Blog posts are supposed to have catchy titles in order to attract more readers, so how did I do? I did have to dig through the trash, but first a little backstory.
In the middle of August Tiffanney and I put our rental house on the market. Since then we've been making two housepayments (no, that's not why I dug through a trash can, we're still getting there, hold on a minute). FINALLY, October 29th we got an offer on the house!!! Yeah!!! We'd spent some time praying and fasting about the situation and felt like God would get us an offer by the end of October, which He did.
The next week I get word from my Senior Pastor that I need to preach on the 11th, only to find out later that he is interviewing at another church (I knew before I preached that Sunday). He comes back and tells us that he is leaving on December 9th.
We've been desiring a vacation for a while now, but making two housepayments makes it impossible to save any money. We decided that we would go on Dec 3rd thru the 8th, assuming the house had closed by then. It didn't. This left us with the hard decision of waiting until we had the money in hand and possibly not taking a vacation for several months (until the new pastor comes in) or putting it all on credit cards and trusting that it would close while we were gone (it didn't).
None of this led to me spilling trash all over the floor in the post office though. Here's the main culprit. On Tuesday afternoon we were running through Toon Town in Disneyland, trying to decide where we should eat after we went to visit Mickey Mouse. Standing on the steps of Mickey's house we got a phone call. It was our Childrens pastor. She said that guys from the National Guard were standing at our front door and were waiting for our permission to put up sand bags around our house. We froze, what could we do? Absolutely yes, please sandbag, but then what? How can we get home, and what will we find when we get there? We didn't make it to see Mickey the entire week.
To make a long story short, here's what the next few days looked like. We called around to find out about changing our plane tickets, but the waters didn't receed until Thurday, meaning that even if we had flown home we couldn't have gotten to our house. We had to trust the people in our church to help us out, and they came through for us in a BIG way. Even during the flood we had people over at our house giving us updates, and once the waters went down a little there was a crew over there moving furniture, building fires and trying to make sure that everything was contained.
We got home on Saturday just after Sunset, and were greeted by piles of clothes in our living room and all of our furniture in our dining room. In all there was about 8 inches of water in the bottom of our house and only our family room and master bedroom were affected. I will detail the clean up process and our interactions with insurance companies, FEMA and Home Depot in other blogs ('cause this one's getting too long), but right now I know you want to know about rubbish.
Before we leave our house for a few days, we always try and make sure everything is clean and that any food that might spoil is taken care of. We also typically eat a lot of the food in our house, knowing that when we get back we'll be grocery shopping anyways. So we returned home not just to piles of clothes, but we had no food and our vacation had been payed for with credit cards, so we had no money to buy food. Add to that the fact that the house still hasn't closed and we need to make Decembers house payment still and I think it's safe to say we were a little stressed out. We called a friend who works with the mission and got some groceries from him, and tried to go to the store to pick up some newspapers for firestarters. First we stopped at the post office and I saw that we got those little circular ads in the mail. I thought to myself, if I got one everyone must have, and everyone throws them away, so I jumped into the garbage can and pulled out all the newspaper I could find. I only stopped when I stuck my hand on top of a moldy banana peel. I was so proud of myself for thinking of this that it didn't even occur to me that it was people's trash until that point.
I'm not used to asking for help from people. Usually I'm going out of my way to help others out. To be in the position where I need help is most humbling. Thanks to everyone who's helped during this time, you've all blessed me so much. Please remember to keep praying for the flood victims here in Washington, we can all use it.
In closing I just want to say that while the majority of this post was probably a little depressing to read, we're doing well and we can see God's hand in everything that's happened all along the way. I just needed to vent and this is one way that I can do that.