SCALING DOWN

I have had more than one friend tell me that my house seems to be to big for me.. It is too big for me but my house is not just for me, it is for my three children also. My daughter currently lives with me and I love having her upstairs. I am hoping that by the time she moves out one of my other chicks will fly back home to my nest. I enjoy having a home that is large enough to entertain my whole family and also my friends and relatives.

There are other considerations also. Moving is very expensive and a lot of work for one woman to do. Plus I have finally gotten to the point where I am actually into the principal amount on my mortgage. I pay less for my house, which is large, than some of my friends pay for their two bedroom apartment.

It is more than that though. I love my neighborhood. Everyone on my street is friendly. We all stop and chat if we see one another on the street. I know that this is not common in my neighborhood, it is just my street which does this. I am very blessed by God to live on this street.

Then there is the shopping center which is about a mile from my house. I just walked to Petsmart tonight to pick up a few supplies and was able to stop at a deli on the way home for a nice salad. I love keeping my car in the garage and walking to the grocery store or another store for supplies instead of driving.

Scaling down is good and it is a wonderful idea for some individuals but when it involves more work and potentially a lot more money what is the us? If it is not broken don’t fix it.

BOYCOTT APPLE?

Apparently the FBI needs to get into someone’s phone data in order to solve a crime. That is the crime of the San Bernardino shooting. There is just one problem and that is that the maker of the phone will not allow the FBI access to  the data. Apple has said and I quote: “The United States government has demanded that Apple take an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement to customers Tuesday night. “[T]his order … has implications far beyond the legal case at hand.”

Good old Donald Trump said that we should boycott Apple. That man speaks out of his rear end more than any person I have ever known.

The president that we currently have in office has done more to invade the privacy of American citizens than any other president. He has not done so legally but through illegal and clandestine measures and now we are supposed to allow the FBI to have access to our most intimate information?

We are talking some serious stuff here. I quote again: “The FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on [the shooter’s] iPhone,” Cook added. “In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession. ”

That is pretty scary but there is a twist in this story. “The password for the San Bernardino shooter’s iCloud account associated with his iPhone was reset hours after authorities took possession of the device.” Yep here is an instance of the government creating a problem so that it can create a solution which explodes into a lot more problems for the people who are paying the taxes and their salaries. What a brilliant plan. NOT!!!!

The Justice Department acknowledged in its court filing that the password of Syed Farook’s iCloud account had been reset. The filing states, “the owner [San Bernardino County Department of Public Health], in an attempt to gain access to some information in the hours after the attack, was able to reset the password remotely, but that had the effect of eliminating the possibility of an auto-backup.”

Apple could have recovered information from the iPhone had the iCloud password not been reset, the company said. If the phone was taken to a location where it recognized the Wi-Fi network, such as the San Bernardino shooters’ home, it could have been backed up to the cloud, Apple suggested.”

So now because some idiot at the health department reset the password it becomes the responsibility of Apple to figure out how to get into everyone’s data? Wow! This is totally the most screwed up situation ever.

I remember when Barack Obama said he was going to have a transparent government. Gosh I thought he was referring to how he would lead the country. Silly me, I didn’t realize that he was referring to the American populous who continue to send him on luxurious vacations so that he can avoid his responsibilities at home. I guess transparency is in relation to everyone but him and Hillary Clinton.  My bad.

All quotes listed in this article can be found in entirety at this link:http://abcnews.go.com/US/san-bernardino-shooters-apple-id-passcode-changed-government/story?id=37066070

JUST ANOTHER DAY

It seems as if some days the day is set against me. Like the other day when I needed to get a new driver’s license. I looked everything up online and got everything organized to go to the DMV. I asked God to come with me that day because I knew the wait would be a trial.

I headed out after making my appointments for the afternoon. I drove to the office that I had gone to last time and there was no office for the DMV at that location anymore. So I used my GPS to locate another DMV and drove clear across town to that location. That location did not handle licenses. So I went to the location that I knew was going to be packed. Yep, it was packed with a long line. A lady said that it was a two to three hour wait. I decided to do my appointments and come back later.

I rushed through my appointments and went back. There was still a line. I started talking with a guy who had been in India for a couple of years. We chatted on and off throughout our long wait and I enjoyed talking with him about the differences in culture and landscape between America and India. I know now where I will visit when I go to India.

I was tempted to get my license some other day but I knew that another day would present the same complications, so I remained patient. I kept reminding God that I had asked him to be with me that day and was wondering why I was hitting so many obstacles. Sometimes I think He allows obstacles to test us. I certainly felt tested. Being a pretty high energy and impatient sort of gal I was very pleased with myself at the end of the day. I did not lose my temper, not one cuss word was spoken by me and I got my new license. The lady at the DMV even thanked me for coming in.

At times life can present difficulties which seem unnecessary but it is not what life gives us which determines our character but rather what we give back.

SUFFERING

While reading through the Bible study I am currently involved in I am studying the aspect of Christian suffering. There are many types of suffering. When you lose your house in a tornado you suffer. When you have cancer you suffer. When someone breaks your heart you suffer. You may suffer when you see someone you love go through a painful trial.

As I was thinking about this I thought about Christ. He suffered more than most. He did not suffer for lack of material possessions though because he had none. He was supported while in His ministry but the bag which they kept his money in was small enough that it could be held in a hand. The only thing he owned was his robe and that was sold before he died. He was not tied to this world by materialism. He was bound by His love, not for money, but for lost souls.

As I reflect on my life I realize that little by little God is releasing my grip on money. I used to have money in investments. I had enough money to go for a couple of years without working. Or at least I thought I did when I stopped working in 2012. That money lasted for quite some time but then I knew I needed to go back to work if I wanted to keep my house. I went from having savings to having none and a bit of debt in fact.

I have never liked debt and it is very hard to climb out of that valley but I have realized something. I am happier now than when I had the money in the bank. I hope to get out of debt within the year by working very hard but I have learned that God will take care of my needs.

What He is not concerned about is my wants. I want new carpet, I want new sofas, I want to have my house painted, I want to buy a new car so that I can give my current car to my son. I can not afford any of my wants but my needs have been provided for beyond measure. I have never gone hungry, I have a roof over my head that is a fabulous roof, my car is still running and I appreciate my car more than most do, I have a closet full of clothes, I have my health and my children are also in good health. I have dear sweet friends and lovely Christian sisters who I fellowship with. I have plenty of Bibles to study and most of all I have what money could never buy; I have the love of my heavenly Father.

As I hear of the suffering of others in other nations due to natural disasters and wars I intercede for them in supplication to my Heavenly Father. I realize that God has protected me and supplied my needs so that I can intercede for those who are suffering.

COMPANY POLITICS

For those of you who have been following my blog for the past year you have realized that I had a bit of a problem with the company I am working for. When I first hired on I was promised a full time position. That has not materialized. I got angry and applied at other companies. I finally hired on with another company in November of last year. I gave my two weeks notice but then rescinded it because I just didn’t feel like I could leave my current company. So I figured if I had two companies to work for maybe I could make enough money to pay my bills.

The problem is that I take care of patients in their home. I am a home health nurse. Taking care of patients in their home is not the problem, the problem is that I have developed a fondness for my patients. Okay, I will be honest, it is more than a fondness, I truly love my patients. They are the sweetest and most endearing collection of people I have ever taken care of in my whole life. To quit my company would mean that I would have to say goodbye to them. I just could not do that. Furthermore, I could not bring them with me to a new company because I had signed a non-compete agreement and even if I hadn’t signed that, I wouldn’t steal patients from one company to bring them to another. That is unethical.

So I talked with some of my friends and started networking. One of my friends wanted me to work for her company. She loved her job and she is one of my dearest friends so I would have liked to work with her again. She said I didn’t owe my current company anything. She was right I didn’t owe my company anything.  It was those patients though. They had claimed a large part of my heart and I couldn’t see walking away from them.

Fear kept knocking at the door, saying I would never get out of debt with this job. There were some days I wanted to do a sloppy job because it seemed as if no matter how good I was the reward of more work was not coming. Yet I knew that I needed to work as if God was my boss and sloppy is not in His dictionary. So I continued to do my best.

Then we had a change in management and according to the owner, he told them to give me more work. I had been begging for that for close to a year. Finally my prayers were being answered.

As I reflected on this past year I realize how much God was with me through this time. In 2 Timothy 1:7 the word of God says: “ For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

I could have left the company because I was scared but I would have taken another hit to my income because I would have had to build my reputation and my client load up with a new company also. Instead I kept praying to God, asking Him what He needed me to learn and worked very hard on trying to budget better. I have been blessed by God in that none of my debt is collecting interest so it is just a matter of time before it becomes a memory instead of a present reality.

I am so glad I drew close to God during this time and that He sustained me, instead of quitting because of fear. To make a decision based on faith and love is a much stronger arena than one based on fear.

UNANSWERED PRAYER

Over the past year I have had a prayer that has gone unanswered. I have pleaded with God, gotten angry and then just submitted to the effects that the unanswered prayer had on my life.

What was the prayer?

I had prayed for more work so that I could get out of debt. God didn’t answer that prayer immediately. I think He had other things in mind.

There was one time I didn’t know how I was going to pay my bills. Then an unexpected check from the IRS came. There have been so many times during the past few years that different friends have helped me take care of my bills. I truly love those friends from the depths of my heart. A few of them have done so at a great sacrifice-they have taken care of my needs before taking care of their own. My family has also chipped in. The generosity of others is something which warms my heart.

It is not that I live lavishly. I do have a nice house but the mortgage is not much more than a two bedroom apartment. I don’t spend much on clothes or decorations. I do work hard and I am very committed to my career but it always seems like I come up short. I have been good at budgeting but I am trying to be even better.

During the time when I had free time I chose to work on my novel and I got quite a bit more written. I kept in mind that God’s calling on my life was not to be a nurse, it was to be a Christian writer. I became involved in a Bible Study and even started my own for a short time.

I developed some new friendships with my patients and other individuals and ministered to some of these new friends. I consider some of these friends the most remarkable people I have ever met.

I have also spent more time with my daughter. I am truly enjoying the time I have with her, watching her grow into an independent young woman.

All of these things have happened because God did not answer the prayer, until last week. We had a change in management and now I am booked solid with appointments. The owner told me yesterday in passing that he had told them to give me more visits.

I have had times of anxiety and restlessness over this period in my life but I have also been thankful to God for the rest He has forced upon me. The part in Psalms 23  about” leading me beside still waters and restoring my soul” comes to mind.

Sometimes I think it may be more important how we respond to unanswered prayer than it is actually getting the answer we want.

A BLATANT LIE

When I left my previous company for the company I am currently working with I was told I would be getting a full time position. A full time position is salary and that is what I needed. I also needed benefits. I have worked for this company for nine months now and I am still not full time. What I was told at the beginning was, in fact, a blatant lie.

There are times I have been angry about this. There are times I have been fearful about how I would pay my bills. I have prayed and pleaded and scratched my head in frustration at the incompetence of the management team. There are times I have been tempted not to give a damn about this job. I am the only one who consistently submits my work on time and I constantly get passed  over. In my business if the work is not submitted on time the company doesn’t get paid. It would seem simple to give the full time position to the person who continues to submit work in a timely manner.

As I have prayed over this I have also entertained the idea of going to other companies. Therein lies a huge problem. The problem being my patients. I love my patients. I truly do. I can leave the company but if I leave the company I can not take my patients with me. I signed a non compete agreement with them.

The other problem is that the person who hired me was a good friend of mine. Why would a good friend of mine mislead me? She was supposed to be a good Christian. Yet the lie she told me was just one of many that she became known for. I came to the realization that it was not a friendship which was conducive to my welfare but I still tried to respect her as my boss.

Recently my boss got demoted. Another friend of mine took her position and I had the same talk with her. She said the full time position was between me and another nurse. I pled my case but as I did so I realized it was more about what God wanted than what I wanted. I don’t even know if I would like working full time. I am already working 50 + hours a week as a contract nurse and I know it would be much more than that as a full time nurse.

It is difficult when you encounter a lie to not become bitter, especially when it affects your ability to make a living. It would have been understandable for me to rejoice when I heard that my former boss had been demoted but I haven’t rejoiced one bit. I pray for her daily as I pray for myself, hoping that we will both be able to make a living. I can do this only because I do not give the authority of my finances to anyone other than God.