A New Appreciation for Life

Two days ago, on Wednesday, June 20, my wife and I received a second chance at life. To shorten the long story, we woke up to approximately 6 inches of water in our basement. As it turns out, our basement isn’t as water tight as we thought it was (especially with the irrigation water running all night long—overwatering our back yard).

However, what we didn’t realize at the time was God’s protective hand on the situation. In an illogical, and very imprudent, move, both my wife and I decided to wade into the water to assess how bad the damage was. The basement in our home is an unfinished, big open area (that we like to call our glorified root cellar because of the low ceilings). A previous owner had drywalled a section of the open area off to make another room. (Supposedly, by real-estate terms, it is a room because it has a closet, but it is hardly a livable space for practicality’s purpose.)

computer in a flood pictureCurrently we use the basement for storage (currently holding boxes and more boxes of teaching supplies that are home for the summer), laundry (our washer/dryer hookups are down there), and we cleared out a space to set up the video studio that you see in the welcome video on DesignerCam.com, and all the videos on ReflectiveBibleStudy.com.

powerstrip under-water



What made the decision to walk down there very unwise was that we didn’t think of the electrical implications of this decision. The two pictures shown here show two parts of the electronics of the video studio. As you can tell, there is definitely electricity mixing with water. (The power-strip is off, but power is running into it, and the cords by the computer have power from an outlet on the wall next to it [marked in red].) I took these pictures with the breakers to the basement turned off, but they were on when we first went down there. Looking back at the situation, I think the computer cords may have had power during the entire time since they may be on a different breaker than the other plugs. (I’ll have to check and label my breaker panel if this is the case.)

God’s Hand

Not only was God’s hand protecting the situation, but throughout the situation we saw other evidence of His presence. The first was an understanding boss at work to be OK with me not coming in on very short notice (when we are short-staffed because others are also gone).

Another blessing was that the disaster cleanup company we got a hold of told us (no-charge) that any work they would do would be unlikely to be covered by home-owners insurance. (I’m beginning to wonder why I have this – except for the obvious requirement of the mortgage lender needing it.) Instead, he recommended going to rent a small pump to pull the water out, and he looked up the location of a rental company that would carry this. (Estimate for the rental $50ish; Estimate for the water professionally pumped out; in the neighborhood of $1000 because we calculated around 2400 gallons of water and they charge per gallon.)

On not understanding the directions (or remembering the address correctly), we bailed on looking for the rental place that he suggested, and instead drove to one we knew of. They had a pump in stock and gave us a deal:  A day [24h] rental for the price of 2 hours. (Actual cost of the pump rental: less than $15)

Takeaways from this Experience

The two biggest takeaways in my mind are that (1) God is in control, and (2) there is a mission/task still left for us to do on earth. This gives both my wife and my lives a renewed sense of purpose, because life is never guaranteed.

The third is a big thank you to everyone who prays for us regularly. There have been several friends from church who have said they would pray for my wife and I, because they could sense that something might happen. Whether this was spiritual warfare at play, or simply carelessness on our part, we appreciate all the prayers we have received on our behalf.

Where to go from here

Now I have a question for you (Yes, you, my loyal reader who I appreciate): What are some thinks I can do to help you with this blog?

I often share what is on my mind every week, and while this is good (in my mind), without asking you what you’d like to see discussed or asking for feedback, I have little way of knowing if I am helping you. (I know I help some people, because a percentage of posts get a few comments, but I know more people receive this than comment.

Also, any other constructive (or not) criticism is welcome too. If you think I am too long winded with my posts, or if they aren’t long enough; or if I’m too spiritual or not spiritual enough; if I need to diversify what I post on, or if need to narrow the focus down further; or really any other thoughts, I want to know. If you like it exactly as it is, or if you don’t have a preference, I want to know that too!

We are all growing together, and I want to recommit to helping you with your life. When we die, we leave behind a trail of ripples in the water. I want your life to be better because our paths intersected.

As always, thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for responding!


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25 Responses to A New Appreciation for Life

  1. Cindy Hirch says:

    I love what you share Cam, but have to honestly say when I see that it is really long I have a tendency to put it on the back burner for another time, only that time doesn’t come even with  all of my good intentions.
    Above all…continue to be YOU! You are a blessing and God is doing a great work in you.
    Your story with the flooded basement and what could have happened makes me shutter. All I could picture was being electrocuted. God certainly protected you and your wife and it most definitely gave you a different perspective on the gift of life He has given both of you.

    • DesignerCam says:

       @Cindy Hirch Thank you for your feedback and affirmation Cindy. When I look back on what happened, I too shutter at the thought of what could have happened.
      Thanks for the suggestion for improvement. I too know what it is like being constantly bombarded with information, and don’t ever want to contribute to noise. Thanks again for the honest feedback!

  2. Ann Musico says:

    Cam – what a beautiful illustration of God’s constant care for us!  I would be able to share numerous stories from my life illustrating His protection for me and my family as well.  I think it’s wonderful that you shared this and I’m very glad to know you and your wife are both safe. This was a beautiful, positive and personal story of God’s goodness and I really enjoyed it.
    I have to agree with Cindy’s comment – whenever a blog post is very long – I tend to set it aside – but many times I don’t end up getting to it. 

    • DesignerCam says:

       @Ann Musico Thank you Ann. You are right, this is a great positive story, when too often we are bombarded with the negative. It’s up to us (in our own circles), to share these positives, because they won’t be known or recognized otherwise.
      Thanks for affirming Cindy’s suggestion. I will work on shorter posts moving forward. (I’m just long-winded.)

      • Ann Musico says:

         @DesignerCam I have to disagree Cam – I don’t look at it that way – I don’t think you’re long-winded – I just sense your desire to communicate all you can to bless people.  I really appreciate your heart.  That was definitely not a criticism – merely a comment.  And I can honestly say I’ve had to learn to edit my own posts and newsletters to make them easier to digest – so I totally understand!

        • DesignerCam says:

           @Ann Musico Ok, Ann. :)
          I’ll agree with you that I’m not long-winded. You are definitely right that I want to communicate all I can to bless people. It’s probably something that comes along with my high “C” on the DISC personality profile.
          How about multi-part messages? If I were to take a topic and unpack it over a few weeks, would that be a good blend of length/depth? (I hesitate doing it because I like information quickly, but I know others may be different.)

        • Ann Musico says:

           @DesignerCam Cam I think that’s a great compromise and may get people to “have” to come back to see part 2, etc.  I tend to want to tell people everything they could possibly need to know – but we have to keep some for another time and place.  That sounds great!

        •  @DesignerCam  Cam, Have you thought of posting a couple times a week? With blogging software, you can easily write it all in one setting, just schedule them to post over a few days, rather than once a week. Possibly an idea worth considering.

        • A K says:

           @DesignerCam  @Ann Musico Another idea could be (and I’ve seen this in more technical newsletters):  present the whole subject in sort of an out line format … with the summary concepts … so that the person reading it will know exactly where you’re coming from and where you’re going.  But under each 4-6 brief concepts … would be a hyperlink to ‘read more on this point’ … where you can then expand on it.  If someone was only interested in ready more on points 2 & 5 … then they aren’t faced with reading everything … but they have still gotten the sum of your message even if they didn’t expand on any point.  OR, do it as a multi-part message which you have done.  The only danger here is that people may forget what you said in the first part, so a great concise summary of the previous part before moving into the second part … is great … which is what you are already in the habit of doing. 

        • DesignerCam says:

           @Ann Musico Thanks Ann!

        • DesignerCam says:

           @NickChristian Hi Nick,
          I have thought about scheduling posts, but have been too busy to plan out what it would look like. I also know I get overwhelmed easily trying to keep up with others, so if I were to go to multiple days per week, I might make it, Monday, Wednesday, & Friday.
          Intriguingly, I actually do schedule this Friday post, however it is only delayed by 1-2 hours on average from when I wrote it earlier in the morning.
          Thanks for refreshing the idea in my head. :)

        • DesignerCam says:

           @A K   @Ann Musico  This is an interesting idea. I could see doing this for some subject matters. I have occasionally created table’s of contents for some of my previous longer themed post sets.
          Thanks for sharing this idea, and if I can see it working for an upcoming theme, I might just incorporate it.

      • Cindy Hirch says:

         @DesignerCam  @Ann Musico I can be long-winded too. I have to continually re-evaluate content from when I start to the finished product.

        • DesignerCam says:

           @Cindy Hirch  @Ann Musico Re-evaluating is always good. I will have my wife, Suzie, read over each post before it goes live, and she is able to help me smooth any rough places in the writing.
          Still, I like to cover all the angles, and often times it makes me feel like I’m being long-winded. Thanks for sharing. It helps me feel less alone in my lengthy writing.

  3. A K says:

    Hi, Cam, thank you for sharing your experience.  Wow!  Close call … a little too close for comfort!  But God definitely had His hand in over-ruling the His laws of electricity and water.  They just don’t mix, something like oil & water!  :)
    I have enjoyed ALL of your blogs … every word of them.  They have helped me think through quite a few things from a new perspective.  While I didn’t read them at the beginning, I did move them all into a separate folder … and about 2 weeks ago, I actually sat down and went through all of them … and that was a wonderful experience.  I have kept them all … so that I can remind myself on them … when I need a note of encouragement.
    Your present format of starting with a couple paragraphs and then having a hyperlink for ‘the rest of the story’ is actually very common in a lot of my tax and accounting newsletters.  So that might be a good approach … a couple paragraphs to peak the curiosity … and the rest is up to the reader.
    All the best … and do keep ’em coming! 

    • DesignerCam says:

       @A K Thanks for the encouraging note. I think I will move to the “excerpt-in-the-email” approach. It will help the email body feel smaller, and take some of the edge off of the post itself.
      Thanks for all of your feedback and interaction in the last few weeks. I’ve appreciated your in-depth responses both here and on ReflectiveBibleStudy.com

      • A K says:

         @DesignerCam Another suggestion (I usually have TONS of ideas!  :) ) … would be (and I’ve seen this done as well and quite effectively:  Similar to a 5-day series over a week, you could do a 4-week series over a month.  At the beginning of the first blog entry, you’d map out the topics for the 4 weeks that cover 4 aspects of the subject or theme you want to write on.  Then you’d go into the one for that week.  Each succeeding week, you’d recap the previous entries in 1-2 sentences each, and move into the next or remaining entry … at the end, you’d give a short recap/summary of the entire month’s topic.  Again, just an idea you can sleep on … somewhere above your basement level! 

        • DesignerCam says:

           @A K I regularly try to sleep above my basement level, however, with the recent events, perhaps sleeping in the basement would alert us of this challenge a little sooner than 6 inches of water deep. 😉
          Thanks for all the ideas and suggestions for improvement.

  4. This is the first post I have read. I liked your story–especially about God’s protection–and the lesson you draw so easily from life. Keep it up!

  5. KAnstaett says:

    @designercam Hello Cam!! Great to see all of this stuff that you have been creating!!

  6. marthagisela says:

    Hi Cam, beautiul testimony, thanks for share with us your testimony.