Monday, January 24, 2011

How to eat an elephant

4:18 p.m. Today's project was to joyfully clip out my daughter's engagement announcement from the Press Enterprise newspaper. It was very nicely done, with no spelling errors. I wish I could say that the rest of the day was as pleasing as it started out!
After a hectic Sunday evening, making 3 casseroles and safely delivering them "hot and ready" to Home Fellowship, cleaning up and getting back home, I was ready for a good sleep and a lazy Monday. Steve and I did start our daily devotions around 8 a.m., and I did putter around in my robe until 11. Wisely, he went about to his outdoor chores, while I fell for the voice of responsibility in my head that said, "It's the first business day of the week, better get the bills organized, rent a car while the Jeep is in the body shop, and do some financial planning!"
On and on I went, mailing out health insurance and gas bills, calling the administrator for the TSA I'm dissolving by February 16 when I'm 59 1/2, and later printing up the form from my computer; avoiding the end of the grace period for both Heidi's and one of my life insurance policies; checking on the underwriting for my new policy and finding that the agent's office phone number was disconnected; calling to consolidate and cut the interest rate on two bills. Additionally, I was sweating the $500 deductible we have to pay before we can get the car out of the shop, since the Christmas tree that rolled into our path had no known driver Mercury could subrogate from to pay them back for our repairs. Renting a subcompact car from Enterprise at $39.95/day isn't too bad, especially if I apply my AAA discount, but the $300 deposit on a credit card has me unnerved. I had thought to have a car by Wednesday so I could pick up my book from "Editor Stephanie," but I may just have her keep it until Sunday and cut my rental time to just Thursday-Friday when the work should be finished.
Was it a lack of faith to even rent a car? Last night at Home Fellowship, a brother prayed that I wouldn't even have to spend money to have some transportation, and someone else offered us a stick shift he doesn't need. I was blessed by the offer, but can't imagine driving in the Long Beach traffic to see my son for his wife's birthday while trying to remember how to work a clutch! Oh me of little faith, I am thinking here...
But good things are happening for the homebound! At least my carpool buddy is going to drive to women's Bible study tomorrow. And if we have any sign-ups for Heart to Home's scrapbooking class tomorrow night, the class' instructor Candace offered to give Steve and me a ride since she doesn't live that far away. God bless our family of believers!
Practically escaping out to the garden to water my carrot and lettuce seeds, I soon found myself back in the house, looking for life insurance policies and due dates. Steve had gone out with the dogs, and feeling utterly overwhelmed, I began crying. I literally thought I might say to someone, "Whatever you do, don't get into a no-fault accident in your car unlesss there's another party involved that your insurance company can get your deductible from; and don't you or your spouse become permanently disabled!" That's how bitter I was feeling. Totally in sin.
I had been praying off and on all day as each frustration popped up, but I hadn't done what I needed to do, and finally broke down, dropping onto my knees at the foot of my bed and pouring it all out to my Lord. God is definitely getting problems handled, like providing care for Steve for a few hours twice a week, good health for both of us, mortgage modification, a supportive family, and a car for last week, but I'm responsible to find tax and retirement documents that I've misplaced because so much is happening at once. Oh yes, we have a wedding coming up, too! I was forgetting that God is ahead of me and every one of my concerns, and knows my loneliness in not having a partner who can be of assistance or even take the lead in planning and prioritizing the finances.
As for loneliness, no one was lonelier than Christ on the cross, I'm recalling, as Hebrews 12:3-4 (KJV) says:
"For consider Him who endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be weary and faint in your minds; ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin."
Consider Him--that's what I had not done throughout my day, or I wouldn't have overwhelmed myself with several complicated, demanding, crucial tasks. I would have listened to the Spirit's urging to work at a careful, less frenzied pace. Maybe I would have had more time for Steve, other than just what was necessary. Thankfully, I did take some time for us to pray together in the afternoon, and those prayers were answered with a calmer afternoon when our daughter took me to pick up Steve's prescriptions and grab a few groceries we needed.
When I described my day, she asked, "Why did you do so much at once?" I answered, "I just bought into the lie that it's a business day, you've got to get all these things taken care of!" But it's just not so. Everything needs to be done in good time--GOD's time!
The old adage asks: "How do you eat an elephant?"
Answer: "One bite at a time."

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