8.07.2012

Blessed (Synchroblog at Imperfect Prose)

thirty dollars of groceries...random

Well, Emily over at Imperfect Prose is having what she calls a synchroblog 
and although I had no intention of sharing this, I am going to be brave like Emily.
Because when she shared her heart today I felt ashamed that I was too prideful to be honest.
And I knew that though there are tears, there is hope.
And God has called me to transparency despite my own desire to hide when it hurts.
I know as Emily does that there is blessing even in the tears...

Emily has asked us to write on this and then link up

  What Does It Mean To Be Blessed?

The conversations around the house seem to be short. 
Brief frustrated interactions sprinkled with tensions. 
Humor dispersed throughout, yes.
But all is superficial.
I wonder, and feel alone.
Insurmountable stress heaped high.
Yet underlying it all is that thought that plagues difficulty- 
that feeling that all other Christians hold you in suspicion.
Job's friends are never without opinion.
We keep to ourselves, knowing it is dangerous but feels safer.

Every decision boils down to dollars and cents. 
How far to drive.
What to do, not to do.
Breath holding every time the smallest splurge is chosen.
So much we long to give.
Squeezed.

Another friend wants to sleep over, for the second night. 
I smile weak and say there aren't a lot of snacks for another night.
Why do kids like snacks so much, anyway?
My stomach feels sick.
I'm glad I bought the ice cream sandwiches, at least a little something...
$1.50 for 12. 

I think back to the scene at the grocery store.
Just days earlier.
It's one thing to struggle when you are single mom, 
but when ends are hard to meet as a family, with a hard working, 
self sacrificing husband-
it is painfully discouraging. 
And secret.

I set out with thirty dollars. 
I pray.
One more week - 7 days.
I choose, careful.
I pick things up, put them back.
I think meals.


I ask how, to him who is wearing a smile that grows a little more stiff each day.
He says he does not know.
He says it's been like the fish and the loaves all month.
We don't understand it.

We are blessed.
Pressed.
Squeezed.

Rich.
I know.

I stalk the aisles, a spy.
My Girl has asked for one thing. 
I see the price.
Deli meat, really?
One thing, she asked.
I put a small amount in the carriage,
Tallying in my head. 
I stink at math.
I see watermelon, thinking it goes far.
I put it in the carriage.
I can make it work.
Chicken Breast on sale $1.99 a pound.
Yes.
1.50 for bleach (the bathroom tiles need attention), 
1 box of pop tarts (they love them for a snack).

We are blessed.
Pressed.
Squeezed.

Rich.
I know.

I am cashing out.
The young cashier rings the items.
I watch and feel my stomach turn.
A line is forming behind me.
The total is over
thirty dollars.


I apologize, and quick call my hub.
He lets me know that we have no wiggle room in any other accounts.
It is what it is.
I apologize again to those before and behind me.
The cashier offers to save my order. 
I feel the tension in the line behind me.
A manager comes and releases my order - I explain the situation briefly.
I head over to Customer Service, where
one by one we remove items out until we are within
the amount I actually have.
I actually am not thinking clearly at this point 
so I just go for the most expensive things.


Watermelon, chicken, deli meat, bleach. I can't even remember 
what I have or don't have in the carriage.
I just want to stop the painfulness of the moment as quick as possible.


We are blessed.
Pressed.
Squeezed.

Rich.
I know.


I reach the car, and feel angry.
I am angry.
I cry and feel the anger circulate through my body.
I say things, I know I will need forgiveness for even as they spill out of my mouth.
I know He hears and I tell Him that I know I am blessed, but 
I hate the most that I feel so pressed, squeezed. 
And I feel so angry that really, 
this is all I have for thirty dollars...
 I am mad at a things I can't see, name.
I am mad at my own inability to stretch that dollar more.

Home, I look at what I have and think about what I left behind.
I take a picture and send it via text to my hub.
 He reminds me, it will get better.
I feel my anger subside.

Fishes and Loaves.

I know we are blessed.
Pressed.
Squeezed.

Rich.
 I know.

Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed
 to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
John 6:11

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich,
 yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
2 Corinthians 8:9

27 comments:

  1. thank you for sharing your pain, your anger, your tears, and the blessing. we are rich. we are blessed. walking in faith right alongside you.
    steph

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    1. And that is just perfect, thank you Steph.

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  2. That is beautiful. Thanks for being brave!

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    1. Thanks, Wendy. Surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses and love- which compels me to be brave!

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  3. Your transparency is both compelling and convicting. I ache with you and praise with you. And...I've been in that same line at stores. Maybe the most amazing blessing is simply the willingness to share such pain.

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    1. Thanks Carolyn. Appreciate your words. Cyber Hugging you.

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  4. Hi Dawn, I don't know how to frame what I want to say so I'm asking for a little grace here as I allow my emotions to spill over here.

    This reads with such melody as I feel the push/pull of your experience. I'm overwhelmed with emotions. I think most moms can relate. We've probably all experienced this at one point or another in our lives. I love that you laid down your pride to share a simple truth...we are blessed, pressed, squeezed, rich and loved. I have to bookmark this. I'm sure I'll need to refer to it often. I am praying for you. Praying for our gracious father to meet your needs and expand your faith. I am confident He is working on your behalf. Be blessed in your inner man as you encourage others. I want to wrap a hug and mail it to you but since that's not an option I'll pray that you find strength and comfort in His majestic presence.

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    1. Diana, you bless me with your graciousness. I appreciate the prayers. His presence is truly my comfort! Thanks. Am visiting your blog as I speak/write! Thank you for all!

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  5. Hi Dawn, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
    http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

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    1. Chris, I am already there enjoying your beautiful pictures! ;) Back at you!

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  6. Oh friend...I feel you here. and now know how to pray for you. You blessed,rich friend.
    I have to tell myself every day lately:
    we're pressed but not crushed. Persecuted but not abandoned. struck down but not destroyed. For we're blessed beyond the curse and His promises endure. And His joy is going to be my strength today. (It's from one of my favorite worship songs).

    All of that to say:
    You did good, mama. You did good.

    love to you.

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    1. Nikki, so appreciate those prayers. When we are weak, He is strong. But it's the anger for the weakness that must go in me...His meekness, gentleness, His strength in place of my momentary frustrations, outbursts. Thank you, my friend. I know my verse of this year is is being made real: He must increase and I must decrease.
      Looking forward to partnering with you again on our prayer journey come Fall...meantime, thank you. Love back to you, Nikki!

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  7. I can remember those days, keeping track of the tally as I placed items in my cart. Keep reminding yourself that you are rich, and blessed and loved! When we work in Kenya we're amazed at how so many live with so little. Thanks for visiting True Hope and a Future!

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    1. Lisa, I know that we are, I do. Oh God is good through it all and He provides. It is sometimes so frustrating in the present moment. But I cling. ANd I really break over the fact that really we do have so much. So many truly are poor and have so much less ...

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  8. Great post and an excellent tally of blessings.

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  9. i am crying. real tears. i sit with you in silence and hold your hand and praise God for you, for the food you were able to buy, but ask him to make it easier for you, too, for your husband, to smile and to laugh and to buy deli meat. i love you so much dawn. thank you, for joining me with this. love em.

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    1. Emily, thank you. You have made me a richer person with your place here - and the community you sow with love. Thank you, my friend. You have made me braver than before. I am blessed and honored for knowing you. Well in the blogosphere!

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  10. Wow. Bravery might not win wars but it most certainly wins hearts and you, my friend, are amazing for letting it all loose. If we can't be real before God, whatever shall we do? Wherever shall we go? Thank you for being so real. It brings life. So glad to have found you through Emily's synchroblog.

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    1. Holly, So glad to have connected with you. Your words are kind but your share over at Emily's just touched me deep. Thank you.

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  11. Saw your link via Emily. Oh my how I needed to read this tonight. An unexpected car problem today just after we had it fixed two weeks ago. Tuition due for my husband (who is going back to school), and we count pennies and pray prayers and wonder and hope... Thank you for your honesty and transparency.

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    1. AManda,

      I am so glad you shared that because I really did not want to share this although I carried the experience within and when I saw E's prompt I just so thought I had an inner nudge...and then well there it is. ANd together we are not alone. And it all looks a little less scary in the knowing that, yes?
      Thank you, and prayers for your current journey.

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  12. Dawn. I sat here reading. And weeping. Because I am right there with you. Calculating what I can put in the cart. Feeling pressed and squeezed as I look into that cart and then blessed when I look into the faces of my family. I can't thank you enough for sharing your heart here. First it reminded me to be so thankful for what I can put in and less defeated for what I can't. It reminded me that I am not alone. Which I can't even put into words what this did for my heart tonight. Thank you just doesn't seem like enough. I am praying to Him with you and praising Him with you tonight. Blessings.

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    1. Wendy, I am blessed with your candidness, too. We are not alone. And there is comfort as we know that we do not have to pretend...there is joy even now. But the pain is so much less when we hold it out and another takes a bit and says with their heart, "I understand." Thanking God for the fact that God can use it all for His glory! Thanking God for you! Praising Him, with you ,too and knowing He is good...

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  13. Why is it so hard for us to speak about this? Why do we allow ourselves to feel small? I too am blessed but pressed by my poor choices. I am faced with the reality that wanting things to feel better for the moment, has made it tougher for tomorrow. An unending cycle. Recently I have stopped, God is bigger than all this. He can and will provide. Now to have faith and patience to let him. To allow Him to lead. Oh Lord may I go forward with Your Wisdom, Your Spirit in Christ Jesus.

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  14. I have felt this -- you have described the tension so well. Pressed, squeezed, AND blessed...I don't like the pressing & squeezing either but it is in the pressing & squeezing that I discover the best blessings...I just wish I didn't have to go through the pressing & the squeezing.

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walk along the shore with me and leave your footprints in the sand-
I'm listening, friend...in November I will not be replying so often, but instead slip quietly over to your place for a visit. ;)