Where Ladybugs Roar

Confessions and Passions of a Compulsive Writer

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Thoughtful Expressions

It's not often that I write anything truly inspirational in my opinion. I write to entertain. I write to cheer. I write to amuse. I write to vent. I write for any number of reasons, but I don't seek to inspire others or write regarding inspirational topics.

We're struggling in my little family. The car continues to plague our lives. T is wired and out of control. The strain of everything on B is making her cry frequently at the littlest set-back. The husband is worried about his job. I feel rejected and frustrated as a writer. I just really feel like keeping our heads above water is becoming difficult. This year, I understand why people become depressed around Christmas time. There are so many reasons why you feel like the holidays are just trying to crush you--like seriously crush you. There is no money for a trip--but we still want to make it. There is no money for presents--so we'll just card some things and pretend the bills will never come due. The car--sigh-the car. It's difficult to make a nine hundred mile trip without a car.

Still--we go on. It's what we do. We get by. My parents had given us money to help with the car when all this first happened--and that helped us keep our heads above water. Then, the car's problem continued.

Two things happened this week to really inspire me. One of the husband's relatives sent us a substantial amount of money--actually a staggering amount of money to help with our car repairs.

Then, we'd arrived home from church just now and the husband went out to get the mail from yesterday. He handed me an envelope with no return address on it, but my name written on it.

He handed it to me, and I commented: "Hopefully, this isn't something that will make me cry." I assumed it was from a collection agency for some medical bill we hadn't caught--or maybe another "anonymous" note from someone complaining about our dog's barking. I opened it with so much pessimism that it was already hurting my stomach. It was something that made me cry. It was a money order for several hundred dollars from "Santa." I have no idea who sent it. I'm shocked at the anonymous generosity of someone.

There are those with greater need than us--I know it. The husband has a job. We don't "need" to make this trip. We don't "need" to get the kids what they asked for. In the grand scheme of needs versus wants, we're fine. We have food. We have one running car. We have medical insurance. We have our house, and we're paying our utility bills.

I'm grateful today. We've been doubly blessed in ways that you can't measure in amounts. The spirit behind both these gifts greatly surpasses any type of measurements.

Yesterday, the husband and I did Christmas shopping. Instead of feeling happy by the end of it--I was just so stressed out. I felt guilty spending money when we need to fix that car. Then, something else went wrong with the car. So, my pessimism was swamping my Christmas spirit. I had difficulty sleeping last night due to stress. I was already stressed out. Yesterday, I went next door and spoke with our neighbors about Nanaimo's barking. (They'd left a note on our door documenting our dog's barking along with the ordinance discussing "barking." ) I explained about the kid's Special Needs, and that we need a dog that barks at strangers or when the kids are crying. I thought that would help me sleep at nights again--now that I wasn't worried we'd be receiving a call from animal control. It went well, after all. Still, it seems like there is always something waiting to take a worry's place. I was trying to be all "Christmasy" and cheerful--really.

Today, I have a lot of Christmas spirit--and an overwhelming belief in the kindness of others working as angels on earth. Joy is more than the meeting of needs, and I'm grateful to those that brought me joy and happiness this week both due to their financial help and the spirit in which it was given.

Anyway, I've got plans for working on Christmas stuff today. :)

Hopefully, everyone else is having a good weekend.


  1. Oh Wendy, my heart goes out to you. We've been financially where you are...several times. The kindness of others never ceases to amaze me. I think it's great you spent the money on Christmas gifts. And your courage in talking with your neighbors probably saved you many sleepless nights. Just know that your writing is an inspiration to your readers (even on the days when you're not trying to inspire).

  2. That's so wonderful Wendy. I love stories like this - surprise help from family and anonymous helpers. Sorry about all your troubles. Our financial situation isn't great either. We only have one car right now (thankfully it works) My husband is working two jobs and we hardly see him. I've agreed to babysit my niece for 8 hours a day to earn some extra money - so I'll have two 2 year olds running around. We're trying to remodel the upstairs of our house, so we are living in our basement apt. that we normally rent out. We have no money to finish the upstairs, but it needed to be done. Unfortunately, because my husband is working two jobs he doesn't have any time to work on it. I don't know when I'll ever get to live upstairs again and I miss my dog. Beyond all that though - we're getting by too. We are blessed in so many ways - and I need to remember that. I'm trying to stay positive so I don't like to rant on my blog. Hope things get better for you.

  3. Wendy,
    Ah, yes. The only way I get through it all is to remind myself that there is no good without the bad. If I didn't know how hard life could be I wouldn't realize how good it is when it's good. Stupid, I know. But it's how I get through.

  4. Oh hunny, that made me tear up. I'm sorry this year has been so hard for you. But I'm happy that Santa is taking care of you still -hugs-

  5. I love random acts of kindness. When I was in high school my cat was dying and I was beside myself. I went to work, expecting the vet to call, and when they did it was to tell me that the only hope for my cat was a $1000 operation that probably wouldn't work. I was in tears and needed a few minutes to calm down before I could go make sandwiches for the dinner rush at Subway. A lady commented that we needed some extra help and my friend told her about how I was in back and the story about my cat. The woman wrote me a $100 check right then.

    I've never forgotten that (even though my cat died). People are capable of extraordinary kindness.

    And hope.

    Keep your chin up- you never know what wonderful things the day might bring you!

  6. Wendy,

    What an amazing story of giving. It gave me goose bumps to think of you opening the gift that came in the mail.

    I feel your pain -- I live paycheck to paycheck, mostly. Sometimes I feel like I am hanging on by the thinest of threads and I'm one emergency away from everything falling apart.

    Hang in there, get through the holidays, and remember you are not alone!

  7. What a wonderful, generous surprise. You must realize what a terrific person you are if you have people willing to reach out and help you like that.

    Financial problems are the worst. They can really drain the lifeforce right out of you.

    There were so many years when my husband and I were so stressed financially that we couldn't see a light at the end of the tunnel. Thankfully, the financial stresses have eased up, though lately we've had other stresses that have been absolutely crushing us. My holiday spirit is at an all-time low lately and I haven't been able to do any writing (on my WIP or my blog) for ages, which is just adding to my frustration. Sigh.

    Sorry, I didn't mean to throw a wet blanket over your good news.

    I really am happy your holiday is looking up!

  8. Oh, bless you Wendy. It sounds like you've been hit with more than your share of trials this season. I think we've all had times when we've been helped by others-- I know my family has. It's nice to remember that people care about you. I'm glad things are getting better for you.

  9. Wendy, you are a wonderful writer with the amazing gift of being a true storyteller . Always remember that. Your trials and struggles only make you a better writer because you refuse to allow them to crush your spirit.
    It is in times like these that we see how generous and caring other people truly are. I have gone through a very difficult time myself these past few years (as you know from reading my blog). Sometimes it seems insurmountable. But, the blogging community of writers is fantastic! It is here that I have found the encouragement and support that keeps me going.

  10. Wonderful post, so great. Even though I'm reading this backwards and I know about the car skidding on the ice and the rejection and everything, I'm just so full of happiness that someone did this for you. Sesquip is right about you being a terrific person.