My car went to the shop today and got a diagnosis of about $1000 repair + new front tires needed. That was a big blow as we were hoping to have a tiny bit extra this month for gas for a few simple travels to visit family and friends. Now we not only won't have the money or a vehicle for much traveling but also not enough money to even repair the car in the first place. I am feeling so frustrated that every single time we start to get a little (and I mean, a little) savings it is blown away by some car emergency, medical emergency, or major home repair. It doesn't seem like we should be struggling this much when I do the math for the budget each month and yet, we always are. I usually take this kind of news in stride anymore since it happens really regularly to us (it does seem like there is a component to it that is spiritual combat on the mission field) but this time I'm just tired at the end of a very long summer and I was so looking forward to making some special family memories away from the ever-present distractions of home where all my work continues to take place no matter how hard I try to rest. I know we can make family memories anywhere but I'm running low on energy and ideas for stuff to do around here that is relaxing and fun.
So I thought I'd just be a little honest with my very real struggle with discouragement tonight. It will all come out fine and it might just be awhile before we have good working cars again but it will work out somehow.
Yesterday the girls and I picked at least 15 pounds of blueberries at the u-pick farm nearby. Then on the way home I swung into a new produce stand and found a box of apricots for only $7 because they were so on the verge of being overripe. The blueberries went into the fridge once we got home and I got busy putting away those apricots with all my might. I ended up with 6 pints of apricot lavender jam, 1 quart bag of dried apricot halves, an apricot crisp, and then today the last few went into a batch of blueberry apricot basil jam. Yum! I also canned 3 pints of regular blueberry jam, froze at least 15 pints of berries and have some left over for fresh eating.
I really enjoyed working with Lyddie on the jam together while the other girls napped. She. talks. so. much. So I was trying really hard to just enjoy it but my ears get tired and I run out of answers. And this from a woman who talks alot! I am amazed at the difference in personality with each child and love spending time with Millie and Rosie too, and have been making an effort to give them each just at least a few minutes of mommy-only time each day. I never regret those five or fifteen minutes we steal alone.
Instead of working on a "to-do" list for the next day each evening, I've been working on a "got-done" list. It is really encouraging and inspires me to look back over all I've done instead of thinking about all the things I probably won't get to for the next day. Today the list included all the food preservation, making cornbread and baked potatoes for dinner, planting a bush I picked up on sale a few days ago,
I asked Jesse in the car this morning if he had his knife. He looked at me a little confused and said he did, so I told him to take the longer way home and pull over by one of the piles of wild sunflowers growing along the irrigation ditches. I flew out of the car, hacked off several big stems of sunflowers and dashed back in. I've been dying to pick some for days but yesterday when I tried, I realized I needed a knife or scissors to cut through the tough stem. They are sitting on the table lighting up the room whenever I walk in. I look forward to reading my Bible next to them early tomorrow morning.