30 Days of Thanks, Day 24: God’s plan

Romans-8-28This morning we were running late, so we decided to drive separately.  I stayed behind to finish up a few things, while the rest of the family left for Sunday school.  I only expected to be 5-10 minutes behind them, but we were already cutting it too close.  They couldn’t wait any longer.

Once they were gone, I peeled and diced the last few potatoes and threw them into the crockpot, then did exactly what I always tell the kids not to do: I shoved a whole mess of potato peels down the drain and turned on the garbage disposal.

After about 30 seconds it became apparent that I was right when I told them not to do that.  It made all the right noises, but the water and potato bits were not disappearing.  In fact, the level was rising.  Potato things were coming UP the drain and shooting into the air.  I turned off the disposal and the water, and I waited to see if the level would go down. Maybe I could just leave it like this and deal with it when we got home.

Then I realized I still heard the sound of water.  Under the sink.  Was it leaking?  Was the sink really linking?  Now? Today?  Yes.  While it was stuffed full of food.

I ran for a bucket and a towel, and did a quick cleanup – just enough to buy to me a few minutes.  Now I was officially late so I decided not to hurry.  I drank a cup of coffee and mapped out my course of action.  Actually, the coffee was gone, but I drank a cup in my heart while the outside of me stared forlornly at the sink.  I was feeling too much like a martyr to take off my high-heeled ankle boots, so I clomped around the house gathering more supplies and set to work.

Under the sink were two p-traps, one for each side of the sink.  I started with the primary sink, the one that wasn’t leaking.  My hope was that I could just get things to drain, then Perry could deal with the leakage problem after church.  I placed a second bucket beneath this pipe, unscrewed it on both ends and eased it out.  Out poured nasty pulverized food that looked just like vomit.  I dumped it into one of the buckets, cleaned it with a finger, gagged a little, and put it back together.  The left sink was drained now and running freely, but the right sink – the one with the garbage disposal that some idiot had crammed full of potato peels – that one was still full and leaking badly.

I had no choice but to open and clean the second p-trap.  I unscrewed it from the end where it joined the other sink, and gently twisted it away from the joint.  It was packed solid.  But as I watched, the plug began to move.  In slow motion, it squeeeeeezed out of the end of the pipe.  It was gross.  I won’t lie: it looked like the pipe was pooping.  Good thing I didn’t have time for breakfast.

I used my hand – ugh – to direct the sink-turd downward into the bucket, but when the blockage broke loose it began to act like an entirely different body function: now it was projectile vomit!  The whole repulsive mass SHOT out of the pipe, splattered through my fingers, and sprayed the inside of the kitchen cabinet.  I watched helplessly until it was done.  If you ask why I didn’t just cover the end of the pipe firmly enough to stop the flow, you’re not my friend any more.

Then I cleaned it all up.  The whole mess.  In my church clothes and my high-heeled ankle boots.  With no coffee.

Why am I telling you all this?  Because sometimes it’s hard to be thankful.  Sometimes it feels like nothing is going right, and I just can’t think of anything that I really feel thankful for.  I just felt like a martyr this morning.  Yes, it was so gross it was almost funny, even at the time, but I still didn’t want to be there doing that.  Why me? Why this? Why now?  This wasn’t part of my plan for the day!

It wasn’t part of my plan, but it was part of God’s plan.  I’m thankful that no matter what happens, God is in control.  I had a good day with a few minor bumps, but I’ve had bad days too.  Even when things go really, terribly wrong, it’s a comfort to know that all things works together for our good.

See the rest of my 30 Days of Thanks 2013


  1. OH man. Usually I laugh (sorry) at your sad stories, but today I was too busy suppressing my gag reflex. Yuck, yuck, yuck. You are a wonderwoman.

  2. Love your description of the blockage issues! I spilled a cup of sticky apple juice all over the counter and floor yesterday. Oh well. Glad you made it to church, though (as the first commenter pointed out that she saw you walk in late). Who knows? Maybe God was keeping you from a bad accident by having the sink back up. “In all things give thanks.” =)

  3. What a dramatic story :). Growing up, when something like this happened my mom always had me stop before the tears took over and recite: “everything works together for good for those who love the Lord.” What a great habit to get in the practice of—giving thanks in every situation (Phillippians 3).

  4. I guess I’m glad we don’t have a garbage disposal…lol! (but not at you, no, not at all, I’m laughing at the situation!).

    We use a compost bin under the sink to put the scraps into. The one under the sink is the one the city picks up so we can put things like meat, bones and fat into it. The organic matter goes in the backyard compost for the veg garden. However, in the summer, even with air conditioning, if the under-the-sink compost doesn’t get put into the outdoor one daily, maggots will grow in there. Imagine me doing what you did to your pipes but with a compost bin overflowing with maggots.


  5. Oh that’s so gross! I could clearly see it all in my mind as I read what you wrote! Some days I have a hard time dealing with all those unexpected bumps. Lately when those things happen, the kids and I will yell “That’s not on my list!” (We are referring to “The List” – one of the Frog and Toad stories that make us laugh.) The other day I was having a day full of things that were “not on my list” was in a rush and somehow managed to break a bottle of elderberry syrup. Yes it smashed and splashed its purple staining stuff ALL over the kitchen floor and the cabinets and my one year old kept trying to run through it. My other kids watched breathlessly to see what I would do. I felt like screaming every bad word I could think of. But instead I opened my mouth and belted out and much of the hymn “Victory in Jesus” that I could remember. Ahhhh …. you could feel everyone and everything breath a sigh of relief as I cleaned up.

  6. Oh Kim – I so relate! We are having an ongoing drain and sewerage saga which made me go back and read your poop story from years ago to help me feel better! This made me smile today – its so true that God is in control and gives us the grace to handle things 🙂

  7. Oh boy! I was laughing to myself, and I hope that in time to come you can laugh at this too!! But I can identify with having bad moments/days. My husband is an incomplete quadriplegic, so we deal with all manner of ‘accidents’ and frustrations. But like you, I’m so thankful that no matter what, God is in control. I love that text from Romans 8:28, and then also Matthew 6.

  8. Sink turd! Lol! I am so sorry you had to deal with that this morning. You walked in late today and I thought, she looks beautiful today! I had no idea you had been dealing with sink poop and vomit in that very same lovely outfit. I can only hope I would have dealt with that as gracefully. I am picturing sitting on the kitchen floor crying until the family came home.

Don't just think it: say it!

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