Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Fridge Only Breaks When You're Already Broke

Why is it that good and bad things seem to come in waves together? It's Christmas time, a wonderful, time of year to think of Jesus Christ and celebrate his birth and life; but also a time of year we seem to find it necessary to spend all kinds of money on our loved ones. Whether that practice is right or wrong, with 6 kids, even limiting the amounts we spend, it adds up to quite a sum pretty quickly.

This Christmas I missed a few hospital shifts to work on midwife related things in the valley, and missed a few more thanks to a combination of being sick and low patient census at the hospital, and so our budget was already tight, very tight. As it was we kept trying to figure and re figure how much money we might be able to spend on our children, and how soon we might be able to spend it, hoping that we wouldn't be stuck buying last minute presents on Christmas Eve.

Then, just when we had paired down our budget and figured we could make it work and still pay bills on time, wham! Broken Refrigerator! I could not believe it. A Fridge is a necessity in our house, as in most homes today. Living out of ice chests lasted for all of about 2 days, when we decided that a new gently used fridge would have to be priority.

We had already explained to our kids that Christmas would be lean this year thanks to the purchase of our beautiful new homes. So, they were only a little surprised when we said "Merry Christmas everyone, your present is a new fridge!" The little kids were quite excited, however, the older ones were not so amused. Then, wouldn't you know it, my Mom's car broke down.

Now, just as bad things seem to congregate, so do good things. We kept our chins up, we kept praying and thanking Heavenly Father for the many things we were still blessed with, food to eat, clothes to wear, a job, our running vehicles, our overall good health, a beautiful home, a mom/grandma that now lives walking distance away, and our faith.

Then, just as quickly things started to look up. We found a great gently used fridge for a fair price. My brothers are all pitching in to help fix my mom's car. Yesterday, just at the opportune moment when I could answer my phone at work in a quiet location, it rang. It was a new midwife client who I will be meeting with next week.

Today, Beeville hospital was low census again, and did not need me, but a hospital in Corpus did. I took the opportunity to sleep a little longer, but slept just a little too long, and was running about 5 minutes late for work. As I drove to work, before I could even slow down, each stop light turned green for me. It felt almost magical, and definitely seemed to be a blessing from Heavenly Father as I managed to clock in 1 minute before 7am. I had a wonderful day at work, working on a floor with nurses and aids I feel very comfortable with, and felt as though I was back home again. We have also figured out a way to buy a few gifts for our children, so our home and the fridge are not the only Christmas gifts this year after all.

So, why is it that the Fridge only breaks when we are already broke? I guess part of it is to see how committed we are to Heavenly Father and to believing that he is watching out for us and blessing us in all things, even our afflictions. It is so easy to moan and groan and complain when these things happen, but so important to choose not to murmur, and instead praise God in all things. When I choose to turn more fully to him in my problems, he teaches me so many lessons that stay put deep in my heart, because there is emotion tied to them. I think my attitude needed some fixing, and a broken fridge, along with other financial struggles did just the trick.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What is My Part in Being Healed? Spiritual Answers to My Weight Loss Problems

"Having compassion for a man who was blind since birth, the Savior"spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, and said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam...He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing' (John 9:6-7)."

I came across this story the other day, and it really struck a chord with me. In this particular account, it talks about a few key factors in being healed by the Savior.
1. We come to the Savior with our problem
2. The Savior, Jesus Christ, has compassion for us
3. He does His part
4. We do our part
5. We are healed

Many times in the scriptures the stories of Christ healing the sick or afflicted in other manner follows this pattern. I can think to problems in my own life that He has helped me in or even healed me of, and they often fit this pattern as well.

The biggest thing that I needing healing of and continue to, over the last couple of years, has been my problem of compulsive overeating. Just over 2 years ago, I weighed my all time high of 305 pounds. I could walk only short distances at work without feeling tired and/or winded. I always wanted to be sitting down. My size 3X uniforms were tight and ripping from time to time. I felt like my spiritual life was lacking to a certain degree.

Then one day, I had had enough. I realized that my problem with food was more than physical, it was spiritual. I turned to the Lord with all of my heart and prayed for His help, prayed for Him to heal me, and to let me know my part. Whatever He asked of me, I was willing to do. He directed me to do several things, which I did, and I began to lose weight. Even more, my desire to compulsively eat began to fade. I have not had a dessert, sugar filled or sugar free in over 2 years. I lost 120 pounds. He truly was healing me.

At the same time, I have been stuck with the last 20-30 pounds I want to lose, hanging around for the last several months. It has been very frustrating. I have often wondered, what am I doing wrong? I realize, or at least I am admitting to myself, that I have forgotten some important parts of this healing process from time to time.

1. I have not consistently been coming to the Savior with my problem, every day, every meal, every problem. If I skip this step, the rest of the process disappears.

2. Jesus has continued to have compassion on me, that has not changed; however, I at times have been unaccepting of his help or compassion, or have simply not asked for it.

3. He always does His part. No matter how many times I fall, He always picks me up, if I simply ask. This one part truly amazes me and humbles me. He has so many other people to worry about, yet, me, the sinner that I am, He will always help, if I will merely turn to Him.

4. I have not been asking what my part is, and when I have asked, I have been inconsistent in doing my part. This is the hardest part, if I will let it be. Yet I know from experience, that He will give me the strength and help to do anything He asks of me. I just need to ask.

So, what is my part in being healed at this point in my life? I think, for starters, I need to turn to Him fully again. He has real solutions for my problems, and especially this one that I am struggling with now. Then, I need to be willing to take whatever His answers are and do them, completely, and consistently, every day, every meal, every bite.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Indirect Answers to Prayers, or This is the Only Way I Can Get You to Look in the Right Place

Twice in the last couple of days, I have experienced this phenomena. Here's how it works. I have a problem. In the two instances I was talking about, I was looking for something, and could not find it. I said a prayer. I asked for help and direction to find the lost items.

The first item, a missing book, that my mom was hoping to borrow, I immediately felt directed to go look in my car, which was where I last remembered seeing it. I went to my car, no book. I told my mom, I'm sorry, I can't find it. Walked back in the side door to my house, and immediately comes into view, the book. Of all places, it was sitting on top of the dryer. The perfect location for a gospel principles book. I would not have noticed it, if I had not been walking back in that particular door.

The next item, my stethescope, which I usually keep in the same spot, in my car, was completely elusive, as I was running late for work this morning. Of course, I had taken it out of my car, so my children wouldn't play with it, when I took them to the park on Saturday. I placed it very carefully, somewhere where they would not see it and play with it, and consequently, I later, could not find.

Again, I said a prayer. This time, my answer was to get my back up stethescope, which I hate. I did not want to do that. So, I resisted that answer, and kept looking, everywhere. I was getting later and later by the minute. Finally, I relented, I listened to the voice saying "get your backup", and returned to my closet to reach up and get the backup, when immediately below it, I saw my stethescope, the one I was looking for. I would never have found it in that spot, if I had not gone looking for my backup.

I need to remember, that when God speaks to me, he uses what I know. Seeing as I speak english, most of the time, he does not speak to me in Spanish. Since my attention span is too short for him to give me a descriptive location of where to find my stethescope, instead was the location of another object, I definitely knew the location of, that was very near by. I love that he does this. That He takes where I am physically, emotionally, intellectually, and goes with it.

If I will listen to His direction, I will find what I am looking for, always, just sometimes in a round about way. It isn't just about books and stethescopes, I need His help in so many other areas of my life, in all areas.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Facebooking at All Costs

As within anything in life, I am learning the importance of moderation in all things. It is amazing how some of these great tools we have can be used for so much good and so much evil, even if it is merely even in our own personal life. After all, isn't the world made of a whole bunch of personal lives.

Let me start with, I LOVE facebook. Really, I do. I have found myself pulling out my phone in conspicuous locations at work, so as not to be seen, to check status updates. I hate to admit it, but I even have spent extra long sitting in the bathroom, to look at facebook (of course while my hands are still somewhat clean). The other day I went onto networked blogs and spent hours working on getting people to follow my blogs. Thankfully, last year I gave up on the games on facebook, it was even worse then.

I realized on my way to work yesterday that I have been out of balance. Facebook can be a fine tool. It is a great way to connect with others, but it can also be a time waster and even something that distances me from God. The more I choose my favorite time waster when I should be choosing more eternally valuable things, the more I am loosing a little bit of that spirit that draws me closer to God and that I need, to direct me in my day to day life. I can feel a difference.

Now for the hard part, to figure out what amount of time on facebook is ok for me personally. When should I put my phone away and avoid looking at it at all costs. I started by spending a large amount of time asking for forgiveness and for help yesterday, and it has helped. Now, I need to start listening to that guidance and following it. The key to everything in this life is balance. Moderation in all things, including Facebook.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Avoiding the Debt Trap, and Trying to Get Out of It

In the process of trying to improve our credit enough to buy a house this last year, we succumbed to the debt trap. Boy is it a trap. I remember all to well now, why we never wanted to go back.

It just doesn't make sense that lenders won't lend to you if you have no credit, i.e. no debt. However, we started our way back in by buying a car last fall, because my car was having serious problems, and we hoped it might improve our credit. It helped some, but not quite enough.

A couple months later, we got a small credit card. That did the trick, within a few months, we had a new house, with a nice new, hefty house payment. Of course, it is a beautiful home! We love it, and it is perfect in many ways. However, shortly after we moved into our large new house payment, our family vehicle, the trusty suburban, (a necessity for a family of 8 and 1 dog), suffered from a terminal transmission.

Enter hefty car payment #2. Within one year, we went from 100% debt free, to an oversized home payment, 2 extra large car payments, and 1 not small enough credit card payment. Wow, have we felt the weight of this. It is amazing how horrible it feels to have debt, and how enslaving.

Now that I am moving forward with my new business, Bay Area Birth, I have been very tempted to get into more debt. In the church I attend, we have many times, and very recently again, been counseled to stay out of and get out of debt. So, with each new, better, and better credit offer, I have had to try harder and harder to push the thoughts out of my head. With a lot of prayer and change in thought patterns it is getting easier.

One experience I want to share about this, is that yesterday, I was told I was going to be sent home early. I was very upset about that, because, especially right now, every hour I work is counted into my budget. I was planning on the extra 2 hours or so I should have worked.

As I was gathering equipment to take to a patient's room, a recent credit card offer crossed my mind. I thought about how I could buy some needed supplies for my business, and pay for more advertising. Just as quickly, I pushed those thoughts aside, and prayed fervently that Heavenly Father would help me have the strength to follow his guidance and avoid debt, and that if I were to follow his guidance, he would help things to work out.

I went into the patient's room, and by the time I left, about 20 minutes later, the charge nurse came up to me and said they would not be sending me home after all. I knew it was an answer to my prayers, and I had passed one more test in the process towards getting out of our debt trap.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bay Area Birth is open for Business, and I am an official Midwife!

First of all, I knew it had been awhile since I last blogged, but how has it really been over a year?!? Crazy. Back in August I took my licensing exam, and passed! Hooray! Making me an official CPM or certified professional midwife. Then I applied for Texas licensure and am now an official LM as well, or Licensed Midwife.

With all of this officialness, I also have an official website: www.bayareabirth.com for my official business. :) I also have a blog for said business: www.bayareabirth.wordpress.com. I wrote a post about my very first birth as a midwife with Bay Area Birth as well. Check it out.

You all know how much I love repeating number, well, believe it or not, my very first birth as a solo midwife was a beautiful baby girl born on 10/10/10 at 10:10pm. On top of that my new Texas midwife license number is 99110. Since I was born on 9/9 at 11:11pm, that really felt to me as if Heavenly Father was saying, this is what you were born to do.

I am extremely excited to get busy as a midwife! I hope to share more stories about what has happened in the last year and what is happening now, very soon.