Wednesday, May 19, 2010

slamming doors and windows I didn't know existed...

Man was yesterday a crazy roller coaster of a day! Of course I have come to expect roller coasters in my life, but yesterday was extreme even for me! I think that God must have been having some fun slamming doors shut REALLY LOUD and REALLY HARD, only so He could say in an ever so innocent voice "What? You never noticed that window before?? The one up over there in that corner hidden behind the picture?? Or the one along the edge of the floor with the boxes pushed up against it?? Oh! I thought for sure you knew they were there!"

What??? You don't hear God speaking to you with that much sarcasm at times??? Geesh... must just be me that gets his sarcastic side!

Anyways.... I thought I would try to take you through this roller coaster so you could get an idea of what I am talking about...

Some background for the roller coaster. As you know (if you read here often), the kids and I have just moved. What you might not know is that we moved to escape a domestic violence situation, and to be in a home where HE does not know how to get to us. It was REALLY HARD for so many reasons. I can't even list them all, they overwhelm me! But one of the ways it was hard was financially. There are so many things going on all at once in our lives and our finances have taken a nose dive. But I knew that moving is what God wanted us to do, so I followed his directions. We were blessed beyond words with a wonderful home owned by a wonderful woman who has made this so much less stressful for me. She has been great about working with us and for that I am eternally grateful! But the truth is that I still have moving expenses hanging over my head and it stresses me out! I know that I have a great landlord, and a Father who provides, but bills hanging over my head eat me alive!

So yesterday I had a number of appointments and things to do in town. After dropping the kids off at school I headed into town. On the way there I was mentally reviewing my day and realized that I might have a few extra minutes that I could squeeze in a cup of coffee with a friend. I have been trying for MONTHS to get together with this friend and catch up, but life has been insane! So I texted her (no, NOT while driving! Of course..) and asked if she had time too (she is probably more busy than I am!).

Next stop was an appointment with an agency that I have been hooked into for some resources and help. In a meeting there two weeks ago I was told that my family qualified for a TBRA housing certificate and that would help with the remaining security deposit and some monthly rental assistance. This TBRA program is one of the new stimulus programs. The meeting yesterday morning, from what I understood, was to finish the paperwork and get the certificate. I was hopeful that this would help our impacted monthly budget.

So I head into the meeting hopeful, after all I had already been told that we qualified, only to find out that person A had no idea what she was talking about. This stimulus program, as with so many others out there, is not interested in helping people who help themselves! Because we are not homeless TODAY they can't help us. It doesn't matter that we were in danger of being homeless when the referral was made, nor does it matter that I actually was able to prevent that, what matters is that we are not homeless today. Frustrating on so many levels. First, I am so tired of a society that only helps those who refuse to do anything for them selves! Second, I am so tired of agencies that are filled with people who don't really pay attention to the details, therefore they give out false information to their clients. And third, I am so tired of being told that we are not poor ENOUGH (guess what?? My family falls in the bottom 15% of median income! That is pretty darned low!) or desperate ENOUGH for help. It was the same when I was looking for help in escaping domestic violence, I was never beaten ENOUGH. Ugh. Needless to say I left that meeting pretty deflated.

As I was leaving that meeting two things happened. First the lady that I was meeting with said "I can tell that you are working so hard to do the best thing for your family. There is another program, and while I think it is a REALLY SLIM chance that they will actually take you, I am going to present your case to them tomorrow in case review." A slight glimmer of hope, but honestly I can say that I am NOT expecting good news from this one. The second thing was that my friend texted me back and she COULD meet for coffee!!! I was totally excited about that!

Next on my list of stops was the Child Support office. I have been having issues with my child support and I was hoping that a stop in their office with the proper paperwork would fix it. So I go on in with all of the court papers in hand. I plea my case to the receptionist only to be told "We have to get the papers directly from the court, we can't take them from you." But these are the SAME as the court papers, signed by the judge at the SAME TIME and certified from the court house.... why can't you take them? So basically I get the run around.

No papers from the family, only from the court.
Court papers take 4 to 6 weeks to process.
No child support for at least 6 more weeks.
But don't worry, it will go into arrears.
He will still owe you what he owes you.
You will get it EVENTUALLY.

Go ahead and add that the HUGE arrears he already has.
In the mean time HOW am I supposed to support these kids?
The ones HE helped create?
Got to love government agencies.
Strike two for them GAs yesterday!

So by now I am totally frustrated. I am also in need of a pick me up! So I head over to my old work, the one that I am currently on leave of absence from due to chaos at my store and their inability to pay me. I have asked for my job there back, but they are still not able to support my salary, so I keep withing. But I miss some of the girls and I know that they are always good for a hug or two, so I dropped in to see them. I got my hugs. I got some friendly smiles. And I walked out with some totally unexpected contract work! Right now, when every penny counts twice it was a great blessing!

Next it was off to find out about some summer camp options for Nathaniel. Let me just say BAHH HUM BUG!!!! That was NOT a good conversation in any way, shape or form! Time to head back to the drawing board for fun and entertainment for him this summer! End of subject.

And finally it was time for coffee with that friend I wanted to reconnect with. First let me just say, that while I don't see this person often, the time we steal together is so wonderful, so deep and I NEVER feel like I have to be fake with her. And that in itself is so refreshing. She doesn't exist in the same place as me, she doesn't "get" so much of what I go through, but she is so real about it I have to love her anyways! And likewise, I can be real with her on her issues, I can be a great listener and an empathetic friend without "getting" what she goes through living on the other side of the fence from me. So anyways, our time together was awesome, and deep from the get go, and it felt so good. Then the most interesting thing happened.

I was catching her up on my life, telling her about the night job that is sending me to the crazy bin.

She was telling me about starting to work at her husband's business and seeing the needs that are there.

I was talking about working for a manager who is clueless about managing and feeling so silly working as hard as I do there.

She was talking about trying to fill an open position at their company and being so sick of the college kids that are applying for the position.

She was talking about wanting an employee that would be part of the family for a while, and I was talking about feeling like another rat in the race.

Then she looks at me and has one of her "ah ha" moments. She started asking her leading questions, which I answered candidly. Then she says, "You. I want to hire YOU!" I laughed. I seriously laughed. I told her that their company was SCIENTIFIC and my brain doesn't do science! I adore her husband, but he can loose me in a two minute conversation, he is an absolute genius! It was so funny to me until she said, "No! We are looking for someone to do our website, social media stuff, promotions and just help out." Now wait a second... those are the types of things that I do DAILY both personally for myself, and business wise for my business and some other folks that I do volunteer work for. So super long story shorter (I know, I know... I don't do short!) I started out thinking that I was meeting a friend for some selfish catch up time and God had bigger plans all along! I am (when not playing on my blog :) ) getting my resume together to meet with her husband tomorrow and see where this idea of hers is going. But on the super positive side, she did text me last night after talking to him and said that he is "really positive" about the idea, so I am hopeful that God is showing me a new window that I hadn't seen before!

My day was only half over by this point, but I have a WRAP meeting to pray about now so I won't torture you with the remainder of my day. Just believe me when I say the roller coaster kept going.... and so did the door slamming temper tantrums! :) God keeps me on my toes!

And before you head off, can I ask that you keep my family in your prayers? We are still struggling trying to make ends meet and figure out what our new normal looks like! We can use all of the help we can get!

Blessings to you!