Saturday, April 16, 2011

It's the little blessings that really add up

It has been forever and a day since I have blogged. When I first started this blog, it was for my therapy right after the divorce. Then when I married Paul, that need went away. Lately, I am just finding myself longing to just write my thoughts out. Maybe it is that I am getting older (I know, I'm a whopping 33) or just that I have had some really hard knocks in life and it helps me to think I might be of help to someone else. Whatever the reason, I am hoping to blog a bit more. I do say "hoping" since I also know me and amongst all the other 50 million things I do daily, I want to add something else!!!

My thoughts have been focused lately on the little things of life. This last year has been really tough. I filed bankruptcy, lost my home, my van, battled a debilitating right hand that led to surgery, the long recovery process from that surgery, and am almost daily fighting a hard battle with a rebellious step son that tosses all his anger on me and my children. Those are just the majors. Toss in the day to day battles of working, marriage, and raising five kids and it can really get over whelming! But in those moments of pure insanity, I must CHOOSE to refocus my heart and mind on the stabilizing truths that I KNOW are real: My God is real, He loves me, He is ALWAYS up to something good in my life, and the hardest thing for me to really get... God is not punishing me. When these major things are going on, it is difficult, for me anyway, not to see God as the evil villain punishing me for whatever shortcoming I see at that moment. It is in these moments that I must really refocus my mind on the little blessings of day to day life. Because when I do and step back and look at them, they really add up!!

The "gem jar" system has been one of my greatest accomplishments!! I took the idea from a magazine article I read and adapted it to us. When the kids help out with chores or do something noteworthy, they get a "gem" in their jar (those small deco. rocks you can get at the dollar store.) If they do something really great they get a "big gem." It takes the kids usually 6 weeks or so to fill the jar, and they then can get something valued at about $30. They kids have even put theirs together to get something bigger to share. Recently, Kristen, Tyler, and Bryce came to me and said they all wanted to put their gem jars together to help buy a new computer for the family. (Our desktop has been broken for about 8 months.) When I told them that computers cost far more than just the gem jars, they quickly agreed to all earn two jars each! I was so moved by their willingness to work together as a family, I agreed. I later posted this story on Facebook. A few days later, we were approached by someone who had seen the post and wanted to give us their extra computer!!!

We have battled in court several times now with Paul's ex-wife. We pay an astronomical amount of child support for one child that lives with us half time. We actually pay out about $200 a month more than we take in for ALL four of my children! We got back the final court ruling this week and it was not really favorable to us. Not only was the child support not reduced, but we are now going to be paying about $50 a month more!! It is very easy to get discouraged by the numbers and the injustice of it all. Choose to focus on the little blessings... when we really look at the judge's ruling, yes, monetarily we did not win. But we did win on so many things that can not be measured with a dollar, and that is probably worth more than all the money! I also had just told Paul last week that all the kids socks are all wearing out all at once! What was handed to us Wed. night? A big bag of new and almost new socks that took care of two of the boys!! I regularly shop at a scratch and dent/ slightly outdated store. We find such great deals at this place that greatly reduce our food budget!!

I have one of the most caring husbands ever. He knows just what I need and does his best to fill those needs. I love that even after two and a half years, I can still wake during the early hours of the day to find him sitting with his coffee in one hand, Bible in his lap. Then he comes back to me and wraps me in his arms and waits until it is time to wake me. God sure knew what I would need to make me secure in a marriage again. These moments are so small, maybe even mundane, but not to me! I love that he so many nights cooks and even more than that, he loads the dishwasher!

There are so many other things I could go on about, but the noise level is starting to go up around here, so I need to stop! If there is anything I am learning right now, it is to not focus so much on the end result. I must take the time ti be in the moment. When I do, I find it is so much more bearable. Lam. 3 "His mercies are new every morning... great is Thy faithfulness."