Banana Peel

It’s what’s inside that matters…

Ready to run? February 26, 2009

We got the news today. And I’m not sure how I feel about it. I wrote it on the calendar, ah my beloved calendar. I thought about not writing it on there. Maybe if I didn’t then it wouldn’t be real. It wouldn’t actually be the end. I wouldn’t have to mar my beautiful calendar with such depressing news. I wouldn’t have to worry about how we will pay our bills. I wouldn’t have to worry about where we are going to live. I wouldn’t have to worry. Life could just go on. We’d be happy and content in this house (even if it is too small and crappy). We would have bellies full of good food. I wouldn’t watch my children play in their happy oblivious ways and wish with all my heart I could give them more, but feel oh so thankful that they are too little to remember or even comprehend how poor we are.

But I had to write it on the calendar, it can’t be ignored. March 8th. The last day. The store closing. 10 days from now my Hunk is done at Circuit City.

March 8th the Muskegon Michigan Circuit City store is no more. 5 days before we are kicked out of this house. What. a. week.

I’m slightly terrified at the prospect of my husband being out of work. But at the same time I am so full of relief that he doesn’t have to go to that hell-hole anymore that I could dance a jig. I asked him how he was feeling and he said “ready to be done”. Ready or not, we are done.

There is a day care by our home that puts interesting bits of wit on it’s sign (unlike the church right down the street that just puts stupid things, but that’s a different story for another day). A while ago it said “Panic Productively”. I love that! I decided right then and there that I would adopt that as my new motto in this season of uncertainty.

I have been panicking productively for the past month or so. I got our taxes out of the way as quickly as I could. I then used our tax refunds and paid off three of our biggest debts to reduce our monthly payments and still have enough money saved that we could live off of it for 2 months (The Hunk also gets a staying on bonus which will extend our savings to 3 or 4 months worth of living expenses, but we have no idea when he will get it, so I’m not banking on it). We have some wonderful friends who are going to let us move into their basement. There is only one snafoo with that: they have three cats. I’m TERRIBLY allergic to cats. I don’t even have to touch them and I turn into a mass of red, itchy, water eyes, with a sneezy itchy nose and throat. So now we are trying to find out if I can take Claritin or Allegra or something. (If anyone knows if there is an allergy medicine that is safe to take while nursing a baby please let me in on the secret!)

All in all we’re okay. We have enough money saved up that we should be fine until the Hunk starts getting unemployment. We have somewhere to live. I really don’t have that much to worry about. It’s just the big unknown “where to now?”. I wish the good Lord would let us in on the secret. Not even the whole thing. Just a glimse, a flash, a small revelation of what is to come. Will we be okay? Yes. I know this because He is there. He is here. Even though He doesn’t let us know the future He will walk along with us and take us through the unknown. And believe me that knowledge is all that keeps me from pulling my children to my chest as tight as I can and crying out “why us?”. Instead I cling to my Maker, my friend, my Savior. And the peace that passes all understanding comes soflty and slowly and quietly into my heart.

I read a wonderful quote today and I am going to end with that:

I will have nothing to do with a God who cares only occasionally. I need a God who is with us always, everywhere, in the deepest depths as well as the highest heights. It is when things go wrong, when good things do not happen, when our prayers seem to have been lost, that God is most present. We do not need the sheltering wings when things go smoothly. We are closest to God in the darkness, stumbling along blindly. ~Two-Part Invention by Madeleine L’Engle

Amen.

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Money must be funny in a rich man’s world February 12, 2009

Filed under: God is Amazing — Jess @ 2:37 pm

I do our taxes. We don’t hire and accountant or go to H &R Block or anything. Just me, my calculator,  and my pencil. I fill them out. The funny thing is that I usually spend a few hours doing this. Then I go online and fill out the free e-file form, which does everything for you. I don’t know why I do it all myself first. I’m just anal like that, I guess. Maybe next year I’ll walk on the wild side and just fill out the form online and not do all the extra work!

We’re getting our return fast this year. I filed on January 29th. We got our Michigan State Refund already on the 9th. I didn’t realize we’d gotten it until today though. oops. And according to irs.gov we are getting the Federal return tomorrow. AWESOME!

I am always amazed by how much money the government gives you for having a baby. Our sweet little Red-Haired Girl is getting us a big old return from both State and Federal which we will be using for moving expenses and a few necessities (like cloth diapers, my girl is growing out of her smalls!). Whatever is left over after we move will pay off some debts.

I love tax time!

If you can free file, I highly recommend it! You will get your return fast, especially if you direct deposit.

 

What a happy day! April 8, 2008

Filed under: God is Amazing — Jess @ 3:46 pm

(I know, I know I’m gone for weeks and now TWO posts in one day! But I just had to share!)

Today is the day of happy news!

First I learn that the marriage of two people that I dearly love is beginning the journey down the road of restoration.

Second my husband calls and tells me he has a very good possibility of getting promoted in the next couple months!

What a day!

God IS good!

 

And you know, He WAS there January 27, 2008

Filed under: God is Amazing — Jess @ 11:24 pm

Last night our church hosted In-Rush. This is a Muskegon wide get together of the “Big C” Church to worship and hear amazing speakers. It lasts for two nights.

I was blessed enough to have my mother-in-law watch Blue-Eyed Boy so I could go. (please see this for more on that.) I must say that it was exactly what I needed.

The worship was amazing. The preaching was amazing. Pastor Tim Brown spoke on the story of Ezekial and the dry bones coming to life. Over and over he kept saying this Hebrew phrase that was said in the synagogue….(This is how it sounds (to me), not how it is actually written in Hebrew) “Kazak, Kazak, Vineet, Kozeat!” In English this is “Be strong! Be strong! Make each other strong!”. The overall message he wanted to get across to us was…God has breathed life in you, so that He can breathe life through you. Wow. That’s all I can say.

Pastor Joe Layne also spoke a short sort of “devotional”. I think what he said is both empowering to Christians and yet overwhelmingly convicting. He said we have this “waiting dilemma”. We pray and pray and pray for God to move, that we are waiting for God to move, that God would show Himself and work to save/help/rescue our City. But the fact is….God is waiting for us to move. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

The night was called In-Rush because we long for an indwelling of the Spirit to come among the churches of Muskegon. AND HE DID! The Spirit of God was palpable in that room. We could feel it rushing around us and through us. We could taste it. We could feel it.

And now the question in……did it change us? Did it bring a revolution to the churches of Muskegon? Can we now work together to help our City? I pray it was so, I long with all my being that it was so!

I know I was changed. I am ready.
Here I am Lord……..
if You can use anything……
You can use me.

 

Now Ya’ll Don’t Be Getting Jealous On Me! January 15, 2008

Filed under: God is Amazing — Jess @ 6:06 pm

(Wow I got a little southern there. Well, as southern as a girl from Michigan can get!)

Today I have been struck by the wonderful thought……

WHAT IN TARNATION DID I DO TO BE SO BLESSED?

I was doing a little “counting of the blessings” and I couldn’t get past the first four. Not that there aren’t hundreds even thousands of things I’ve been blessed with. But the first four are just so overwhelmingly wonderful that it is hard to wrap my brain around them. They make me want to shout from the rooftop, dance around my living room, or they just fill my eyes with tears full of the joy that only God’s blessings can bring. So, for you my wonderful Internet audience I would like to tell you my top four overwhelmingly amazingly wonderful blessings…..

1. That the Creator of the universe as awesome and powerful as He is would come down to earth and become nothing….for me. For insignificant, dirty, sinful little me. WOW!

2. If that wasn’t enough He then sends a loving, strong, Spirit-filled man to cherish me. And He even made him the handsomest hunk on the whole planet (please see photo on left if you need convincing)! Never in my wildest dreams could I have thought up a man such as my husband! WOW!

3. Now if you can even imagine that things could get better than that…He then gives us a baby. And not just any baby…..Blue-Eyed Boy. A child with such a sweet personality it could make your grandma sick. I mean I have a 2 year old who says please and thank-you…..half the time without prompting!!! He gives hugs and kisses for no reason…and every new adventure in his little life is met with an enthusiastic “OH WOW!”. And don’t even get me started on how he is the only little man on this planet who may knock his daddy out of the running for the “the handsomest hunk on the planet” award (again see photo on left). WOW!

4. And as if I hadn’t had enough blessings…wazaam! pow! poof! Hold on to your seats folks! Another baby!! I’m just about knocked off of my rocker (which isn’t healthy for a pregnant woman)! I don’t even know who this little one is…girl or boy….etc. But I do know that I love that little baby like only a mother can! And I am anxious to meet the newest member of our family. And to hold in my arms the next great blessing only my God could bestow on someone such as me. WOW!

HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH!

And now I must leave you to ponder the wonder of my beautiful blessed life as I go do a few jig’s around my living room……..

 

WE WON!! December 21, 2007

Filed under: God is Amazing — Jess @ 10:50 pm

Our Apartments did this pay-your-rent-on-time sweepstakes type thing. We could win a $50 gift card for food or gas. Well, today we went to the club house to get our 2008 calandar (they were giving away) and Geneva (manager–doesn’t she have a neat name?) told us we won the $50 gas card!! WAHOO!

What a blessing that is, especially since we are driving across the state later this month to have Christmas with my family. We were a little concerned about how we were going to make it, but now we don’t need to!! Isn’t our God AMAZING!! He always knows what we need!

 

Santa Claus Came Tonight December 14, 2007

Filed under: God is Amazing — Jess @ 1:07 am

In the form of two wonderful people named Mandy and Darren.

As many of you know, we aren’t very well off and are unable to buy any Christmas presents this year. So, we went and informed our families that we couldn’t buy them anything, which wasn’t a big deal to any of them. But it was a big deal to us. We have felt so….I can’t even think of a word to describe the feeling.

It’s not a sadness for myself or Handsome Hunk even, but for Blue-Eyed Boy. To not be able to buy your little boy even one thing is heartbreaking. But I have been so thankful that he is still too young to even begin to grasp Christmas, or Santa Claus or any of that stuff. It wasn’t going to be a big deal, we were okay with it.

Enter Forest Park Covenant Church. And more specifically the program “Outrageous Love” and our Adult Bible Fellowship.

“Outrageous Love” is a program designed to help families who do not have the means to celebrate Christmas. Individuals in the church sponsor them and provide them with gifts, and anything else they need for Christmas. It’s a wonderful program and we thought it was amazing the moment we heard of it.

What was even more amazing was when our ABF decided to sponsor………US! We hadn’t told them we weren’t having Christmas this year, we hadn’t told them how we had no money to even buy one thing for Blue-Eyed Boy. It was definitely a God thing. He knew we needed some hope this season.

So, tonight Mandy and Darren (a beautiful, and wonderful couple I might add) from our ABF came tonight and put presents under our tree. They also brought a laundry basket full of household necessities like laundry soap, toothpaste and I don’t know what else (I’m waiting for Handsome Hunk to get home to explore “the basket of goodness”). They came with a smile and a tin full of brownies still warm from the oven. But more importantly they brought us hope. Hope that there is a reason to keep pushing on even when our bills are overwhelming. Hope that we can be “normal” and not constantly scrapping together every dime wondering where our next meal is going to come from. And hope that one day we too can help someone else in the same way we were helped tonight.

So now I sit here in awe of the greatness of God and the goodness of His people.

With tears of joy streaming down my cheeks I can truly say……….
Yes! Yes, indeed folks, God came tonight.