Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Random Acts of Kindness

I've been thinking a lot about the verse in Isaiah that says, "Your husband is your Maker..." I can't tell you how often I lift prayers toward heaven that begin with, "OK, Lord, if You are my husband now, You are going to have to help me with (fill in many, many blanks.)" As the fog of the last year of grief seems to be lifting around me, I've had to deal with things that are totally new to me. Life is one big learning curve at times. But always, God is faithful to lead answers or help my way.

My "Check Engine Soon" light came on a few days ago. Particularly concerning me because I'm going on a short road trip soon. I emailed a friend, and he said to take it by an AutoZone store, and they could run the "computer test" that would give the cause. Who knew? I stopped by today, a friendly young man plugged something into a secret place under my steering column, and then he laughed. He walked to the side of the car and screwed the gas cap in correctly. Problem solved. I tried to pay him, but he said, "No charge!" with a smile in the 101 degree heat we are experiencing in central Texas. He had no idea how grateful I was.

There was a problem with the Toll Tag on my car, and when I tried to take care of it over the phone I was told they could not talk to me. The account was in my husband's name and I'd (deep breath) have to bring in his death certificate to have the account put in my name. (Exhale.) Luckily, the office is not far from my home so it wasn't a huge physical inconvenience. Just an emotional one. I handed the paper through the window slot at the office, and held off the Ugly Cry. The lady behind the counter reached through the window and held my hand. That touch made my day.

The biggest thing I've been dealing with since loosing D are my skyrocketing electric bills. Seriously: my staying in my home is dependent on getting those bills down. They are the driver behind the roof insulation and new energy efficient windows throughout the house this summer. I just keep lifting this problem to God and saying, "HELP!" 

And the help came through the neighbor across the street. He walked over to tell me how good my new windows, brick work and front door looked. I mentioned my electric bill as a reason for the new windows. He told me he was able to get a great rate on his home bills. How much? I asked. Turns out it was about 6 cents per kilowatt hour less than my rate. Who knew there was such a difference? 

Well, the next day another friend told me about a website at www.powertochoose.org that the state of Texas provides to let you compare electric rates of different providers. This also led me to go over my electric bills since losing D and realizing they have overcharged me for the past 17 months. In between the refund for the overcharge, the new much lower rate I will soon be locked into, and the energy-efficient changes of the summer, my electric bill is going to become manageable. 

Coincidence? I think not. I know I'm in good hands and everlasting arms. Amen.


Buttercup said...

Terrific news about the engine light and the electric bill. Next time you're in New York -- how's that for hope -- we'll search out a great hot and sour soup restaurant.

Dawn said...

Good for you! It's amazing where you can lose money if you aren't super diligent in reviewing bills, watching the cash register as things are scanned, etc.

Did you ever get a quote on the tree removal? If so, was the bid a good one? Hope so!

Be blessed!

Anonymous said...

Such good news!!! They HAVE Been over charging you !!!! Isn't there some incentive to replacing window right now? Ask the window company, maybe you can get a tax break too.

So encouraging to see God's hand guide you and touch you in the details of life!!!

Sarah said...

The story about the toll tag lady moved me to tears because 1) I'm sure God must have prompted her to do that, and 2) she was brave enough to follow his leading.

I'm so glad you posted recently about God giving us serendipities. I think of that every time I witness little joys and kindnesses.