It amazes me how quickly things can go south, snowballing from bad to worse, and I allow myself to become overwhelmed by it all. Recently I had such an experience on what was an otherwise grand day, my daughter’s 23rd birthday. It began with brunch for friends and family at a favorite bagel restaurant. Although our daughter was house-and-pet-sitting that week, she’d planned fun activities interspersed throughout the day; I would cover for her in the evening so she could stay out longer with her siblings and friends.

Late that afternoon, just before I left home to relieve her, I realized there was a problem with our plumbing: the toilets wouldn’t flush. I called and asked my husband to hurry home from work ASAP and check it out. A few minutes later as I pulled onto the highway, I heard an explosive sound and ducked. Scanning around me, I discovered a starburst crack with a tail trailing behind it at the edge of my windshield.

The plumbing situation turned out to be more than my DIY-savvy husband could handle. He called a plumber, but they couldn’t work us into the after-hours schedule; we would have to wait until morning. Though I spent a relaxing evening curled up with a book in front of a fire watching two little dogs for my daughter, it never left my mind that I would return to a house without plumbing and overnight lows near freezing. We hoped our gate code worked year-round for the bathrooms at our neighborhood pool.

Worry kept me from sleeping well. I found out what I was willing to do with a full bladder on a dark night in a private backyard. Once morning’s light — and soon after, the plumber — arrived, I made the mile drive to the pool, where our gate code did work. Hallelujah.

Please join me today at (in)courage for the rest of the article, which I hope will bring you peace when circumstances spin out of your control.

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