Friday, November 11, 2011

Pet Peeves and Blessings

My daughter points out the electrical wiring hanging off our
living room wall. Should I  hang flowers on it?

Recently my car broke down on a busy street while I was driving. The transmission suddenly stopped working, and the car wouldn’t move, no matter how much gas I gave it. A kind Turkish amca (uncle) offered to push it, but I was scared to death he’d get hit by another car. Two weeks and $350 later, the very same thing happened again to my husband.  Only I was away at a five day retreat, and it was the first day of the Sacrifice Festival, which meant all repair shops would be closed for four days.  I couldn’t believe it when he called me.  All these years I’ve been the one at home alone with the kids and things breaking down while HE travels...
Yesterday was my first day back home after an amazing retreat time and the first business day after the holiday. A tow truck finally came to transport our car to the shop, but it broke down, so my husband had to wait for a second truck. Then our hot water heater broke, so repairmen hauled it away to fix it. The whisk I used while cooking dinner broke in my hand, and when I laid down next to my daughter to kiss her goodnight, her bed partially collapsed.  (I’m really not THAT overweight!)

On most days I really do adore living in Turkey.
I enjoy the people, food, culture, chaos, and a different way of thinking, but today I’m staring in the face of my pet peeve: a lack of quality control. Sometimes it seems like everything breaks.

Here are some examples of things that just don’t work like I expect:
  • Three different repairs in 6 months related to electrical circuit breaker switches that always flip off in my house.
  • A leg that falls off your dining room table while you are having dinner with guests.
  • A drawer handle that comes off in your hand.
  • Cabinet doors that fall off the hinges.
  • Socks that shrink.
  • Pens that don’t write.

I could go on, but I really should stop this complaining because another of my pet peeves is foreigners who complain about the culture and how things are done here, so I’m stepping on my own toes…

Yesterday I had the choice to either focus on the negative or just laugh things off and stay positive. After all, a tow truck breaking down when it comes to get your car is worth laughing about, don't you think?  Yesterday I wavered back and forth, sometimes complaining, sometimes smiling at the bright side. For the record, I want to keep my spirit of adventure the next time the electricity goes off one more time.  

I hope to keep my eyes open to the marvelous blessings God gives me here in my corner of the Aegean, such as:

  • A wonderful produce market on Wednesdays and Sundays
  • Incredible flaxseed bread from our bakery
  • Waiters at our favorite Turkish restaurant who have known us for years.
  • Cool and sunny autumn days
  • Kind amcas who will push your car off the road for you
  • Dear friends
  • Answered prayers
  • The Kingdom of God advancing

Remembering these gives me the perspective I need when I pick up yet another pen that doesn’t write! What about you?  In your corner of the world, what is your pet peeve, and what are you grateful for?


Linda said...

I can identify. In Africa we had one wacko thing happen after another after another -- things no one could have dreamed up! I remember trying to decide whether to laugh or cry, and usually I tried to laugh. It can be mindboggling, though. Your story about the tow truck breaking down on its way to help with you car is too funny.

Hang in there. Take deep breaths!


OliveTree said...

Thanks Linda! I need to take deep breaths! I just left my car on the side of the road AGAIN, third time now, same problem. God IS good and He IS reigning!

Linda said...

Oh, no! I'm SO sorry! Bless you for your sweet spirit!


Karin said...

It seems things breaking comes in groups....thinking of you in this. Love your heart to see His light in the midst of the rain clouds. You inspire me again to keep going at it.....

Many hugs to you my dear friend.

Amy said...

I am sure that many can relate to this post. The "Quality control" phrase made me laugh! I remember buying batteries that had no charge at the market and recently we had the entire house (that we rent) rewired because we had three electrical fires. I was ready to move.
Hope that everything gets fixed quickly! Many blessings, Olive!
Amy @ Missional MAma

OliveTree said...

Electrical fires?!? You've got to be kidding! And I thought our electricity problem (breakers constantly going off downstairs) was bad!

us5 said...

this post makes me smile, knowing that i'm not alone in my frustrations with a different standard of quality. thank you! may God grant you a mechanic who truly fixes your car. :)