Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Up and Down (04/02/09)
TITLE: Dear Diary
By Ruth Ann Moore
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I write to you in fearful anticipation as we are at the cusp of a brand spankin’ new year. Alas, I have dreaded this night for quite some time. You see, the blissful years when this day meant making naive resolutions; including innocent pledges like losing weight, a better job, or a great vacation, are gone. Now, I just want to make it through the next twelve months relatively unscathed. Don’t get me wrong, each year has its own blessings, but getting to them can be an unnerving endeavour.
Take 2005 for instance. That January we had just purchased our first home; a fixer-upper, perfect for our little family. We did everything by the book; the Buying Your First Home for Dummies book that is. Life was grand. Grand, until the hydro company told us our wiring was nowhere near code, the roof leaked on our furniture, the bed fell through the floor, the front door fell off its hinges, the oven caught on fire, the toilet cracked in half, and the building inspector told us the structure was in no way sound. (Do you think?) And that my paper friend, was just the first week. By the second week we moved out of our “dream home” (nightmare, more like it), called the demolition crew, and began “discussions” with all those who had “helped” make our “dream” come true. Needless to say by December, through endless complications, we had a brand new home. I learned that sometimes you need to laugh as “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine” and it is better than crying.
2006 brought us a new realm of surprise. In January (again), my husband was injured at work. (We are not talking just a little injured; we are talking limbs in casts and traction injured.) He was out of commission for the better part of the year. I was left with the care of him (men can be so whinny), the house (thank goodness it was new), the kids (school, meals, discipline, and play-dates for starters) the puppy (don’t even get me started), and the budget (I hate dealing with money). Oh yeah, did I mention I worked three jobs? That year, I learned how to schedule and be organized. I learned that “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God,” and “my strength” because He never slumbers nor sleeps, and hears every prayer.
In 2007, I began to be suspicious of January. My fears were soon rewarded. (It was honestly not what I was going for.) Anyway, an ice storm hit; the worst one in eight decades. The only tree on my block to fall landed square on my car. Power was out for three weeks. We had to move out of our house in a hurry as we had no heat. When we came back nearly everything, including our fish tank, was frozen. It seems the only things that were not frozen were the contents of the freezers and fridge. It took one week to warm up the house, and eleven to fix the plumbing and damage. I learned that insurance is a really good thing, that I like my new car very much, and that God’s “grace is sufficient” for me: for His “strength is made perfect in weakness”.
I nearly shouted for joy when, in January of this year, the abandoned house across the street burned down and nothing happened to us. (Sigh.) The Lord must have seen my prideful spirit because by May we discovered that the fire had displaced a whole roost of bats; who in turn took up residence in our “new” house. The builders (ever-so thoughtfully) left an opening under the eaves trough, just perfect and inviting for our newest residents. (Did you know that bats are a protected species and that you can’t exterminate them? Not even if they have rabies?) I learned never to laugh at someone else’s expense, that rabies shots hurt, and that pride cometh before the fall.
So as I hang on to the last dying moments of this year, I have my insurance paid up to date, vital numbers on file, my house in order, a supply of food and a generator, a well sealed attic, and most importantly God’s word in my heart; as it is the stay of my spirit and the guide of my days through all the ups and downs of life.
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