Here's a summary:
Remember, I've been having financial struggles like the rest of the world. Also, I was preparing to speak at a women's event, topic: Dressed for Battle - Becoming a Princess Warrior for Christ. I don't think the devil likes it too much when we stand against him and proclaim God's goodness and glory. Anyway again ....
The list of unfortunate events:
The week prior to the retreat my son was recovering from the flu/coughing nightmare that's going around, my mom (who lives with me) got the stomach yuks -- big time, and was pretty much bedridden in between her trips to kneel at the porcelain throne, or sit upon it.
1. I got sick and was in bed not able to do my prep work for the retreat and missing important stuff at work.
2. The day of the retreat, still not feeling well, I was running late due to my son's baseball game. After the game, I followed that still small voice that told me to stop into Jiffy Lube to have my oil level and tires checked before heading out of town to Cannon Beach Retreat Center. There, I discovered my car was dry as a brittle bone - no oil. So I had to have some flushing thingie done to get my car oiled up, which was an unexpected cost. Not good with a limited budget. Next, the friendly service guy informed me that my left, rear tire was totally flat and balled. He said, "As a professional, I can't not warn you that this tire is ready to blow. Do not drive over the mountains on this tire. Get it fixed now."
3. Off to Les Schwab's Tire Center I go, already running waaaaaay late for my engagement. I have to wait and wait and wait to get my used tire on, which is more money I hadn't planned on spending. Big sigh.
RETREAT WAS AWESOME. INCREDIBLE. FANTASTIC. GOD IS GLORIFIED. GOD HEALS. GOD DOES MIGHTY THINGS FOR HIS PRECIOUS PRINCESS WARRIORS. I'M BLESSED. THE LADIES ARE BLESSED. ALL IS VERY GOOD. I return home ...
4. Back home exhausted, head to work Monday. Check my bank account and see that it's $200.00 overdrawn due to someone pulling out funds that were not approved to be pulled. I freak out. Cry. Cry. Wail. Finally pray and reach out.
5. Next day have to go to the bank and open a new account; close the old one etc. etc. Big hassle, but it works out. (thank you, God)
6. My daughter calls me later while I'm at work crying. Admits that she broke my flat screen computer monitor. I'm a writer with deadlines etc. I have no money to replace an expensive monitor right now. Try old monitors, none work. I'm frustrated, again.
All this stuff seems rather unfortunate, if you know what I mean. Unexpected. Unpleasing. I remember that I am supposed to praise God no matter what my circumstances. Paul, from a filthy Roman prison praised God. So must I. However, I feel tromped on. But I pray anyway, still grumbling a lot.
Phew! Now remember just a while back - my roof blew off, plumbing issues, major challenges with my daughter at school.
So? What to make of all this ... it's life in a fallen and imperfect world. I can choose to crumble beneath the weight of what feels overwhelming or turn to God for relief. He promises to lighten our load. Yet, He also says there will be trials and tribulations this side of heaven. As I write about this, I'm reminded that although life has been frustrating and inconvenient, He has made a way. I found a three-ton monitor from the year 20 BC that gives graphics a whole new meaning, but I can at least write and do my ministry work now. We have a new roof thanks to home owner's insurance. The toilet flushes (now). My daughter is doing better. We're all feeling healthier. There's hope. There's a promising future. We're saved by the blood of Christ.
If you've lived in this world for any length of time, you, too, understand that our lives can seem overwhelming at times. We wonder if we're wearing a big sign that says: "Go on! Hit me with your best shot." Thankfully, no matter what, if we belong to Christ, there's always hope for a better tomorrow. We have Someone to walk beside us. Someone who will carry us should it become necessary. Someone who died so we can look forward to a future with no more tears, no more pain, no more suffering. Thank you, Jesus!
My unfortunate events may seem to be mere annoyances to some, and looking back, in comparison to what others are facing, they are pretty insignificant. But, I have strange feeling that you can relate to just how VERY BIG those little things can seem at the time.
So, if you're facing trials, tribulations, or temptations, remember God is bigger than all of them. With Him all things truly are possible. We are victorious in Christ. We are overcomers. AMEN!
Watch for my upcoming entries on the Armor of God. After all, when we're dressed for battle, we can expect greater success. God bless you, Princess Warriors.