What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Got Any Challenges?

What kind of challenges have you been facing lately?  Think about this for a few minutes...I am certain you can come up with a few...maybe more than a few. I'm going to list a few of my recent challenges; and not in any particular order.  Let's see if any of you can relate:
  1. Recent Unemployment
  2. New job with big responsibilities---more than I bargained for?
  3. Impending foreclosure on house
  4. Mortgage Loan Modification-only it extends your mortgage for more years than you can possibly work, and is for more money than your house could ever be worth again
  5. Adult son comes home to live and is unemployed and has no job prospects
  6. Other adult married son is diagnosed with a very aggressive, rare and terminal cancer and lives 1500 miles away. He is also the father of our only grandson, age 11.
  7. Another adult son also lives far away and has frequent financial/job issues, requiring assistance from home in order to survive
  8. Elderly mother in law decides to come and live with you
  9. Elderly father is in decline and needs constant care...you do what you can to help in your spare time, still balancing all of the above
  10. Husband's state job is insecure thanks to budget cuts and threats of further cuts...has not had any increase in pay in over five years already...
  11. The economy continues to decline...gas prices continue to climb...job commute is a bit too far considering current gas prices
Yipes...no wonder I have chronic back aches and other psychosomatic illnesses...But don't stop here...

On the other hand...Let me count some of my blessings...
  1. I did find an excellent job in a Christian environment with good people and adequate pay.
  2. The mortgage company did work with us and actually gave us a lower payment.
  3. Adult son who came home is a joy to have here...and he is a very big help with elderly grandparents and our own home needs.
  4. Adult son with terminal cancer is actually exceeding all his doctor's expectations and is doing very well on a chemo maintenance medication. (Praise God!!!)
  5. Other Adult son is employed, and even though his pay is minimal, he is healthy and happy and enjoys what he is doing.
  6. Elderly mother in law is improving in her health issues and is actually ready to go back home for temporary stays. She has also been a big help around the house with meals, laundry, etc.
  7. Elderly father is still able to live in his own home and is providing a source of income for my adult son who needed employment as well as my sister who also needed employment. (caregivers)
  8. Husband's employment is currently steady, and we are trusting God it will remain secure in spite of the current economical trends.
  9. My employer has allowed me to work a four day work week to save on gas.
When we stop and count our problems and challenges, we must also take equal time to consider our blessings.  Recently I have become acquainted (through facebook and other places) with other families facing even more challenging issues than mine. My heart has been broken over the many families who have children and other loved ones who are literally dying with terminal cancer and other diseases.  They've fought a good fight, but their strength is ebbing very rapidly.  When I measure my challenges against theirs, I cannot even begin to fathom the depth of their sorrow and pain. Many others have lost their fight to keep their homes, their jobs, and their families intact. You may be one of these dear friends. 

Each one of us has our own particular challenges and heartaches.  I know mine are not as great as many others, and yours may not be as great as mine...but nonetheless, they are challenges to our faith, to our hearts, and to our very lives.  I would like to present you with another challenge today: 
"Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing."                 I Thessalonians 5:11  
"....Comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all."  I Thessalonians 5:14b. 

 During this season of Lent, my goal and challenge is to lift up in prayer each day those whom God has brought into my circle of influence, whether via home, friends, work, church, facebook, or any other means, and not only pray for them diligently, but seek out ways to be an encourager and a comforter through God's Holy Spirit.  I truly believe that not only will this be a way to bless others, but it will most definitely be a way to receive blessing myself...not meaning selfish ambition or personal gain, but heart-felt blessings in my soul and spirit. 

Won't you join me in this challenge today? I know we will all reap blessings beyond our imagination in so doing.  In Jesus' Name I pray this today. Amen.

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