Friday, February 08, 2013
There is a calendar in the ladies' room of the second floor co-ed staff lav where I work. It's been February for about a week now but it was just this morning when I looked below the photo of the pretty winter landscape to read the quote there:
"Reflect upon your present blessings of which every man has many - not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some." Charles Dickens
Is anyone not familiar with the biography of Charles Dickens? Here's an excerpt I googled:
"Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, the son of John and Elizabeth Dickens. John Dickens was a clerk in the Naval Pay Office. He had a poor head for finances, and in 1824 found himself imprisoned for debt. His wife and children, with the exception of Charles, who was put to work at Warren's Blacking Factory, joined him in the Marshalsea Prison. When the family finances were put at least partly to rights and his father was released, the twelve-year-old Dickens, already scarred psychologically by the experience, was further wounded by his mother's insistence that he continue to work at the factory. " www.victorianweb.org/authors/dickens
Now, I have always had an optimistic bent, almost what some may call a Pollyanna paradigm. But the truth is, if God is indeed in control (which He is), and is sovereign (ditto), and He loves us (also true) and works all things together for our good (same here) - then we really should all, at least we Christians, be incurable optimists. Furthermore, we should be the most grateful of all people because we KNOW these things to be true.
I am grateful I did not have the painful past that Dickens had. But as he said, we all have SOME "past misfortunes." But let's not dwell on them! Let's instead focus on whatever blessings we may find each day.
We have a snowstorm going on here right now. But the temperature is about 30 degrees, and the snow is PERFECT for packing. It is sitting very prettily upon the branches of the trees, and my grandkids are having a great time playing out in it. I suppose eventually I'll have to shovel because my son-in-law got rid of the snowblower (I thought it was new - no, he'd bought it cheap used, and got his money's worth before it died) - but I've been keeping up with my exercise, so if I take it a little at a time, I'll have a good cardio and strength workout for the arms, a nice change from the bike and dumbbells. What blessings!
a glimpse of my granddaughter and the dogs through the lacy branches
Thursday, February 07, 2013
The more I deal with this world's trappings, the more I want of Jesus.
I am not rich by U.S. standards, but certainly compared to most of my friends in Peru, I would be considered QUITE well off. I am able to make monthly payments on my van. I have been making the mortgage payments for the two years since my husband passed away - [so WHY can't the bank just add my name to it? Oh, that's right - they have to bleed me of as much extra money as they can]. Granted, I've occasionally been a bit delayed on one bill or another due to the cash flow - too many bills coming due near the same time - but my biweekly pay DOES cover them. I've been able to afford little special treats. I've been chipping away at my late husband's hospital bills and with next pay will have paid off one more - just another 500 or so on the last one! On top of that I have been able to send money to Levi occasionally, to help or to bless - and though I've broken up with him, I don't regret my generosity. I still love his family.
Things have not been easy by a long shot. But I am grateful for a roof over my head, and for wheels and meals, and so much more. I have a COMPUTER! I have CABLE! I have electricity and hot and cold running water! I have a washer and dryer!
These things can hold the appearance of wealth to those who have a truly impoverished background. But my greatest wealth is Christ. These things can all be taken away in a moment - not that I live in a region noted for tornadoes or hurricanes or earthquakes - but things happen. Unemployment, accidents...I have been learning not to place too much store on THINGS, because they will not last.
But I can't lose Jesus. And I know He won't let go of ME.
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
I finally got a more-or-less permanent assignment for this semester. I'm in a "Math Lab". No, not METH Lab! This is strictly legit! It's not a classroom per se. Rather, if students miss lessons or work or tests, they can come to us during their math class and get some help getting back on track. I just started YESTERDAY. And we had students on and off. I worked with a couple myself. So I "earned my keep."
But I still have a lot of 'free time." I have been writing a lot of letters because there is no computer in the classroom (the teacher has a laptop). So during break I scoot to the library to use theirs. So, no video workouts like I did during first semester. But since I arrive so early, I DID have time to do my leg strengthening exercises!
Previous letters were full of hope about what next mission trip would look like, me and Levi, inistering together...Now I give a little explanation, it ain't gonna happen, but I'm continuing in the Lord. Life is good.
Of course, ETERNAl life is BETTER!
Monday, February 04, 2013
I have lived in this house since I was pregnant with my son, who will be 30 this summer. It was my Dad's and he was still living here, along with my step-brother, when my husband and little girl and I moved in. We rented, with the option to buy. After Dad retired and moved to Puerto Rico, we had various boarders - friends and family - helping them out for a while. Then I think it was when I was pregnant with my youngest that Mom moved in with us, permanently, and at that point we went forward to purchase the house from Dad. We assumed his mortgage and also made monthly payments to him for the other half of its value. And even most of that was forgiven us, during one of my husband's periods of unemployment due to depression or illness, I forget which. The deed was made out to both my husband and myself.
It was around 1999 or 2000 that we looked into getting some siding and work done on the bathroom. We had only about 3 years left on the mortgage. So we remortgaged to pay for the improvements. Previously, the mortgage had been in both our names. This time, for whatever reason, it was just in my husband's.
It had been suggested to me that I get it made in MY name. So I finally sent in the paperwork for that (I think I may even have blogged about it.)
And now I have to get MORE papers together. And I learn there's a SETTLEMENT fee to deal with. This is a royal PIA, and I absolutely abhor paperwork (although that was NOT the main reason I broke up with Levi, there was kind of a relief to be relieved of THAT mountain.) This is stressful. I hate it.
I am so glad that on accepting Jesus Christ as my Savior, HE has taken care of the matter of my ETERNAL home. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." (John 14:1-3)
Sunday, February 03, 2013
I won't deny I had quite a workout, climbing the ladder, washing and painting the walls...My arms and shoulders tell me I challenged them. But my knees and hips did not appreciate all the standing I put them through. So today, to do them a favor, I got back on the bike for 25 minutes. A little circular motion.
I'm looking forward to more weight loss and probably come summer a new hip so I can also resume dancing with my ol' buddy Richard Simmons. I would have tried it sooner, but the dvd player on my computer went the way of all flesh. However, Glitterfairy77 and her boyfriend are putting up a new flatscreen tv - ABOVE the doggies' heads (so no more need to yell,"Jazz, go lie down!" when she parks herself over the heat vent) with a playstation . So maybe I can get me some NEW dvd's. Special treat.
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