Keeping the Faith

We are your average family. We live paycheck to paycheck since Shawn was laid off from his oilfield job late in 2015. Despite that small set back, we are still so very blessed beyond words. When he was laid off, he found a job almost immediately.  We adjusted to living on the smaller amount and consolidated some bills to make sure we could stay afloat. We are fortunate that his new job allows him time off when he needs and is very accommodating for sick needs. We fight hard, love harder. For the most part, everyone is happy, healthy and thriving.  One could argue that from the outside looking in, everything is absolutely peachy keen..

  But we all know that looks can be deceiving.  Everyone is doing their best to conceal skeletons that they are embarrassed of or try to run from.  

Last Wednesday, my phone *dings* so I get up and check it and see this: 

Courtesy of 337 Magazine, I had won 2 tickets to see Wonder Woman the day before it hit theatres nationwide. Part of me was excited and then, the other part crushed.. here we are, in the midst of struggling and we win something pretty cool but timing couldn’t be worse. 
With money being so tight, and now gone, our grocery budget had been a little less than appealing. The bulk of it went to food and snacks for the boys while Shawn and I just ate whatever else we could afford. Hint: mostly ramen. My PCOS hated me, my weight had also been creeping back because I wasn’t able to eat correctly. 

I was over the moon with excitement that I’d won. I messaged my Mom and told her I’d won and that she was the reason I had even entered. I offered her the opportunity to go see Wonder Woman.. she had first dibs..but her response was that if I wanted to go with Shawn,  she would have kept the boys. Guilt consumed me.  Since his accident, I’d missed 4 events meant for me to have a little “Mom break”.. this would have been great just to get away for a few hours but things were just so gloomy.. I was so conflicted. I don’t regret missing a single thing but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t itching for a way to get out, even for a tiny bit of time. I just needed to get out of the house for a little while. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t also super excited because the movie was catered. After eating poorly, by this point, I was well over ramen and thrilled at the idea of a proper adult meal. The meal alone was worth venturing for but we are struggling so much, did we even deserve it? 

When Shawn lacerated his arm with the katana, it put us in a “rare but not impossible” emergency situation.  We already live a pretty balanced budget so there isn’t much left after bills and necessities are tended to. To afford the proper medical supplies, we had to dig into our very tiny savings we had just started rebuilding. It didn’t take long to eat away at that. We tried our best to situate late payment plans with all of our bills but one managed to slip under our noses.. and that was all it took to snowball things out of control.. 

Thursday, the day after winning the tickets, a bill came out and the account went negative.  All it took was an $11 bill to break us. Our account was $5 overdrafted and we had 9 days until payday. Things just took a turn for the worst possible path. 

I should have freaked out into sheer panic but I somehow managed to stay calm. I’m 99.9% positive my calmness was solely accredited to not wanting to freak the boys out. $5 overdrafted isn’t a lot, it was the fees that would accumulate over 9 days that scared me. Sure, we have family and even friends we could ask to borrow $5 from just to put us in the clear- but it’s so embarrassing to put aside your pride in situations like this. You are fearful that someone is just going to scoff at you and think you’re simply being irresponsible with money. I immediately start brainstorming things like “well let’s sell my such&such for a low cost. Someone’s bound to bite and $5 is all we need”… or “we could trade in a few games and get cash, sure it’s a huge loss but it’s enough to get us in the clear”.. I was determined we would figure it out. 

As the day continued, my nerves began to get a little worse. I knew once the day was over, those fees would start piling on and it’s a blow that would be extremely hard to recover from. We had literally just started to have control of the finances and it was crumbling through my fingertips like sand with each passing second. 

I reread the facebook post and decided to just set the idea on the back burner. It really was a great opportunity.  The movie was catered with fun give aways, prizes and keepsakes offered. The timing seemed pretty perfect but still, it didn’t solve our problem. I couldn’t fathom just going casually watch a movie knowing the financial chaos that seemed to only be getting worse with each passing second.

I back burnered every single thought and managed to get through most of the afternoon. This could strongly be accredited to the fact that I’m a SAHM and my boys needed me. Then, they laid down for a nap and didn’t need me anymore. My mind was flooded with a mixture of emotions. I tried my best to block it all out to avoid getting anxious but I couldn’t. I put everything away and headed straight to my “War Room” and saw this:

Matthew 6:25-34

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore DO NOT WORRY ABOUT TOMORROW, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

It was EXACTLY what I needed to read. We’ve hit rock bottom before, we’ve put our trust in the Lord and we’ve always overcome the obstacle. I have to trust in my faith and follow what has always pulled us through. This time should be no different. 

By this time, a few friends could tell something was off and had asked if I needed to vent.  I got the delimma off of my chest and politely declined all offers to just borrow the money straight up. I could feel it in my gut that we could figure it out without actually going into more debt. That scripture really relieved my stress with the entire situation and I just felt a sense of calmness. I was beyond appreciative, I just couldn’t wrap my head around “borrowing from Peter to pay Paul”.

I’m glad I followed that feeling. We managed to figure out a solution to get the account in the clear so we decided to head out and see WW just because it was all free and well needed. We realize we cannot pour from empty cups and we needed to get let that stress fizzle some so that we didn’t take that stress out on each other or (especially) the boys. 

The movie was great, we were too late for food but did enjoy a YooHoo & RC Cola. We said hello to a few friends we bumped into. We took a cute picture keepsake and admired the different booths and artists that had come out. And then we headed home to curl up to our sweet boys. 

Around 10 that night, Shawn’s phone chimed and he let out a huge sigh followed by a deep breath. 

Have you ever had “money from heaven”? You know, Money that finds its way to you out of the blue at the perfect moment? 

Money from heaven” had been deposited to our accounts for work I’d done at an earlier time.  The work wasn’t done with the expectations of getting something back in return so the money was truly a surprise to me. I like to think I’m pretty generous at helping people I care about however I can.. I never expect anything in return, I just want to help my friends.. but this Angels timing couldn’t have been more perfect to surprise me. Not only was it enough to cover the problem,  it was plenty leftover to buy necessities for the house and make it the next 9 days without fear of emergency. 

Proverbs 3:5-6 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

There are no words to describe just how much of a relief this was. I also cannot describe how perfect the timing was to win a small get away down the road from home. It was only a few hours and maybe didn’t give me some glorious vacation- but it recharged me enough that I am able to function and give my children the best of me as. 

Things haven’t exactly gotten easier. Of course, we’re being cautious and we would love to be able to create a new savings we can build up well but that’ll take time. Right now, we have a ltitle room to breath and for that I am eternally grateful. We will face hardships in life (probably more than we want to) but the important thing is to always hold fast to your faith and trust in the Lord. 
To my angel: Thank you. You provided a true sense of relief and peace in ways you may never understand. Your gift was truly one that helped us but your friendship is appreciated more than you know. 

Life : 1 | Mary : 0, Surviving PCOS in Crisis

Life is a lot like a roller coaster.. some days, you’re at the very crest of the highest loop, you can see the entire horizon ahead of you and you have a clear view of everything at once.. and then, in a shallow breath, you drop down a slippery slope into the lowest valleys and loops unknown. Sometimes, you encounter tunnels that are dark.. and you emerge into a beautiful view of light. What’s important is that make it through each of these legs of life to see the light at the end of every dark moment

Right now? I’m in a tunnel just waiting to see the light at the end of it. Since my husband’s katana accident, things have been an absolute circus around my house. Between a stitch popping within the first 24 hours and the laceration just being deep and gaping, this wrist injury thrust me into the roll of “sort of single Mom”. Of course my husband was around, but in an instant, our usually shared chores all became mine -which is totally fine- because I didn’t want him lifting or moving the arm much because I was fearful another stitch would pop or he’d just overdo it. So I took on the roll of everything possible and made it work. It was a ton to take on.  But it wasn’t what broke me..  

A few days after the sword bite,  our family shared a virus. It just seemed that we couldn’t catch a break. I had to miss a 5K, missed training sessions, missed my Moms Weekend Out plans. I didn’t mind missing anything, what’s hard is that my races are strategically planned out to give me a “break”. Being cooped up in the house so much takes its toll. So around this time, I was looking forward to a slow down but I got a gas pedal instead.  

Now, I know plenty of people out there have it worse than us. I realize that, I do. And I’m so thankful for the life we had.. but it was just a lot at once and (initially) completely overwhelming.

So what am I whining about exactly? I just know that someone out there is struggling and I first want to say: You are NOT alone. Second, don’t be like me.. 

When things first got crazy, I tried to be Superwoman. I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders.. and then I crash and burn. Give yourself a break. Reward yourself for every second you survive the chaos, because it’s an accomplishment to face AND overcome adversity. 

I know better but I do it anyways. After a week of my new chores list, I was irritable, tired. I was at a breaking point. I knew I needed to be patient, my family needed me, but between the chronic pain of my PCOS and the overwhelming task of keeping everyone hydrated, entertained and happy,  I was defeated and needed to be rescued somehow..

  • So what is PCOS? PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. While the exact cause of PCOS is unknown, we do know that 1 in 10 women suffer from this chronic illness. Despite the name containing the word “cystic”- cyst do not actually have to be present for someone to have PCOS. Women with PCOS experience excessive hair growth on the face and body, irregularities of the menstrual cycle, difficulty of weight loss or gain, mood swings,  difficulty sleeping,  etc. Those affected by PCOS are at an increased risk for diseases such as diabetes, heart attack, depression and cancer.

So, I’m in pain, I’m overwhelmed and there’s no time to escape for a quiet workout.. what do I do!? Oils and Jesus.  

I reached for my stress buster first (from my older blog) to help calm my nerves. Next, endoflex. While there are better options to help me feel better from Young Living, I haven’t added them to our arsenal– yet. So let’s talk about Endoflex. Endoflex is a brilliant blend that helps support and balance the hormonal system. It helps support metabolic function, aids in reducing brain fog and provides some relief from hormonal head tension. I rubbed a bit of endoflex on my ankles.  

After I oiled up, I went to my Digital WarRoom.. aka Pinterest board. I have a Board solely dedicated to scripture and faith. It has never failed me. No matter what I am going through in life.. my “picked for you” section always delivers and I know God is speaking to my heart, providing direction.  

So I open up my App and I see two that jump out at me on the first screen.. 

  • Psalms 6: 12 – “When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

I read this and a rush of peace crashed over me. I was in pain but I also knew, in my heart, that everything would soon be okay..

The second scripture was: 

  • Psalms 46:10 – “Be still and know that I am God.”  

    I spent this weekend being pretty lazy, partially because I was recovering from the virus and had no choice.. and partially because I knew my body would crash and burn if I didn’t. I’m so glad I did. I have spent most of it covered in oil, majority in prayer and I feel better. 

    The light isn’t at the end of the tunnel yet but I can finally sense that it will eventually be here and I’m not afraid of being in the dark for so long anymore because there is a renewed sense of hope

    Oils & Scripture. 

    Training will be limited today.. we have a hell of a storm crashing through with tornados, high winds.. the works. My main priority today is keeping my children safe.

     The weather wasn’t terrible when we woke up, so I did my morning oil thing! I’ve been drinking a few drops Endoflex, Lemon & Grapefruit every morning.. sometimes changing things up slightly. Lemon is a great antioxidant that helps with anxiety and helps fight caffeine cravings.. that last one is critical. I’m trying to quit drinking sodas and it’s proving to be extremely difficult. The Endoflex is for brain fog, hormonal migraines and metabolism support. Grapefruit: helps boost weight loss, natural energizer, reduces sugar cravings. All that jazz to help cut some of the side effects of my Endo&PCOS.. 

    And of course, after my oils, I reached out to my problem solver for this horrible weather.. if I’m being totally honest, I was scared like crazy.. but I kept it together for my husband and my children.  

    I need this rain to go away so I can train a little more. I have a big season coming up in 2018, I don’t want to end up setting myself up for failure..