16 January 2018

THE GIFT OF SALVATION





"Kristina, are you saved?

The question reverberated across the telephone lines.  I had just received the news that my beloved Uncle Walter had been hospitalized after nearly having a stroke 48 hours before.  Now, let me clarify:  Uncle Walter is not my biological uncle, although I did not realize that until I was almost 12 years old.  He was introduced to me, as a child, as "Uncle Walter" and I just assumed that he was my father's brother just like uncles Hector, William, Clifton, Milton, Richard, Al and James were my mother's brothers.  I knew on some level that my father was an only child, but they told me that Uncle Walter was my uncle and I accepted that.  I found out later that the "uncle" part was a term of respect for a man who fathered only two children, Juanita and Seth, but who served as surrogate father, uncle, big brother to literally hundreds of young people who were blessed to grow up in or around the Faith SDA Church in Hartford, CT.  And now, at 82, he was lying in a hospital bed in Jacksonville, FL after his blood pressure shot up to an unbelievable 202 / 98.

The question came as I spoke with another of his "nephews" who I called to inform of  the news that I'd received from Uncle Walter's wife, Aunt Nancy.  We were talking about the impact that Uncle Walter has had on our 50+ years of living on this earth when he asked me, out of the blue, "Are you saved?"  I paused for a second because I didn't know if he was trying to trick me into a debate about the merits of "once saved, always saved" [a belief that, as a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, I do not adhere to or believe] or what his motivation behind the question might be.  But I answered him "Yes, I am saved" which led to this further illuminating conversation.

Here's what I believe:  I am saved because Ephesians 2:8 tells us "For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves.  it is a gift from God."  Salvation is a gift from God.  The Amplified version of the Bible says, "For it is by God's unmerited favor  that you are delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ's salvation through your faith."  There is NOTHING you can do to earn or buy or purchase salvation.  It is a gift FREELY given because of the sacrifice made by Jesus Christ when He died on the cross.  I believe that fundamental truth.

But there are some conditions attached to this gift.  [And all the theologians sit up in their seats and start shaking their heads, but I beg you - hear me out].  There are three conditions that I see are attached to this gift, just as there are to any other gift you are given.  The first is that you have to accept the gift.  A gift has no worth or value to you if you don't accept it.  It doesn't matter if the giver of the gift wraps it in a big box with pretty paper and puts a huge bow on it if, when it is presented to you, you say, "Wow, that's a pretty package, but I don't want it.  You can take it back to the store."  Jesus hung and died on the cross for you and offers you salvation as a result, but if you don't accept His gift, His sacrifice, it does you no good as it has no impact on your life.

The second condition to a gift is that once you accept the gift, you have to open it up.  If you take the pretty package with the big bow and just put it on a shelf somewhere, and you never open it up to see what is inside, what good does it do you?  Do you get the benefit of the scented candle or bath gel or warm scarf inside if you never rip off the wrapping paper and take the contents of the gift out?  Nope.  And you wouldn't do that, would you?  But many believers do just that.  They declare that Jesus Christ is the Lord of their lives and then they go on about their lives and live it in a way that does not reflect the character and love of Christ.  No judgment, just a statement.  Many disputes and arguments and even wars have been started "in the name of the Lord" when the Lord is in no way associated with the foolishness being debated and disagreed over.  

The final condition to a gift is that you have to use the gift.  What good does the bath gel do you if you just put it on the shelf in the bath room and never use it as you take your bath or shower?  What light can a candle provide in a dark room if it is never lit?  How do you stave off the chill of a cold wind if you leave the scarf at home in a drawer and never use it?  As believers, we "use" the gift of salvation when our lives change and begin to reflect the love and character of Christ.  I am not saying that you have to work your way into heaven [even though we are admonished that "faith without works is dead"] - what I am saying is that when you accept the gift of Christ's sacrifice {and thereby, the gift of salvation], people should see a difference in your life.  How you treat people should be gentler and kinder.  How you interact with those people who get on your last nerve should be less contentious and more agreeable.  When you are faced with trials, sorrows and adversities, there should be a difference in the way you handle it when compared to how someone one who is without faith and a knowledge of God handles the same situations.  

So, when I was asked the question "Are you saved?", I felt I could answer with confidence that I am saved. That doesn't mean I'm perfect - I will be the first to tell you about the fallacy of that idea - but it does mean that I am striving for perfection through the strength of God's love, grace and mercy.  Some days are better than others, and there will be days when we will stumble and fall - when we won't rightly represent our Creator.  But we are admonished in one of my favorite gospel songs sung by Donnie McClurkin that "we can get back up again ... for a saint is just a sinner who fell down, and got up."  

My Uncle Walter is on the road to recovery, and for that, I am grateful.  Over 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ hung on a cross for my sins ... for your sins ... and for that reason, we can truthfully say that we are saved, and walk forward, in confidence, knowing that the statement is true.

Be blessed.
© 2018 Kristina E. Smith

14 January 2018

BEFORE AND AFTER



Behold, I am doing a new thing, now it springs forth.  Do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the dessert.  - Isaiah 43:19

I am NOT a gardener.  I don't like playing in the dirt, I don't like bugs and beetles and worms.  I never appreciated cut flowers and thought spending money on them was a waste of time and financial resources.  But my mother LOVES having cut flowers in our home.  She feels they brighten up the room, provide fragrance and basically, they just bring her joy.  And in the 20 years that we have shared a home together, I have found out the truth in the old adage:  When Momma is happy, everybody is happy.  So, I buy her roses and carnations and lilies and other floral delights ... most of the time without grumbling (too much).

There is a floral shop not far from our home that offers a dozen roses for $10 (barring those Hallmark holidays when all of a sudden, the prices triple and quadruple) and often, usually on Fridays, I will go in there and buy one or two dozen flowers and then use basic arranging skills to create various vases of floral beauties to place around the house:  one in the living room, one in her bedroom and one on the kitchen table.  With proper trimming of the stems, changing of the water and just general loving care, the flowers can last for two, sometimes three weeks, making the financial outlay a worthy investment.

But one day, I was shopping in a local grocery store and noticed, off to the side, a sad little bucket of flowers that were on their last floral legs.  Not worth selling at full price, they still were not "dead", and for little or nothing (I have paid as little as $1.99 for a dozen flowers), the flowers can be taken home to spruce up a dinner table for the weekend.  However, I have found that with just a little bit of loving care - pruning the dry, dead places off the bottom of the stems, adding some floral food to some warm water, putting the flowers in a cool and sunny place - the flowers seem to perk up and embrace a new life.  As pictured above, when I purchased my bouquet on Friday, these little accent plants were drooping and seemed almost dead.  I debated throwing them away immediately, but thought that the droopiness added another level to the arrangement and just figured if they started turning brown later in the week, I would throw them away when I changed the water.  Imagine my delight and surprise when I went upstairs on Sabbath morning and noticed that the flower was standing upright, and that even the leaves were perky and pointing upward.  I couldn't believe the overnight transformation that had been made.

Isn't that just like the transformation we personally experience when we are shown love, kindness and attention?  I am not only speaking of the benefit we receive from the restorative, transforming love of Jesus Christ, but often just a kind word or smile from a loved one - or even a passing stranger - can make us perk up, stand straighter and lift our chins heavenward.  I don't know about you, but a random stranger complimenting me on a scarf that I am wearing or an outfit I put together or even the smile that I have on my face - all of that, can turn a gloomy drab day into a bright, sunny, more glorious day.  I know when I have extended myself and complimented someone in this same manner - especially if they are a stranger to me - they pause for a moment as if processing what I am saying and then, a smile spreads across their face as they express their gratitude.  It has also been my experience that you never know when a kind word or a smile or just a random, genuine act of friendship can make all the difference in someone's life.  Try it.  Random acts of kindness not only enrich the lives of those you shower the kindness upon, but they also enrich your life because of the good feelings you get for doing so.

We all have been in a "before" state - droopy, listless, left for dead in a floral bucket at the grocery story.  Maybe you are in the middle of one right now. I pray that you soon experience your "after" state - restored, full of life and allowing the beauty that is within you to shine through as a blessing to all with whom you come in contact.

Be blessed.
© 2018 Kristina E. Smith


13 January 2018

YOU ARE A GIFT





Yesterday, I attended the funeral of the gentleman I previously wrote about in the blog titled:  WHEN WE ALL GET TO HEAVEN.  It was a dignified and quiet service, reflective of the gentleman being laid to rest.  The family of Raphael S. Barnard filed in with a few tears, but not many.  The music was somber, but uplifting.  The reflections about who he was and his impact on the lives of those gathered were short, sweet and to the point (as all funerals should be in my opinion.)  And then the pastor got up to deliver the eulogy.

He talked about Bro. Barnard and his personal experiences and interactions with him.  He spoke of the three things you KNEW about Brother Barnard if you ever spent any time in his presence:  1) He ADORED his wife, Jane, who preceded him in death; 2) He loved his family; and 3) He was  completely and totally sold out to Jesus Christ.  What nice things to say about the person we were there to honor - but more importantly, how wonderful that these statements were 100% true.  Then he told us that there were two things that each death we experience teaches us:  1) Life is fleeting and we should cherish the people in our lives, while they are living, as if they are gifts from God.  (More about that in a minute) and 2) Faith teaches us that, if we believe, we will see our loved ones again.  I want to focus on the first lesson, because that is the one that resonated with me and one that I wholeheartedly embrace, or strive to, every day of my life.

Pastor John Nixon used 1 Peter 4:7-8 as his text of reference for this point - the New International Version of the Bible puts it this way:  The end of all things is near.  Therefore, be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins.  Pastor Nixon expounded about how we are living in the last days of time and earth's history, and how we need to be prepared for the Lord's soon return, but he focused on the words "ABOVE ALL, LOVE EACH OTHER DEEPLY"

According to the eulogy (and I am paraphrasing and expanding on what the pastor said), death teaches us that when your loved one leaves you, whether you were "prepared" for their death or if their death was unexpected, your time with them is up.  There are no more birthday celebrations.  No more late night phone calls for advice, wisdom or guidance. No more meals shared. No more uninhibited bouts of laughter over silly things.  No more words, acts or expressions of love.  There Is No More.  That is why we need to love people, cherish people, adore people while they are here and present in our lives.  Pastor Nixon said that each person that God allows to intersect with our lives is a gift from God and should be cherished as such while they are living.

I am a firm believer in this philosophy.  Not only do I believe this to be true of myself (I am a pretty awesome friend to have, if I must say so myself - hahaha), but I believe in the value of friendship.  It is a core, fundamental principle in my life.  I believe that each person with whom you form a relationship brings value to your life (or why are you still hanging around them?)  Every true friendship should enrich your life - bring you joy - support your endeavors - applaud your successes - cry with you over your disappointments - pray for and with you as needed.  I am blessed to have many such relationships in my life and I don't take them for granted.  I strive to uplift my friends, not only on special occasions like their birthdays, graduations and anniversaries, but spontaneously and randomly, "just because" that is what I feel you should do if people are important to you.  Of course, there will be people in your life that this will NOT hold true for, but as much as possible, I try to love those people from a distance and not let them influence my overall outlook on life, love and relationships.

I once read a quote that said something like, people will be happy with you on one of two occasions:  when you enter a room, or when you depart.  It is my purpose to make people happy when they see me coming because they know that I come to them with love, support and joy in my heart. 

"Treat everyone as if they are a gift from God."  That is the message I took away from yesterday's memorial service.  That is my goal, my aim as I move forward in life.  Won't you join me?

Be blessed - and Happy Sabbath!
© 2018 Kristina E. Smith

12 January 2018

HIDDEN BLESSINGS




As I previously told you, I am in the midst of a Winter Purge.  My entire living area has been transformed by the attention I have given it and I am feeling very proud of my accomplishments.  This is one "stay-cation" that has not been a total "waste of time".  However, there have been some unexpected blessings from my labors.

I expected a cleaner abode and a more organized filing system.  I expected to find "lost" pictures and cards or letters from unexpected sources.  I expected to locate souvenirs and mementos from my travels that I'd forgotten about.  What I didn't expected to find was all the dust!  Just kidding.  What I didn't expect to find was monetary blessings in various forms and in sundry locations.  

In a pencil case holder, I found fifteen (15) silver certificate dollar bills.  According to Internet, these dollars bills were issued for a limited time period and were backed by silver bullion, as opposed to our current currency which is backed by the “full faith and credit” of the U.S. Government.  Further research shows that there is a small premium paid for these dollar bills over their face value - if they are uncirculated and in good condition.  Current wisdom is that I take them to a coin collector and get them appraised for value.  In two separate places, I found $2 bills totaling over $20.  And in two other places, I found over $30 in golden dollars, Susan B. Anthony dollars and JFK half dollars.  I guess I like to hide money from myself.  I also found gift cards from Target, Starbucks and SpaEnvy, totaling over $75.  But the biggest surprise find was a cashiers check sent to me for the Christmas holiday in 2016 for $50.  I guess I never made it to the bank and then forgot about it.  [I'll be headed to the bank first thing in the morning!]  All in all, I had almost $200 just stashed around the house, hidden and forgotten.

Now I know you must be thinking, "what kind of person has that much money just hidden in her house that she forgot about?  She must be rich!"  Trust me when I tell you, that is NOT the case.  With the $2 bills and golden dollars, there is an explanation.  There was a time when, as a way to "save" money, with each paycheck I received, I would buy $2 bills and golden dollars from the bank, in increments of maybe $10 at a time.  The golden dollars would then be passed on to cousins, nieces and other young people in my life on their birthdays as a "one to grow on" gift.  And the $2 bills would be given whenever a baby in my life turned two.  So, there was a method to my madness ... it's just that in time, I either paused in doing this, or hid the money in a different place and then forgot about the original hiding place.  Rest assured, with this Winter Purge [almost] behind me, all the money has been gathered together in a single "hiding" place and won't be forgotten again.

All this got me to thinking though:  there have been times in my life when I was "strapped" for cash - waiting for payday or some other monetary windfall - eating beans and rice and ramen noodles - forgoing outings with friends or meals outside the home because money was "tight".  And all the time, the money was there - in the house, in my reach - available to me if I'd only remembered where I'd placed it.

How many times have the blessings of the Lord been available to us if we would only have the faith we need to "remember" where they are located.  By this I mean, if we only remember how He had blessed us in the past, we could have then reached out in faith to take the blessings that are waiting for us.  How many blessings do we receive every day and take for granted - not only life, physical and mental health, strength, food, shelter and clothing - the things that (I hope we) pray for on a daily basis - but the "unseen/hidden" blessings of safe travel to and from; a job that not only pays the bills, but provides for some of our wants on top of all of our needs; friends and family who pray for you, support you and love you in spite of; and just the blessing of God's love for us, which is confirmed for us each day that we open our eyes from sleep.  

The amazing thing is that there are blessings that God has waiting for us that we cannot even imagine.  1 Corinthians 2:9 tells us that, But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.  One of my favorite Christian writers tells us that, when we get to heaven, God is going to show us all of the blessings that could have been ours if we had just believed and asked.  I don't know about you, but I think it's time that we ask God to open our eyes to see what He has for us.  He has not hidden His love, grace, mercy and blessings.  We just have to accept them into our lives.  My goal for 2018 is to open my eyes and be more receptive and open.  What about you?

Be blessed.
© 2018 Kristina E. Smith

PS:  Photo taken by me when I found the second stash of $2 bills.



10 January 2018

WINTER PURGE



Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Psalms 51:10

I took some (undisclosed until now) time off work this week and decided to use the time to do a "winter purge" (think spring cleaning) for my [portion of the] house.  I would post "before" and "after" pictures, but I don't want to be judged for the state that I allowed my den to get into prior to my start of this purge.  Suffice it to say, several hours and 30 gallon trash bags later, my den looks like a totally different place.  As I sorted through papers, greeting cards, wrapping paper, travel souvenirs, journals and photo albums, I was reminded of good times with friends and family, but resolved, one mo time again, not to be such a "packrat" ... or as my brother calls me - "a borderline hoarder".

When I stopped from my labors to cook dinner for a friend, I showed her my "before" and "after" pictures and she said that looking at my pictures brought to mind how Jesus takes the chaos of our lives, cleans us up and makes us sparkly and new.  Where things are disheveled and piled on top of each other, He straightens up and removes the dross that weighs us down - mentally and physically and spiritually.

Several times during the process of cleaning up, I would get disheartened and feel like giving up and stopping, I knew that I couldn't do that because ... well, you know what it's like when you start cleaning ... you have to keep on cleaning until it's done.  I'm glad that God doesn't look at us in our normal, chaotic and skewed states and just throw up His hands and say, "he must be crazy to think I could do anything with that mess" or "she's not worth the trouble".  He looks past the stacks of papers and envelopes of photographs and the entire stationary store that needs to be organized and sees the clean sofas, the file folders of information and the organized photo albums hidden underneath.

If you are anything like me, there are times in your spiritual life where you feel cluttered and disorganized and junky.  The promise of God's love is that all we have to do is call on Him like David did in our text above and ask Him to clean up our hearts and our lives.  We can rest in the knowledge that He will do it because He knows us, so He knows what we need. He created us, so He knows how we work.  And He loves us, so He knows how to clean us up and fix us.  Trust Him to do His work in you whenever you are feeling "unclean" and "out of sorts".

Be blessed.
© 2018 Kristina E. Smith

06 January 2018

THE FIRST SABBATH OF THE YEAR




"Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness."  Psalms 29:2

Today marks the first Sabbath of 2018.  A brand new start.  A new beginning in my (and your) relationship with Christ.  Time to shake off whatever needs to be shaken off from 2017 and move forward.  New devotional studies.  New prayer lists and journals.  New, new, new.

The start of a new year is always a good time to stop, reflect and evaluate your life, and this includes your spiritual life as well.  It is a good time to see how God has blessed you in the year gone by, reflect on the challenges and trials that He brought you through, remember the loved ones you lost and rejoice in the new friendships formed.  It is an excellent time to renew your commitment to serve and minister in His name.  

I have spent a lot of time in the last week or so reading the social media posts of my friends and acquaintances who have shared about the difficulties they faced in 2017 and how they are looking forward to moving into the New Year with new hopes and expectations and desires.  I don't remember 2017 being an extremely hard year in my life.  Yes, there were some mis-steps and disappointments along the way, but overall, it was a pretty good year.  [It was an EXCELLENT year for my mother, who celebrated her 75th birthday ALL. YEAR. LONG.!!! But that's a blog story for another day - or may even be a whole 'notha book all by itself!]  I know I am blessed in that regard.  And let me tell you, where 2017 went out like a lamb, 2018 is roaring in like a lion!!

There have already been many challenges to this New Year.  Three losses in death in the past week.  A medical diagnosis of a beloved relative that set me back on my heels.  Hot water heater woes in the midst of frigid temperatures.  Back issues.  I could go on, but I have learned that when I focus on my BLESSINGS, the trials and challenges don't seem so ... challenging.  So, here are the blessings that I have already acknowledged and received for the New Year.  

1.  I started the year with my nuclear family healthy, whole and intact.  I am 53 years old and I count it a blessing above all blessings that BOTH of my parents are still alive and in good health relative to their age (they both turned 75 in 2017).  All of my siblings are still alive and doing well, and my brother, Kevin, showed up on my doorstep at midnight on New Years Eve to ring in the new year with my mom and I.  My "bonus mom", Brenda, is a blessing in my life and takes excellent care of my father, for which I am extremely grateful. There are several families that moved into the new year without a loved one in the family circle.  I am blessed.

2.  While I suffered through the crisis of no hot water for 5 long days, I recognized even through that experience, that I was blessed to have a home that had electricity and heat and a refrigerator (freezer and pantry) filled with food.  I might not have had running HOT water, I still had WATER and pots to fill and boil to make hot water as necessary.  There are millions of people in this world who do not have access to clean water.  I should not complain about the minor inconvenience I suffered.  (and I really tried not to).  I am blessed.

3.  I have been employed on my job for 17 years.  It is a good job.  Not too taxing.  My co-workers are great to work with and I am blessed to have relationships with most of them outside of the workplace.  It pays well and the money is used to provide my mother and myself with a home and transportation and food and clothes and trips and ... the list goes on and on.  Even though unemployment in the United States is low, there are plenty of people who want to work who cannot find jobs or are "under-employed" and even though they work every day, they still find it a struggle to provide for all of their basic needs and wants.  I am blessed.

4.  I am in good health   While I am diabetic, my recent lab results were better than they have been in a long while.  While I am not "dieting", I am striving to make dietary changes that will have better health results.  While I am not "exercising", I am taking steps towards better health with more mobility in my daily routines.  While I have not completely given up sweet tea, I am attempting to drink more water on a daily basis.  [Baby steps y'all, baby steps.]  Worldwide, people are facing health crises of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses and diseases because they do not have access to adequate, healthy food choices and medical care.  I am blessed.

5. I live in a country where the overlying political policy is democracy.  While the political events that have taken place in the United States since mid-2016 to present, have turned my stomach on a daily basis, I still recognize the blessing of living in a country where I have the right to vote.  Where I can express myself and my political approval or disdain without fear of imprisonment or death.  [That may soon change the way things are going, but for right now ... I'm going to count this as a blessing]

6.  I love and serve a LIVING God Who surely sees everything happening in this world and is making plans, even now, to come back, fulfill His promise, redeem His children and take us back to heaven to live with Him. [John 14:1-3]  Each year as I grow older, I recognize the blessing in having access to the Word of God, having knowledge of His love for me and even though, at times, I am cavalier with that knowledge, I fail to pray and study and commune with Him as I should - even when I act more like the spawn of the other guy than like His "favorite child" - He is patient and kind and loving and accepting when I crawl back to Him asking for His love and forgiveness.  I am blessed.

I could go on and on and on about the blessings of the Lord in my life.  As you read mine, I pray that you are thinking the blessings in your life:  about how, even if you had a "difficult year" in 2017, God blessed you - you made it to 2018, that is a blessing right there!  It is my sincere hope and prayer that as we move through 2018, we take advantage of the opportunity we have been given to "get it right" with the Lord.  It is my desire to draw closer to Him this year - to truly be a representation of His love, grace and mercy to all who I encounter along the way.  I look forward to the celebrations [weddings, graduations, births] ahead.  I cannot wait to shout about the victories over illness, depression, whatever challenges the enemy has planned for our lives.  [And believe me, he's planning some stuff, but nothing will come our way that God is not already preparing us to handle]  Pray for me, and if you see me messing up, ... pull me aside and let's talk and pray about it together.

Be blessed!
© 2018 Kristina E. Smith

PS:  Photo taken by me early one morning during Mom's birthday trip to Aruba in May 2017



05 January 2018

THE JOYS OF A HOT SHOWER




For almost 97 hours, I had not been able to stand under the shower spray of hot water in my own home.  On New Years Eve, my hot water heater sprang a leak, halting all showering in the house for almost 4 days.  What a way to start the New Year.  Have you ever noticed that you never seem to appreciate the simple joys of life until they are harshly stripped away from you.  Now, before you begin to imagine me walking around, being smelly and offensive, let me say:  Thank God for a job with gym facilities that include (free) showers and other amenities for its workers. 

Thanks to a home service warranty, today, Andrew of High Priority Plumbing, came to my home and fixed my hot water heater problem.  A few hours of draining, removal, soldering, hammering and other plumber technical stuff and I was told, "give it an hour, then you can run the hot water."  I was warned of potential air in the pipes and discolored water and after writing a check the size of Mount Rushmore, he went on his merry way and I crawled into bed for a quick nap before preparing to come to work.  I woke up a few hours later and in preparation for my work shift, took a nice, long, HOT shower in my own bathroom under my own customized showerhead with the massage function and perfect water pressure.  Oh, the joy!  Oh, the bliss!  Oh, the satisfaction!

Five minutes later, my bliss was shattered by a shout from my mother that the hot water heater was leaking...again!  WHAT!?  Turns out that in one of the pipes connecting the new heater to the old expansion tank, there was a hole.  A small, minute, you can barely see it, hole in the pipe. [I have attached a picture just in case you wanted to see what I was talking about.]  Yep, a small, minute, barely there hole ... but it was spraying a small jet of water over the washing machine, onto the floor and basically just causing a mess.  Again.

Fortunately, over the weekend, while waiting for the plumbers to come to the house, I purchased some teflon tape and was able to cover up the hole and stop the water from spraying all over the place, although there was still some seepage and small drips going on.  A call was made to the plumbing company to inform them of what happened and now I am just in a "wait and see" state until they can get back to me when they open in the morning.

This situation could easily cause me to be frustrated and irritable - and I have to admit, there is a little bit of that going on - but this is day four of a New Year in which I have determined to "exhale" my way through situations.  There is nothing I can do about this situation (beyond what I have already done) until 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.  My mom has checked the leak and the teflon tape seems to be warding off future damage to my laundry room and home.  I am confident that the plumbing company will "make it right" in a timely manner.  And somewhere, somehow, there is a lesson I am supposed to be learning.  Off the top of my head, the lesson is not clear, but once I figure it out, I'll be sure to share.

Until then, be blessed.  (and be patient, Kristina)
© 2018 Kristina E. Smith