If I could describe this year in one word, I'd say tough. I don't mean to complain, especially since it's only July, but it seems every time Holly or I turn around, we're getting hit with something else. Here are a few examples:
Car woes...we all have them. But since 2019 started, I'm starting to believe that my F-150 and Holly's Explorer are out to get us. Seriously.
Both of our vehicles have been in and out of the shop for the last several months. Indeed, we barely have a few weeks go by when we didn't have to have something else checked. And at one point, BOTH of our vehicles were out of commission! And of course, with the inconvenience of not having our cars up to par, is the cost of getting those issues fixed.
We're still not out of the woods, yet. My truck still has a mysterious shaking going on, and every now and then, Holly's car doesn't want to stay running when she starts it. Both are getting up in years and we're having to face the fact that we're eventually going to need new ones. But for the moment, (say a little prayer, knock on wood, cross our fingers!) they are both running.
Holly started experiencing some health issues this spring. Racing heart, dizziness, blurred vision. And she could not stop eating! Always hungry but losing weight. (I know, that sounds like a wonderful problem to have, but it wasn't really!) She felt crummy. In fact, she said she'd rather have strep throat. To make matters worse, this was before grocery day, so she didn't have a lot of options. (Just to clarify, NO, we were not struggling to stay fed. We had plenty of meats and dinner foods. We were just getting low on snack and other options to eat throughout the day.) In the end, she ended up with a trip to the ER (which lasted HOURs) and a couple extra visits with her specialists to get everything straightened out. Turned out that her hyperthyroidism was acting up again. No surprise. So she got put back on her meds...and then on another med...and then upped her other meds...and now she's ALMOST back to normal. :)
Then I found out that I am pre-diabetic. Not a terrible diagnosis, but an inconvenient one, all the same. I had been experiencing a lot of heart palpitations recently. So, I got MY thyroid checked, just to be safe. Nope. Thyroid is fine. Just have to watch the carbs, cut back on my sugar, and eat lots of veggies.
Now, the funny thing here was the timing. By this time, I had gotten my paycheck and restocked my fridge and cupboards... of things I couldn't eat. But, I can't complain. It could've been worse. And I generally enjoy eating healthy anyway, so I took this as a challenge, though it was a little rough my school kept giving out treats and having potluck lunches to celebrate the end of school!
So, basically, Holly has to stay on meds to keep from starving to death (to put it lightly) while I have to change my diet to keep from diabetes.
Then our house was struck by lightning. No joke. OK, the lightning did not directly hit the house. But it still did its damage. And scared Holly to death!
A tree took a direct hit, and has been slowly dying every since, sent huge splinters and pieces of bark through the yard. Some of those splinters driven into the dirt and were sticking up, even. But no one was hurt. Unfortunately, the hit killed our underground fence, which is a MUST to keep our knucklehead dogs in the yard. The base and outlet were fried inside the house. (Holly smelled the smoke.) And our phone and router were done for, too. The phone plug and router box literally popped into pieces. Breakers were tripped, knocking the power out for bit. Our surge bar was charred. And a light bulb exploded right out of our ceiling fan in the kitchen, where Holly was sitting.
But no one was hurt. Not Holly or any one of our dogs. But they were all shook up! However, we still haven't been able to get our fencing fixed yet. Which means our poor dogs have to spend every night on a chain. (Until Friday, hopefully)
Let's continue. Sales at the store this year have been short of disappointing. OK, maybe downright disappointing. OK, fine: this year has been slow! And if you know anything about retail, you know a slow year spells out low sales. And low sales aren't very good for the bank account. Especially when you have to continue paying the bills.
Now let's add to this the day-to-day ups and downs, like colds and flus (I completely lost my voice in the last few days of school.), on-the-job difficulties, and strained relationships. And add to all that the drama and division that has exploded in recent months in this country. I don't know about you, but I am so troubled by what I am seeing in the media, entertainment industry, and politics. The heartbreaking trends in abortion. The attacks on Christian business owners. The breakdown in immorality. The hatefulness and pettiness of political parties. It's not been pretty.
So, yeah. I'm not a fan of 2019. I realize our problems may seem very trivial, compared to others'. But they're ours, and they're doing their best to knock us down and keep us down. And the year's only half over! So, forgive me if I seem a bit...grumbly.
But, (here come the good part) one thing has remained constant. God sees us through every setback. I may not always feel Him, but I KNOW He's there.
Like so many small business owners across the country, I don't know what the future of our store will be. But God has managed to provide what we need to pay our bills now. We may have to watch what we eat or take our medicine, but God kept our health from being any worse. Our vehicles may go in the shop tomorrow, but He's kept us safe on the roads. And we may have lost a few things in a lightning storm, but He kept it from harming any lives.
I know we're not the only ones going through difficult times. It's frustrating and discouraging, sure, to feel like you can't get a break. But, it's a comfort to know that we're not alone. He's watching us. He loves us and provides for us. And He keeps us
In His Grip!
PS: But I still hope the rest of 2019 turns out better!
PPS: How's the year going for you?