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.