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Friday, December 5, 2008

Blues and Blessings

While reading another blog, I saw the cover of a new Baby Blues compilation book. It took me a moment, and then I laughed. Check out the cover for a grin. ...or not, if you're not as twisted as I am <smile>.

Now I don't have baby blues at the moment. I have waiting blues while we exercise our "patience" muscles in this whole adoption thing. And I also tend to have money blues.

Let me give you a prime example of my misery.

We recently went to Costco armed with several coupons, including one for $3 off a pair of women's lounge pants. I was getting tired of not having any PJ bottoms to use because Brittany kept taking them, so this could be a pretty good deal. And it was.

We got two pairs.

Brittany loves them and said, "These are the most comfortable pants I've ever had in my whole life." Sounds good to me. So, where's the misery in this?

Well, even on sale they cost more than 25 cents, and I started to feel guilty. I mean, we're in a recession for cryin' out loud! How can I be shelling out money like this, especially now that we're in the season for spending money on others (which was also hitting my bank)?

Oh, woe is me!

Even the knowledge that this was coming out of our Party Tithe didn't console me. And then, to make things worse, Brittany suggested we get some fries from Carl's.


I read blogs every day about people barely scraping by. How in the world was I supposed to feel good about having money to spend... especially money that I can spend without guilt? How could I not help but feel guilty about that!?

And then this morning, I read this post by Kim. In it she talks about her realization that she should choose to be thankful for things she has. And she says it far better than I, so go give it a read.

But the bit grabbed me when she was listing the things she can be thankful for was "money to meet all our needs (& a WHOLE lot extra!)"

And it smacked me right in the middle of my thick skull:
I should be thankful for the "WHOLE lot extra!" I have, rather than bemoaning the burden and giving in to guilt. I mean, how foolish can you get?

Pretty foolish, it seems.

Who else takes a blessing and turns it into a curse?

In light of this, I've resolved to be thankful for the opportunity to buy my wife comfortable lounge pants.

I'm also thankful for the wild success of the Sonlight Rice Bag Project! What an incredible blessing. Now women in India will be able to read the Bible ...and any graffiti around them <smile> (though I didn't see much when I had the opportunity to visit India).

So, any blessings in your life right now that you need to be thankful for?

~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

P.S. I also choose to be retroactively thankful for the very tasty fries I ate at Carl's with my wife.


Kim & Dave said...

Amen!!! Let's choose to be thankful!

(Thanks for linking me, Luke!)

Karla Cook @ Roads to Everywhere said...

Good thoughts, Luke! I struggle with the same thing... feeling guilty for my material blessings, instead of being fully grateful!

Melonie said...

BWAHAHA That truly made me laugh out loud.

It also reminded me of the first time a certain little girl in my family learned how to say TRUCK.

Let's just say it did NOT sound like "TR" when she said it, and I was aghast - almost fell over - until I looked up and in the lane next to us was, you guessed it, a big truck.


It's hard to not feel guilty when you have any sort of success and so many people (and companies) are down and out around you. However, I try to remember that while we have been showered with blessings, some of our current largesse also comes from buckling down years ago and not following the trend of The World and The Banks and The Economy - but instead marching to our own drum and working hard to cut costs and stop shopping so much. It's because of that, also, that (in our case, at least) we are able to focus instead on being more prepared, rather than scrabbling for every last dime. Oh wait, that happened a couple years back during the divorce. ;-)

Melonie said...

Oops, I should clarify - MY cutbacks happened during my divorce - Husband 2.0 has always been wise and frugal. I had to work my way back to it once I got away from Husband 1.0 and his credit card habit. ;-)

Jenny said...

HAHAHA!!! That is like when Katie started reading at age three. We were in a restaurant and she had to use the bathroom. As I stood outside the stall I heard her say, "MAMA!!!! MY NAME IS ON THE WALL!!!! It says, 'Katie is a....'" At which point I inturrupted with a slow-motion, "Nooooo....giiiiirllll..."

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Kimmie said...

Rejoicing for lounge pants and fries...hey, by the time you got to the fries....did she have the new lounge pants on?

mama to 6
one homemade and 5 adopted

Cheryl said...

I like your party tithe concept. I never heard of that before. I often think that I'm living too comfortably. I should just thank God more.

Luke Holzmann said...

Kim, you are most welcome! Thanks for encouraging me to become a better person <smile>.

Karla, I'm glad I'm not alone <smile>.

Melonie, ! <laughing!> Hilarious!

But, yes, frugality and careful use of finances certainly plays a major role in my life as well. But that makes it even harder when I hear about others who are even more frugal than I am who struggle. But I'm glad to hear you've got a good man working with you now <smile>.

Jenny: Fantastic! <laughing> Oh, that's just beautifully horrible.

Jessie, thanks so much for your support and encouragement <smile>.

Kimmie, I don't remember if she put the pants on right away, or after we ate the fries. ...hmm... my mind must be going <smile>.

Cheryl, my dad first introduced me to the idea, and it took me years before I decided to give it a "go." I am so glad I finally got around to it <smile>.

Thank you all for reading and taking the time to comment!


Unknown said...

And a ditto Amen from me.

I'm truly grateful for a husband that takes us out to eat every Sunday and indulges me with things I don't truly NEED. I'm sure your wife is too.

Baby Blues is a savior for me one days when I have the blues. My favorite is one where Hammie is a baby lying on the floor--Darryl says, "when are you going to start doing something?" Next frame: Darryl is running out the door looking up, "HAMMIE! I SAID no rappelling off the roof!" Love it!

Luke Holzmann said...

Jessica, I'm certain my wife will be even more grateful when I'm not grumpy about buying things <smile>.

And I haven't seen that Baby Blues. Hilarious!



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Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester
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