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. 

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Katana: 1 | Husband: 0.

If I’m being totally honest, the last 3 or so weeks have been a glimpse of what I envision hell to resemble.  

My youngest has been sick and battled his 2nd bought with Hand, Foot & Mouth Virus.. my oldest has just been more rebellious than ever, I threw together a party for the both of them and overall just stayed consistently busy with “out of the normal” situations that kept popping up. 

If I’m being totally honest, I felt like a total basketcase. In most instances, I didn’t know whether or not I was coming or going. 

Something had to give.. I hit my knees in prayers for peace and comfort and then I heard the whisper.. oils. Do you realize why I cling to oils in my prayers?  Jesus gave us the plants, herbs and means to distill these natural reliefs. I prayed, I let go and I let God.. and then I got up and made myself an inhaler. 
I pulled out a cotton wick and quickly went to work going through my oils. I dropped a few drops of this, added a few drops of that, sealed the inhaler and voila, Stress Buster. I love inhalation deliverance of oils because it’s so effective.  Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself!  

Remember 22:2:20. Oils can reach the brain in 22 seconds, they can be detected in the bloodstream in 2 minutes and they affect every cell in the body at 20 minutes. My rule of thumb for my house is that if the oil is not needed topically- INHALE! Inhalation is amazingly effective because the oil vapors are taken in through the olfactory bulb and the aroma is sent to the center of the limbic system (brain). From there, it is processed and released into the entire body.

Okay, so the stress buster. I bet you’re wondering what was in it?  And where in the heck does the katana come in, right!? Don’t worry, it’s coming! 
So the good stuff consist of: 

  • Spearmint: I chose spearmint because it assists in improving concentration as well as provides relief from stress and headaches. 
  • Cedarwood: This is a good go-to oil for me. It aids in relieving anxiety and nervous tension while stimulating the limbic system of the brain.
  • Frankincense: It’s truly rare you’ll find a blend I create without Frank. For this particular blend, Frank was great for headaches, anxiety and trauma. 
  • Peppermint: Peppermint is pretty commonly used under my roof, too. My for stress buster, I relied on peppermint to ease discomfort from the pain of the headaches caused by the stress. 
  • Stress Away: This name sort of speaks for itself as a no brainer. It provides a peaceful and tranquil feeling and helps you focus. 
  • Peace & Calming II: This oil was a necessity to this blend to help calm me before the anxiety and stress was out of control. P&CII helps uplift the spirit and the aroma offers a feeling of peace. 
  • Valor II: Valor II was the last addition to my wick but certainly not the least. Valor inspires strength and courage.  I can’t speak for everyone else, but for me, when I get stressed I tend to blame myself for totally random things even out of my control. Valor II elevates the self esteem to work through the stress and conquer that obstacle.  

So there it is, my saving grace. The beautiful oils given to this world by my God.. and the wisdom to understand the oils to improve my situation.  
Despite using my inhaler a week or so by now, I knew this recipe was a sure fit for me Monday night. My husband received a beautiful katana from a friend. Heavy weight, sharp as can be, breathtaking handle. My husband collects weaponry, katanas being his absolute favorite.  So Monday night, he decided to check it out while our kids were sleeping, admire the details.  

Great intentions executed poorly. He proceeds to check it out while standing in the midst of our dog’s runner wire. So, as he is checking out his new collectors piece, something spooks Nina who then wraps him up in the cord..tripping him; sword in hand. The sword lacerated his wrist, just missing the major vein and tendons of the area. His guardian angel was absolutely protecting him in that moment. He was able to leave the hospital the next morning with only stitches and a few prescriptions. Literally the Grace of God. 


BUT back to the stress buster, right? So our two young boys were in bed when this happened meaning I had to stay behind with them- or risk waking them for a long and miserable night. The neighbor went with Shawn while I held down the fort. 

So flashback to the time of the incident: I paced,  I cried. I panicked. Was this the last time I’d kiss my husband goodbye and see him off? The laceration was pretty deep, part of the arm cut off. Is he going to bleed out? I literally shoved the inhaler up my nose and just took several deep breaths for what seemed like forever. My pacing must have been noisier than I remember though, because my oldest son woke and started crying cause his Dad was gone. Thanks to my prayers and my Stress Buster Inhaler,  I was able to remain calm and comfort him. I reacted rationally and focused on all possible outcomes and recovery plans. I kept it together– which is something I otherwise don’t do. 

So if things seem out of control in your life, might I suggest hitting your knees to the ground– and making your own inhaler. 

Stress Buster: Katana injury tested; JOGblog approved. 

Ps. I feel like I owe it to you all to tell you that as I was saving the katana and taking a photograph to share with you all, it bit my finger and I’m now not only the nurse- but a new patient.  I truly don’t think I like this thing one bit. 
PPS. Day 1 in the books since the stitches were applied and one has already popped. This is going to be a long recovery. May need another inhaler soon to rotate.