What's the One Thing You Can't Live Without?


There are so many things in this world to be concerned about, but these days I'm wrapped up in my own little world, worrying about a few things I can't live without.

Like air, water and shelter. 

The air conditioning system in my house needs replaced since it's old and leaking oil.

I can't get a glass of water from my refrigerator dispenser since the water line is frozen. 

I have a stack of foreclosure notices saying I'm delinquent on my mortgage payments.

Since I live in Florida air conditioning is a definite must-have, and I suppose I could drink water from the faucet, but a place to lay my head at night is an obvious necessity.

So first things first.



It had only been a few days since I'd gotten my mail so I was quite surprised to find my mailbox overflowing with notices from my mortgage lender. 

They said I hadn’t made any payments for months. They said I was in danger of foreclosure. They said I owed them $5,000.

And I had no idea what they were talking about. 

I’d recently refinanced my loan and had been faithfully paying the bills sent to me each month.

I frantically called customer service and when I finally got to talk to an actual person, she put me on hold and said she needed a few minutes to read through all the notes posted in my account.

I sweated it out while I waited.



When she finally came back on the line she said it seemed it was all a big mistake. 

Apparently the bank had misapplied the payments I’d sent and since my account looked unpaid, it automatically generated the foreclosure notices. 

She laughed and said not to worry, just ignore any additional notices I might receive but there was no harm done.

{Except of course, for the extra gray hairs it caused me.}

So I called my sister to vent.


I said how hard {and expensive} it was to choose an air conditioner, and that I was tired of the water not working in my refrigerator {despite recent repairs}, and how these and several other problems currently on my list cause me so much worry.

Finally she said, why don’t you just move into an apartment and let the super take care of everything that goes wrong?

At first I thought this sounded like a spectacular idea. 

Then I wondered if they still called apartment managers supers {or was that just on the TV show Friends}?

Then I realized she was being sarcastic.



She told me to stop planning for the worst and worrying about life's inconveniences and difficulties.

She told me to stop acting as if I were all alone in the world and have no one to help me. 

She said it may seem this way just because I’m single without someone to share the burden of decisions and or help me make choices, but that I couldn't be more wrong about my way of thinking.


It's true that I let these false perceptions replay in my mind, telling me I'm overwhelmed and I've got a lot to figure out. Then this all-consuming train of thought distracts me from taking my concerns and fears to God.

I start to believe that if I can control all the details of my life, then I won't have to worry so much. But of course, this is impossible and soon the typical challenges and problems of the day become paralyzing personal quandaries that are all I can see.


But if I'm honest, I need them.

These worries and quandaries are what make me realize how much I need God. He's what I can't live without.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him and he helps me. -Ps. 28:7



When I look back through the chapters of my life and notice all the times I agonized over decisions that turned out just fine, or the times my worst worries were unfounded, I realize that God has been faithful to me. 

Thinking that trying to control my life will help me avoid unpleasant surprises or bad news just makes me anxious and fearful. So after I do what I can to complete my part in each of these situations, I'm standing aside and shoring up the foundation of my trust instead of circling my worries.

I'm reminding myself of these words said by Jesus so long ago, yet still so relevant today:
“I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. 
Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? - Matt. 6:25-27

So I turned my attention to the work in front of me. 

I emptied my freezer and left the door open for a few hours and water is now flowing through my refrigerator door once again. 

With my brother-in-law’s input, I chose my new air conditioning system and am awaiting installation.

But I'm still afraid of a few things, of course.

As I moved the trash container in a corner of my kitchen, I saw a little tail sticking out of it. 

It was a lizard. I stood staring at it for a full 15 minutes for a sign of life {because lizards often look dead but aren’t} before I mustered the courage to sweep him into the trash bag.

So it made me wonder if I lived in an apartment, would the super come and take care of lizards, frogs and bugs for me?



I'm having coffee with my friends at Holley Gerth's place at Coffee for your Heart.



Comments

  1. What a fun post -- and a surprise ending, for sure. I can't imagine living life in the presence of lizards!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for stopping by Michele! Those little lizards are awfully speedy and that's what makes them so startling! :)

      Delete
  2. Oh Valerie I had to read and re-read your first few lines!! It scared me (probably as much as the lizard did you!!!) A similar foreclosure situation happened to my aunt when they refinanced a few years ago too! I'm so glad yours worked out too! And what a comfort to know that God has it all under His watchful eye- though it is mighty tempting to take the reins of worry more often than we would like to admit...! I'm throwing caution to the wind today too (been worrying over some health issues myself) by believing God is and always will be faithful. Thanks for reminding me of this sweet truth again today ♥♥♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heather,
      I was as afraid as you that something had gone dreadfully wrong with my loan and I couldn't even imagine what it was! I often say I want to take things calmly in stride (because I so often wig out, as one friend once told me - ha!) so I happen to think that God gives me plenty of opportunity to meet each challenge that comes my way, and I'm not sure I make any progress!

      Hoping you're back to feeling good again soon and I'm keeping you in my prayers! xo

      Delete
  3. Thanks for the encouragement and reminder that God is still in control no matter what our age - Mom

    ReplyDelete
  4. There is so much I want to say to this post!!!! First: you are blessed with an honest, wise sister. Secondly: GAKAT (God Already Knows About This) is a tattoo on my right wrist to remind me nothing takes HIM by surprise. Thirdly: my #oneword2017 is SUFFICIENT because the Lord told me in Nov/Dec "don't postpone the joy" because sufficient for the day is its own trouble BUT His grace is sufficient to cover the trouble; there will always be a reason for a bad day but He emphatically told me DON'T POSTPONE THE JOY. Fourth: where in FL?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Susan,
      I'm in Orlando -- you must be too? I love the acronym you chose and the word for this year! How true to remember that today's difficulties are met by God's grace and he has enough for us to get us through the day. Postponing the joy is such a wise thought because we can't get it back if we let it pass us by! xo

      Delete
  5. Oh Valerie, I got all alarmed at the beginning of this post, but I let out a sigh of relief when I read the bank had made a mistake. Whew! I'm so glad! I'm glad, too, that you have such a caring sister and brother-in-law that help you out.

    I have often learned this, too - "These worries and quandaries are what make me realize how much I need God. He's what I can't live without." It's so comforting to know that our Heavenly Father cares even more about us than He does the birds in the air He faithfully cares for.

    May I be honest? I cringed for the little lizard who got swept up into the trash bag... But I do sympathize with you though when you found him inside your home! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trudy,
      I love honesty here! But truly, the little lizard was already very dead when I swept him away. My work colleagues recently found a dead one in our camera closet and we carried him outside and poured water over him to see if he would resurrect, but no luck! (I heard of a friend who did this with a frog found in her clothes closet and it worked!) I do try to save them, but they usually run in the opposite direction of where you're trying to send them (out the door)! xoxo

      Delete
    2. Oh, how sweet that you do try to save them! :) This makes me feel better for those little creatures. :) You give me so many smiles with your posts and comments, Valerie. I love how lively they are. Thank you!

      Delete
  6. Paralyzing quandaries. Yeah, I hear you, Valerie.

    What's that they say? 90% of what we worry about never comes to pass?

    Tell that to the mortgage woman.

    And tell your sister not to be sarcastic with you when you need a listening ear!!

    ;-}

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linda,
      haha -- she usually is unflappable and a good listener but I always need her tough talk speeches! And yes, they do say most of what we worry about never materializes, but it's the stuff we don't worry about that catches us off-guard! I'm glad you're a counselor since you must have plenty of practice with coaching through anxiety, worry and fear -- you are so needed and I'm grateful! xo

      Delete
  7. Dear Valerie, Yes, I'm with your other readers--your first few sentences had me hurriedly skimming ahead to make sure you were ok in your home! But I do agree with you that it's so easy to get caught up in the trials, and miss God's Grace that's waiting there in the middle of it all. I love this: "I'm standing aside and shoring up the foundation of my trust instead of circling my worries." Wow, such good counsel that I need to listen to also. Here's hoping for lots of cool water and a lizard-free week for you! :-) xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bettie,
      Thankful for these good thoughts! I don't want to miss his grace either! :) xo

      Delete
  8. Sorry you had such a stressful experience over your mortgage, Valerie, but I'm glad it worked out ok in the end. I definitely relate to the worry and trying to be in control, and thinking about worst case scenarios. Such a waste of time when most of the time they don't happen. It definitely helps when we can remember to focus on God and trust that he is with us and knows what we need.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lesley,
      It's hard to re-focus thoughts but I guess that's what works out our faith muscles in every situation that requires patience and trust!

      Delete
  9. A lizard! I would have done the same--stare for 15 minutes before moving! Just very recently I am discovering my own discontentment that robs me of joy. I think I'm joyful, and full of 'sunshine' but when things start to go wrong, I can ruminate and go into self-defeating games. So, love this post Valerie. May you have fresh, cool, water all week,and many days to come my friend!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lynn,
      Me too! I can have the best intentions and think that I can handle what comes with grace but when things start to unravel opposite of how I think they should, my best intentions evaporate. So glad you can relate and thank you for the lizard-free thoughts! xo

      Delete
  10. Hi Valerie! :( that’s a lot of things on your plate- I would have worried too about the house payments- Those mistakes take such a toll on my emotions- and are tiring- I can so relate to this- as I am such a worrier. I feel better when things are in my control. But you have said it so great here how that actually causes more anxiety too- Thanks for your wise words and saying it so beautifully- I am so grateful for His sovereignty and that he is good and loves us and will be with us every moment- I have lots of growing to do in this worrying area- but the more I get to know him the easier it is to trust that His control over my life is best. I hope your air is working and that you have water too! and I am glad you got the mix up figured out! sending much love tonight! xox

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Susie,
      I often feel that I can't enjoy what's in front of me or be happy in the moment if I have something to worry about or something weighing on my mind, but that's where I need to develop stronger faith muscles to run the race stronger! So glad to know God can handle our worries and all the little things that consume us! :)

      Delete
  11. Valerie, my Mom was just sharing the verses that you shared with me the other day when I was worrying about something!
    “I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
    Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
    Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? - Matt. 6:25-27

    Thank you for the encouragement and the gentle reminder to rely upon the Lord; have a very blessed week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rebekah!
      Oh I just love it when verses are affirmed several times over a short timeframe because then I know I really need to pay attention -- love that! So glad you stopped by! :)

      Delete
  12. Oh, my! Bless your heart. So many things to deal with all at once is so overwhelming. And, that lizard! Oh, my, I will never forget when I first moved to FL years ago, and I had never seen a lizard before. I remember going out with a friend to lunch and we were walking across a parking lot, and a lizard somehow crawled up my leg and got itself snagged in my hose on my calf! I stood in the parking lot SCREAMING and stomping my foot, trying to make the crazy thing jump off my leg. Needless to say, my friend, (who had lived in FL all her life, if I remember correctly) stood there laughing her head off at me and my plight! She thought it was the funniest thing, but it left me emotionally scarred for life. LOL!! I HATE lizards to this day. Our son LOVES them and loves to play with them. I just cringe when I see any kind of tail indoors...you just know it can't be good. I wish you the best on your repairs and hope all is back to normal for you soon, sweet friend. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheryl,
      Oh my goodness -- a lizard running down your leg! That is hilarious but so frightening!! I love it that you shared that story here and so grateful you can relate to my plight!! :)

      Delete
  13. Sisters are great for a dose of reality, aren't they? ;) I also tend to fret over things more easily than some. I try to have peace and trust, but I forget.
    Glad your family helped!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah,
      You didn't mention if lizards scare you? Since you've lived in the south, maybe you take them in stride? :)

      Delete
    2. I think lizards are cute, outside. :)

      Delete

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading -- I love to hear your comments! To leave a comment, you can choose an ID in the "comment as" box or just choose anonymous. Choose your ID first, write your comment in the box and hit publish. Your comment will be visible just as soon as I can post it!

Popular Posts