*When I was on maternity leave, my car had to receive $1000.00 worth of repairs. HAD to. It was no longer safe to drive. It wasn't an expense I could put off and just "deal with" the problems... it HAD to be fixed. When I was on maternity leave and not receiving a paycheck for two whole months. Not a single penny.
*Not long after, the door handle of my driver's side door fell off. Just - fell off. In my hands. That was a $300.00 repair.
*The week of Thanksgiving our washing machine broke. Made a horrible last sound and then - bam. No longer wanted to wash our clothes.
*Two days ago I stood in line to spend $330.00 on 2011 license plate tags for my car.
*Now this morning, the door handle on my trunk no longer works. Can't open our trunk. I have countless Christmas presents - plus a big stroller - stored in my trunk.
--There have been other expenses, as well - but you get the drift. It's just one thing after another. And it's Christmas season. This is NOT where I want to be putting my money.
BUT. It's CHRISTMAS season. A time to remember (though we shouldn't need a certain time of year to do so) how MUCH we have to be grateful for. A time to remember that these troubles on earth are temporary. That the joy we will one day experience is unimaginable. That Jesus came as our ever-lasting light and hope.
So. Even though every single one of the above mentioned negatives has given me moments of anger, stress, "why me??" thoughts -- these moments don't last long. Through prayer, reading daily Bible verses, and looking at my wonderful beautiful children - I am reminded of His love -- and that He truly does care about every single detail of my life. And reading the following helps, too:
"I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life goes on - and it will be better tomorrow. I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights. I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life. I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life." I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back. I've learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But if you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others, your work and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you. I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one. I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love that human touch - holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I've learned that I still have a lot to learn."
...So in this moment I'm focusing on the joy of my first cup of coffee of the day (even though I didn't get a chance to drink it until mid-afternoon). I'm focusing on the new wrapping paper in my car that I get to use to wrap my boys' presents after tucking them into bed tonight. I'm focusing on thoughts of watching a brand new episode of Grey's Anatomy tonight while sitting by my gorgeous Christmas tree. The bad/negative parts of the day? They must take a back seat. Take that, Satan :)