Tender Mercies and Monetary Miracles

Life is Strange. But I must follow that up by saying, “Life is Beautiful.” I know I’m not the first one in the history of the world to say those words, but the past 7 months have been as unpredictable as being blindfolded on a rollercoaster.

When I started an exciting job at a fairly prestigious university last January, I had no idea how short lived the position would be. After 6 months, I was out of work. I didn’t qualify for unemployment in neither Georgia, nor Utah. We’d been barely getting by as a dual income family, drowning in our student loan debt despite two paychecks. We have gone from money in our savings account and some open credit on our American Express, to paying cash only and living paycheck to paycheck like never before. In October, my husband bumped up to 3rd year First Officer pay, which now gives him slightly more income than a full-time fast food restaurant worker. Seriously.

In late June, Rosie and I drove cross-country from Georgia to Utah. We filled up our car with clothes and few other things to make Grandpa’s house in Spanish Fork feel like a home. We have been so fortunate to have a cozy place to live (despite all the complaining I do about its proximity to the SLC airport). Rosie’s surrounded by many children her age, and I’ve made some great friends in the neighborhood. I never knew I could adore a laptop and an unsecured WiFi connection so deeply. We haven’t had much, but it honestly hasn’t been so bad.

At times when I’ve felt my life was lean on blessings….

Something would happen to remind me of how incredibly blessed I am.

I discovered this quote through my bloggy friend Janessa by Elder Scott:

“Father in Heaven knew that you would face challenges and be required to make some decisions that would be beyond your own ability to decide correctly. In His plan of happiness, He included a provision for you to receive help with such challenges and decisions during your mortal life. That assistance will come to you through the Holy Ghost as spiritual guidance. It is a power, beyond your own capability, that a loving Heavenly Father wants you to use consistently for your peace and happiness.”

Amazing counsel, don’t you think?

December was particularly trying, yet amazing, for our family. As a challenge would come up, such as my back injury and being drastically overcharged by our moving company , someone would shovel the snow in our driveway, bring us dinner, slip an envelope with cash into our door jamb, or offer to fill up my gas tank. We had more medical expenses in one month than we’d encountered in the rest of 2009, but we have excellent insurance and manageable copays. On an emotionally overwhelming day, I confided in an acquaintance how exhausted and hopeless I was feeling about my situation. A few days later, a “Secret Santa” had been set up for our family…giving Rosie a bounteous pile of gifts under the tree, and cash we needed to pay our car payment. My eyes still tear up about it as I think about it.

I’ve tried to give personal thank you’s to all those who have helped out my family…but I know several anonymous TMI’s (Tender Mercy Instigators…I just made that up) have blessed our lives. To you, I say Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.
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