This morning when I woke up, it was a bitter cold morning. The hot weather of an Alabama summer dragged on and on, and it seems the cold weather decided that since it was late, it had to come in with a vengeance.
As I woke up this morning (late – slept in until 6:16) – I had a sense of anxiety & urgency. I had no idea what it was, so my first thought was PRAY. I prayed for every member of my family, then I prayed that if something was wrong or if I was supposed to do something, God would give me the wisdom to determine what it was.
I walked into the kitchen and let the dogs out. I glanced at the thermometer on the back porch and immediately knew. It was 22 degrees and I forgot to unhook the water hoses last night! I grabbed my coat and gloves, threw boots on my feet and ran my pajama-wearing behind outside. As expected the hoses and faucets were frozen solid.
What to do? Oh! I had an idea.
I grabbed my neck warmer – the thing you microwave to ease stiff muscles, and threw it in the microwave to get hot. But I only had one of them, so I grabbed a long sock, filled it with dried corn and tied it shut to create another one and microwaved that, too. I wrapped the hot sacks around the faucets and in no time I was able to get the hoses off, but the faucets themselves were still frozen.
This week I have been doing lots of cleaning and organizing, and I took a bunch of things from the house to the barn, things that I didn’t need any time soon. The one thing I forgot to take out there? The heating lamp from raising the baby chicks. So I immediately clamped that onto a bucket in front of faucet #1 and let it get good and hot. Then I grabbed my blow dryer and an extension cord to heat up faucet #2. In just a couple minutes, both faucets were thawed and flowing freely. Phew!!!
I came back in the house, grabbed my phone and told George (my phone) to remind me every night at 8 pm to unhook water hoses.
Waking up in the morning with anxiety of any sort is not a normal thing to me. Normally my first thought is about petting the animals and making some coffee. So this morning when I woke up with that sense of impending doom, I knew that something wasn’t right. As I opened my eyes and acknowledged the feeling, I quickly did an inventory of what my dreams were last night. Sometimes I wake up feeling out of sorts, but it was because of a weird dream. But in a micro-second, I knew it wasn’t that, so my first real action was praying.
Sometimes we have anxiety and can’t explain it. But how often do we ask God to show us what it is? To give us a purpose to make that anxiety, that feeling of dread go away? Like I said, that is not a feeling I get very often. One of the most memorable times that I had it happen though, was an instance that was much more dire than a frozen faucet. Granted a frozen faucet could have led to a burst pipe – a disaster in and of itself. But this one particular instance was different.
It happened many years ago, when my children were little. We lived in North Carolina and our back yard was surrounded by a picket fence. The kids would go out through the garage and go out to play on the swing set and just enjoy the outdoors.
One night, my husband was away for training, and I lay in bed, trying to get to sleep. It was very windy that night, and our dog, Big’un was pacing around the room. I found myself suddenly overcome by a sense of dread and I prayed. I prayed for my family and I prayed for safety. I’d never had that happen before, so I took the feeling very seriously. I prayed – hard. Then I felt a sense of peace come over me. I fell asleep and all was well.
The next day, I got up and went about my day. I did some laundry – the washer & dryer were in the garage. As I walked out to put a load in, I notice something. The door from outside, into the garage had accidentally been left unlocked when the kids came in from playing. I locked it, thinking that the unlocked door could have had something to do with that urgency I had felt the night before.
As I went about the day, I noticed that one of the kids’ rooms was suddenly very chilly. That room had never been cold before and I found it to be very strange. I checked the window – it was closed. Checked the vent, it was open. Hmm. Weird. Then I folded a load of laundry and went back into that room to put the clothes away. At the time, we kept the kids’ clothes on shelving in their closet, rather than in a dresser that took up space in the room. I opened the closet door….. and froze.
Several thoughts instantly ran through my head simultaneously.
“The attic door is wide open. “
“The kids can’t reach that.”
“That’s why the room was cold!”
“Someone was in our attic!”
“The unlocked door.”
“That’s why I prayed for safety!”
I realized that someone had come in our unlocked garage door, but because the door into the house was locked, they climbed into the attic from the garage. I got a ladder and looked in the attic, discovering footprints across the floor on the attic, right in the insulation. Further evidence. They had climbed into the attic, walked across to the other attic door, and opened it. They were in the house. Nothing would have stopped them from coming in to do whatever their intent was…so why didn’t they?
I can only imagine. Maybe my prayers filled them with a sense of dread. Maybe they saw something, heard something…something or someone.
God kept my family safe as we slept.
My point of telling you these stories, is to simply encourage you to listen. Listen when that still, small voice is speaking, and pray! Sometimes an angel may be doing battle on your behalf – standing guard over your sleeping children. Maybe it’s so your pipes don’t burst. Even if you never get an answer or find out why it happened – listen to the urging of that voice. Don’t dismiss it. What does it hurt you to take the time to talk to your Father about it?
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6