Tag Archive | blessings

Yep, He Had My Back the Whole Way!

jesus holding the worldBoy has it been a year!  I have been through the ringer and this ol’ single mom is T-I-R-E-D!  But I’m also very grateful that I’m not alone. Here are just some of the things I can recall for 2014:

1) Started the New Year with frozen pipes/issues – meant lugging water in for a couple of weeks
2) Furnace stopped working – paid $$ I didn’t have for someone to come out and ‘fix it’ — only to find that they were full of you-know-what.  Then had to pay more for someone else to come out and do it right
3) Numerous times I had car issues/repairs
4) I got laid-off unexpectedly in March – lost a really good paying job that also included health care benefits paid at 100% for my whole family
5) Received a letter from IRS that I didn’t pay in enough some 3 years prior (long story)
6) Finally landed a job – at $11,000/yr less than my prior job + I had to start paying $400+ for health insurance
7) Was pretty miserable at that job – we were not a good fit for each other – but made some really awesome new friends too
8)  About the time I landed the new job – I also had to start paying $460/mo for childcare for the summer
9)  Car kept breaking down….so I finally gave in and signed on the dotted line for another one
10)  My daughter/best friend moved south out of town
11)  Was able to go see my daughter and her hubby for a few days during the July 4th holiday!
12) Received a letter from Attorney General that they ‘over-paid’ me for child support 2+ years prior and started taking half of my child support….which means I get a whopping $240/mo now
13)  Started getting down in the dumps about everything hitting constantly with no break…..started whining to God
14)  Got an unexpected call from my mentor and friend offering me a job (a little more money than my previous – for now, but promised more to come)
15)  Bills have been backing up and stacking up with all that has gone on so far
16)  Payroll company ‘forgets’ to enter my enrollment for health insurance…so they have to withdraw double payment out of my check = $500+
17)  Had to request them to defer a car payment when starting new job – in order to get them to coordinate with paydays = they had to deduct a double-payment out of the SAME paycheck that #15 occurs!
18)  Somewhere along the way – I reconnected with my first love, my high school sweetheart via FB
19)  Turned the big 5-0
20)  Thanksgiving — we were not able to work out schedules so that we could spend it with daughter and her hubby
21)  Thanksgiving — my high school sweetheart accepted and invitation to stop by and see me – he will have dinner with me, my son and my dad
22)  Christmas — we were unable to work out plans for spending this holiday with daughter/her hubby.  He was promoted – and can’t take off now and we can’t go that way
23)  Christmas — worked it out so we will go see daughter/hubby week after
There are many, many more ups and downs, but these are the things that come to mind right now.  It’s a lot.  Especially for a single-parent who is NOT getting any sort of assistance.  But it also means that someone had to have my back.  And He did!  God has seen me through as promised!  He never said it would be easy…but rather that He would be there.
However, I’ve also learned that He actually takes the burdens completely from me when I ask Him to – when I give it to Him.  It has been a hard lesson for me to learn – but I believe I’ve got it now.  I don’t even stress anymore about things….when something difficult comes my way – I say ‘here You go, God…it’s Yours’ — and He takes it!
May you all be blessed and enjoy your family and friends during the holidays.  And here’s to a beautiful, bless-filled 2015 coming around the corner!

Journey Down Memory Lane & Back

Mixed emotions.  That is what I have been experiencing lately.  Like a roller-coaster, up on minute, down the next.  Funny how going down memory lane can bring back emotions as if you were back in that time.  It kind of wears you out to be up one moment and then deeply saddened in the very next one.

My daughter and her husband were in town for the weekend.  The trip was quick and of course it went by way too quickly!  We have always been close – and this move has been rough on both of us.  No more dropping in on each other or calling and saying “let’s do lunch” anymore.  So we go from being anxious for days building up to their arrival – to great joy when they get here – and then a crash when they have to leave again.  It’s like mourning all over again.  Each time.
One thing for sure – we definitely appreciate our time together.  We value family and never take each other for granted.  My family has always been close and will always have each others’ back no matter what happens.  I never have understood how people can get ticked off at another family member and then simply cut off all ties.  That’s so sad!
Going down memory lane has been a bit more difficult on me lately.  We all take a stroll into our past from time to time.  Maybe it’s a song that you used to listen to when you were younger.  Or you see a book you read.  And maybe you run into an old classmate.  Whatever it is – it slams you right back into that time period for a few moments.
I find that Facebook has brought about a lot of those little strolls.  Whenever I re-connect with someone from my past.  The older I get – the more I value and appreciate those connections.  There are a few connections that surprise me.  They are the ones that humble me for various reasons.
Recently I reconnected with my first love.  I thought of him a lot through the years and often wondered whatever happened to him.  I honestly wasn’t sure that he was even alive as he was a mess the last time I ran into him.  As a matter of fact, after talking with him that night so long ago – I remember telling my friend I didn’t think he would live long.  So it has been a real joy to see that he did make it – and that his life is good.  My emotions run high with this experience though.
I guess it’s the Fibro Fog again – but for the life of me I cannot recall the specifics of why I broke up with him – other than being young and dumb.  He tells me that I was the only one to break his heart.  And that makes me feel really awful.  Yes, we were young and it’s all part of life….but that is no real excuse.  I regret that I caused him pain.  I regret that I didn’t know what I was doing back then.  And in some ways I regret letting him go.
It seems we both have lived through a lot.  Gone through tough times and survived.  For that I am grateful.  I really enjoy chatting with him and getting to know him all over again.  However, with that brings a lot of mixed feelings.   I find myself being like a school girl anxiously awaiting to hear from him again.  And at the same time – we live totally different lives in different cities.  Too much time has passed and we are different people now.  We can’t go back.  So then I feel like an idiot, ya know?
I’m sure it is the reminiscing about what used to be.  And what could have been.  And being single again.  But as mentioned in past blog posts – I have no intentions of getting into another relationship other than simple friendship.  So what the heck is up with my crazy emotions?!
At any rate – I am thankful for the people God has placed in my life.  And for the special times/connections that I have.  I am thankful that God has always had my back…..after all we are family.
Speaking of God having my back…I have been experiencing much favor of late.  I believe the reason is not that I’m ‘doing’ the right thing now – as that would be relying on my works rather than His grace.  But rather that I am believing that He has already provided everything I need and so much more.  I only have to learn to receive His gifts!
So thank You, Father for always being there for me and mine!

Still On My Journey…Learning More…..Sometimes With My Heels Dug In…..

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I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything since May – and here it is October! A lot has been going on for sure. Some of it has been tough, but I lean heavily on God and He always sees me through!

As mentioned in this previous post, my daughter and son-in-law moved down south.  They are doing well though we are all missing each other like crazy.  My daughter had some serious home-sickness going on for a bit – but I think she is doing better now.

They both came back up a few weeks ago for a visit.  While here, many of their friends came out to the house for a little party.  It sure was fun seeing everyone together again!  And most recently they were here for the wedding of ‘my other daughter’ – as you may have read on previous posts….she is my daughter’s best friend.  They call each other ‘sister’ and I’m ‘Mom’ to her.

I also mentioned that the new job I got after being laid-off was not very enjoyable.  I didn’t want to complain about the job I had after losing the other one…but I was miserable.  I didn’t want to come across as being ungrateful. It was during this time though, that I started learning that I was not leaning on God as much as I thought.

I was so ‘worried’ about being laid-off that I grabbed the first job that came along rather than praying about it and relying on God to open doors for me.  Again, which has been typical in my life, I was trying to be in control and manipulate my situation.

If you read this earlier post of mine, then you will understand my thought process here.  Of course it wasn’t until after I started the new job and began to reflect on my situation that I came to realize that I was still struggling with ‘unbelief’. Though I had faith that God would provide, my unbelief came about in thinking that I needed to jump on that job because there might not be another offer rather than waiting on Him.  So I spent almost 6 months in a job that I was unhappy with and that was not a good fit – for me or the employer.

During this time, I kept studying and learning about God’s grace and His desire to provide for us, His children.  Most recently it dawned on me….

Just as an earthly parent, God does not want His children to suffer, be ill, in pain or live in poverty.  He wants only the best for us.  I have always said I believed that….but I think deep down I always felt like I wasn’t living up to whatever it was in my mind that I thought I should be or be doing for Him.  I felt that because I was ‘failing’ or falling short of what I thought He wanted….then why would He shower me with abundance?  If I couldn’t take care of the little, why would He give me more?

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not talking about doing ‘works’ in order to get to heaven.  But just as with my own children….they may do things that are not what I would choose for them…and they may even disappoint me from time to time.  But would I want them to suffer, do without, hurt?  No way!  So why would I assume God would be any different?

I heard someone say that maybe we shouldn’t be asking God for ‘just enough’ – meaning, why do we ask Him for things like giving us just enough to live comfortably, or feel better, or pay our bills?  We are children of God.  We were made righteous by Christ.  So we should claim it!  We have power through Christ!

So I recently sat down and had a lengthy conversation with my Father.  And I laid it all at the feet of my Savior. It finally made sense to me! I gave thanks.  I cried. And rejoiced.  And cried some more.  But afterwards I felt so much lighter and I could definitely feel a difference.  The burdens were gone.

Very shortly after that…things started happening for me:

First of all, I hurt my back carrying something at work that was WAY to heavy.  And I was laying in bed on the 3rd night of the worst pain I have ever been in.  But through the misery – I kept repeating thanks over and over for the healing.  And sure enough, the pain went away without seeking medical care.

Every time I found my mind wanting to head down in the dumps or start with the negative thoughts – I would correct myself and say thanks to my Father.  I gave thanks for my healing (we are healed by his stripes….) and thanks for His provision. Let me tell you….it was not – and still isn’t – a natural or automatic thing for me.  I am so used to thinking ‘here we go again’ or something negative…and then gearing up to deal with it.  So, I have had to repeat many, many times that I do not have to carry the burden….God’s got this!

Next, I got a call from someone that I have always considered a mentor of mine.  I had worked with him in the past and though we parted ways years ago, I would still do some ‘virtual assistant’ jobs for him from time to time.  I also know his boss – the owner of the company in which he works now – from that same time period in our past.  He asked me to stop in to help them with some personnel issues.  I agreed.

When I got there, both of them were there telling me about how some things had changed within the company – and they wanted to offer me a job!!!  You have to understand – I have wanted to work for them for years!  And here it was, out of the clear blue, being offered!  Needless to say, I accepted the job.

Within the first week – I was given a raise…to cover the healthcare premiums – so that it wouldn’t cut into my take home pay. Can you believe that!?  I was also assured that I would be getting my pay bumped up very soon.

Then came the realization that I was most likely going to lose my insurance on my home – due to ‘forgetting’ (Fibro Fog) to pay it…and my first check was coming in exactly one week later than the cut-off date.  Again I found myself starting to get stressed.  But I reminded myself that God’s got this….and I was just along for the ride.

Sure enough – no quicker had those thoughts crossed my mind when my boss asked me how I was with the gap between my last job’s payday and this one.  I told him I was figuring it out.  He told me to give him a figure and he would advance it to me.  I did.  He did.  When I asked about re-paying it…..I was told not to worry about it right now.  So, house insurance was paid – literally within 4 hours of it being cancelled!

For many – this may sound like small potatoes….but for me – this is huge!  For the first time in my life, I feel that things are going to be good for me!  I no longer feel like I screwed up and therefore it is what it is!  Of course there will still be things to come up and I will probably have to remind myself another few hundred times to let things go….but I’m confident that it will become easier as I’m growing and learning more!

Next on my list is my health – again, I’ve spoken with God about this and I am confident that my body is repairing itself and I will no longer suffer.  For now, I find that when I’m getting caught up in the ‘unbelief’ – my Fibro starts acting up.  Once I claim healing and refuse to worry about the situation the symptoms recede.  I believe that for now this is my little reminder to help get me back on track.  But I also fully believe that I am healed and that my healthy body will manifest once I learn to accept the gift given to me.

And finally…..relationships.  I’m not sure where I’m going here yet.  But I’m trusting God to lead me.  At the moment, with all of the pain and mistrust I’ve experienced in this area….I do not want an intimate relationship with another man…ever!  But at the same time, I find myself lonely and wishing for companionship.  However, I will wait on my Father and see what He has in mind for me.  Maybe it’s more than I can ever dream of…..or maybe I’m not supposed to have another man in my life….either way, I’m good with that.

F.R.O.G. = Fully Relying On God…..that’s the fun part….once you learn to relax and go with it!

Can You Believe It Is 2014?!

It’s 2014…..can you believe it!?  Another year has flown by already.  This year will mark many changes for me – some of them will be bittersweet.

I’m not one to do New Year’s resolutions or anything like that – for me it has always simply been a new number on the calendar and that was it.  But not this year – not 2014.  Why?  Let me tell you…

My 21-year-old daughter and her hubby have finally made the decision to move out of town.  They are moving to ‘the big city’ in search of fulfilling their dreams.  I don’t blame them.  As a matter of fact, I told my daughter that recently.  She mentioned moving and wondering what it would be like and whether there would be more opportunities.  I told her that if I were her age and had the chance – I would give it a try.  They don’t have children right now and they aren’t tied to a mortgage….so now is the time to go and spread wings!  Of course at the same time, I will miss them terribly.  And it will be weird not having her so close.

Of course I will have a good excuse for getting my tail out of town once in a while – that’s exciting!  But it will be hard.  I feel that she is my strongest ‘connection’ I have to another earthy being.  Don’t worry – I don’t mean that I am all-consumed with my daughter and her life….she lives her own life here and I don’t interfere.  But we are close – we are friends and we are in a good place with each other.

2014….here we are a mere 14 days into the year and my poor son has had quite a tumultuous beginning.  He just turned a big 8 years old!  Side Note: Do you know how hard it is to have a great Christmas for a child and then turn around and have a memorable birthday in less than 10 days afterwards!? Ugh!

So my little fella had a rough time starting this year.  He keeps telling me that it was ‘the best Christmas ever, Mom!’ – which of course does my heart good.  But my ex-husband and I split up in 2010.  Since that time, the ex has been out of the country with his new love during Christmas on into the beginning of January each year.  That means he has missed our son’s birthday. 

This year, his father decided to stay in town/country and have his honey join him here.  He then decides that he is going to basically take over the birthday party planning – and I let him….let him foot some of the cost for a change!  Long story short – dad had his times wrong about when he set the party up at the facility – so many of the guests arrived too early.  Here we are – my son, my daughter and myself – trying to work something out with the people at the facility to accommodate the guests early…..and dad was nowhere in sight (he arrived late). Then we discover that the party room was set up for a girl…..so they had to take the decorations down and re-do everything real quick.

Then when they finally got around to the birthday cake – my ex’s family has a tradition of smashing your face in the cake – don’t ask me why…I never have understood it.  My son experienced this when he was 2 yrs. old and the look on his face broke my heart – they all speak Spanish and my son and I do not….so he had no clue that they were going to do it or why.  So at this year’s party, dad sticks to the tradition – and again, my son is bewildered….but also embarrassed because here are all his friends seeing this and laughing…..and again he has no idea why it is done.  He then comes running out of the room to look for me (I had taken a child to find his mother) with cake on his face and crying.

After the party – it was planned that our son would stay the night with his dad and come home the following day.  When he arrived home the following evening I discovered that he and his father had it out….apparently it was like a war zone at his house.  Sadly, at 8 years old, my son told his daddy that he hated him and never wanted to stay with him again.  Since then, dad has called to apologize and I even took him by dad’s place to drop off some papers thinking it would give them a chance to visit.  Nope.  My son is simply not interested right now.

And finally, to top things off – my son came down sick this week and has had to make a visit to the doctor’s office.  Let’s hope it gets better for him soon!

In addition to all of this…..I will be turning the big 5-0 this year.  Now how depressing is THAT!?!?!?!  I don’t FEEL like I should be that old.  I don’t WANT to be that old.  And it certainly makes you think about life.

I have always said that I have no regrets about my life.  Disappointments – yes, but not regrets.  But now I’m thinking there are a few things that I wish I had done differently.  I think that is probably because I had a different idea of where I would be at this point in my life….and honestly, being an overweight, single mom was not even close!

I really didn’t expect to be in a position of having to work full time at this point either.  Now, don’t go throwing rocks at me….but my mom worked because she wanted to and I guess I assumed it would be the same for me.  And I envisioned having a good man in my life who desired to be a friend, partner, lover, supporter and companion.  I think that part is my biggest regret.

I am without a doubt thankful for my children – and had I not been through what I have – they would not exist.  It is because of this that I will never ‘wish’ it didn’t happen…..but I regret that I am not married for the long haul.

And I regret that I allowed myself to be physically unhealthy.  I was always really thin and never had to worry about my weight.  But when ‘something’ in my body changed, I was not prepared.  I didn’t know how to eat healthy and that exercise would be crucial until it was too late.  And try as I might now…..I am having a terrible time at this.  I often wish I had someone to go through the process together with – but I don’t.  So if I do this, I am on my own.

I also thought I would be more financially set by now.  Through the many ordeals of my life and starting over so many times….I have nothing.  I live paycheck to paycheck.  I am putting some into a retirement plan….but too little too late if you ask me. 

On the flip side of all of this though….

For the most part, I am happy.  I enjoy my family though I wish we could spend more time together.  I like my job.  I have my own home and transportation (though it is pretty iffy at times – LOL) and I’m still kickin’!

So every day I thank my Father above that I am surviving.  I thank Him for taking care of us and for what I believe is headed our way.  I don’t give up and I never will.

Here’s to hoping that you too, dear reader, will have a very blessed 2014!

 

Take Time to Reflect

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I just got back from the BEST vacation!  We haven’t been on an out-of-town vacation in almost 4 years – so needless to say, it was MUCH needed.  But besides that, God revealed a lot of things to me.

Briefly I will tell you that we live in the Texas Panhandle – if you have never been here before, let me say that it is hot, dry and flat.  No trees.  Very little water.  And windy – very, very windy.  We do have the second-largest canyon in the country (Palo Duro Canyon) – and it is something to see!  The beauty here is in the people.  We have the friendliest people around – and that is a true blessing!

For vacation, we headed to the nearest mountains (see the picture I took above!).  We stayed in Red River, NM.  I’m not a person who enjoys snow — so mountains in the summer is my kind of fun.  We spent our time doing the following: fireworks on the lake, watched a parade, grilled, mountain climbing/hiking, tubing down the slopes, off-roading and water rafting.

During our time there, I was able to reflect on a few things.  For instance, I was witness to some little spats that took place within the couples.  Being older than they are, having been there, done that and being single again, gave me a different perspective.  In some ways it was like Deja vu – because I remember thinking/saying/acting in similar ways.  But I could also see where I had matured past a lot of it and I now know that I handled things in the best way I could in my marriage.  It was like God was allowing me to witness these things to let me know that maybe, just maybe I needed to forgive myself a bit more.  I have always been critical of myself and though I thought I had moved on, I suppose that I still blamed myself for ‘failing’ in my marriage. So this let me know that 1) I no longer need to second-guess my thoughts/feelings on certain things and 2) It always takes two – so it isn’t all my fault.

I experienced some pain that I thought had healed through the years when I learned of some unkind, hurtful words being told to another.  It brought back memories.  It hurt and it helped – if that makes any sense.  My heart hurt witnessing someone going through the same stuff I had and at the same time it reminded me that what I experienced in my past was not because I’m such a ‘bad’ person or unworthy person – but rather the insecurities of the person saying the hurtful things.

I also learned to lighten up and laugh a little more.  You know, being around young adults is definitely an experience!  It helped to remind me to be happy and enjoy my life a little more. And it helped to get me off my duff and move – to do something active. AND – to drink more water – LOL!

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in existing in this world that we forget to really look around.  We forget to pause and take a look at what He has provided. So I am also thankful that I was able to enjoy God’s beautiful creations there.  We saw it rain every afternoon – where that would normally put a damper on one’s activities – we danced in it!  We would stand like goobs and simply breathe.  It was fantastic!  I must admit, when we got back home to the dry 100-degree temps – I was a bit disgusted.  I keep telling myself to mellow out though – LOL

And – it has inspired me to really do some serious praying about guidance and seeking God’s will for me.  For a couple of years now, I have had a desire to make a living in a different field – but I typically squash it down and try to ignore it.  I have obligations.  I can’t see how I could do anything else.  Blah, blah, blah……but now I’m thinking, why not!?  If God has put this desire in my heart, I should be listening – right?  So, that is my goal.  I will keep my heart and mind open and wait for His lead.

I also discovered that though I thought I was pretty stress-free these days, apparently I’m not as much as I thought.  No wonder I’m still struggling with my Fibromyalgia (mainly the Fibro-fog) and weight/health issues.  Yes, I’m better than I was – thank you, Father!  But I experienced true peace and contentment while away from the daily grind.  And I want that in my life!  So, I have decided to work on that a little more. Progress not perfection – as the saying goes.

And finally, I was simply able to truly enjoy my family.  I love my family.  We are tight.  But this allowed us to forget the daily stresses of life and just have fun.  It’s been a long time, folks.  I saw my 7-year old mature right before my eyes.  My daughter is struggling with a few things and that in itself is growth.  My heart aches for her at times – but I’m so darn proud of her too!  She has her own business at the young age of 20 years old – not many can say that, you know.  I love my son-in-law.  He is intelligent and responsible and he loves my daughter.  My ‘other’ daughter – I call her that, she’s my daughter’s best friend — I finally got to know her a little more (she’s always been so quiet though I’ve known her for years).  I’m proud of her too – she has grown into a beautiful young lady and she has a bright future ahead of her.  And I got to know her boyfriend – and I like him.  A lot. Not to mention that he saved my bacon when I went overboard on the rafting trip – LOL!

And then there is my dad.  He didn’t go with us.  But he stayed behind and tended to my pets on top of running my ex-husband’s business while he is out of the country.  I don’t know what we would do without him.  I’m 48 years old and still tend to run to him for advice.  We all do.  He’s a great man and I thank God for him every single day!

Coming back home I found a few more things to appreciate (once I got over the disgust of the extreme temps).  I learned that some of my daughter’s friends were disappointed that we were gone over the 4th of July holiday.  We typically have a cookout at my place and they had wanted to do it again this year.  It’s nice to know that they (being teens and young adults) feel they can come out and have a good time and that they don’t mind being around an ‘adult’ (me) – so I must be okay.

Bottom line, I found a greater appreciation for my job, my home, my life and my church.  Though I have a desire to do other things – I will be content where I’m at until God shows me that it is time to do something different.  I have faith that I am yet on another exciting journey with my Father and that He will shower me and my family with many more blessings.

Hope you are having a great summer and please, take time to thank God for the blessings He has provided.

As a side note:  a friend of mine is listing 10 things he is thankful for each day on Facebook.  I’m thinking that is not a bad idea.  I may start doing that too in order to keep my mind on the lookout for the positive and the good things in life!