, adrenaline, and relief washed over me.

The Cleanup

I gasped and cried throughout the 5 hours it took to pick through the debris, broken glass and stickiness, salvaging what we could. Between the waves of grief over destroyed wedding gifts and overwhelming relief that no one was harmed, we cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. A few precious items were lost. But all the fingers and toes on my precious children, 3 cats and puppy were safe.

Only a few hours earlier, my independent 4 year old had climbed up the counter, leveraging himself up by holding the cabinet door to get a cup for water. What if? What if it had fallen when he wanted to drink water to rinse after brushing our teeth? Thank you Lord, thank you Lord for protecting us!

I can only imagine what survivors of earthquakes or flooding experience when they return to their homes and start to clean up. It’s overwhelming. At least our massive mess is confined to the kitchen. Having tasted catastrophe (small scale) I have such an appreciation for how much work it takes to return to a sense of normalcy.

Rebuilding

Bare wall where new cabinets will hang

So here we are, now 5 weeks since the cabinet came down. There’s still a blank wall where the cabinet once was. Our cooking items, spices, plates and Tupperware are still inconveniently everywhere but where they “should be.” But we’re making progress with small victories along the way, like purging old bottles and jars. And a large victory in building a new cabinet. We were able to hire skilled laborers to build a new, narrow floor-to-ceiling pantry between our refrigerator and bathroom door. The purpose is to give us a clean, safe place to store food, dishes, and basically every and anything in our kitchen that fits while the main cabinets are under construction.

We received several donations from family and friends that made the pantry cabinet possible. My dear husband spent the entire day again today sanding, priming and painting the pantry. And we just finished loading it up! Feels SO good to clear off the counters a bit more. It will be finished tomorrow after painting the inside of the upper cabinets and getting the last doors on.

New pantry cabinet almost complete

We are trusting the Lord for the funds to rebuild the large cabinet, just as He provided for the pantry. Our next step is to clean and seal the damaged wall to prepare it for the new cabinet. Then we will call on the carpenters to start building again. The estimated cost is about $300, which will cover all of the plywood, materials, and week’s labor for 2 laborers.

Thankful

Job 1:21 says ” The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Suffering loss reveals what we truly love and believe. I’m thankful that God allowed us to go through this season of kitchen chaos to show us our hearts and draw us closer to Him. For several days it was an overwhelming burden that caused us great emotion and distress as we dealt with the mess. Seriously. But as we move forward, it’s only a kitchen cabinet. Whew!

New Christmas ornament – a smashed whisk!

What a memorable teaching moment it has been for us. One that will stick with us for a very long time. And one I doubt we’ll need to repeat to learn from! And as a memento, we hung a new ornament on our Christmas tree!

 

 

If you’d like to help us rebuild the cabinet, you can send a gift with paypal.

A Memorable Catastrophe

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