Another “Small” Miracle…

Perhaps it was because I hadn’t left to pick up the free weed whacker yet when I wrote the last post but there is another miracle attached to the freebie weed whacker.

I left the following Monday morning to visit my Aunt Cheryl and to pick up the weed whacker in question.  In addition to needing a weed whacker to tame the jungle most folks call a lawn, I had sent a silent prayer to God to help me as I was running low on hay for my rabbits and, having just “adopted” 8 more from a friend, that hay was running out rather quickly.

The day started like any other.  I went through my morning routine of yoga, prayers and care of my beloved menagerie of critters.  Around 11 a.m. I got in the car and started east on Route 6 in Connecticut bound for West Warwick, Rhode Island–an almost-full hour’s drive.  I wasn’t thinking about hay at all but I do remember being a little in awe about the way the weed whacker had come into my life and also, being thrilled to share some time with one of my favorite aunts (and I know I shouldn’t have “favorites” but Auntie Cheryl is only 5 years my senior so she’s more like my sister than my aunt and time spent with her is always time well-spent).  =)

Anyway, I was just approaching the Rhode Island/Connecticut border when, lo and behold, what should I spy sitting in the middle of Route 6 completely intact and undisturbed?  You guessed it…a bale of hay!  Talk about manna from heaven.  I’m guessing it fell off a truck that had passed that way not too much before but what are the chances of my coming upon this gift from God at just the hour of need if not for His intervention?  Even more miraculous was the lack of traffic on Route 6 at that hour of the day.  I was able to pull right over, pick it up and place it in the backseat of my car.  All the way to my aunt’s house, my car smelled of sweet, fresh hay (not exactly the healthiest aroma for an asthmatic but I am too grateful to care) and my bunnies have been enjoying it for about a week now.  It is really good hay, too–no dust or mold and at least a 2nd cut because there aren’t any weeds either.

I am well and truly blessed.  Praise the Lord!

God bless you and keep you!

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Not Exactly a Floodgate But…

…A trickle of interest in my writing again.

I’m almost afraid to write it for fear it’ll jinx me and I won’t come back for months again.  My writing habits have been all fits and starts.  But I’m enjoying it and that’s the most important thing.  I’m starting to feel renewed and invigorated.  Writing is at my core and something I have been neglecting for so long now that I’ve felt half-dead and convinced there’s been something inherently wrong with me.  That’s not a good feeling.

Now I’m even beginning to feel some stirrings where the fictional writing is concerned but, sssh, let’s not rock the boat…

Another “trickle” is a small but definite miracle today.  My lawn has gotten absolutely atrocious with it being thigh-high in some areas.  Walking through to the back compost pile, I pick up at least a half dozen of ticks and a dozen mosquito bites.  Granted, we have had nothing but heavy rains for almost 2 weeks but it was overgrown before the rain.  At this height, the old lawnmower isn’t likely to get through it anyway and the weed whacker died last summer; being unemployed, I haven’t been able to replace it.  I need a weed whacker so the other morning I prayed to God to bring me one–somehow, someway.

Today I picked up my pay for some petsitting I did this week.  Though I could certainly use the extra money, I decided, having become totally fed up with the overgrown jungle and finding exploded ticks all over the house that the dogs bring in on a daily basis, that I would purchase a weed whacker with part of that pay–but only if I could find one for under $40.  I did.  I found one at Home Depot for $32…with tax!  Praise the Lord!  I was really proud of myself.

Then I made my next stop at the library to read my emails.  And this is where the answered prayer and miracle occurred: my Aunt Cheryl posted a message for me on Facebook that she had a weed whacker and, if I wanted it, I could have it.  Wow…a small lesson learned about the virtue of patience and waiting on the Lord…and also, a renewed boost of faith that He truly does care and is taking care of me.  And the receipt for the one I purchased is in the car so I should be able to return it.  Hallelulah!

Now for the secondhand laptop that I might enroll in the Pastoral Ministry course from Ohio Christian University…He works in mysterious ways.

God bless you & keep you!

Facing Foreclosure

It’s everyone’s nightmare…to suddenly lose your home through no fault of your own except being unable to find gainful employment that will provide you the monthly payment.  This is where I am at the moment, having just received the letter from the mortgage company that they’ve sent my account to a foreclosure attorney.  Of course, if I can come up with, not just the back payments I owe, but the full $152K still owed on the mortgage, then I can reinstate it.  If I can find that gainful employment, I can refinance through another company and keep my home.

But that’s a big “if” in this economy.

It has cost me many a sleepless night.  I love my home.  It’s become a comfortable oasis, a place to retreat to on a daily basis the same as everyone else’s home.  It’s familiar.  But, unlike so many, I am not overly bound to material things.  Granted, I need shelter like anyone else, but I’m not as fussed about where that shelter is as long as its rural.  However, what stresses me out to the point of hysteria at times is my 4 legged menagerie.  I cannot bear to part with any of them and I will live in a cardboard box with all of them if I have to.  So, should we have to leave, I will have one of the greatest challenges of my life before me: finding a proper home for me and the farm.

Of course, I’ve been considering this from a spiritual standpoint.  Years ago, I had such a gut-feeling that I had to leave, that God was pointing me away from Brooklyn, CT.  I had gone to Canaan, Maine with my friend, Donna, to visit her aunt and uncle and had this gut-feeling that I had come home, that this was where I was meant to be.  The feeling returned with a vengeance when I attended Goat School in St. Albans, Maine, just 8 months later.

In 2008, I traveled to St. Albans to look at some land that was being sold by the folks who run Goat School.  I left on a Friday with $15K available from my 401K for a deposit on the land.  This was when the housing crisis hit.  I came back to work on Monday with only $3K for a deposit, not nearly enough to secure it even with owner financing instead of Bangor Savings, as was graciously and generously offered by the owners.

I took it as a sign He didn’t want me traveling to Maine but now I wonder if I didn’t interpret it wrong, if the Adversary didn’t plant that doubt in my mind to throw a monkey wrench in His plans for me.  Perhaps it was a sign, instead, for me to seek faith and trust in Him.  I’m wondering if my current stagnation here in Brooklyn and my inability to find steady employment isn’t His way of saying, “Trust me this time!  And I will give you rest…”  Perhaps it is His will that I lose–or sell–this home and, thus, be forced to start anew.

On the flip side of this is the effects of two very negative relationships that I have been involved in over the years.  The first kept telling me that if he’d been my ex-husband, Dan (who was my husband when I bought the place), he would’ve never let me purchase this house.  Granted, being an older home (built 1915), it does need a lot of TLC but I received nothing but criticism from him about my home.  Then the next guy came along and just went to town making changes as he saw fit, not caring if I really wanted those changes done at all.  The work he did was exceptional, I’ll give him that, and most of the time, truly appreciated, but there were other changes made that really hurt.  In short, both of these men have made me feel embarrassed and often ashamed of something I have been blessed with and have worked so hard to keep.  So maybe God is giving punishment here, punishment for not appreciating His blessings, for allowing myself to look at it through someone else’s jealous or embittered eyes.

Yes, like many adult children of abusive people, I often see God as that stern and punitive patriarch.  It is one of the many reasons I am dedicating myself to the ministry–I want to help other victims of childhood abuse overcome this distorted view of such a loving God.

That being said, I’m more inclined to believe my former theory; it is time to simply move forward to a better life elsewhere.  Though I love so many things about my home: the convenience of living in town within walking distance of the grocery store, library, post office, etc; the rolling green “hills” that characterize the 1/2 acre lot; the daily visits from white-tailed deer through the woods behind me; Helen, the Norway maple, who provides blessedly cool shade on hot summer days, I am also aware that it is often too much home to care for.  It needs a new roof, gutters, the foundation is cracked and I have few, if any, carpentry skills.  As an asthma sufferer it is next to impossible to keep the lawn mowed to a respectable height.  Eventually, if I can find a way to stay, I would like to mulch over all the grass–except the backyard–and plant raised flower beds and small fruits  throughout the 1/2 acre lot and an extensive raised herb garden instead of a front lawn.  However, there is also the hermit of the woods in me that always feels like she’s in the fish bowl being on such a busy street.   And, while I live in a rural town, I am in the commercial district.  The property has a grandfather clause for agricultural use but I’m feeling the encroachment of big box stores, Walmart going up and expected to be completed soon with more properties being sold along the strip as commercial.  It’s only a matter of time before they start harrassing me even about the chickens and ducks…and I would be extremely limited as to the amount of goats and sheep I can raise here anyway so maybe He is saying He has a place for me that is better suited for me and will be easier to care for that I might have more time for Him and the ministry He is calling me to…

…Either that, or perhaps He is testing me to see how much I really do appreciate His gifts, helping me to heal from all the negative remarks my home has received and, at that last final moment, He will show me one of his miracles.  He’s done it before; I am wrong to worry so much as His love has no end.  I simply can’t help the back and forth rumination as I try to discern what His plan might be for me.

I’ve had a friend, who is also a real estate agent–and a minister, go figure!–come out to look at the house from a professional standpoint.  She sees lots of possibilities for making extra income.  She suggested a roommate but, I confess, unless that roommate were family or close friend, I don’t think I could do it.  I like my privacy too much and I think it would be very uncomfortable with a stranger sharing with me.

My Mom wants to come home from Missouri and offered to share with me but that would mean my stepfather would come with her.  I felt like a “bad” daughter–and an equally “bad” Christian–for saying “no” and not wanting that man under my roof until I talked to my minister friend about it and then later my priest.  I fear having my stepfather, the pedophile, under my roof because I fear it will undo 20 years of therapy and, worse, destroy my credibility with so many family members and friends who have stood by me through those 20 years of therapy and taken care to keep young children away from him (as I cannot prosecute him due to the RI Statute of Limitations…).  I fear it, not out of pride or ego, but out of fear for my young nieces and my soon-to-be godchild who will see him in my house and trust him simply because he is being sheltered in Auntie Lisa’s home.  I have no wish to put any of them at risk–especially not for the sake of keeping my home; there are other houses out there.  I also have no wish to be further violated where my privacy is concerned as he is not above “accidentally” opening mail and riffling through file cabinet drawers, etc., to poke his nose where it does not belong.  And I am not convinced he is totally cured of alcoholism.  At present he has little means of getting the booze; Mom won’t go get it for him and he cannot drive. I have a liquor store almost across the street, easily reached even with his limited mobility.  My friend says I owe it to my inner child to take care of her.  Father Katookaran (sp?) advised that, though having them here to help with the mortgage payments might solve the immediate problem of foreclosure, in the long run it would prove to be bad for me spiritually and emotionally, and possibly make problems within the family, too.  And that’s more important…to protect myself and to also keep the peace within my family.

So I come around full circle, believing He has some other plan for me, someplace that I am meant to be, someplace where I won’t be perpetually “stuck” and, once I’m there, all the doors will open for me again and I’ll have my hearts’ desire–yes, my goats!  I’m looking at this as a new beginning  rather than a loss.  That is the faith I cling to as I struggle against the tide of losing possibly everything I have worked for.  I know He’ll bring me–and my menagerie of “babies’, too–round right.

God bless you & keep you!