When a Downpour Deluges Your… KITCHEN??? (Spring Cleaning, Part 3 of 4 with help from Stuart Briscoe)

It was  Wedding Week in the Hoagland Household. Being parents of the groom helps…not too many to-do’s there…

Spoiler Alert: Indulge me a moment in the lovely RESULT of the week, so you can see we did survive the below challenging circumstances after all… We were blessed to be part of what was the picture-perfect-Wedding-Day from start to finish:

Wedding Photo

Pictured left to right:

Gordy and Lauren, Hubster and Yours Truly, The Groom: John Jr., and the Bride: Diana (She’s wearing my dress which will be thirty-two years old, Lord willing, this July!!!), and Woody and LT. Congrats again to our lovely Bride and Groom and praises and prayers for their marriage and for all of ours! (This was April 23rd.)

This particular week also happened to be Week Two of our Master Bath’s Remodeling Project. Juggling around workmen, enduring frighteningly loud noises while they removed tile, mirrors, walls, etc. bothered our Sweet Gracie more than Hubster and me.


Progress happened daily. Each night we’d go peek into the bathroom to survey the situation.

Wednesday afternoon, however, went sorely awry… Plumber was due early, but kept getting delayed due to emergencies. Foreshadowing???

Upon his arrival, he capped off all the faucets. Or so he thought. I took him down to the basement, showing him where to turn the water back on. He said, “Make sure you check your faucets as some were turned on to drain the pipes earlier.” Right.

Sure enough, as I ascended the stairs, I could hear water running. I turned it off in the powder room. But, I could still hear water running and splashing…

Upon entering the kitchen, I beheld a curious sight. The splashing noise proved to be not one, but…

TWO SHOWERS of water,

BURSTING thru’ the canned lights in the ceiling,

GUSHING downward,

all over the floor!!!!

flooding in interior. 3d creative concept

(Above pic is a slight exaggeration!!! ) Water was falling so fast, it filled the tray of Gracie’s crate, spilling out. It was falling from such a height, it began to splash over into the family room.

I froze.

Then I yelled, “Turn the water OFF!!!”

The plumber also froze.

It occurred to me perhaps we should be trapping the falling water! Novel idea….Plumber went back down to the basement to turn the water off. This seemed like it took an eternity, but was probably no more than a couple of minutes, all the while the water continued to deluge our kitchen.

Quick Fix: Mixing bowls to catch, beach towels to dry. Soon, some semblance of order arrived.

Au contraire…

Enter Hubster, now home from the office. Practical Paul announced, “I’ll have the water removal guys*** come check this tomorrow. We need to be sure the water is gone.”

Fast forward to Thursday morning: Don’t you know those guys found water everywhere??? Wood floors, ceiling, walls, blah, blah, blah. One of the guys informed us, “Water migrates, you know. It’ll travel very far where you can’t even see it.” Awesome.

Don’t you know they set up what looked like a HAZMAT area, ceiling-to-floor plastic walls, coupled with fans and mats regulating the new “room” to over one hundred degrees? (Kept the food in our pantry nice-n-toasty.)

Five and a half hours later, (!!!), new drying room was constructed. It had to be checked every day. Once pronounced dry, on Wedding Day no less, they took said structure down. Just in time for our houseguests to arrive. Super swell. (Below pic is inside of the plastic tent.)

Plastic Room 1

Plastic Room 2

(Above pic is exterior of the plastic tent.) Needless to say, we did not have the time or the nerves for this calamity. This occurrence cost us (Truthfully, it cost Yours Truly, not Practical Paul who’s also known as Cool Carl.) some sweat equity. I confess I was ready to implode. This huge frustration defines a phrase Stuart Briscoe taught me: Time Bandit.

Stuart’s book, Time Bandits—Putting First Things First was a welcomed sight for me to re-read after all this needless angst. It’s perfectly portable, so small you can pop it in your book bag or briefcase. I highly recommend you fetch it ASAP!

Time Bandits

Stuart’s writing style is one of my all-time favorites. He’s so funny and direct, you can’t help yourself from nodding in agreement, laughing out loud, and declaring, “Oh my word, you are spot on!!!” Plus, his love for the Lord and His Word is contagious.

Stuart says, “The problem is the demands of life exceed the supply of time.” Hello?


That’s when he said, “I began to sniff out the banditry under my roof.”

See if you can relate to this:

Some days it seemed as if I was HELD HOSTAGE

by demands and interruptions,

crises and trivialities,

diversions and frustrations

that surrounded me like masked men

ominously demanding my time and robbing me of my day.”

Sounds like his kitchen may have flooded a time or too also!!!

Criminal Running Away Carrying A Bag

He shared while pastoring their growing church early on, several of his church members helped him figure out how to spend his time:

One lady took it upon herself to enroll him in a Book Club (atta girl), so he’d have time to read.

close up on stack of book

One group of “very fit looking men said, ‘Stuart, we believe your physical fitness is very important, because if your body quits, your ministry ends’.” Time to exercise.

Athlete running man - male runner in San Francisco listening to

Then, another man shared what he’d been learning while reading about Martin Luther, sharing “he couldn’t possibly manage on anything less than three hours of prayer.” Time to pray.

Bible and praying hands

While yet another gal approached him preaching he must spend more time with his family!!! Family time.

Families Playing Soccer At Beach Smiling

Finally, a little ole’ lady proclaimed, “Stuart, you look exhausted. Are you getting enough rest and relaxation?” Time to rest.

ready to nap

All of these folks mean well, but how does one BALANCE all of these helpful suggestions? Ahh, you must read the book to find out! But first, I will give you a couple of the many, many pearls of wisdom to get us started:

Bottom line: Reassess your priorities.

 Go-to Scripture:

 Matthew 6:33 – “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” (NLT)

Matthew 6 33z

Point to Ponder:

 Are we expressing His Kingdom in our everyday lives?

Stuart gives us 3 “Es” to help us remember how to do this: “We must strive to


Express, and

Extend the Kingdom” — God’s Kingdom, by our daily testimonial lives. I’ll never forget a friend from Bible study teaching me, “You may be the only ‘Bible’ somebody reads!”

Let’s close with this helpful and honest prayer from Stuart. Especially on our crammed calendar days, this could be hugely beneficial to all of us:

All right, Lord, here we go again. Today I have this, that, and the other to do, and I don’t need anything else added to my schedule. So would You please help me to go through today thinking Kingdom? So that in the contacts I make, and the decisions at which I arrive, and the responses I give I will concentrate on expressing and extending Your Kingdom rather than instinctively thinking about my little empire.”

I pray these snippets have caused you to re-examine your days, and your calendars. Spring Clean them up via your priorities.

‘Til next time!


Note: You can find out more about Stuart and his lovely wife, Jill Briscoe, via their website: www.tellingthetruth.org They have a wonderful app you can download for free on your phone along with a plethora of resources. (Both of them have written over forty books!!!)

John and I had the pleasure of meeting and hearing from them in Naples, Florida this past January.


***FYI: Should you need professional water extraction, drying and restoration help, or fire and smoke damage restoration, etc., oh, I pray you don’t, but I’m serious…our guys really did an incredible job. Our hardwood floors were buckling and they are now smooth as glass. Call Jerry Wilkerson and his capable crew with A Nicer Reflection, Inc. www.nicerreflection.com



Filed under Book Reviews, Family

9 responses to “When a Downpour Deluges Your… KITCHEN??? (Spring Cleaning, Part 3 of 4 with help from Stuart Briscoe)

  1. Pingback: When Your Soul is Crazy-Cluttered…(With Help from John Ortberg) | Worship with Words

  2. judy russell

    Oh my goodness! What a nightmare! Now that the water is dried up and the week is over – is your bathroom completed??? Gracious Girl – that had to almost send you over the edge – with guests and wedding – Still love you though. I think I would have thought if not said a few choice words! Love, Judy


    • Ha! No, they’re only putting in the tile now. Hopefully they will finish by Thursday when the cabinets come! Stay tuned…then the ceiling in the kitchen will have to be re-done and THAT will be REALLY fun…but it’s ok. What are you going to do ????
      Happy Mother’s Day!!!
      Love you,

  3. Ginny Crowe

    Oh Elizabeth!! I was gasping in horror as I read about your pre-wedding water disaster. I think that would have pushed me over the edge!! But I love the wedding picture and am so thankful that it was a beautiful day for them!! May the Lord bless their marriage!

    • I was no saint, trust me! S’pose we could be a textbook case for Murphy’s Law! Honeymooners are home and had a wonderful week in Naples. Thx for prayers for their new marriage! They’re excited and are hosting their first Derby party this weekend!
      I’m having breakfast with Jane & Becky Pippert shortly. Becky spoke at SEC last night. She was amazing, funny and convicting. May blog about it down the road. This is when I wished you were still in Louisville!
      Blessings to you in Indy!

  4. Margee

    Great way to start my morning! I know it wasn’t fun for you to go through but I did laugh my way through it all, especially when I saw the picture of the tent in your kitchen.

    • Honestly! It just became more comical by the day. I kept thinking, “Nobody’s going to believe this!” Thankfully John took pictures!
      Sure had fun with you and your folks last night! Encore! See you on Monther’s Day!
      Love you,

  5. deboracoty

    I feel your flood pain, girlfriend! We had several floods in our mt cabin kitchen over the last 10 years (same problem as yours – something wasn’t turned all the way off when the main switch was flipped). When we decided to replace the flooring last week, the workmen peeled back the old linoleum to find black mold everywhere. BIG ick. Had to gut not only the floor down to the foundation but most of the counters and cabinets too. What a mess. So I was cringing in empathy when I read your story. At least we weren’t having a wedding at the time! Oh, your wedding dress looked marvelous on your daughter-in-love; what a lovely idea, wearing your dress!

    • Oh my re: your NC retreat! No fun!!! Glad you got it re-done tho’. Has to make you feel good. Guys are pounding away upstairs as I type. Tile to go down starting this aft, hopefully.
      Thx re: my dress! We were blessed with an ultra talented seamstress who was able to cut the sleeves off (long sleeved with poofy shoulders–oh, the 80’s!!!), change the neckline (had a high neck), etc. and she added a french bustle which was way cool for the long train for the reception. Just the best and such a treat for me!
      Excited to have your sample of your new book sitting next to me. Hoping to read today.
      Hugs from Lou.!