Thursday, December 30, 2010

...Merry Christmas, all 12 Days of it, & a Happy New Year to all


this is my favorite stained glass window in the church...
it's high up in the "tower"...

[seen here in context, in the tower, upper left side, eastern exposure...]

all the windows on the 3 sides of the tower honor women...
the other 8 are all similar in style and type of glass used...
but the "Madonna & Child" one is special...

besides being a more traditional style than the others...
it has a lot of deep blue, as well as red...
and the colors are so intense...
that they just don't capture well on film...
but they always take my breath away...

at this time of the year...
with another Christmas season rapidly moving ahead...
and yet another year coming to a close...
I find myself taking "stock"...
with a few surprises coming to my attention...

my financial situation is not at all settled...
I receive about 6-8 calls a day that I "ignore"...
handfuls of "mail" that I just put into an envelope, unread...
as well as e-mails that get filed, unread...

the only way that I can deal with this period of great uncertainty...
is to just give it all to God and not think about it...
reading the collection letters, talking to collectors on the phone...
[thus making my cell phone bill explode...]
solves no problems, makes me feel lousy...
and makes it difficult to just, "let it go"...

I'm doing what I can and leaving the rest to God to work out...

I'm quite aware that this sounds like an "ostrich" mentality...
but consider these points...

I have applied for modification of my first mortgage...
and have the bank's attention...
I have also applied for a modification of my second mortgage...
[which I am completely upside down in...]
and we'll see how that works out...

I am still paying[& using] a credit card for gas...
as well as a department store card with a small balance...
and an online bookstore card with a small credit limit...

AMEX, Discover, HSBC and another card...
alternately loathe and despise me one moment...
by having collection agencies threaten me...
with garnishment of my "wages"...
or seizure of my savings...
[good luck with that, since I have neither...]

or with the conciliatory missives that remind me...
"all the bad things will stop if you bring your account current"...
keeping my accounts "current"...
is the reason I no longer have savings for them to seize...

Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University course taught me a lot...
especially how credit cards deal with collections...
so even though my first choice would have been to have a job...
and pay off all those debts, I refuse to feel guilty anymore...

I spent a couple of years looking for work...
with all doors slammed in my face...
and when I had to miss those first payments...
because there was NO money, I was ashamed...

as I realized that I could become homeless quickly...
fear, shame and guilt ravaged my mind...
I came to the realization that I couldn't pretend anymore...
I was poor and things had to change...

finding a job seemed to not be an option...
so I was going to have to "pare down"...
"make do with less"...
and all those other clich├ęs...

I have also come to realize that doing with less...
can be a good thing for someone who tends to be as self-involved as I am...
whereas someone younger might think...
"this is only temporary"...
I have had to change my lifestyle drastically...

having money gave me control...
not having money has shown me...
that God needed to have that control...

if I need it, He will provide it...
whether it's financial, physical or emotional...

an interesting incident in point...

things are always "tight" at the end of the month...
since I had some large expenses at the beginning of December...
this month was especially tight...
but... there was that first SSA benefit check...
due to appear in my checking account on Dec. 22...

and it did... so I went to the store with a list...
and was doing well until I realized that I needed Excedrin...
and finding it for almost the same as Wallyworld's low price...
I picked-up a couple of 200 ct bottles...
as well as a bottle of glucosamine, that was on sale...

so at the check-out, things cost more that I had figured...
and suddenly, there was a potential problem...
but only when my cell bill was paid and only about $5...
so I should have time to dig through my change jar & cover it...

the next day, on Christmas Eve morning...
I went to help decorate the church, I'm not in the Altar Guild...
but they were a few people short, so I went to help out...
before I left, Square Peg gave me a check I wasn't expecting...
an anonymous donor had left me a Christmas gratuity...

so I went across the street to WFB and deposited it...
discovering that the cell bill had come in early...
and though they were listed as,"pending"...
they had moved the less than $10 from my savings...
and showed me as "overdrawn"...[pending several transactions]

I had an e-mail notifying me of the deficit...
asking me to take care of it and that "fees" would be charged...

since the small check I had deposited brought my account, positive...
by about $15 and they usually charge at least $20 for overdrafts...
I was resigned to a bad situation becoming worse...
just told God to take care of it and forgot about it...

that is, until today,[6 days later], when I looked at my account online...

it showed no charges or withdrawals "pending"...
it showed nothing as having been "returned"...
it showed no overdraft charge...

there was a balance of $5.97 in checking...
and the $9.92 was back in savings...

oh... and there was a pending deposit of $493.62...
it usually comes in after the first, this month, it's early...

I have generally had good relations with WFB...
but this is a first...

so for those who may think that my reliance on God's provision...
is "pretending", wishful thinking, loss of reality...
or just plain silly...
think what you will...

as for me, I will say, with no hint of pretense...

"all is well..."

and go on my way, calm & assured in the goodness of God...

2 comments:

Mousie and Christy's Mommy said...

I am glad that you are at peace, Catsinger. That is a good way to start a new year. May this truly be a year of peace for you. My prayers continue.

catsinger said...

...thanks for the kind words...
your thoughts & prayers are much appreciated...