Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Worries and Kid-ding

There is just too much good TV on these days. Last Thursday a crisis presented in the Adams' house. Scandal premièred. Top Chef was on (it's in Charleston -- pimento cheese heaven). Nashville has snuck it's way back into my life (dang CMT -- let Tami Taylor get back to Texas). And, the New Edition Story was either a part one, two or three on BET. Yeah, I love New Edition. I go way back with Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky and Mike . . .( a few beats) and Ralph. If I love a band, who cares who you like. I mean, that was some music. Bell Biv Devoe, Ralph and his Sensitivity, Bobby and his Prerogative plus Johnny Gill, my, my, my, my . . you sure look good tonight.

OK, all this to say, decisions had to be made as to what TV was watched and recorded. Our DVR records two shows at a time so one TV was occupied with my recordings. The bedroom TV had Scandal and G watched, nothing. I imagine there was basketball or something on, but priorities. Do not cancel a recording was my plea from the bedroom.

The TV-watching dilemma was a worry. Temporary, but albeit a worry. Minor, sure, but still a concern of recording and watching and then deciding when to watch the recording. I mean, loads of fourth part planning took place in a matter of minutes when I recognized the overlap and bumper car-like bumping into each other television programming.

If only that was my only worry. And, really, someone greater than I tells me to cast all my anxieties on Him. Sure, how was He going to handle the TV viewing? Ridiculous example, but go with me here.

We trust God to provide. We trust God to deliver us from bad and sad situations. We trust God to comfort us. We trust that we do have eternal life if we believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose again. Easy trusting stuff. No need to worry.

(Please, tonight, I was worrying about the providing when I thought about the transfers to Chris' account to pay for electricity and the power deposit and a calculator -- that's a good thing, studying!).

So we trust. And, typically, we fall into the trust when things are falling apart. The wheels coming off kind of thing. That's the time we cry out, we scream out (in my case), we head to the Bible and we wear our knees out praying. That's the time when every bit of scripture and every single line in a devotion point toward our need to depend on Him.

We cast those worries so far and fast as if we were trying to get the big one out of the ocean. I mean I've no problem in the casting and trusting department during those times.

So, lately, those times have been way too frequent. I feel like we are just at the end of the account most every day. Can a balance sit on $28 for a few days? Yes, it can. Can the weekly HEB bill be $50? Yes, it can.

I mean, I'm a trusting gal in the trying situations. I prayed that God would get us through the last period until G's payday and He did. We watched our expenses like a hawk and had everything taken care of -- then we got paid and well, oh, yeah, I have a child in college who has rent to be paid, electricity to be left on (requires payment) and a daughter in gymnastics and another who rides horses. And, and, and.

Worries sneaking in now. Fourth parts are obsessing over bills and expenses to make sure everything is covered. I mean I know the budget is there and we can pay this, but still. Worry. What ifs? How abouts? Anxieties! Worries! Forget those lilies of the field and the birds who don't worry about what they wear . . . .I'm in full panic mode worry.

Deep breath. Pause.

Jesus Calling provided a gift this week. The words were along the lines of worries can become idols. Uh, what? Let's re-read that sentence. I mean it had only a few words but contained a noun, verb and all the right parts. A worry can become an idol.

I've been worrying a lot lately.

Not only about money and how it is working now that we have expenses that are shifting our budget a bit (a bit, ha, a lot! If Kate Spade sends me a sale email, I'll lose it. I've nothing in the budget for that my friend, Kate.). 

I've also been worried about all that is going on in our government. Most of you know how I vote and where I stand. My Facebook feed has been all about what to do -- petitions to sign, letters to write, protests and marches in which to participate. I committed to my country (wow, I'm a real patriot) to do something everyday. To let my voice be heard. To represent that which I believe. And, well, I've been worrying. Loads of anxiety. I talk about it. I think about it. I post about it. I write about it (ask my Senators!). And, I take sleep aids to stop talking, thinking and writing about it.

I've got an idol before me.

Today was a day where worrying about the evening and all that needed to be taken care of became something almost out of control. Announcements of SCOTUS nominations and Secretary appointments threw me into a loop of anxiety. Then, there's the home life stuff. Between unloading the dishwasher, putting together tomorrow's lunches and getting in a quick shower for the girls, I started ripping into the mail. Two things that require attention. A few bills. Potential worries, right? Yep.

Deep breath. Pause.

God sent something in that moment. My mom subscribes the girls to a faith-based magazine and the newest issue was in the stack of worry and anxiety. In the middle of making a copy of my license to mail back a request to un-dormant a long-lost bank account and stacking up forms to take care of Chris' jury exemption, Caroline read a joke to me from her magazine about what cows take to work. A beef-case. Then, Camille started reading through her jokes from the magazine. 'What does the volcano say to the water. I lava you.' 'What kind of chocolate do horses like on Valentine's Day. Horse-y kisses.'

Talk about breaking the worry ice.

The expenses still exist and lunches need to be packed. Occasionally, my girls need showers. Oh, and dinner needs to get on the table. But, really, worrying doesn't help. It just makes the things bigger and I need them to be the size they are -- sizes I can take care of and handle.

With God's help, right? Need to trust Him right now. Knock down that idol of worry and focus on worship and praise and mercy and grace. He's got a sufficient amount for me. And, tomorrow morning, His compassion is there. It never fails.

Not kidding.

Monday, January 2, 2017

LPL and Fans

Today is a federal holiday. No school for the girls, no work for me. And, yet, our house is humming with activity.

Today was going to be all fourth part. I was going to write. I was going to go through pictures. I was going to run a couple of errands all about me. I was going to watch something on either Netflix or Amazon Prime Video or just good ol' cable TV. Again, all about me. My fourth part.

Guess who the joke is on? That's right, moi. (We have a family resolution -- OK, the girls and I -- to learn French). Oui, moi. (Those don't rhyme even though they appear to. Since I have a real grasp on French -- because I am French -- I know those two don't rhyme. But, please don't ask me to translate these sentences. Don't know that much. Non, I don't! I've a long way to go.)

So far today, and it isn't even lunch, I've taken Caroline to pick up an American Girl car we bought off a Facebook trading site (she used her Christmas money) and I've helped load up the attic with Christmas. I've answered countless questions on this, that and the other to include 'where is the breaker box' -- which I think was hypothetical because, really?! -- and 'am I taking this ironing board to school' -- seriously? We don't need it.

(I realize all the sentences above are horribly structured and my English, Journalism and Editing professors would have a fit, but I think they accurately represent the state of my non-existent fourth part and my brain).

I also set up my son's electricity account for his apartment. It's LPL, Lubbock Power and Light. Boy, I need some power and light right now, but not for $135. Yeah, that's the connection fee. I think I read we can get it waived if we prove we've been clients at another power company and been in good standing. Does 20 years count? Oh, but detail, the new account is in his name. Maybe we can make this work.

I also am reviewing, writing and assigning the items needed for an apartment with Chris' roommate's mom. She's great. A list maker like me and on top of it.

I also am hunting for a mattress. Trying to find the best deal of a mattress that comes all boxed up and can be unfolded upon apartment arrival or one that can be delivered to the new apartment next week at move in.

I also am coordinating the family schedule for the next two days. With the girls out of school until Thursday, G having basketball and football practice and Chris working, it's interesting how we figure out who is on first -- more importantly, who is at the house to watch the girls and transport them to activities. An aside, I can lay this schedule out, talk about it, write it down in 14 different places and there will still be questions. Power and light, please. Power and light.

Maybe that LPL should read Lots of Patience, Lady. Or Lots of Peace, Lady. Or Lots of Prayer, Lady. Or Let's Pretend Like (fill in the blank).

All that and hold on, wait. The guy is here installing fans outside. It's January, but this is a task that must be done now. I mean fans? Now? Winter?

Yeah, it's about 80 degrees here so I guess we need fans for when we sit outside enjoying cocktails and a fourth part. When? Let's Pretend Like (it's happening now).

These fans are an example of things I wish I could control but really can't. I have no answers to the questions -- breaker box or how low they should hang -- but I get asked. I know it is out of courtesy and kindness from my husband, but really, I don't know and I don't care. OK, I guess I do because Let's Pretend Like (I'm not a control freak).

I guess on day number two of this 2017, I'm plain out of room for questions because I really don't have the answers. I can make things up, but with the form filling out for so many things for Chris and the lists that require searching and hunting, I just can't answer questions about breaker boxes. Let's Pretend Like (I'm needing a fourth part day).

Remember I was going to be fixing this year. First, fixing my eyes on that which is greater than I. Second, fixing tangible items. Third, fixing stuff that can't be seen.

And, so far, I've added to the list, not subtracted. I had no idea we had so much to fix. The fans? The forms? The lists?

Let's Pretend Like (fixing is a one-time thing).

Let's Pretend Like (I know it all).

Let's Pretend Like (a federal holiday is a holiday).

Lots of Patience, Lady. Lots of Peace, Lady. Lots of Prayer, Lady.

And, a couple of new fans that I can control with a wireless remote that give us Power and Light.