What’s wrong with this picture?

The first photo is the thermometer on our back porch which reads 86 degrees at 7:50pm tonight.  The second photo is our thermostat inside our home which reads 91 degrees!  What’s wrong with this picture?  I’ll tell you!

It is just WRONG that it is cooler outside my house than it is inside when I have the air conditioning running full blast all day, with fans blowing in every room, every curtain drawn & all the lights turned off.  Just plain wrong!

Ok….so here we are again – the temperatures are soaring in the San Joaquin Valley and our air conditioning looks to have gone on the blitz (it runs but doesn’t cool the house….at all…obviously).  We have been here before.   Eleven years ago the original air conditioning (most likely 30 years old) died at a very inconvenient time – the very beginning of summer and dear darling hubby and I were without any source of income during a huge life changing transition.  Yikes! My Mom came to the rescue loaning us the money to get a new system that worked AWESOME.  Unfortunately a couple summers ago things began to stop working well and after an entire week of repairmen  troubleshooting to try to get it up and going again….we found ourselves $900 poorer and with an air conditioning unit that would only ever cool the house down to the low 80’s.  Although this did not make this very “hot blooded” gal too happy, I have lived with it, trying hard not to complain. (and FYI 85 actually feels cool when it is 105 outside)

That brings us to last Friday – the first extremely HOT day of the summer where the mercury hit 105 and the air conditioner decided to quit working again all together! I was miserable and mad.  It is doubly painful because while the weather in Stockton always cools down in the evenings to a very comfortable and beautiful level which I enjoy immensely (and is one of my all time favorite aspects of California summers) but despite opening all the doors and windows the inside of our house just doesn’t cool off without the help of a working air conditioner.  Thus after midnight on Friday it was still 89 degrees in my house and I could not sleep even after taking a cold shower and lying in bed soaking wet with two fans blowing in my room.  In fact the coolest it ever got all night was 84 – YUCK!

Things did not improve over the weekend!  Saturday was another whopping 105 degree day and today topped off at 98.  And the inside temperature consistently stayed in the 90’s until well after 9pm, and then only creeping down ever so slowly throughout the night.

It is so hot in my house during the day that the candles are “sweating”, the chocolate chips turned into one large blob and the butter left out after breakfast began to melt away in just minutes!

It is so hot that it just zaps everyone of all their energy.  No motivation to clean, work or even play in the hot house.

So what have we done to survive the scorching heat wave with no AC?  During the day we have –

  • hung out anywhere there was air conditioning – the grocery store, Home Depot, Target, the Mall, Starbucks, friends homes, church, even the car – you name it we have been there & lingered much longer than we needed to.
  • spent much of the day at the neighborhood swimming pool.  Even me, “the mom”…who rarely gets in the pool preferring to only take a quick dip and then sit on the deck with a cold drink and a good book…was in the water almost the entire time and to the amazement of my kids even got my hair wet! (note to self – spend more time in the water with the kids – even when the AC does work!)

  • We have escaped the hot house in the evening by setting up a make shift family room outside.  Saturday night we blew up air mattresses brought the TV & DVD player outside, made fresh ice cold lemonade and root beer floats and enjoyed the cool evening watching a movie in the backyard.  When it was still too hot after midnight to go to sleep inside our house we just slept outside on the air mattresses all night! 

At least we are making memories! 🙂

It is now 12:30am – after a slight (7 degrees) dip in the temperature today – the house is still in the mid 80’s and I am in my bathing suit in front of a fan with the back door open (listening to Dan & Rebekah watch a movie outside – the other girlies have left to an air conditioned home they are house sitting for the evening).  Here I sit pondering what to do?  If finances were flowing freely – I would have called someone out on Friday and paid to fix it immediately – but that is not the case.  Besides a two year down turn in our financial situation (and before that we were not living the “high life”)…in just the past 2 weeks we have been dealt some financial blows to the tune of several thousands of dollars –

  • Discovering termites in our garage and having to have them treated to the tune of well over $1,000. (you can’t really let that go…at least I think) Check out this picture of those little buggers

  • The fuel pump went out in Dans car (and the car AC hasn’t worked in months which would be ok except the windows wouldn’t roll down either – talk about cooking your insides)  Obviously we had to fix his car since it is his only transportation to work.  “Ching Ching” – more unexpected cash out the window. On a side note  throughout the majority of our lives together, my dear darling hubby has driven pretty well worn beat up cars that were on their “last leg”.  Several were friends “cast off” cars while others were the cheapest cars we could afford.  We always say he drives by “faith & fumes”.  His current wheels have lasted 5+ years (much to the amazement of the guy we bought it from for $2,000 in 2003) – check out this picture – after a recent accident (Dan was not driving – this was attributed to a newly licenced driver in our home) and no it will not be repaired. (Dan, if you are reading this, know that I am believing that someday I will drive the “junk car” and you can have your dream truck.  It just might not happen until we are 70!)

  • Medical bills came due from a trip to the Emergency Room in an ambulance last March while we were in Santa Cruz,  when baby Daniel had a very scary episode and trouble breathing in the middle of the night. (we have a new large deductible plan at Dans job that is not working so well for us)
  • I had a back molar break a few weeks ago and am now in need (this is not a want) of a crown. (Typically a $500-$800 bill after insurance) Not to mention my recent back problems where I sought the help of a chiropractor which is not covered under our insurance)

All of those expenses came up after we made the decision to use the remainder of our tax stimulus rebate (after donating some of it for a Jim Elliot Scholarship) to finish off our garage as inexpensively as possible to make space for a boys bedroom. (click here to read about that – I’ll be posting an update tomorrow as well. If you are new to the blog and want to know why we need a boys bedroom it is because we want to adopt a baby brother – for that whole story click here) Now we have that additon started and all the remaining rebate money has been used for these unexpected situations….but we can’t exactly leave it not completed.

 Whew!  It can all be overwhelming and if I analyze everything too long I might just feel so defeated that it paralyzes me. 

So yes….I ponder what to do about the air conditioning.

  • Do we just “live with it” – knowing that the next two months we will have mostly 90+ days and if it is a normal Stockton summer there will be at least one “heat wave” of 110+ sweltering days(what a sobering thought that perhaps the inside temp might hit over 100!)? I won’t be able to hold workshops here for my business which will result in less money coming in. I will have to find creative things for my kids to do outside of the home & still figure out how to do my JECHS development job that I do from my home. (working on my lap top at Barnes & Noble?) Cooking in an already hot home is very stressful and will have to be dealt with as well because we do not eat out.  The list multiplies as I think of living in a “hot house” all summer & throughout most of September too.
  • Do we call someone out to look at it (and pay for the service call), get an idea of what we are facing and the costs…knowing that we don’t have the money to do anything?
  • Do we just take out a loan and live on “beans & rice” for the next few years as we pay it off?
  • Does Dan look for a “night job” to pay for it?

I honestly do not know the answers to these questions.  What I do know is this:

  1. God is not shocked or surprised by this turn of events in our lives
  2. God is in control
  3. God has the answer and He will give us wisdom, if we ask Him in faith. (The Bible promises that if we ask for wisdom He WILL give it to us)

Check out this chapter from the book of James in the word of God –

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. But the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position; and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away. Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

With that word of encouragement, I think I will consider it “all joy” now and go to bed.  I hope that any of you out there who are facing financial hardships and needing to know what to do (and with the struggling economy, I am sure there are many) – that you are encouraged.  Let’s all ask God for wisdom and faith.

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6 Comments

Filed under Attitude, Endurance, Life at the Lambdins, Lifes Challenges

6 responses to “What’s wrong with this picture?

  1. Pam

    Ya, been there, done that, sounds like my own situation. Yes, let’s be encouraged and trust that when we are faithful (especially in the area of tithing–ooooooo scarey word—) we do serve a miracle working God.

    Check out your local energy company. There are some programs out there that will help homeowners especially when we are using up the precious energy resources with faulty appliances.

    I sooooo relate to Beth’s comments about lack of energy in the hot weather. I live near the beach so we don’t own an air conditioner. Thus, when it gets hot (and it does, even here) we just sweat it out until the weather cools down.

  2. You surly have one very important point out of all of this..”you are all making precious memories that will last a life time!!”

    I am so reminded of Mathew 6:25 daily. As we all seem to be hurting from this (economy) that has us wrapped up in “worry” for finances. It seems everyone is is really feeling the effects of it all.

    But Mathew 6:25 sums it up and so it is so comforting to know we have a Lord who knows what we are facing and loves us so much to take care of us through it all.

    Love you beth, (PS. you looks so cool in that pool)
    Jeannene.

  3. Brandi Gaston

    Those words of encouragement are just what I needed to hear. Scott was laid off on Friday and I have been living in fear and uncertainty all weekend. I needed to hear this. Thank you for transparency and encouragement.

  4. Kathy

    We have the air conditioning problem too….
    Until TODAY, Mike has been unemployed since November and using the air is both useless and could cause financial disaster for us. Mike installed a whole house fan for us. It is not a miracle cure, but it helps when the temp drops in the evening. The whole house fan sucks the cool air from outside and cools the house, so at least we can sleep. It also cools the attic or something, but I do not know the technical aspects….I just want to be cool. Just a thought friend!!!!

  5. Your faith is inspiring. God DOES provide – we just have to be open to His voice – he talks quietly, so we have to listen faithfully. I believed, and He sent me friends that led me to MonaVie.

    Go online and look at Mona Vie – a link to my site is http://www.mymonavie.com/renettenme . Also check out http://www.brighart.com . I have just started doing this business and have extra money each month –
    ( my friends in the business have replaced full time incomes). All it takes is for two of your friends to sign up with you. I used to do creative memories, but never earned anywhere close to what I have with this – with a very small effort.
    My wish for you is to have all that you need to provide for your family – your God will be there for you and provide all you have ever desired. Take care of your family, and swim daily!!!

  6. Nina Ward

    Beth,
    I can relate to your story. Here is some encouragement for you… We lived in a house that was built in the 20’s that didn’t have central heat and air, in Stockton. So the butter melting, candles sweating I too can remember. Just a few exceptions, no community pool to go to, no air matress or dvd player to take outside to make memories, just plain missery not to mention pregnant 3 times summer! Oh yeah, I don’t have to tell you all this, because remember, I came to your house several times from heat exhaustion..ha ha. My suggestion would be, since you will probably save 600 this summer not using a air conditioner, get the window air conditioners and put at least in the rooms(thats what we did, dont look pretty, but cheaper than a new system). Like you said, Count it all joy..it’s hard sometimes, but it’s alot easier to count it all joy when I think about people who have NO options to escape the heat, and no ice cold lemonade to drink on these hot days. Maybe we could go on hot day and bring ice cold waters to the homeless, and forget our troubles:) Love ya
    Nina

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