Michelle Martin

God grant me ...

February 28, 2024

We’ve all heard the truism that if you ask God for patience, God will give you opportunities to practice it.

I’ve decided that’s never more true than when working with contractors in general, and especially on the smaller jobs that they are trying to squeeze in.

When are they going start? They might have some downtime in January, so let’s pencil that in. Wait, no, beginning of February?

Just plan for late February-early March.

When will they be there? At 9 a.m., unless it’s 9:30. Or maybe 1 p.m. Or not at all that day.

How long will it take? About a week. If a week is at least 15 days long, start to finish. To be fair, that might only mean five to seven full working days.

I’m kidding, a little bit. My husband I made the decision to go with a contractor we knew, knowing it was just him and various people he works with on a job-by-job basis, and we knew that could mean delays. But he knows us, knows the house and does good work.

It’s just, living for going on two weeks with one working bathroom — and that being the usual secondary, less-favored bathroom — is making me (making all of us) a little cranky.

It’s just that it’s coming at a time when Teresa, our eighth grader, is in the midst of high school decisions and starting to really understand that elementary school is coming to an end, after 11 years in the same school. It’s exhilarating for her, but also a bit anxiety-inducing.

Our older kids, young adults now, are facing their own decisions and crossroads as they figure out where life will take them, and Tony and I are dealing with our own issues and other household problems. Even the dog hasn’t been able to get her usual 20 or so hours of sleep a day with workers in the house.

So, patience. For all of us, but especially for me. I’m the one who has reminded my kids when they drag their feet on a project that “the best feeling in the world is being done.”

But the work we have going on isn’t my project to finish, and complaining about it won’t make it go faster. I recall an acquaintance telling me years ago that no home improvement project is ever more than 90% done; the initial contractor will call the job finished when they have completed the contract, but you’ll find a list of other things to be taken care of. And when you do those, a shorter list will crop up, in perpetuity.

As for the rest, high school will come when it comes, presumably next August, and all will be well. My adult children will make their own decisions like the adults they are, even if they call on me and their dad for reassurance from time to time.

So I ask God for patience. And practice it.


  • family life