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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dear Recession, please be done. Thank you.

What I'm learning during this time of unemployment during this stupid recession:

1.  Having a job, no matter how crappy it is, is wonderful.  Get over yourself, and be happy you have a paycheck.

2.  Having a family is more important than having money.  Remember that even though money and the lack thereof may be stressful, that taking it out on your family is counterproductive.

3.  God will provide.

4.  Humility can be and is painful at times.  Embrace it, I think there may be lessons to be learned in that place.

5.  Thank God for programs that I have always written off as programs for lazy people - once again, humility can be painful, but lessons can be learned if you are willing to be taught.

6.  Who you are on paper may mean a lot, but who you are as a person is worth significantly more.

7.  Having a home, even if it's not luxurious and beautiful, is wonderful.  If you have a roof over your head, be thankful...there are people who don't.

8.  God still exists - and even though your crisis is huge to you, there are bigger crises going on.  God is big.

9.  That in those moments of closed doors and what seems as failures, it may be easy to turn against each other.  Instead, take those moments to remember that you are in it for better or worse...rich or poor.  Get over yourself and work together.

10.  There are lots of things to do, crafts to be done, and adventures to go on that don't take money.  Kids don't need to be burdened with financial troubles...but they can learn that not everything needs to be expensive to be wonderful.

11.  God will provide.  Somehow...but therein lies that whole humility thing again.  Gosh, it's painful.

12.  Hugs are sweeter, meals tastier, and home is more comfy when every single blessing is being counted.

The recession sucks.  Being unemployed sucks.  But I will not doubt God.  I will not doubt His love or His faithfulness.  I will not let it attack my marriage, or my family.

Now Recession, please be done.  Thank you. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Worry Schmurry

"Don't panic. I'm with you.
   There's no need to fear for I'm your God.
I'll give you strength. I'll help you.
   I'll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you."
Isaiah 41:10

I, my friends, am a worrier.

I mean, come on, I had an ulcer when I was 9.  

So, over the years I've figured out other ways to deal with my worry.  Like eating (which we all know how well that works) like biting my nails (which a friend told me is the equivalent of eating off the toilet seat) and grasping for more control of uncontrollable circumstances.  

So, basically, all my remedies for worrying just add more worry - like getting fat, getting some nasty disease, and once again not successfully controlling things.

With that said, the above verse keeps popping into my head.  Over and over again.

We still don't have a job (not much has changed in the last 2 days) in the greatest recession since the Great Depression.

Japan is in nuclear, tsunami, earthquake crisis - which is way more troublesome than our personal financial situation (yes, I'm fully aware).

My friend is at the ER right now with her sick baby girl.

Another friend's husband just got a huge pay cut instead of the pay INCREASE he was counting on.

And yet, despite all this:

Don't panic. I'm with you.
   There's no need to fear for I'm your God.
I'll give you strength. I'll help you.
   I'll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.
Isaiah 41:10
It really is way easier to panic.  It really is way easier to be consumed with worry.  It's just natural, for me anyways.  But worry, panic, anxiety - isn't that a form of control?

Don't I think, secretly, that if I worry or obsess a little more over a situation that somehow my anxiety will make it all better.  That my overzealous worry will be the remedy?  And yet, God says it's wont.  In fact, not only does He say that it wont remedy anything, He tells us that worrying can't add a single day to our lives.

And instead of worrying, we are supposed to pray...about everything.

I've been praying.  Through my worry, I've been praying.  When I'm anxious, I've been praying.  When I'm scared, I've been praying.

Because He says,

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 
Phillippians 4:6-7
And I'm being held firm, even though I'm shaking, by the steadfast hand of God.  Even though I may be scared, God is protecting my heart and my mind.  He takes care of the birds and the lilies of the field - and I'm worth far more than those to my Maker.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Grumpiness and Glitter - just another Monday.

I'm grumpy.

It's March 14.  We have been unemployed now for 5 weeks.  I'm grumpy.

Ya, I know God will provide.

Ya, I know God is faithful.

Ya, I know God has a plan and a purpose.

But I'm still grumpy.

Do you think God respects my grumpiness - or do you think He expects more, um, mature emotional responses from me?  Either way, I'm grumpy.

But life keeps marching on as the bank account keeps dwindling down and my kids are enjoying having their daddy home...I am too, I just wish it was on a paid vacation...just sayin'.

I registered my kids for kindergarten - I shall not say anymore on this subject because this fact may turn my grumpiness into an all out emotional fit that my babies are going to be in kindergarten.

Then all the monkeys got sick...really sick, RSV sick - for two weeks (which this in and of itself could be a leading contributor to my current state of grumpiness) and yesterday was the first day we entered civilization and we went to church.  It. Was. Fabulous.

I've prayed a lot lately - yes, more than usual, because I like most people tend to pray my little heart out when I am in panic.  I've tried bargaining with God and as I'm praying my bargaining prayers, I feel totally ridiculous, because God knows I rarely if ever hold my end up of the bargain.  I've tried begging.  I've tried convincing.  And yet, when I shut my mouth and listen, I feel like God says, "If he gets this job (the one we are waiting to hear on that you all could be praying that he gets with me) then I will provide.  If he doesn't get this job, I will still provide.  I am in control."

Fine.  I get it.

I don't like it.  I don't like not being in control.  I don't like being uncomfortable.  I don't like it Sam I Am. 

Anyway - I don't know if your Monday is turning out like my Monday, but here's a video of Princess Emma singing a self-written song.  How can you not be a little less grumpy after hearing this, with all it's glitter and sparkles and Jesus - oh and please disregard the screaming children in the background...I do.

video