Monday, June 25, 2012

A Bucket of Blessings; A Heart That is Full

Well, since last I have posted, a few things have come to pass. I have completed every portion of my necessary paperwork, copies, drug screen (yuck), and now await the background check to come back for me to begin working downtown. I will be a breakfast attendant at a nice hotel, where lots of business people frequent and they are apparently booked out through the summer. I have mixed feelings about it, but it will pay some bills and even give the possibility for benefits, should I stay on longer than the 90 preliminary period full time.

Speaking of bills getting paid, Jay has been busy contacting people who help veteran's with this sort of thing and we meet on wednesday, as it currently stands. This place should cover all necessities, like mortgage, electric, etc. I know he is relieved that someone is able to get us through this next cycle of bills and it gives us some wiggle room while we await the VA decision, which I hope will be in before August's mortgage (and I pray it is favorable!)

On top of that, we have some wonderful family, and friends who are also family, who have stepped up to help with some extra things. A few things here and there have been great, but I especially appreciate people willing to send Katherine to these little camps she wants to attend. She has already been to one swim session, with her second having started today, a weeklong art camp with multi-media clay creations, helped buy her snacks and pay for the gas to get to and from activities and we are looking into a Victorian Living 3 day camp, so long as they have room left. She really wants to do another art camp, either 3-D or board game making, which is taught by the same teacher as clay, but I told her she is going to have to figure out who she might call to see if they can put a few dollars toward one of them. One is 4, the other, 5 days, and because all materials are there and her classes are 3 hours long, they don't come cheap! Thankfully, as a resident, we do save some money on enrollment, probably because we are taxpayers, or some such.

I so dearly feel loved these days, as it is completely evident by all of the people who are coming to our aide, between giving us things like food, grocery gift cards, money, classes for Kat, moral support and empathy, jobs for me to earn some extra money, etc. From church to friends and family, we are smothered with love and kindness and I am learning to count my blessings even better than I have ever known. Such a blessing.

Yesterday I sat and listened to the homily that Fr. Boris gave. I got particularly choked up as I heard the words he spoke, as though they were meant for, not only my ears, but, my heart. He was talking about praying for our family and friends, and never giving up on anything, because we it is our faith and prayer that help spread God's love and miracles, even when we have no reason to believe something will come to be. I wish I could portray it here, but it is as though the words went into my heart and the door locked them in, to settle in and perhaps never to escape. It may not be exact, but it is what I heard and took away from it.

Oh, I nearly forgot! Kat won a silver medal in her hand form at the ICMAC tournament in Parker!!! Her goal was to medal and feel proud of her Kung Fu, both of which were accomplished, and I am pleased. The morning was bumping getting things squared away, but it all went well after that and it was such a pleasure to see her bring her game face. She even went first!! All of the kids did a great job; they worked hard and did well. I had squirreled away a few dollars to take her out to lunch afterward and I am grateful I didn't have to break that promise due to something else taking that money's place. :) She wanted asian food, of which she ordered hot and sour soup and fried rice. What an accomplishment!

Ok, I think that is it for now. I will try to update as things come, but my schedule begins REALLY early in the morning (which makes things interesting for transport, but that is an entirely other post), 5 days a week, and I may not have the faculties to put it out there as often as things change, but I do hope to be more recent than the past time between postings. Hugs and love to all! Glory to God for ALL things!

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Continuation of Thought...

One of my favorite things in the world is going to church. The sights, smells, and sounds, through prayers, candles, and incense, bring an array of memories and thoughts, both from the past and those that are being made. The immutable calm of the services that entreat the soul to open and bud, like the perennial flowers of the heart, warm the innermost being and soothe the greatest troubles. Whether it is a flow of soft tears that wring out discomfort that the world has begun to nest in us, or the quiet beauty in the constancy of the Alpha and Omega in the various ways we are enveloped in God's omnipresence. I strive to understand, not only in my mind, but mainly in the heart which is not of my making, and stand in awe of the messages that seep into me to form the story that is to the glory of God. To hear the Words spoken with such intent and received with an even greater gravity that touches me to the very core, He slowly and deliberately etches out my path. Unfolding before me, I am taken to places I have only dreamed existed, and I come to rest by the shores of still waters, where I may see my reflection and search within in hopes of finding the glimmer of light, life, and hope which He has set there.

Friday, June 8, 2012

A Marriage of Thoughts

I sang in a lovely wedding this afternoon at church, which was fairly full considering it was friday afternoon. The bride is Russian and the groom is American, both Orthodox. Such a wonderful adventure to embark upon; it made our wedding surface in my memory of all those years long ago. I guess that is part of what is nice about the simplicity and traditional service of marriage in the Orthodox faith, because it is so familiar when everyone has the same prayers, epistles, and Gospel read for them. Yet, while having them all the same in service, it is somehow different every time I am privileged to attend or participate in.

Just like the feasts of the church revolving in sacred manner throughout the year with purpose and staunch focus in an effortless suspension, so does the beauty and power of the wedding ceremony. The experience, though hardly unique, causes a perfect union of mind and soul perpetuating growth and understanding. Whatever place we are in, wherever we seem to find ourselves in our lives, there is something there to speak to our hearts and draw us in. I keep going back for the clues that keep piecing together to make the masterpiece of His making. Beauty, grace, love, and perfection abound, though I often delay its full effect in my limits and brokenness. In opportunities like these, I am supremely grateful for the gentle lessons and blessings that are apparent, helping me to see with the eyes He created, not those that I have fashioned for myself.

Glory to God for all things! Peace be with you.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Full of Conundrums and Blessings

I think that, in our current circumstance, one of the hardest things is food. No, not the procuring of food, because we came home with a TON from church yesterday because we 'had' to have it, but food in and of itself. We can't buy the cheapest. We can't afford to buy anything outside of our dietary limitations, because the end result would be a further mess. So, the hardest part is making sure we have all the things we need without breaking the bank, which is precious little these days. We are trying to ride our bikes to save on gas, which is an easy thing to squander, but between heat, wind, a bridge under construction, and an eight year old, we surely have our battle to ride cut out for us.

Let's see, too much heat for red-heads isn't good, couple that with the cost of sunscreen that we can actually use, and it renders us very unlikely to go out for very long during any peak hours, not to mention saving the sunscreen for the girl who can swim across the street in our condo pool for free. Wind, oh the wind! We are decently to the east of the metro city, so I am not talking about breezes, I am referring to the Colorado gusts of magnificent proportions that come at you out of nowhere, and sometimes they just hang around for hours! Who wants to ride in a 15-20 mile an hour headwind, or gusts that set you off balance? Furthermore, construction makes everything all the more interesting, especially if it is one of the shortest ways on bike. I swear it to you, people designing american cities gave so little thought to bike riding convenience and safety, it truly makes me a bit frustrated. Top all of that off with a girl who is strong and capable, but marry it to any one or two of the above mentioned setbacks and I promise you, Chinese water torture has nothing on that of a disgruntled girl. It is certainly put rightly when it is said, "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." I can't say I blame the kid, having all sorts of things stacked against you when you are trying so hard to do something. Jay and Kat tried to make their way to get a few groceries on bike just last week and it wasn't any of the earlier disasters that struck, but the rain came, and not a simple sprinkle, but a steady downpour before they were a mere 1/4 mile from our front door.

Suffice it to say, saving gas isn't the easiest of tasks, therefore a few dollars must be allocated to get to where we need to go. We have church every weekend, Kat has a couple family and friends who are sponsoring her in some activities, so she can go to some camps and whatnot that are only offered in the summer; gas simply adds up before you can bat an eye! *Sigh* We will do as we can, it is just a slippery slope right now.

We went in to the VA for the last of Jay's compensation appointments, this was for PTSD. Now, we get to hurry up and wait to see how much sweet time they will take until they decide whether he gets any comp for that and if they will shift his TBI compensation percentage at all. It would be something if we had a timeframe, perhaps, or even whether we might count on getting anything out of it, so we may be able to plan more than a couple weeks into the future. I am throwing all of that caution to the wind, though, because if I think too much about how very little prospect we have in our near future, I may lose my mind, so instead, I am planning things, while hoping and praying that we have what we need to make them happen. My mom is adamant that they will compensate fully this time; I wish she was in charge of the VA comp and pen.

I have been looking for work, but nothing has come of it. It is a daunting task when feeling the weight of your family's survival rest upon your shoulders, all the while making sure that my main trust stays outside of myself, in God's hands. Trying to figure out how to play caretaker, wife, mom, and of what those things entail, while searching for more things to add to that list is a rather tiresome undertaking, I must say. Now Jay says that if we don't have something lined up with an income of any sort in the next two weeks, we will be cutting off all minute extra's and selling the car so we can make our mortgage and such other unavoidable bills, like the phone and hot water.

It all sounds a bit dreary, but all in all, I wish we didn't have to deal with money, because we, as a family, have been doing fairly well. There is always a silver lining in every single storm, I promise you. If you have not seen it ever, I implore you to search your heart and soul to begin to recognise those things that are sacred. Being this broke, without hardly a prospect or a penny, has its upside. I have likened it to a form of dying, wherein the eyes are opened to such a caliber of existence that those things that don't truly matter simply fade away into nothingness. The important things surface and we float along the water's top where the beauty and tranquility are sensed with a new kind of depth and meaning. Glory to God!

We are in the thick of a balancing act where, if we think too much of the future, we cannot see that which is in front of us, but if we think only of today, we fail to be prepared for what may come. It's a very real example of having to expect the worst, but hope for the best. We have absolutely no reason to believe that we won't have some provision for our wellbeing, but we must always be aware that it is not always our monetary and tangible existence that God wishes to increase, but often our character and spiritual strength.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us! Peace be with you.