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Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Providence and Washing Machines

   The title of this post seems incongruous at first glance, but I assure you there is a connection.
During my adult life I have never purchased a washing machine, but I've always had one in my dwelling.  They have never been terribly flashy.  At times they have had issues of functionality, but by interesting providential circumstances a newer machine would come into my possession.
   For just under a decade we used the suds-saver washing machine that "came with the homestead" that my in-laws moved out of and left for my husband to live in.  When we moved away two hours to the west, this appliance was put in the U-Haul with our other basic possessions.
   About one year later, the machine was not sounding happy.  All of the lubricant had leaked out, and the transmission had almost broken.  We did only small loads to preserve its limited capacities and began searching for a replacement.  Since we were living on just my husband's part-time wage (he was a student, and I was staying home with our three young children), a used washing machine was our only prospect.  However, every newspaper ad we followed up with had units that were in even worse shape than our own: filthy inside and out, detached lids or something out of antique shop.
   One Sunday evening, our children asked, "Can we drive home a different way?" after the church service. As we took a longer detour around the subdivision, we spotted a white washing machine out for garbage day.  The next morning (actually 3:00 AM),  my husband drove there again for a closer look.  It had a broken agitator, but it was a similar model with a functional transmission!  After his December exams, he gave the old washing machine a transmission transplant that extended its life for two full years.
   When that washing machine finally gave up the ghost, a patron of the food bank where my husband was then working told him he had a washing machine in his house that we could have for free.  This gentleman used to pick up appliances put out for garbage day to repair and then sell.  From 2007 until the end of 2015, this one served us well.  Yes, it occasionally did not spin out the second load when two loads were washed back to back, but resettling the damp clothing and turning on the spin cycle again would work just fine.
   At the start of 2015, because we knew it would eventually quit on us, we decided to start saving up for a new washing machine by setting aside $100 per month until we reached our goal.  At least twice during that period when we had accumulated $300 to $400, we came upon an urgent need and gave away this appliance fund.  After the second time it happened, we felt led to stop saving up for a washing machine.
   Last fall, our brother-in-law told us he had a washing machine he did not need.  Some folks had moved into a house and wanted new appliances even though there was nothing wrong with the existing washer.  They asked our brother-in-law to please take away the washing machine and give it a good home.
   In October we removed a seat from our minivan to make room for the washing machine and drove it to our house.  Not surprisingly, about a week later the old washing machine broke decisively. There was no stress about where to get another one quickly.  Even in the mundane things, I can see God's care over our family.  It's not because we are better than anyone else.  We give God the glory.

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