Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Circumstance and Perspective

It's not a normal Tuesday. Today is New Year's Eve. Tonight I'll be working at a restaurant and my husband will be hanging out with friends probably until it's time for me to come home. Christmas wasn't a normal Christmas... but I'll have to go back to explain that.

Remember my last blog post? At the end of September I wrote about the family across the street and how we had decided to bless them with gifts for Christmas. I had lost my job two weeks before that but we were still sure that we'd be able to pull it off. Well, about a month after that Hubby lost his job for standing up for what he believes and trusting and following God's word instead of trusting in a paycheck.

Now let's look at the big picture... in a matter of 6 months of marriage we had lost a car, and both of our jobs. The stress and worry overtook me. How were we going to do Christmas for our neighbors when we couldn't even afford to do Christmas for ourselves or our own families? It was our first Christmas together as a married couple. Weren't we supposed to be able to lavish one another with hand picked gifts meant to bring a smile and the element of surprise? And WAIT - how would we afford to go see my family (mainly in Virginia) for Thanksgiving or Christmas? And as much as that scared me, what really broke my heart was that we wouldn't even be able to afford a tree.

This Christmastime I've learned that circumstance can completely change your perspective. It wasn't too long ago I was spending the holidays with family... but alone; no husband by my side. For most of those years I was a "gypsy" moving from place to place and therefore didn't have much as far as a stable job goes. Financially my Christmases were strapped, but the last few years I've been quite comfortable and very proud of myself for the gifts I've been able to give and travelling I've been able to do. I got used to that, and now Christmas seemed doomed. However, once I started seeing the blessings and focusing on them more than throwing a pity party for myself, God started teaching me a very important lesson.

The blessings were rolling in, I just wasn't seeing them until my perspective changed.
-My dad got a new car and in turn gave us his old Jeep!
-Because of the Jeep we were able to afford a one-way flight to VA for Thanksgiving and then we drove back down!
-A church small group "adopted" our neighbors and bought ALL the gifts for them!
-My husband took time out of his day to build me the cutest pallet Christmas tree!
-My father-in-law paid us a surprise visit from Pennsylvania!
-Loved ones gifted us mainly with restaurant gift cards so we could have date nights again!
-We spent quality time together as newlyweds putting together a Christmas puzzle, making our ornaments, and shopping for the kids.
-My cousin proposed to his beautiful girlfriend (finally haha) so we're even getting a new family member!
-Hubby surprised me with a song he wrote and recorded just for me <3 <3 <3 !
-I found a restaurant job for at least the season!

I know I'm forgetting so much but these are just a sample of the ways we were blessed by family, friends, and even people we barely know. See... getting fifty dollars of "play money" in a card from a family member is fun, but getting fifty dollars that's going to help with your car payment from a family you've only met three times will shake you up. I'm not sure fifty dollars ever made me cry before.

When my husband was fired I was so scared, but we trusted that God would bless us for our faithfulness and surely my husband's courage. But even when God is blessing you, a lot of times we feel so entitled to what we've always had or our expectations are so different that we miss seeing the ways He takes care of us. My husband proposed to me LAST Christmas and I never would have thought that in a year's time so much
would "fall apart", but while putting together a puzzle with him this year I saw the big picture. God had broken us into pieces so that he could rebuild us in our new perspective. He put our focus back on the miracle of Christ this Christmas and off of shopping and the other little things that don't really matter.

He has a plan for us, and even though I don't know where we'll be or what we'll be doing next Christmas, I know we'll know how blessed we are.

He said to her, “You’re talking like a godless fool. We accept the good that God gives us. Shouldn’t we also accept the bad?”
Through all this Job’s lips did not utter one sinful word. - Job 2:10

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