This Morning’s News

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Well, for those of  you who don’t drink coffee, I’d offer you tea or hot chocolate!!  😉

It is Wednesday … my new “favorite day of the week”.   Back when I didn’t have to work outside the home, my favorite day was actually Monday – the day everyone ELSE went back to work and school, and I got to start the day off slower but had some quiet time to plan my week in the calmer, more collected way that I seem to thrive in.

But alas, those days are over – and now that school has started and my work schedule has changed, quiet Mondays are a thing of the past.  My pharmacy has opened a new branch in a little town about 12 miles from my house – and that is where I have to be Monday mornings by 8 a.m. now.  While I like the quieter outpost location, it isn’t easy to get there ON TIME.

So, yeh, I work out there on Mondays all day (but get off at 3:30) … and Wednesdays from noon until 6 p.m. (closing) … and Fridays from 8 a.m. until noon.  Otherwise, I work at the original pharmacy location or in my little office.  So, needless to say, work has gotten a little BUSIER lately.

Oh … and OF COURSE, we are having our usual car problems again.  This time it is our zippy little Saturn Vue.  The transmission went out last week … and yesterday we found out that Saturns have a fancy transmission that can’t be re-built – they have to be replaced – to the tune of $3,600 to $4,200.  Considering the vehicle has over 180,000 miles on it, the mechanic recommended we NOT invest more money into it (my son wishes he’d known that a few weeks ago before he installed a new stereo system in it!!).

So, it looks like we’ll be car shopping soon.  It has been over 16 years since we bought a car (I bought the Vue brand new in July of 2003!).  The other vehicles we have were either forced on  us against *MY* will (Dan’s Buick that previously belonged to his grandmother) or the van which my Dad graciously gave us when we were in such terrible dire straits 2 years ago.

Of course, we’re looking at getting a used car for Drew to drive … and he’ll be helping pay for it as he now has a job and plans for this to be HIS car – hopefully to get him through college and maybe even beyond?!

And speaking of college … we are starting to fill out college applications!!!  Given the circumstances of our vehicle situation now – our get-out-of-debt plan has gone from being a 5-year-plan to a 6-year-plan and now probably a 7-year plan … without leaving much leftover for us to help pay for tuition.  😦  BUT I think back and neither my husband nor I had much help from our parents to pay for college either … and we made it somehow.  God provides.

So, yeh, things have been a little difficult lately again – playing the vehicle shuffle to get everyone to work and school and activities and church and appointments … but I’ve been trying to keep my chin up!  God provides DAILY bread.

The last few days have been kind of bleak – but as a lady at work reminded me after hearing about our vehicle situation, “Any problem that MONEY can fix isn’t that much of a real problem.”  (other than our problem is we have so little money to FIX the problems!!) – but what she meant, I think, was that a broken-down car is a temporary inconvenience.  Getting the news that you have cancer or that a loved one was in a serious accident or has died is SO SO SO much worse.

So, I try to focus on the good – the happier days – the days we can go outside and have a picnic because the weather right now is just about PERFECT (the in-laws were here last weekend):

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and I can be thankful for my health and my family (who are hiding behind a display of “bluebirds of happiness” at a local art colony):

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That doesn’t mean I don’t waver between discouragement and frustration and anger sometimes … because obviously, I do!!  In fact, the last 3 or 4 years have really just been one kind of horrific thing after another – mostly a lot of financial setbacks – and apparently this season of life is just going to be hard that way.

Another girl I work with asked me yesterday, “When was the last time you were happy?” … I’m not really sure what prompted that other than the fact that I’ve been working there for almost 1 year – and over and over and over, I’ve had bad news – mostly about vehicles – or while everyone is going to the beach or Disney World or whatever adventures, I’ve not made it further from Arkansas than a flight to Tennessee, which my parents actually paid for!!  I mean, I’m BLESSED – but my life isn’t the typical American dream.

I felt a little bad because at first I answered, “Oh, about 10 or 12 year ago, when we were still in the Army.”  But that was happiness based on enough money and time to travel and do just about anything we set our minds to.

MY HAPPINESS should NOT be based on money … like the older lady who’d said “problems money can solve aren’t really problems.”

And as a Christian, my joy is in the Lord.   And so, I’m back to grasping on to that elusive joy … the one that doesn’t go away when circumstances hit hard.  The one that keeps my mind focused on God’s goodness and provision.  Yes, “life is hard” right now … and who knows, we may NEVER catch a break on this earth?!  BUT eternity will be wonderful comparatively – and the things I do FOR eternity (the people who I invest in) are all that will last.

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4 Responses to This Morning’s News

  1. melanie says:

    Wow, so glad I clicked over to the blog so I could also read the above comments …and be challenged by them! 😮
    Conny, you know that I feel for you… {hugs} to you, my friend! ❤

  2. angiemart says:

    You’ve shared in this post that two women have challenged you on your thinking. In love, I also want to share what God has been teaching me in an effort to encourage you.

    I am going through some very difficult trials, but the Lord has taught me what to focus on, what to talk about, and to sit at His feet and pour out my heart to Him. (Prayer) My Dad is dying from cancer and last July I moved away from my parents so my husband could take a new job. I now drive 14 hour round trips every other month to do what I can for them. My husband found out in April he would be let go from his job, and has been unemployed since July 1st. He has applied for over 400 positions and the Lord has not opened a door yet. My 22-year-old son in running hard away from the Lord, living in dangerous sin. I have some serious health concerns, having been screened twice for cancer myself this year. My mother-in-law moved in with us a year ago and in many ways has been difficult. I have 2 teenagers in the house. 😉 Each morning when I open my eyes I have to give all my anxieties back to Him. Through these trials He has revealed so much of Himself to me, that I often tell Him, that I am thankful for all the circumstances He uses to bring me to His throne. God gives us each day what He wills. It is for us to say, “Yes, Lord. Teach me about You.”

    The Lord has shown me truths about His joy. I am an introvert and pessimist. I have worn out many friends and family with my complaining, but what good did it do me? I was left feeling lonely and like the girl who cried, “wolf!” My friends wearied of the drama. We ALL face trying circumstances, but we don’t have to dump them on others when we have a Sovereign God to go to. Again, the trials didn’t slip by God when He wasn’t looking, they were ordained by Him to draw us to Himself.

    The Lord has given me two principles for having joy. I am sure there are many more, but I’m a slow learner. First, I don’t trust in the provision, I trust in the Provider. I often trust in what God will do for me, instead of just trusting in Him. That means when the car can’t be fixed and the money isn’t there, I trust in Him, knowing that He already knew about that moment. I cling to Deut 31:8, “The Lord is the One who will go before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.”

    Secondly, the perseverance of my faith as I go through trials is proof of the genuineness of my faith. I Peter 1:6-7. Faith that endures is more precious than gold and should result in praise, glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ (working in and tranforming me.)

    Our hope is not that God will make us comfortable, but that He will make us holy.

    I once did a test. I could see I was wearing out my friends, family and spouse with my negativity so I decided to go a week without one negative comment. It was HARD!! I ranted in my head to the Lord a lot, but I noticed that others responded to me in a better way. I kept going. Life generally got happier and easier, as I quit looking at my problems or offenses. People who avoided me before, started acting more warmly. Others thanked me for my encouragement (that was an anomoly!) I started leaving my troubles with the Lord and He revealed He could be trusted in any circumstance.

    Now, as I face very difficult things, I have six very close sisters in Christ who seek me out to ask how they can pray and what they can do. Not only do I have Christ, but I have dearly loved friends walking with me. You know what I try to do each time they reach out to me? I try to give praise to the Lord for what I see Him doing. In the end, I want to be that friend that encouraged faith in others as I clung to the Lord.

    It’s a journey, my friend. You and I, hopefully, have shared enough that you know, I only want your good when I get exhorting! Look to Him with confidence and faith, cling to His word and let your words lead others to Him.

    With Love,
    Angie

  3. charla says:

    Have I ever mentioned how much I love reading your stories? I would imagine that they provide much encouragement to so many, just knowing that someone else is in the same ‘place’ that they are.

    One thing that has changed for me in recent years–anytime I have a bad something–day, news, attitude, event–I think, “Well, this exact same thing could be happening, but I could be having to deal with all of that along with chemo duty.” It also works with thinking the same things could be going on, but my house is in the middle of a 1000 year flood like in SC, or with no electricity or running water, like much of history and around the world today.

    Sometimes, thinking like that is the only thing keeping me from a full out pity party.

    I am so sorry about your transmission….I keep trying to convince my boys that at least one of them should be a mechanic one day. I also need a chiropractor and massage therapist in the mix. 🙂

  4. Ruth says:

    It is Oh so easy to get down when money problems hit. We’ve had a raft of car trouble this year, but thankfully Mr. D knows how to work on vehicles… problem is he’s a “backyard mechanic” and sometimes can’t figure out what’s going on and then we need to get a mechanic involved at $80/hr. Then the parts cost $ and the trips to here and there to pick up parts costs $. I know where you’re coming from. The bank account gets drained before you even know what’s happening. I had a wave of depression the other day and realized how much of my “happiness” depends on that bank account and brought me again to the place of realizing that it all belongs to Him and He is my provider and if He doesn’t want me to have money, then He will drain that account out quicker than quick… maybe He is teaching me a lesson… and believe me I need to learn a lot of lessons. I don’t know where He’s leading you, but rest assured His way is perfect!!! He loves you and the best part… He remembers that we are dust.

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