"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"
May 1, 2013
As I write this newsletter, this is the third Monday in a row that we have had to have some type of auto repair done.
The expense started on a Saturday, and was of our own choosing. We have a fairly large yard and I have been wanting a riding or zero turn mower for the last 2-3 years, instead of having to use the self-propel mower. Yes, walking and mowing is good, free exercise..... but during summer when it's hot outside no matter what time of day I mow, I'm just not a fan of that good, free exercise! I have been asking Jon for some type of riding mower and have threatened to stop mowing unless he bought me one, (which he knew I wouldn't do), and my perseverance and patience finally paid off and we went and bought a new zero turn mower. I was thrilled! We waited until we had enough money to cover the cost of it and the purchase wouldn't be a financial hardship on us, which made it all the better.
The very next evening, our car broke down with a cracked radiator. We had to have AAA tow it to a garage and they installed a new radiator the next day, Monday number 1.
The following Monday we dropped our car off due to a noise it was making. They found various things that needed replaced..... shocks, struts, tie-rids....... and it was in the garage two days for repairs that time, starting Monday number 2.
On Friday of that week, Jon and I had planned on making a trip to our property in Missouri. We had a relaxing morning and headed out around noon. Although it was rainy, we needed to get a mower back to the property and I was scheduled to participate in a scholarship fundraiser. About 45 minutes from our home, we stopped for fuel. Jon filled the truck's tank with gas while I ran inside to get us a couple Pepsi's.
While I was inside the store, Jon jumped up in the truck to tie down a tarp better. When he jumped out, his iPad fell out of his jacket pocket and hit the pavement. It shattered the screen.
Within five minutes of leaving the gas station we heard this loud noise as if something had hit the truck. I looked behind us and saw that the back windshield was shattered. Part of the glass fell out, making a large hole. Jon found a side road and pulled over. The end of the strap attached to the tarp had blown out of the truck and apparently got caught on the tire, which in turn caused the strap to break, and the metal end of it flew up and hit the back windshield. Because of the rain, we knew there was no way we could continue on the trip. So we had to turn around and go back home; call to make an appointment to get the windshield replaced; call and cancel my participation in the fundraiser; unload the truck and try and clean up all the glass off our luggage and other supplies. We got the back window replaced 3 days later, on Monday number 3.
The next evening, I was cleaning up from cooking dinner and turned the garbage disposal on..... and it wouldn't work. Jon had to take it all apart and managed to get it working again. Thankfully, that didn't result in another expense, but was just an aggravation.
Life can often go by for long periods of time with seemingly no hiccups and everything sailing along smoothly. Then it seems like when one things happens, it causes a domino effect, resulting in having to deal with one thing after another.
That seems to often happen with health issues. Someone is diagnosed with something, and then are plagued with additional aches, pains, viruses, etc.
That also seems to be trend in home repairs. One appliance will need replaced, then about the same time another one will stop working. Or there will be plumbing or roofing or electrical issues, and as soon as you get the taken care of, something else will follow.
Parents also tend to experience that when dealing with sickness and children. One child will get sick, and about the time they start feeling better another child will get sick, and then one of the parents will start feeling unwell.
Life can seem overwhelming at times. If we look around, we can always find someone who is worse off than we are, but that doesn't really minimize our own personal issues that we have to deal with. While some situations can cause life changes and bring about major turmoil, others may just be aggravations that we have to deal with.
I've dealt with family health issues that have greatly affected and impacted me and my family. Those are major life circumstances that at one time or another we will all have to deal with. It's not fun and it's not easy and it can be extremely stressful.
I've also dealt with those more minor life situations that can also bring about a certain amount of frustration and aggravation. It can often cause stress due to the financial aspect of having to pay for unexpected expenses.
Psalm 61:2 says, "From the ends of the earth, I cry to You for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety (or to the rock that is higher than I)."
Psalm 46:1 tells us that "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble."
We all go through times of feeling overwhelmed. But when we go through those times, we can turn to God and He will always be our refuge and strength. When we feel weak and don't know how we're going to make it, He will strengthen us and help us take that next step. He will surround us with His presence and hold us in His arms. God is our ever-present help when we face those life situations; whatever they may be. God will lead us to that rock of safety.
When we face those times of feeling overwhelmed, that's not the time to turn away from God and try to handle things in our own strength and wisdom. But that's when we need Him most and need to run to Him for shelter and help.
It may be that you're just having a bad day where it's not any one thing that is going badly, but just a lot of little things that are piling up on you. You feel stressed and overwhelmed by the list of things you need to accomplish, yet it seems as if other things keep happening that keep you from getting the necessary work done.
Or it could be a life-changing situation that you are having to deal with and you feel overwhelmed when you start trying to see the big picture and you don't know how you're going to be able to handle the upcoming weeks and months.
Regardless of what you may be dealing with, allow God to be your ever-present help. Cry out to Him and allow Him to be your refuge and strength.
When things get overwhelming, it seems like my biggest complaint is, "I don't have time to deal with this". I feel that way about everything, then. I don't have time for a call, to answer e-mail, to work on a newsletter, to get up to get more tea. Honestly, though, I usually do have the time, as long as I give up something else. It just doesn't always feel worth it.
One thing we always need to make time for is prayer. It doesn't usually need to take long. "Oh, God" can be a prayer, as long as we really are saying it to God. It isn't always important which words we use, as long as we have God in our minds and in our hearts through any situation. He will give us that peace beyond understanding.
(As a side note, I once misquoted that as "peace without understanding". That wasn't right.)
(I have to admit that I have never eaten this pie, and likely never will. I have never liked raisins, therefore, am not a fan of raisin pie. But we all have different taste and according to my sister and brother-in-law this recipe (which is my stepmothers) is the best raisin pie they've ever eaten. So if you are a fan of raisin pie, try this recipe and enjoy!)
1 1/2 cup raisins
Dash of salt
2 cups water
2 Tbsp. Vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 1/2 Tbsp. Flour
Put raisins and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil; boil for 5 minutes. Mix together sugar (can use 1/2 cups of white sugar and 1/2 cups of brown sugar), flour, salt, vinegar, and vanilla. Stir into raisins and cook until thickened. Pour into unbaked pie shell and cover with a top crust. Bake at 350 until browned.
My brother, Ken, has a history of telling tall tales. Last Easter, he made one of them come true. His grandkids got to search the yard for plastic eggs with jelly beans in them. He got them to donate a few to plant in his yard. He told them they would grow a jellybean tree. Before they came back, he planted a small tree there. I just hope their teachers don't get onto them too badly for fibbing.
A Sunday school teacher asked a little girl if she said her prayers every night.
"No, not every night," declared the child, "cause some nights I don't want anything."
We love you!
Loretta & Jon