New Year Blessings
One of the things I've been particularly blessed with is an abundance of friends. I've often attributed that to the fact that I'm a good friend, too. But, as of right now, I don't know what to think.
Tuesday was a really awful day. It started out okay as I treated myself to getting my hair done. That is one of my special things I do about every two months. But, one of my best friends essentially let me know that I made her feel as if I were too busy for her. So, she essentially wrote me off without even telling me. Then, later in the day, another of my best friends pretty much told me that I take more than I give. After the year that I've had, I'm not surprised. But, I am shocked to hear this friend tell me that I've let him down. Both of these announcements caught me completely offguard. I never saw them coming. I spent most of Tuesday in tears. Not just a drip here and there, but full-out sobs. Last night? I couldn't sleep. I finally got up about 3:30 a.m. (after bad dreams for the few minutes I did sleep) and put away the laundry and started cleaning house.
I am not even sure what to think or do.
Today, I went to put some cards in the mail and saw an envelope with my name and address typed on it. No postage or return address. (After being a daily newspaper reporter and receiving death threats and the whole Unabomber thing, this gave me great pause.) I made sure I was not around the kids when I opened it, felt around in it and didn't feel metal, so I opened it slowly. No white powder. (yeah, I'm THAT paranoid). I read the typed letter:
See James 5:16 (NLT): "The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results."
Never understimate the power of prayer.
And, then in the envelope was one of those money envelopes the bank gives you with your cash. And, a fairly large sum of bills inside. No clue who it is from or why they gave it to me. My first guess is a prayer chain that I'm on at the local university. I've asked for prayers over the past year to be a good steward of our finances and prayed for God's hand in helping pay the bills as we lingered on the unemployment rolls for a long time.
I'm just speechless about it. Amidst the sadness from the anger of two of my best friends - here is a stranger (I assume, or maybe a friend) who felt strongly enough about me to pray for me AND bless me with this gift. It is going in our savings account for future emergencies. (God knows, we'll have 'em.)
So, sometimes, in the darkest moments, a little sunshine - make that Sonshine - will sneak in. Sort of like Ralphie and his Red Ryder BB gun with a compass in the stock.
This may be a good year. Will it be all peaches and cream? I highly doubt it. Life seldom is all good. But, how boring would it be without the valleys and the peaks?
A favorite movie quote (you had to know I'd have one) is from Parenthood. The 1989 flick with Steve Martin takes on more meaning as my family grows.
Gil has been complaining about his complicated life; Grandma wanders into the room]
Grandma: You know, when I was 19, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster. Gil: Oh?
Grandma: Up, down, up, down. Oh, what a ride!
Gil: What a great story. (said with sarcasm)
Grandma: I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together! Some didn't like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it.
Yeah, that pretty much sums up life. 2008 is almost over. And, you know what? I'm glad. It was one of the hardest years of my adult life. I've had plenty of those, too, so that is saying something. 2009 will be better. I hope it is better for every one of you, too. God Bless You!