Friday, August 30, 2013

Where I Lost My Sunglasses

I'm in Starkville for the weekend visiting my long time BFF Nikki. I love being in Starkville. It is a very special place for me. What I do not love is the drive between Jackson and Starkville. For the most part it is two plus hours of nothing. With the exception if Louisville and its two gas stations that fall about 45 minutes outside of Starkville. I prefer the Chevron that is on the side of town closest to Jackson. I've probably stopped there 4 out of every 5 trips to and from Starkville. And as of November of last year it will probably always be known to me as "where I lost my sunglasses".

These were my favorite sunglasses, limited edition RayBans that I had actually managed to keep up with. And yet somehow on a late November night a year ago I drove away from that station without my precious glasses. I was headed home to Jackson after a football weekend and running on fumes coming into Louisville. So of course I pulled into my favorite station. Now by this time in my marriage separation our checking and savings accounts had been drained. There was just enough left to keep them open. Like $20 left. (But that is another story.) We did still have our joint credit card that was only used for gas and groceries. So I wasn't worried about being able to get gas that night...until my card got declined twice at the pump and again when I tried it inside. Yikes! I had spent all the cash I had that weekend and had nothing left. It's nine at night and I'm 45 minutes away from anyone I know. I try calling the credit card company only to be told my account had been cancelled with the message to suspend the account due to divorce. So I used my debit card to pay for my gas. It was my only option. I felt like I was in some bad Dave Ramsey story. "Mary is broke and going through a divorce. Even though she only has $20 in the bank, out of desperation she fills her tank with $40. Mary let stress cause her to make an unwise financial choice." Honestly, Dave, Mary's husband cancelled her card without letting her know. So boo on you! 

It was a low moment. And somehow my sunglasses that were sitting on my front seat got knocked out of my car and I drove off never to see them again. Sad ending to a sad story. But really that isn't the end. Because I didn't let that awful night or any of the other awful nights that were to come ruin me or control me. I took control of my life. I worked two part time jobs the next six months until nursing school started. I opened my own bank accounts and credit card. I become my own woman. I like to think of myself as kind of like Jennifer Lopez in the movie Enough. That woman did not let her husband ruin her. In fact she trained like crazy, became a complete badass (excuse the language but if you have seen the movie you know what I mean) and got more than even with her husband. Now I'm not trying to train to beat up my ex. Nothing like that. I don't have any desire to get even or back at him. Honestly I think where I am today as a person is revenge enough if that was my goal. But anyway.. back to how I'm like J Lo. I am without a doubt stronger than I ever knew I was capable of. With much thanks to the ex actually or maybe thanks to the way I learned to respond to some bad times caused by him. It feels good to know I took an awful situation with much help from The Lord and became an overall better person. Today and everyday I seek to glorify him. My divorce could have destroyed my life but it didn't. It made who I am today. 

I'm closing with a verse I often feel is over used but tonight it seems to have meaning I never realized before. I often see this verse pertaining to some sports team or being used by a student struggling with a class. But for me I know without a doubt I can do all things with him. 

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Little Something I Read Tonight

This school thing has actually started to be time consuming.  Its really cutting into my blogging efforts.  I do have lots of updates coming soon though, including kitchen pictures!! In the meantime, I stumbled across this blog on facebook tonight and it had me in tears.  Tears of heartbreak for this family and of awe at God's greater plan for our lives.  His power just overwhelms me sometimes.  This is such a great testimony to trusting the Lord and finding joy through him.  My momma and I were talking at lunch about how even though God has the power to change any situation he does allow things to happen.  Even things that seem impossible to have any joy or hope in them.  So read this blog and I hope this family will inspire you as much as they did me!

Friday, August 16, 2013

A Safe Place

There is so much bad in this world. The reality of the corruption that surrounds us all is quite unsettling. It's hard for me to truly take it all in honestly. I spent some time in prayer earlier tonight and each time I thought I was coming to an end, I would circle back around in order to prolong my prayer. I finally started talking to God about how much I didn't want to stop praying. I just feel so safe in my quiet time with God. It's in this time that I feel most hopeful for our world. I get such an overwhelming peace through prayer that I don't want to break it. 

How truly blessed are we as Christians that we have a direct line to our Lord whenever and wherever? 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

TV Can Be Lonely

Breaking Bad premiered this past weekend. I started watching Breaking Bad with my college boyfriend. I watched the middle seasons of BB with my husband. And now I'm watching the final season on my own. Funny how one little television program that I never would have watched if it weren't for the men in my life can bring up such strong emotions in me. 

I'm rewatching the last episode of the previous season right now. Got to get prepared to watch the season premier later tonight! I'm watching alone. Not that I consider this a bad thing. It's just different. 

Ask and You Shall Receive

I am not good with money. I like nice things and as you know, nice things cost money. More money than not quite as nice things. 

For the first time in my life I am living on a finite budget. I've made budgets in the past but never had success with sticking to them. So now after my first summer living on a finite amount of money, I am faced with a huge reality check. I need to actually stick to a budget. And when I say budget, I mean a realistic budget. A budget that doesn't have a category for Kate or Tory (fashionistas, you know who I'm talking about). Last summer when I quit my job to go back to school JG and I made ourselves a budget. It lasted one month. It also had a $200 category for the liquor store. I can't even begin to start on the flaws of that "budget".  

Are you beginning to see my dilemma? That comfortable life that inspired the name of my blog is presenting yet another problem. Or rather I'm starting to feel uncomfortable in another area of my life. And I love it! 

Thankfully I have a good friend who practices some of what Dave Ramsey teaches. She provided me with tons of helpful information on how to live on a budget. The last week of july I spent hours getting my finances ready for what I knew would be a trying month. Just how trying I did not realize...

On July 29 I was informed in a school meeting I had to buy a $400+ computer program within the week. My budget was busted before the month ever started. Feeling defeated I returned home with the plan to put the purchase on my credit card and hopefully pay it off by the new year. God had another plan. I had prayed a lot about getting my finances to a place where I felt comfortable and could still manage to save a little. I came home that day to an $800+ check from an overage on my escrow account. Yes, yes in deed I did! "Never have I ever" had an unexpected $800 delivered to my front door. I was able to buy the computer program plus had some to save. Ask and you shall receive!

That was not my last trial of August. Once all my loans came through I was still over $300 short on paying my tuition. Which is disheartening not only because of the lack of tuition funds but also because I was expecting to have a nice refund to keep from having to dip into my savings for a month or so. I kept this to myself for a few days and then confessed my lack of funds to my dad this past Sunday night. My parents will always help how they can but I desire to be independent. They do so much for me already. In the first true fit of anxiety I've felt since starting nursing school I went to visit with the UMC financial aid office today. And what do you know but there is a rather large loan payment that has not been credited to my account yet. A loan payment that will be completely forgiven after I work for two years in Mississippi. A loan I had no idea I had been offered. A loan that said trust Him and He will provide. 

Living by faith and not much else is a very new way of life for me. I know I still have half the month of Auguat left but I am encouraged. I feel uncomfortable yet totally protected from harm. 

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.