Google The Unplanned Homeschooler: Silver linings are the gift of a grateful heart

Friday, August 1, 2014

Silver linings are the gift of a grateful heart

July was one of the most dramatic months I've experienced in a while. So much happened in such a short amount of time. And while much of what happened around our household in July was bad, still, I can see so much good.

You see, those silver linings around life's dark clouds are something I look for continually. I know they are the gift of a grateful heart, and if you focus on what blessings you have, rather than your hurts, you'll start to see them, too.

Let me give you a few examples from my own roller coaster of a month:

I lost my job

At the beginning of July, Yahoo shut down the site I wrote for and eliminated most of my personal income, so essentially, I lost my job. As a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of three, my job options are pretty limited, but I had done well supplementing our household income as a freelance writer. Unfortunately, there are few reputable companies left that pay for the type of writing I was doing at Yahoo, and many writers vying for those jobs.

But, looking at the silver lining, I got the rights back to almost all the work I had done for Yahoo over the past couple of years, which meant I could use my work in a new way. I built a couple of blogs, and I am working on a book. New doors are opening, and that's exciting!

Appliances are expensive  

Our washing machine died just days after I lost my job, and the repair would have been very costly. In fact, including labor it would have likely been more expensive than buying a whole new machine. Thankfully, though, the problem was an obvious one, and due to the wealth of information available online today, I was able to find out that fixing the washer was cost prohibitive before incurring the expense of a service call to be told the same thing.

Medical bills add up 

July was the month that both of my girls had to get glasses for the first time. We expected as much with our older daughter, but our younger daughter's prescription was a surprise. It was also the month that our little one's bottom tooth came in, crooked, and the dentist confirmed that she's going to need braces eventually, and it's time now for our older daughter to get braces, too. I'm just thankful that we have insurance to help pay for some of those costs, and that my son's eyes are strong and his teeth are straight.

Car accidents are stressful

In early July, a woman ran into my van at Sonic Drive-In when she decided it would be a good idea to put her truck in reverse and back up rather than keep going forward to find a space. She was at fault for the collision, but her insurance company has spent the whole month delaying and not returning my calls, so I'm still waiting to have my van fixed.

In late July, someone let their black cow get loose on a pitch dark highway and we hit it on our way home from dinner, wrecking my husband's car. Although our own insurance company is being much better about getting that one fixed, we're out the deductible because no one will claim the cow.

These accidents gave us our biggest silver linings of the month, though, because no one was seriously injured in either wreck. They could have been much worse, even deadly collisions, but we survived and walked away. For that, I am so thankful!

People aren't always who they seem 

In the midst of all this, one of my very closest friends, someone I trusted and cared for deeply, revealed herself to be very different than I had believed. Or maybe I had just been fooling myself, because after things blew up, I realized how very many things had been bothering me about our relationship and the ways I had changed over the past months to appease her.

Losing a friendship unexpectedly is hard. It hurts so badly. But after you mourn the loss, and start to see things with fresh eyes, sometimes you realize that what you lost is much less than what you gained. I gained the love and support of true friends and a chance to make amends with people who I'd stood by and watched get hurt over the past year. I gained forgiveness from decent people, and I  felt a relief, like a weight lifted off my soul, as I put a bad relationship behind me and moved forward.

Goodbye, July. Hello, August!

I'm not going to say I am sad to see July come to an end, and August arrive. I'm hoping for a much better, or at least less eventful month as we move back into our normal homeschool routine. I hope you have a great month, too, and that if you are faced with trials or adversity, you remember to face them with a grateful heart, always looking for the silver linings, because there is good to be found, you just have to see it.

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