In 2014, we had a number of needs that seemed like they would become overwhelming, but none of them did.
Needs which had me concerned and praying included the fact that our refrigerator had started freezing foods like lettuce, our vehicles were all having expensive "issues" some of which were caused by vandalism, Hannah's piano and Brailler needed fixed (at the same time), and our house (and the rentals in Kansas) had unexpected repairs needed several times. Plus "the usual" stresses of keeping our household running and our out-of-pocket medical paid had my prayer life flourishing.
Ed has always said that I can spin straw into gold, but there was no way to "spin" or even juggle the large number of needs that were coming at us! However, resources arrived as needed through so many sources! Extra jobs, gifts, unbelievable deals, and bills that never got billed despite my calling for an invoice several times...you know who you are, if you are reading this...well, all I can say is a LOT of thank you's!
A food ministry through our previous church from while we lived in Carthage provided us with many donated
|Our SURPRISE Thanksgiving Basket |
from Fellowship Baptist
My TOPS chapter and friends helped us fund our trips to State and International Award ceremonies. Several TOPS friends and family gave me clothes as I lost weight and did not have clothing in my new sizes. Plus a friend even gave me a formal dress when I won the TOPS award for weight loss so I could meet the stage dress code! (And as icing on my blessings, a TOPS friend from Kansas knitted and mailed all the kids stocking caps that they love!)
A friend on Facebook donated TWO huge bags of clothes to our quickly growing oldest son who officially became a challenge to keep up with this year since he sprouted from a size 10 to a 14-16 just this year. AND all these donated clothes fit!
We got "curbside" dishes and a recliner when a neighbor was cleaning out to move.
|Some of the school supplies|
My aunt and uncle gave us the refrigerator from her new house, and it does not freeze lettuce or eggs and it is bigger than our old one! Plus they gave us an unbelievable deal on buying their minivan (as our Durango was needing many repairs with over 318,000 miles on it).
The Wassenaars gave us HUGE watermelons, bell peppers, oranges, their entertainment center...plus her sister gave Corrine a bedroom set...and you thought you had good neighbors! Truthfully, we have amazing neighbors everywhere in our neighborhood.
People helped me find walnuts that we could pick up to fund Christmas. Two ladies in particular may have "scouted" the town and harassed ALL their friends with walnut trees into letting us pick up their walnuts! It was such a blessing! All I know is between the walnuts, the aluminum cans and some scrap metal, we somehow funded Christmas for our kids and our Compassion child (and could even afford postage on a few Christmas cards which is really something with the cost of postage)!
Our family got approved for a reduced fee family membership to the YMCA in August. So for the first time, we are enjoying the local YMCA's facilities and I am enjoying the aquasize classes.
Other blessings included the loss of our favorite (and the best) pediatrician Dr. Shari Smith being temporary because she was able to open a new practice in November! (Having a doctor and staff who values our kids as much as we do is an immeasurable blessing.)
Pro-Lube continues to keep fixing our vehicles within what we can manage financially, which is no small task when our newest car has 220,000 miles on it and our bus has over 310,000 miles on it. It is a wonder that we don't spend all our time broke down along the roadside! I know sometimes they must think, "You broke what and how!"...thinking of a certain bus lift that they welded back into working order. These are a talented group of mechanics!
Countryside Pharmacy keeps humoring my forever search for more affordable formulary medications to keep our co-pays low. But despite my relentless search of lower cost medications, they provide us with amazing and smiling service and even 7 free movie tickets to the Summer Kid's Movie! (You won't get that at Walgreens!)...which brings me to the blessing of Nate no longer needing his expensive heart medication as of March 2014.
Mike's Heating & Air got our old HVAC system working despite our previous repair company telling us that it was unfix-able on one of the hottest days of Summer. Ed and I could certainly live without A/C, but some of our kids should not for medical reasons so when J.J. got that old system to pump out cool air...well, my stress level took a huge drop!
Hometown Bank keeps providing smiling employees and wonderful services including letting me abuse their free faxing and notary services despite having a balance, which should not earn us any free services!
The schools that serve our kids continue to be a blessing in their efforts to find and keep the right people and services to meet our kids needs. This year has been a struggle for them too as new people have had to learn the unique challenges, needs and values of our family.
Then in the section of blessings that probably only a few families need. Jon finished getting his teeth fixed and
|Hannah with her working|
And with Ed's 168 mile a day commute, lets not forget the blessing of lower gas prices! The daily commute price has dropped to $14 per day from $22 per day!!!
The biggest blessing of all to me was being able to help others even as we struggled to meet our own needs. I am forever grateful when God provides a surplus of donated food or items that I can pass on to others who I know could use a blessing. This year we were able to pass on a neighbor's washer and dryer, garden surplus, "yard" eggs from our chickens, outgrown clothes, and so much more.
God has provided us with an abundance of wonderful people in our lives...our pastor, teachers, doctors, nurses, therapists, mechanics, pharmacists, repair people, clerks, cashiers (yes, I know MY cashiers), neighbors, friends, family and so many more. Thank you to everyone! May we all have a blessed 2015! (Sorry this post was so lengthy!)