Wednesday, October 26, 2016

In the Midst of Stress, His Wondrous Blessings

Even though I know so many folks with more troubles than I have right now, I do still face stress day after day. It is getting better, slowly but surely, little by little. What keeps me going is counting His small but delightful blessings along the way.

At first, I thought this morning started off badly. This is the morning I print 430 copies of our senior mobile home community newsletter, on a volunteer basis. I print duplex, 6 sides, 3 sheets per issue. It is a small inexpensive laser printer with a small quantity paper tray and small output tray. So I print in batches of 32 at a time. I select 32, I hit print, I go away for 10 minutes or less. When I've printed 2 batches, I re-load the tray. Eventually, a couple hours later, we are finished. Tomorrow I will staple. The routine has worked itself out and I know which tasks fit into those 10 minute spurts. Not bad. Not bad, if there are no glitches.

This morning I began at 6:30 a.m. - during the 2nd batch, I had a paper jam. That one required the large back door to be opened - that one is easy. Pulled out crinkled paper, started again. A few minutes later, another jam. That one needed the back bottom paper tray door opened. Again, a few minutes later, the front had to be opened. Now, this was mostly done in the dark. My home is wired is strange groups. When I print more than a few sheets, I must turn off the lights in the back bedroom where the printer sits. If I don't, the lights flicker - I'm not in love with that issue. I had already opened the slatted blinds, but there really wasn't much light right then. So I'm reading the display for the trouble message, un-jamming, and going again.

After that, no trouble at all for the rest of the run. I even enjoyed doing the toner cartridge replacement that I had already anticipated. But for that first half hour, I was all set to think of it as the start of a bad day.

Because of the water pipes and those issues, I turn the water on and off in very short sessions. During one of those, I took a shower. I have that down to about 9 minutes now; my record is 7 minutes.  That 9 minutes was pure luxury. I was so happy, so delighted to be under that hot running water. I thought of the Holy Family, dust all over, no running water, no inside bathrooms, no modern conveniences at all. I thought of all the people in today's world in the same poor condition.

My point is that I could easily have allowed that slightly troubled start to my day to affect my whole day. Oh, I am human, my friends. I was tempted to whine, to grumble, to complain. I resisted as much as possible.

And in the end, I am so contented that at least I can still shower. I had great food to eat - at least, it was great for me. Some things from my crockpot stash of meals from the freezer, lots of fresh fruit which I try to use for treats. And lots of veggies of the type I dice up and mix with a tad of olive oil and red wine vinegar. I even found half a package of a twin pack of Red Baron individual deep dish pizzas in the freezer. I had bought that way back when I had a coupon and it was on special. That little pizza was so good today!

There was another moment of pure joy when I realized it was almost the end of the month, and for the second month in a row, I have the necessary bills paid and not running in arrears. This will not last but for the moment it is a wonderful feeling and a wonderful blessing. 

Lord Jesus, when I think of what you and Mary and Joseph needed to deal with, I am ashamed that I ever, even for a moment, am tempted to complain. Help me to always look at the blessings in each day. And thank you for that help in the past. With your help, I am usually able to find many more blessings in each day than troubles. I trust in you.

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