The well water has been a problem since Ryan and I got married. Filling the livestock water tank for the horse Ryan bought me right after we got married was the first time I remember the well running dry. Apparently the well was fine for one single guy but you add a woman and a horse, and the water didn't run so freely. You can imagine that adding a few children to the house, has added to our water usage.
With ongoing water issues in our home, we knew that our well was needing replaced. But it still ran clean, cold, fresh water. It just didn't always run water when I wanted it to. We decided that adoption was more important to us than a well and so we pursued an Ethiopian adoption instead. During the homestudy process, we learned that our water was slightly high in bacterial counts. Our water softener supplier (and friend) wasn't surprised. After all, it's the original well that went with the almost century old home. Thanks to state of Iowa requirements, our well water was tested. It was our state requirements that also made us put a UV filter on our water coming into the house even though we drink bottled water.
We brought Judah home in May and our family of 5 was all drinking clean, bacteria free, water. At this point, the well was more and more of an annoyance for me. You can say that I'm a snob about it but I think I put up with way more than most women would with our lack of water pressure. It was one thing to not have much pressure upstairs (3 stories above the well), it was another thing to not have water pressure on the main floor, or to lose pressure at the kitchen sink if someone flushed a toilet.
Over the 4th of July we had friends visiting and our water pressure was horrible. In fact, I was embarrassed about it. I tried to make light of the situation by saying it was an old house and didn't have great pressure. But something was seriously wrong. I dreaded each morning that I had to shower under the trickle of water that came out of the pipe. At least I didn't have long hair, right? Finally I'd had enough and was tired of casually mentioning this issue to my husband (who shaves his head and has no idea what it's like to shampoo and condition hair under trickle water). I demanded that it get fixed. Amazingly that night, it was all better and the next morning I had a full pressure shower. A-maz-ing! Too bad we couldn't have it that way when we had company I thought. I liked the new water pressure.
Only I learned that this was a band-aid sorta fix. See, our well was degrading and pulling dirt into it. The dirt was clogging our expensive but much needed UV filter. When Ryan replaced the $30 filter, water flowed again. With the degrading well, it was only a matter of time before the filter was clogged again. So let's recap: in February, the filter was installed. By June it was clogged. In July it was replaced, and by August sometime clogged again. Seriously we don't have $30 a month to replace this thing. Plus we knew it was a band-aid approach anyway. So, we began talking about wells. Gulp. They're expensive. Ryan said he didn't want to replace the filter until we got the new well. I was getting tired of trickling water and wanting the filter changed. Ryan was smart and loving and began getting bids for a new well.
Thankfully the last several months, we kept putting away all extra money to reimburse our emergency and savings funds that we'd emptied to complete an adoption (which officially isn't done, by the way). Now, with bid folders sitting around the house, we began comparing bids to the money in our emergency fund. I began spending with more purpose in mind. We were staring at three issues:
1. we needed a new well.
2. we didn't have the money for a new well.
3. we don't agree with taking on debt.
Great, those three things don't go well together. Fortunately, we weren't hopeless. We were looking at two bids:
1. Hit water at 120' like the neighbors 1/4 mile to the north = $9,000 bill
2. Hit water at 500' like the neighbors 1/4 to the South = $19,000 bill.
Like I already said, we didn't have the money to cover bid #1 but we weren't hopeless either. Thankfully we had not done a flex-spending reimbursement for months. So, we took care of that and came up with some more money. Plus another few paychecks came in which gave some more money. We also began praying that God would bless us with water at 120'. My prayers went something like this:
God, you know my heart on this. We could have saved up the first time for a well but we chose adoption. You care for the oppressed and the orphans. I want to be a good steward of the money you give us. God, would You see to it that we hit water at 120 feet so that we can use that money for other things like another adoption, or caring for those in need?
Ryan and I have prayed for weeks. Wednesday night, I arrived home to Shawver's in my driveway. Busy with other things, I headed right inside to the chaos at hand (preparing a meal for my family plus Grandpa, getting them to eat, and getting everyone back out the door - all in 75 minutes). At one point I was serving the kids, arguing with Scott about eating, trying to keep my cool and wondering where Ryan was at when I clearly needed some help. When Ryan came in and announced that Shawver's was drilling the test well and hit water at 115', I quickly forgot my frustration with Ryan and became overjoyed at the answered prayer.
Thank you Father for hearing our prayer. Thank you for providing an abundance of water at a short depth. You are good to us!
I went from being tired and overwhelmed to being energized and excited. Really, God didn't have to have them hit water. God really is involved with those little details. And now God expects me to continue being a good steward in His name. Wow.
Thursday, I came downstairs to amazing pink sky as the sun was coming up. As I looked at my window, my view was changed from the last sunrise I saw. This time there were Shawver's well drilling trucks and a reminder of God's blessing in the front of my view. That day the well was drilled and capped. It's done. This morning, the pressure was horrible. Not fun. This week they'll hook up the piping. I can't wait to take a shower with constant pressure!!!