Wrong Thanksgiving

Today has been a weird day for me. While it is Black Friday all over the country, we have not even left our tiny one bedroom apartment. We had plans to go to Canada to my sister’s home while my parents would also be visiting her but our budget put the end to that.

As you know, I am a budget ninja. I can make a penny scream for mercy. I can. The problem is lately that I have not been. I have not even made them sweat. I have been irresponsible and know I need to get my poop in a group.

I have spent money foolishly on things like Caribou Coffee dates with my boys, eating out, hockey games, and things of that nature. We spent a significant amount of money that we otherwise would not have the weekend we went to see my niece in the hospital in Winnipeg. The thing is…we were able to do it. A year ago it would not have been an option.

My daughter and I refer to this weekend as the Wrong Thanksgiving. We are Canadian and we celebrate the holiday in October. As my boys are dual citizens I asked them what they wanted for a meal yesterday…they chose ham and scalloped potatoes and mashed potatoes. I do not want to take away from their holiday; I just have never been able to make it mine.

When I was married we often hosted Thanksgiving for my ex-husband’s mother and brother. I did all the cooking and the went to bed in the early evening so I could get up and go shopping with my girlfriend. That is what Thanksgiving has always been about for me…shopping. When I first discovered Black Friday I was in love!!

It wasn’t about the crazy crowds or the chaos; it was about having a fun time with my friend and laughing while nabbing some great deals and eating. We were always home with our haul around noon (and usually straight to bed for a nap).

This last four years there have been no Black Friday shopping trips, not even online. I don’t know if it will be any different next year. While I’m missing it, I need to just work through it and put it in its place.

Now that cancer is over it seems as though all the grief, fear, and uncertainty is coming out now. I find myself grieving over the loss while anticipating the future and still trying to live in the present.

I lost a sense of security a person does not even realize they have until their own life is at stake. While this loss led me to a greater peace about eternity and heaven, I must say it might be a bit easier to picture heaven when it happens to be knocking on your door.

Let me tell you…it is nowhere near as cool as the “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” song. Me knocking on heaven’s door is one thing…Heaven knocking on mine, not cool.

I have lost people I fought with. Three people I was in radiation with have since past. Another lady has progressed to Stage IV…which in breast cancer is terminal.

So I am in a limbo.

I am healthy and back to work but still catching up to life at our pace. It is so slow going to climb out of the pit financially and emotionally.

Some days I feel we will forever be behind, yet I know we are doing ok. Most of the bills are being paid and for now, that is going to have to be ok.

I need to build up my emergency fund; it was almost to $500 before the trip to Winnipeg and then after the trip I used it to help pay my deposit on my new place. With both boys having birthdays and Christmas within six weeks of Christmas, it is not easy to be disciplined financially. Once I have it built back up and my one loan paid off, things will again be ok.

I have an outstanding $450 loan to start paying back after Christmas. The mediator gets $103.80 each month until April or May (court ordered mediator for all child-related communications with the ex-husband). These are my only debts.

All things considered, we truly are not in terrible shape. It is only another growth phase for us spiritually, emotionally, and financially.

I am again serving others through teaching at Creation Station, hosting Sunday mornings, and making a meal for the Youth Group once a month. These take only time and energy, not money. They are a tangible need that I am able to fill.

God is SCREAMING at me to again get out and start speaking. The opportunities I have been given, I have failed miserably at by not being prepared. My sincerely apologies to those who have had to listen to me ramble…and to the women who entrusted me with such an honor.

That needs to change…RIGHT NOW.

I’m going to start preparing for my next speaking engagement (a devotional for the local MOPS group). It is not until December 5…and I am going to finish it THIS WEEKEND. THIS WEEKEND.

Dear God,

Help me see the opportunities you have placed before me and to make the most of each of them. I seem to be stuck.

I need to get over my fear of success. I will never get anywhere as long as I continue to sabotage myself. Please surround me with the same type of army that got me through cancer…one that believes in the passion you have called me for.

Help me to get back to financial discipline in a way that honors you.

Thank you for all the wonderful blessings you have brought in to my life. Continue to give me the insight to serve you in places people may not even see a need.

With You, I am ready. Help me to focus only on You.

Amen

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