Keeping it all in perspective.

Yesterday was "one of those days". It seemed to be filled with idioms like "when it rains, it pours" or "a fool and his money are soon parted", and even "an arm and a leg". In the end I decided my dad was right when he always said "you can't get blood from a turnip".

Not to get into the ugly specifics, let's just say we had some financial issues going on. Things involving having to borrow money from family (which I HATE) and even doing what it took to not have to go to court. I never thought I would hate seeing a constable car in our driveway so much. At the same time this was going on (seriously, all within about 3 days culminating in Friday) our van decided it didn't want to start and the car had expired tags; I discovered due to me not being fluent in insurance legalese I had completely misunderstood how the deductible work for the new health insurance plan we switched to this year; I had completely forgotten to pay the water bill in all the confusion this month with bills coming at us from everywhere, so they called to tell me it had to be paid by 5pm Monday or it gets turned off. Due to the leak under the kitchen sink is almost 5 times more than the first bill we got when we were living here the first month in February.
Oh, also, while I was out trying to get a few groceries with what little money I had left out of my check after putting most of it aside for Christopher's heart medication, I got a phone call. My oldest, Corina was calling to tell me the chest freezer we have sitting on the back porch had quit running sometime recently and the stuff on top was thawing out. This was so not good. The freezer was full of stuff Chris' mom and step dad had given us when they cleaned out their deep freezer.They hardly ever eat out of it and when it gets too full to put more stuff in (and it's a HUGE freezer), they call us to come take it home with us. Thankfully years ago, we got a small deep freezer about the size of a portable dishwasher. Well, I told Corina to check the cord, make sure it was plugged in, check the breaker, and then plug it into an extension cord and run it inside to plug it into a socket we know works. I had to call her back since she never got back to me, and she said it did appear to be running again. Praise the Lord!

That was the first in a few things that finally started going our way. I realized what was going on when I got in the car to go try to get a continuance on the court date... I hadn't driven the car in a long time since the tags had expired and it's got a lot of body damage to the front end after someone ran out in front of Chris on his way to work one day... I wondered if the radio even worked, I couldn't remember. So I turned it on, and it was set to a station I don't even normally listen to out of North Carolina. The song playing was also one I did not know. It was called Believers by Joe Nichols. I almost had to pull off the side of the road as I listened. I could tell God was talking and I had to listen. I listened to the song, then realized all of these things had happened for a reason, and they weren't going to kill me. I needed to believe. I could find a way to work everything out, and I needed this wake up call. A warning that we were slipping into the same lazy behavior with money that we have been our whole lives. Something we had promised we would stop after we got this new house.

So, it turns out it only cost me $7 to get a continuance on the bill that was taking us to court. It gave us a month longer and we'll easily have it by then. And I didn't have to pay anything down on it, which is good since we have to pay to get Chris' medications. I realized I need to read everything much closer than I did before - that insurance thing really had me in tears. But when all was said and done, when we get his meds, we'll only be $7 away from meeting our family deductible of $3000 - that's kind of a scary thought. I never would have imagined that we'd have those kind of medical bills at age 38. And it's only May.

The van still isn't running though we had Corina's fiancee Tyler and Tyler's Dad look at it. We ruled out being out of gas and the battery being bad. So it's either the starter or fuel pump. Neither of which we can really afford to handle right now, so we may be driving our "Zombie Car" Buick for a while. The kids actually hide when we're in it so their friends don't see them. Yeah it's that bad. Christopher even hates driving it to work because it doesn't suit the image of management. You know what? Who cares? Really? It's that kind of thinking that leads to overspending and living outside our means.

I think back on how far we've come.. the years we did without a phone or cable TV, lived on bologna and macaroni and ketchup, even the times we both had to walk to work and take Corina with us because we had no running vehicle and couldn't afford to miss work, but couldn't get to the babysitter. All those years we had to humble ourselves and go for those monthly meetings with our social workers to get Food Stamps and TennCare so our kids could get shots and see the Dr when they were sick. The Christmases that my Mom or even close friends had to talk to Santa about making sure the kids had gifts that year. The 5 months Chris was unemployed and then 6 months later had his heart attack... and then losing our new van and destroying what credit we'd managed to build over the years with one fateful day before a Bankruptcy judge. ... and now here we are, both in jobs we always longed for, making more money than I would have ever dreamed of all those years ago, in a new home with tons of room for all of us, 2 (usually) running vehicles, our kids all healthy, we have several computers, wifi internet, digital cable, are planning a family vacation to Florida... and yet we just have been in the "poor me" mindset for so long that I think we are subconsciously sabotaging ourselves.

That same day, Friday as I was bemoaning my fate, I saw a message from a cousin I had only realized I had recently - she was in a car accident and had broken her clavicle and totalled her van... and then I got a message from another dear friend who hadn't talked to me that day because he'd been at the funeral home with a friend of his from work whose husband had suddenly passed away. Let me tell you that made me sober up pretty quick. I was sitting there crying because we had to drive our beat up car instead of the nicer van (which just needed a repair - it wasn't totalled!), and all these other things happening... when I should have been thankful for what we have.

Christopher had his 6 month checkup at his cardiologist on Thursday - just the day before all this happened - and his heart sounds great! He found out he is borderline for getting diabetes and his good cholesterol is still not high enough... both of which can be fixed with losing weight and exercise. But he's still here. I still have my husband. I can still get him out there walking each evening and eating right.

It's all about listening to God when He speaks, and it's about keeping everything in perspective. Lessons I hope I can learn and remember.


  1. well, it might be a chance to see beauty in spite of all these daily inconveniences of life.

    from lemons to sour grapes, you've got lots of fruit just waiting to be sweetened!


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