Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

When Headlines Are TOO Close to Home

I threw the paper on the table to read it, not a common thing for me. I usually bypass reading it.   There, on the front cover, my past and part of my future stared at me.  In my post for Mommy Piggy Tales, I recorded my memory of the shooting from the University of Texas tower (Siblings and Recorded History Event)

Today, the headlines... a gunman again. The only fatality this time was the gunman, in contrast to August 1, 1966, when Charles Whitman stationed himself at the top of the tower.

The second headline also hit my heart.  Poverty rates for kids rising.   As God is pushing my heart to see the poverty that surrounds me, I flipped the page to continue my reading.  My own story is so similar and laced within the quotes of the interviewed representative.

"They are typical, long-term unemployed," said Lynne Sipiora, executive director of the Samaritan Inn, a homeless shelter.  "They've blown through their savings.  They've borrowed from everyone they can.  They've gone from family member to friend, and now they're just out of options."
"They're homeless, but in a million years they didn't think it would happen to them," she said.  "We've got people right now who used to be regular donors."

I sat at the kitchen table, soberly wading through all my thoughts and emotions.  We are not homeless, but one month of lack of income can put us there.  We still have food in the pantry....for this week.  I know I don't have resources to give, but I do have hands and feet.  My future calls me to get involved.

My prayer...."God, you promise to use everything for our good. May you use my trials to continue to make me sensitive.  May you use my hands and my feet to take your good news to the community around me.  May I hear the cries of the hurting and not close my heart.  Give me courage, that word you had me write across my mirror, to be obedient to your calling."

20 Joining in with more words:

Janet - AKA: Latte Lady said...

Amen! You GO! Ask God where and He will guide you. I am asking Him this also. I want to be a missionary ~ possibly to the homeless. When we were faced with it (the basement), it made it more of a reality and a passion for me to help others.

Blessings for you WHOLE day!!!!!


Farm Girl said...

I thought about you all that day after reading about you being born in Austin and then that shooter and I just kept thinking and thinking about you.
I understand about the homeless thing. My son in law has been without a job since Jan. My husband thinks that as a family they should stay in their little apartment so they can continue to have a place of their own. My husband has worked so long and so many hours to keep two families afloat. We have just what we need and no extra. God has been so faithful but I never expected to be this age and have to go back to the early marriage stage of my life.
We still have a roof over our head and we have food, but I do see how my grandmothers who lived through the depression got to be the way they were.
I am learning though, to just let things go and just keep very close to God.

Thanks for sharing and being real.
It is hard I know it.
Blessings today.

Debbie said...

Oh Janette, I'm right there with you. I never ever thought we'd be in the positon we are now. I'm so thankful for a roof over our heads and for the Christian couple who provided so generously.

I know God will use this for good as we can encourage one another and let others know they are not alone. We can't take our material stuff with us when we die so maybe we are being pruned so we can be used for His Kingdom purposes.

I know that both of us are learning through this process and that we will be more understanding of others going through hard times. Remember the 2 Corinthians 1 passage about providing comfort to others.

And as far as the gunman in Austin is concerned, I immediately thought back to years ago when another gunman opened fire. Praise God that nobody else got killed this time. And you know there's always a story behind the person. I began following a blog recently and came to find out that her brother-in-law was the gunman in Arkansas (I think this is where it was). He ended up killing himself too but there's a story behind it all.

Love you,

JillAileenJones said...

Thanks for always touching my heart with your blog posts. I think we all need to be more sensitive about the poverty among us. It is bad but I think it will only get worse before it gets better.
Is it often that way with all things in life we must go through though-it has to get really low before it gets better.
I never really appreciate those low times-I think because I get so wrapped up in my own pity party (sigh) but always after He gets me through the trials, the hard times, the rough spots-there is joy. There is evidence in how He was there the whole time holding my hand, or sometimes even carrying me through it all. I can always see His glory in the end and hopefully I have learned something from it all and have become a better Christian because of it-something that I can use to help someone else that might be going through the very same thing I have.
Praying for you dear friend. Ever so thankful that I have met you and for your kind encouragement to me.
I hope you have a blessed day.

Anonymous said...

You put into words what has been weighing on my heart.

Just a couple of mornings ago I was at the gym on a bike listening to a conversation near me about unemployment and how it was affecting this family. The woman's husband (she looked near my age - 53)had lost his job as a civil engineer. They were ready to put the for sale sign up on their home and he was lucky to be called for an entry level engineering interview - yes, interview - not job, with the state. She half joked that they were waiting to see how far back in his career he could go.

All I could think about was exactly what you penned here. The trials and uncertainty of our futures is overwhelming. But what rings true for me is that no matter how much we have, earn, get, buy, or what our job is or isn't, God's promises hold true for all of us.

Thanks for the great post.

Debbie said...

Good morning! As I read your post and through all these comments here I see just how much we all have in common these days. NEVER did any of us I guess expect to take such a step back in time. I told my husband the other day I honestly can't believe we are back to counting pennies until payday and wondering how far we can make our food stretch like we did when we were first married and oh so young. And yet, like you pointed out there is still a roof over our heads and food in my (large) tummy. How grateful I am. I am glad it is just my hubby and I as well. But I watch my kids and their young families and ache that I can't help them more than I do. EVERYONE is struggling these days. How grateful I am that we serve a God who provides our needs. Have a good day. Hugs to you, Debbie

So, I Begin this Journey...... said...

Good rainy day Janette!
Just wanted to catch up on my blog reading....

Amazing how God is right there for us.

You are in my prayers!!

Sandy said...

If you had told my husband that
he'd have to quit his job of
nearly 25 years to stay home
with our autistic son he'd have
said "I can't do that!" But he
did because he had to. It takes
both of us to care for him. So
things have been tight for the
last two years. We are not home-
less or in dire need of anything.
But like you implied, one great
unexpected need and who knows?
This is where we have to give
everything to God and rest
assured He will take care of all
our needs. Not just financial
but physical, mental, emotional
and most of all spiritual. Truly
our lives are in His loving hands.
Love & Hugs,

Sonja said...

I think this is going to be encouraging to a lot of people, Janette. These are different times we live in, and there is a lot more stress and fear in people's lives. I think the economy has touched people at every level, including those who have never had to think seriously about the next month or year.

Is our answer still the same? YOU BET HE IS!! The same yesterday, today and forever.

Sobering thoughts, but not without His hope.

Yes, I also immediately thought of Whitman years ago on the UT campus. Sad.

Big hugs, and thank you for such an honest and beautiful post today.


myletterstoemily said...


you have a blessing coming your way,
i just know it.

i'm so sorry that ihaven't been praying
for you enough. but now i have the
message loud and clear.

don't be afraid. the Lord thy God is
with you.


myletterstoemily said...

ps. i almost forgot the most important
part . . .


Stacy said...

Oh Janette, so good to stop by and hear from your precious heart. That even in this time of leanness for your family, God is giving you compassion and abundant love for those around you. May you be His hands and feet to a hurting world. May He continue to provide for your every need and not let your "oil or your flour" run dry! (1 Kings 17:16)

Thank you so much for your daily prayers and sweet words that encourage my heart. I thank God for you!

Much love,

Sassy Granny ... said...

I'm so, so guilty of living unaffected by the desperate lives living nearby me. I don't think I do it intentionally, but the result is the same whether I do or not.

I love the song, "If We Are the Body", which asks why our hands aren't reaching, our feet aren't going if we are truly His Body.

My hands and feet, and certainly my heart, need to consider what you've penned here in the form of repentance (not from guilt, but from accountability).

Lord, change me ...

Thank you.

Leslie @ Farm Fresh Fun said...

You are a blessing to so many. May God richly bless and provide for you!

e-Mom said...

Janette: I have let this heartfelt post sit with me overnight. I'm quite troubled by the financial instability that you and your family are living with. As you know, we experienced some serious losses at the onset of the recession. Fortunately, by this point, we are well on our way to recovery. Like so many of your commenters, the experience has left me with a heightened sensitivity to fincancial challenges that so many people (like yourselves) are facing.

I will say this: It's much harder for families who are dependent on a narrow type of employment for their livelihood (e.g. bankers, construction). On the other hand, as marketers and entrepreneurs, our husbands are naturally suited to "chaos" and uncertainty that comes with business--and in fact, they thrive on it.

I sense that you know this deep down, and that you trust your husband will ultimately succeed in his future business endeavours, whatever they turn out to be. It's the waiting and the inbetween time that's the challenge! God bless you as you sit tight, and wait on Him for his abundant provision.

(((Hugs))) e-Mom ღ

P.S. As you know, I'm moving forward with my own little entrepreneurial activities on the side at Susannah's {Kitchen}--kind of fun!!!!

Rebecca said...

My heart beats with yours, Janette. We have so much to learn FROM each other - and need to encourage each other the best we can --even from a distance!

I was encouraged by reading this post about financial stress by a woman (Karen Mains) who I have admired for a long, long time. Maybe you'll have time to read it and be encouraged. http://www.karenmains.com/six_rules.php

We, too, are learning how to make things stretch, how to be generous, and how to be content. God has been and WILL supply ALL our needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus.

Lea said...

I'm hear after reading your comment on Finding Joy. Enjoyed this entry and some of the others I read. Your blog is most attractive and I'll definitely find my way back.

Blessings to you !

Karen said...

Janette..This may be wrong on my part,,but that is why i cant read the paper or watch the news.. it hurts my heart..and changes how my day will go..i dont seem to be able to let things like that go,and i will worry and fret over that poor person and thier family all day..Many would say it is going through life with blinders on,and that you people need to be aware of what the real world is like..but I just cant..
but thank god their are people who can and do things to help change our world for the better..

Anonymous said...

I would like to exchange links with your site janettessage.blogspot.com
Is this possible?

Cherie Hill said...

Through my journey of faith, God has developed my character, not by His blessings, but through my sufferings . . . and in that journey, He showed me how to live daily in the grace that He provided. He gave me no more or no less that was necessary . . . and looking back, it was MORE than enough. Through our "lacking," God shows us His presence, His power, and His provision. Trust in Him continually, seek Him constantly . . . He will never fail you.
Love to you sister,

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