Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Sour Milk Kind of Week

"Don't cry over spilled milk."
I'm pretty sure that old adage didn't mean that I couldn't cry over the two gallons of spoiled milk that flew out of my warm refrigerator and covered me and half my kitchen in a fatty, drippy mess Saturday morning.

It had been one of "those" weeks, really.
Monday started out a bit rocky, then Daddy volunteered to take the three-year-old to the market while the baby was napping and the older two were schooling.  It helped get us back on track, and I was looking forward to the rest of the week. Daddy headed out to buy fresh milk Tuesday morning. I knew I'd have to process it and cool it as best I could, because our electricity was due to be off most of the day, but if the lights came back on at 6 p.m., I didn't think we'd have too much trouble. The milk arrived about noon, but it was more than I'd planned on. I processed it and cooled it as best I could, and put the mostly cooled milk into my mostly cool refrigerator. We have a tropicalized refrigerator, which means that they are built to retain the cold longer, and as long as the electric company kept there end of the bargain, all would be well.
They didn't.
The magical hour of six o'clock came and went, and nothing happened.
I pasted a smile on my face and went about finishing supper in the semi-darkness. At 6:41 p.m. the lights came back on..............not that I was paying attention to the clock or anything. At 7:05 p.m. they went off again. Back on a few hours later, and then back off again a few more times all through the night.
Thus proceeded the rest of my week.
Lights on, lights off.
Lights on, lights off.
Lights on, lights off.
And every time the electricity went off, all I could think of was that milk in the refrigerator.

*I will add here, that when you live in a place with unstable electricity, all those warnings I heard growing up about food spoilage absolutely get thrown out the window, because if you followed those?
Well, you'd be pitching everything at least once or twice a week!
Those warnings? We like to think of them more as suggestions :)
And trust me, we have lots of practice when knowing if something is really bad enough to be thrown out!
I will also add here that our milk comes straight from the cow, is vat pasteurized by me, and does not go rancid very easily. If we ever have any that lasts more than seven days, I just make it into cottage cheese.

When I went to make hubby and me a cup of hot chocolate with the milk on Thursday night, I realized my milk was in trouble. As I heated it in the pan, it started separating into curds and whey.... We skipped the cocoa. Our lights had been so bad at this point that I just knew that we'd have electricity on Friday. I'd make my huge pot of milk into several tons of cottage cheese then. Bad choice. Friday's electricity was worse than the rest of week's put together and it just carried right into Saturday morning. At this point I figured out that we'd not had electricity about 20 of the last 24 hours.....not that I was counting or anything. Saturday morning I walked into my kitchen hoping to at least be able to salvage a few things out of my thoroughly warm refrigerator. I knew the milk would not be one of those things. I pulled the door open.......................
Well, you read the first paragraph.
Milk ~ spoiled, rotten, clumpy, warm, slimy, smelly flew out of the refrigerator and landed all over everything, me included.
I spent a lot of time scrubbing my kitchen Saturday morning.
You probably could have guessed that!

I also spent a lot of time thinking about my attitude.
A bit spoiled, a bit rotten, and probably a bit smelly this week, just like my milk.
An attitude that swung between entitlement ~ How dare they keep taking MY lights!
and false humility ~ Look how much I'm suffering as a missionary!
and rage ~ What is wrong with these people!?!
An attitude that was controlled by my circumstances and not by truth.
An attitude whose words were directed at people and things, but whose heart was pointing an accusing finger at God.
Every time I "raged against The Machine", I was really raging against the One who allowed The Machine to break.
I wasn't really just angry at the electric company, in the end I was really angry at God for allowing me to go through a hard week.
And that, my friends, is sin.

So with the scrubbing of the floors, and the walls, and the cabinets, and the refrigerator, and the freezer, and the mop, and my shoes, I made sure to do a bit of scrubbing of myself.
A good soul-scrubbing, washing away every bit of that sour attitude right along with the sour milk.

* I share this not to glory in my infirmities or pat myself on the back, but to simply share how Jesus keeps teaching me what I need to learn again and again. And if you find yourself in a sour milk kind of week? Maybe this story will be a blessing to you, too!


  1. Thanks for the reminder, Patty! There are times that all of the change and differences threaten "to steal my joy", but then I am reminded that Jesus and his work for us on the cross is the source of our joy and NOTHING! can take that away.

  2. Thanks for sharing, Patty! I found myself saying, "But I had plans!" when we couldn't do this or that due to weather or illness or schooling. I found myself seething, asking God why He allowed all these things to happen because didn't He know I had plans, good plans, what I thought were God-honoring plans, and you know what He said? In the only way the Lord can, He whispered, "Yes, I am aware of your plans, but did you ever stop to ask about Mine?" Ouch. Talk about a humbling experience. When I get a moment I plan to blog more about this on my Fibro blog, but for now I'll just say, thank you, Patty, for being so honest and open and real. It helps to know I'm not alone. :) We all struggle. It also reminds me to pray for you just that bit more. Love you, all! Miss you!

  3. Oh Patty, that hit a little too close to home! ;-) Our electricity has been worse this week than ever before, and I haven't been very patient about it...or some other things. Thanks for the reminder. I needed it this morning.

  4. And then there are those of us who have "sour milk" attitudes without losing 20 hours of electricity! :( I am guilty! Just had a Monday like this and had to stop the whole day and pray with my kids asking them and God for forgiveness of my terrible spirit. SO thankful He loves me and cleanses my every sin! Where would we be without Him!

  5. I am having that kind of week myself. I needed this too. It is such confusion in my heart sometimes between God caring about all that we need and not to worry, and then remembering that He is God, I am not, and it is not up to me to demand anything. To remember He is in control, He is the LORD, not me. But when the problems I am praying for involve keeping a roof over our head, or my daughter's safety as she leaves for a year to teach in South Korea, or my son's young, growing trust in Him, or even my pain level with my autoimmune disease, sometimes I find myself this week whining and demanding to Him like a toddler. It has me wondering if He has a point where He is saying that's too close, shut up for awhile and give me a break, grow up already!!! It is a scary time, a dark time, but He is close by, I can feel Him.