Tag Archives: money

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

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I have been struggling lately. Health problems seem unending. Money is tight. Familial relationships are strained. Menopause makes me feel like a weepy fool. There is a set point in the future when things should get better for our family, but it feels so far away. It’s easy to lose sight of, or to feel like it is out of reach. What-ifs wash over me and try to drag my hope with them. I am completely overwhelmed, but my God is not. He has met every need out of His great abundance, and I have faith He will continue to do so. Would you pray for me? For my family? And if I can do the same for you, please let me know.

I try to focus on enjoying making memories with the children, on moving forward to get our family into a better situation, when I am able. Which seems to never be enough of the time. But that is a thought I can’t focus on, because it becomes a cyclone of depression. No, better to just hold onto this train for dear life and try to keep my eyes on the pin dot of light ahead.

Silver Linings

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If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may remember that a few months ago my husband lost his job and we lost our house. We moved into a one bedroom apartment with our children and pets. While this is certainly not ideal, we’ve experienced some unexpected benefits. To save space, we bought my son a loft bed that has a bookshelf and play space underneath and put it in the living room. He thinks having his bed in the living room is SO COOL. He’s never been a good sleeper, but he has slept better and slept in his own bed more consistently since we moved than he ever has in his short life. The cats like to sleep on his bed now since it is up high, which has helped them warm up to him and is also super cute. It’s much easier to put him to bed on the nights when he falls asleep on the couch; his bed is only two feet away instead of up a flight of stairs. And all of the children get to enjoy the playspace under his bed freely, since it is in the shared family area. They call it “the cave.”

Some other surprise benefits: our upstairs neighbors got a swingset for the back yard, which our children are free to use any time. They have LOVED it. The upstairs neighbors also have a dog who is good with kids, so they have become best buds. And really, although it is a little cramped and often feels a bit crowded, we’ve been very happy here. The kids don’t seem to mind the small quarters most of the time, usually only when the weather’s been nasty and we’ve been trapped inside a lot. God’s grace has covered us during this lean time, and we are blessed.

 

Real Life

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Sometimes Real Life happens and it gets in the way of blogging. My last week has been very Real. Here’s what I haven’t been blogging about:

1) Boring, unpleasant health stuff. Migraines, an injury, illness, the whole shebang.

2) Work. My husband started his new job and has been away more, so I have been busy with the children. I’ve also been working on a side project to try and make a little extra money.

3) Arts & Crafts. I’ve been writing a book for some time and have been really focused on that this week. I’ve also made some fun items for a care package, and I’m knitting a little something just for me. Like many yarn crafters, I rarely make anything just for myself, but I found some beautiful unique yarn several months ago that I fell in love with. I’ve been searching for just the right project for it, and finally found a suitable one.

4) Prayer and study. God has been reaching and calling to me in this season, and I have hungered for Him. He has brought us so many blessings in this season that no one would choose for their family. He’s allowed me to participate in some exciting areas of ministry, and in the process my family underwent the most powerful spiritual attack we have ever seen. But God opened up the heavens and kept us safe. We experienced many wonderful surprises and crazy blessings.

So, that’s what’s been going on on this side of the blog. I hope to share some more details of what God is doing in, for, and with my family soon. Bless you all.

Another page in our new chapter.

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Just some odds and ends for you tonight. Everyone seems to have finally adjusted, at least somewhat, to our new life here. There have been some bumps in the road:

1) Lost our insurance unexpectedly, which really put us in a jam when we had a serious medical issue come up.

2) My best friend of half my life, who held my hand and prayed me through some really bad stuff, and for whom I did the same; who is like a sister to me; who knows my secrets; with whom I have shared more laughter and adventure than probably any other person in the world, is not speaking to me. I really don’t know if the friendship will survive this time. I am praying and will fight for this friendship, and I think she will do the same, but I just don’t know.

And some unexpected blessings:

1) Husband is doing some contract work that is turning out to be a much bigger project than originally anticipated, which translates to more money for our family.

2) Reconnected with an old friend who had some very good news to share.

3) Got a small windfall that will help us get by for awhile.

4) Family relations are going better than I would even have dared to hope.

I am working on Part V of the Food for Thought series, but this one is the most painful and challenging yet, so bear with me. Also working on a short story and some other projects.

We made it.

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We survived the move in one piece, as did ALL of our belongings (as far as we know, will let you know for sure when we finish unpacking!) One child and one pet got car sick, but other than that things have actually gone pretty smoothly. The children love our new home and seem to be mostly adjusting well. Little one and I have been sick since we got here, but not deathly ill. Boy child thinks it is SO COOL that our living room has a bed in it.

There has been some crazy family drama, and I’m sure it isn’t over yet. I mean, I knew my family was crazy but we just got blindsided by this one. PSA: Legal documents should not read like a blog post. I wish I was exaggerating. I also wish I could just post the thing for you, but alas, I cannot. And then, when poor little one couldn’t stop throwing up, there were some damning things said, things that still give me chills, that I just cannot fathom as a mother, as a human being.

But I am not blameless here. I admit, I have trouble seeing the log in my own eye here, but I have been praying through it and God has been showing me some of these eye-logs of mine and beginning to slowly ease them out. He’s also really working in me on leaving others’ splinters in His hands.

Husband has found a contract position that may or may not offer benefits starting next month. If they don’t he will only work there until we can find something better.

I am exhausted. I still don’t know how we’re going to make this work, but for the time being it is working. Sort of. It kind of has to, for now. Had a nice outing today and seeing family and friends all this week while we work on getting settled.

When it rains, it pours.

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We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not,
This is not our home
It’s not our home

‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

Blessings, Laura Story

Moving day is tomorrow. The car won’t start. Mom and I are fighting. A lot. I’ve had a headache for four days, and we’ve had a cold snap here that has made my arthritis more painful than it’s been in several years. Husband had a job interview that may or may not work out, with no other interviews scheduled thus far. And there is not nearly enough chocolate in this house. What great opportunities for God to show Himself.

But today, a Pagan friend asked me to pray for her. Wow, what an incredible and totally unexpected honor! I am truly filled with joy and hope.

And now we wait, we pray, we believe, and we hope.

Essential Fridays Linkup

Decluttering

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I feel like this is a constant battle in my house. Husband and I were both packrats before we got married and brought a lot of Stuff into our family. Over the years, every time we’ve moved (and we have moved quite a bit) we have shed some of that Stuff and accumulated very little by comparison. This time, with an eviction looming and economic hardship at our door, we are preparing to move from a two bedroom townhome to a one bedroom apartment. With kids and pets. Hopefully it will be a very temporary situation. Our parents have graciously offered to let us store some things at their houses, but neither set has much space to offer. So when we found out what exactly we were facing this time around, we began to declutter with abandon. Husband has finally let go of fifteen year old t-shirts for bands he hasn’t cared anything about in at least five. The kids and I have shed close to half of their toys and books. My wardrobe has shrunk by about a third. We’ve culled DVDs and wedding presents that haven’t seen enough use to keep. There have been things we had copies of for upstairs and downstairs that we’ll only need one of at the new apartment. Some of it has been hard to let go of, but mostly it’s been very freeing. A lot of it I’ve been meaning to take to the thrift shop/animal shelter/women’s shelter for ages, but never got around to it. And the more we get rid of, the more I hate Stuff.

We live in a society of excess, and this is never more apparent to me than when preparing for a move. Each time, I am amazed and disgusted at the things that have been gathering dust since our LAST move (those things never accompany us for a second move). God has slowly, painstakingly molded me from a packrat to a minimalist over the past decade through many moves, and through showing me poverty. He has sent me to barren lands where the people make do with so much less, and seem happier for it in some cases or just cannot comprehend the luxury in which we live. One experience that sticks with me is from a mission trip I went on with my youth group. A girl about my age noticed I was wearing different jeans from the day before. She was enamored with them, wanting to inspect the hems, touch the seams. She gushed about how new they looked. And then she asked me if I had more. I blushed and lied: I said I had seven pairs, but in reality at the time I probably had more than ten. Her eyes opened wide, she called me rich (I’d never thought of myself that way before) and asked where I kept these seven pairs of jeans. So we began to talk about closets and dressers, and how even the poor kids at my school all had two or three pairs of jeans. That week, my world began to change.  My worldview, my normal, shifted. What is your normal? What do you think is normal in terms of possessions for any ordinary person? Do you crave more, or are you constantly fighting for less? What role does Stuff play in your life, and what role do you think it should play?

Now I See.

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And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

A part of God’s plan for our family became clear today. A tragedy struck an old friend last night. Soon, because of the eviction, we will live close by to help ease their suffering. Obviously I’d rather have a better reason than eviction, but I am glad and grateful that we can be there in time to bring some holiday cheer.

to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified. Isaiah 61:3

TheWeekendBrewButton Essential Fridays Linkup