A friend's teenage son, Jonathan, was in a serious bike accident last Thursday and is in critical condition with multiple facial and skull fractures. He has had to have surgery to remove parts of his skull due to brain swelling, and now- after making so much progress in such a short amount of time- he is in isolation fighting a staph infection. This amazing family's recent trials have put my relatively minor troubles into perspective.
TROUBLE- Just as we were starting to make a dent in our debt, we had to replace a car, pay to repair both the new and the old car, replace our washing machine that died suddenly, and I found out I no longer qualify for subsidized student loans.
PERSPECTIVE- We now have two functioning vehicles plus one that is almost ready to sell, the new washer is awesome and more efficient, and I can still get unsubsidized loans so I can continue to go to school.
TROUBLE- My kids are driving me crazy!
PERSPECTIVE- I have three amazing, smart, funny, determined, healthy, strong children. I am blessed to be able to be a stay-at-home mom and watch them learn and grow.
TROUBLE- My house is cluttered, leaking, and we are outgrowing it.
PERSPECTIVE- We home that shelters us with sufficient room for my family and our abundance of belongings. We live in a safe neighborhood with caring, quiet neighbors.
TROUBLE- The pile of laundry is never-ending.
PERSPECTIVE- We have clothes! They fit, look nice, we have enough to not have to wear the same thing every day, and I don't have to wash them by hand.
TROUBLE- School. I miss out on evening events when I'm in class, and I don't get to socialize or do the fun things I want to do because I have to do homework. School just takes up too much of my time.
PERSPECTIVE- I get to go to school! I am gaining a valuable education that will allow me to adequately support my family if need be, and I get to meet new people and feel good about myself in the process! I have been incredibly blessed with a supportive family and friends that make it possible for me to go to class and complete my assignments, and the ability to learn and maintain a 4.0.
TROUBLE- My husband works long hours and his schedule is unpredictable. He comes home tired and I don't get the help I want around the house.
PERSPECTIVE- My husband works hard and has a fantastic job at a company that values him and wants him to succeed. He is good at what he does, works hard to constantly increase his knowledge and skill, and makes enough money to ensure all our needs are met and we can live comfortably without worrying about how to pay the bills or feed our children. And even though he is tired in the evening, he still helps get the boys to bed and helps fold the perpetual mountain of clean laundry while we watch movies together.
TROUBLE- I am not as thin, fit, or pretty as I would like to be.
PERSPECTIVE- I have all my limbs, my body is strong, and I am able to take care of my family. If I continue to take care of myself, eat healthy foods and exercise on a regular basis, my hard work will eventually pay off.
TROUBLE- My two youngest boys have asthma and require tubes in their ears due to chronic ear infections.
PERSPECTIVE- The asthma is totally manageable and not triggered by exercise. We have access to excellent medical care and life-saving (literally and metaphorically) medication.
I could go on and on and on, as I continue to realize how very blessed I am. I am grateful for my family, our opportunities, and the knowledge that the gospel of Jesus Christs affords us. I know that I can pray to a loving Heavenly Father and get help and comfort. I know that there is a healing power that can make the impossible happen. I hope that you will all join me in praying for Jonathan and his family, and realize the blessings in your life as well.