Blessings: Version 2008 | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Friday, December 05, 2008

Blessings: Version 2008

On Tuesday, we received some bad news.

It seems the state legislature has given some pretty big budget cuts to all state universities. In this economy, such things are to be expected. We've known about the cuts for quite a while, and hoped that the music department would somehow escape the consequences because they didn't rehire a full-time professor who left last semester.

We weren't so lucky. I get to keep my job, but Joel doesn't. They decided that the Jazz band could be handled by the full-time professor over band, even though it makes his load incredibly full. They cut several other adjuncts, so it's nothing personal....just deciding which classes can either be cut altogether, or taken over by full-timers.

I admit, I freaked out a tiny bit (a lot). It's not really a ton of money, but it paid the student loan each month. I've been pretty worried about how we'll make it next semester, and I've been praying that we will be okay financially. I've been looking at our budget and finding things we can tighten our belts on. I can always do better with couponing. Joel can take more private students. I can raise my photography prices, which I was going to do anyway. We probably won't be able to save up for the tenth anniversary trip we were hoping to take this summer. I've considered unwrapping and returning half of Christmas. As a last resort, I suppose we could defer the student loans for a bit, but I would really hate to do that.

And then, the mail came. In it was a notice from the Utah State Tax Commission. It said that we prepared our taxes for 2007 incorrectly, and they would be refunding us almost 200 dollars. It isn't millions of dollars and it won't even pay the entire student loan payment for one month, in fact. However, I felt it was a little wink from Heavenly Father (as my friend Hilary puts it) telling us that all would be well. After all, He has always taken care of us, why should He stop now?

Every year (2007, 2006, 2005) I love to reflect back on the blessings we have received from tithing. They aren't always obvious, but the simple fact that we have been able to pay our bills on the salary of a high school teacher is nothing short of a miracle. High School teacher's salaries aren't made to pay off loans incurred by earning a doctorate, and I don't advise trying it. This is our situation, though, and we felt that this job and this place was where the Lord wanted us to be for now, and He has proven time and time again, that when we follow His commandments, tithing and otherwise, we are richly blessed.

So, I have resolved that I am not going to worry. We might have to live off of rice and beans, but hey! The gas prices will save us a hundred dollars a month alone. Joel will have less stress in his life, and I won't have to cook as often. Things will be okay. They will likely even be better than okay. I know this, because they always are.

36 comments :

  1. Isn't it great that you KNOW that, because of experiences in the past and because of your testimony. I am sorry about Joel being cut. Money is always a stress, but gas prices going lower is also another little wink. Hang in there.

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  2. I love those gentle nudges that remind us that everything will be okay. I'm sorry about Joel's job, but perhaps, stress wise, it was a needed thing for your family with his new calling?

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  3. Great attitude. But I have to admit that it's reassuring that you freaked out first. I know I would have. :)

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  4. Sad that he lost his job but look how other things work out. Whenever one door closes another one opens right?

    Things will be fine just keep your head up. :o)

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  5. As long as you pay your tithing and serve faithfully you will be blesses. When you go to pay your bills and you add it up on papaer it doesn't work out but you pay them anyway and it works out!!

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  6. I am sorry. You are amazing though! Seriously I need to take a few tips on how to look at the positive. I tend to be more negative. . . something I have to work at changing daily! Your family will be in our prayers.

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  7. I am so sorry to hear this news but your attitude is a great example of faith to me.

    Also, in my experience, cutting music and art programs or even consolidating them, is a mistake that has wide ranging consequences because both enrich our lives in ways that are beyond dollars saved and jobs lost ! LOL

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  8. This stinkin' economy! I'm sorry about Joel's situation, but great attitude, and hopefully now that that door is open something else (better) will work out.

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  9. Sorry about Joel's job there. I totally believe that paying Tithing, gives us blessings. A year ago October conference, Henry B. Eyring gave a talk where basically he told about how he keep a "seeing the hand of God" journal. I was touched by his talk, and since then have really tried to "see the hand of God" in my life, even in the smallest ways. Like you getting that 200 dollars back.

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  10. Thank you for your reminder. I love the idea that Heavenly Father winks down on us. We are all so blessed when we do what we are suppose to. I konw Heavenly Father will take care of you and I love your testimony of tithing.

    THANK you for reminding me of the things I need to be grateful for.

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  11. I'm so sorry to hear about Joel's job. Washington is receiving similar budget cuts, so we're worried about the Tailor's job prospects for next year. But you have such a good attitude, and you're really an inspiration to me. I wish you guys all the best, and I know you'll have enough opportunities come around to fill in any gaps. Hang in there.

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  12. Lara our family was just talking about you and how we would love to have our pictures done by you? So how about it when are you come to salt lake next? Call me or e-mail me rachel@robhawley.com. way to keep a good look on things and we will keep you in our prays.

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  13. Great perspective! We're having some money issues as well right now, starting our own business! Sometimes it seems impossible!!! Thanks for your insight!

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  14. Lara, I'm sorry to hear about his job. Things are scary right now.

    BTW, do you want me to feature your photography business on my post where I feature everyone's business?

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  15. My mom always had a strong testimony of Tithing and watching her I've grown my own testimony about it. I love that idea of "a little wink from Heavenly Father"

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  16. You can do cool things with rice and beans!

    Good luck!

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  17. I am so sorry to hear about this! Big (((HUGS)))

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  18. these are indeed scary times. easpecially for those of us that work in education.

    your outlook is very bright though. and inspiring.

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  19. oh I can't even begin to vent about how education and medical/health care should be #1 priorities in this country.

    ugh!

    I am sorry but loved your line about He will ALWAYS take care of you.

    {{{cyberhugs}}}

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  20. I know that Heavenly Father will be with you. We will keep you in our prayers. Keep smiling. :o)

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  21. I love reading things like this. Such a good reminder that we're taken care of in detail.

    I'm sorry about the tough stuff though, it's stressful.

    It's a good thing rice and beans are good for you while being inexpensive :) Sorry. Lame joke.

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  22. Wow, I'm so sorry! We have even been feeling a bit worried, since Christian was the last person hired on in his dept. Please let me know what I can do to help...lunch at my house to save on bread? :)

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  23. Thanks for the little reminder..We all need to remember these things.
    I know you'll be blessed too.

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  24. Sorry to hear about Joel's job. It is good to know that with all that is going on in the economy that we can be reminded of the little blessings that are all around us.

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  25. I loved reading this post. Your faith is infectious and inspiring. I am certain you'll be blessed continually, and I'll be praying for you fervently!

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  26. seriously, He always takes care of us! thanks for your enlightened outlook on life.

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  27. Listen to Auntie Terri...
    Every single time we have had a set back, God has arranged for something bigger and better to be waiting for us down the road! God is great and he loves you and you should keep looking around at vacations planning for your anniversary trip!

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  28. Boy, attitude really is everything, isn't it. With your great attitude toward trials, you guys will be just fine. (But yes, I know all about the stinkin' teachers salaries!) I know it's the hand of the Lord that helps me survive every month, too.

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  29. I'm sorry about Joel's job. I know you've probably read that in the comments already, but I had to say it anyway. I think things are tight for a lot of people right now, including us. Ry's job is secure, but they're cutting things we relied on - like bonuses and possibly salaries. I've got to believe that all will be ok. We've just got strap ourselves in, hold on tight and have faith.

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  30. Yes, absolutely yes. It is amazing the miracles the Lord will work in our lives when we follow that individual plan He has for each of us. Way to go!

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  31. That was a beautiful testimony. I'm sorry to hear about Joel's job, but remember "where one door closes, another one opens".

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  32. I am very sorry to hear about Joel's job. As others mentioned, your testimony and faith always amazes me! I think worrying is natural, but for you guys to live off of one income (with three kids) is absolutely amazing. I wish you guys all the best!

    Maybe you'll win another photo contest? :)

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  33. So sorry the realities of budgets and life hit you in this way. But like Hilary puts it, you'll be fine with the "winks" from HF. I wish I could come up there and have you take some family pics of us. We just did our own snapshots (with a timer and putting the camera on a stool! and running to get in place in time!) while up in Pinetop for Turkey Day this year.

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  34. Financial worries are the worst. Or at least they can be pretty bad. We have had more than one of those tithing miracles and it is such a real thing. I really admire your perspective and attitude/gratitude. :)

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  35. So sorry about the cuts, Lara. That's one reason I'm SOOO glad we're at a rich, private Catholic school. Hope we'll stay safe for a while.

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