Over the course of our nearly 22 years of marriage, we have had some big challenges and some times where our faith was shaken. In the early years, there were countless nights I would stay awake at night wondering how we would pay the bills before our electricity or gas was shut off. But God always saw us through. There was my little Dillon, not even two years old at the time, thought to have neuroblastoma, a nearly always fatal type of cancer. But God saw us through and we believe did a miraculous healing on Dillon. Over the next two decades, financial issues continued, it seemed all vehicles and appliances broke down if we even dared to look at them, I developed very severe sinus issues that led to countless sinus infections, many bouts with pneumonia and two sinus surgeries. The same summer as I had my two sinus surgeries I also had a ladder collapse from under me while picking cherries at a nearby orchard, leaving me terribly bruised and sore and giving me a concussion and shattered cheekbone that required yet another surgery.
With three young sons, we dealt with everything from skinned knees to broken hearts. The pains of watching one be teased or bullied and the frustration of seeing one of them not heed our warnings or discipline. We have seen them make choices we have hated and endure pain we would do anything to take away.
|My Dad in his 20s . . . with his beloved 1947 Plymouth!|
|My Parents the summer before they got married
. . . Mom is already raiding Dad’s billfold!
As I write this, our truck is broken down . . . it has been since June. In June we spent $1000 replacing the fuel pump, redoing spark plugs, and I am not sure what all else, but after all that, it was still not drivable. We now need a new transmission and apparently there are additional “issues” with it as well. The truck has nearly 200,000 miles on it, so it is hard to want to invest the amount of money it will take to fix it, and yet replacing it will also be expensive. So for now, it has become the large red elephant that takes up real estate on our driveway each day. Because of this, I drive my husband to work each day. He has to be at work very early as a paramedic supervisor, so my days start at 5 am each morning. Our dishwasher does not work, which is something I have adjusted quite nicely to . . . especially when the boys do the dishes! LOL! The overhead light in our kitchen just “stopped” working one day. An electrician friend of ours thinks we need to replace a junction box and rewire most of the kitchen. The shower in our master bathroom is now down to a trickle and no longer usable. Ron believes the pipes are full of iron deposits and sediment, something we found lots of when we re-plumbed much of the basement after the flood. We are noticing the shower in the main bathroom, the only one we are all able to use, is now decreasing in it’s flow as well, meaning it too is probably filled with iron deposits. The lights in our laundry room and an outdoor flood light only work “occasionally” giving us reason to believe there is yet more wiring issues.
The old refrigerator that came with the house, doesn’t stay shut and it is very tiny for a family of five. I shove our garbage can against the door to keep it shut. The interior light “dangles” as it’s casing seems to be broken and anything that goes too far in the back of the refrigerator freezes. Our friends gave us their old refrigerator when they moved. While it is about 20 years old, it is very deluxe and very large. But, because we have the old original 1898 doors, they are very narrow and we can’t fit the frig through the door, so it remains in our shop. These old doors are very drafty and need to be replaced as well and hopefully enlarged at the time so we can fit the frig through the door. Upstairs, are two old original windows. They do not stay shut and are very drafty and cold. They too need replaced. We get a lot of wind here on the prairie. I am not talking sweet, blow the wind chimes type of wind, but rather the type of wind that removes large tree branches from our old trees, makes adirondack chairs fly through the air like they are styrofoam, and makes our roofing come off in large chunks. After a “good” wind storm, Ron and I can often be found out in the wheat fields, searching for roofing to re-nail to the roof. This roofing was applied very poorly with staples and the prairie winds simply tear it away from the staples every time they blow. Our roof is another project that needs to be dealt with, but it too, has become our pet elephant.
Our boys are all at cross roads. At 20, 19 and 17 the world is their oyster. We see them make some great decisions and we rejoice. Then we are heartbroken over decisions that we see that are not what we want for them. We pray for them to each grow up to be Godly men, men of purpose and honor. I stay awake at nights, pray often and worry more than I should.
The hard times financially have taught me so many things . . . through these times I have learned about stewardship and the importance of it. I have learned to be content with less and realize that things such as dishwashers truly aren’t “needs”. I have learned to work hard, to try hard and to stretch a dollar farther than I ever knew it could stretch. I know how to make do with very little and turn trash into treasure. It has caused me to be creative and resourceful. It has made me see that the true blessings of life have very little to do with our finances.
My shop is absolutely stuffed to the gills with primitives, antiques, hand painted furniture and more. And, I might be a bit prejudice, but there is hardly anywhere prettier in the autumn than Past Blessings Farm! Don’t miss it!
Tonight I just got home after setting up for our latest show, “Pickin’ Christmas”, which will take place at the Greyhound Event Center in Post Falls Idaho this coming weekend, December 3 and 4. We have the spots all marked off, the placement figured out for everything from decor to ticket booths . . . and my booth is done. I am pleased with how simple it came together and how nice I think it will display. But still tonight finds me anxious and stressed.