I heard this on KLOVE, of all places. Found it out on Reuters. Nothing earth shattering here but an interesting read. Another version of the report points to the fact that TS is found predominately in white kids (compared to black or Hispanic). Also, more prevalent in boys than girls. Just an interesting read.
I was just having a quick IM session with one of my favorite friends and authors, Trish. Talking or typing with her always makes me happy. I love knowing her. I often refer to her as one of the pillars of my spiritual support. She is one person I turn to when I want to be happy or freak out in crisis. I love having people like that. She laughed with me when I called her cell to inform her that I just purchased a very respectable "girly" top from Anne Klein. She dropped everything when I called her from a hotel room in pieces because my marriage had just imploded. Friends like that are gifts from God.
But what we were laughing about in our IM session revolved around a recurring amusement in our relationship. How I saw her speak at church one Sunday in February 2005. And I immediately dismissed her as some pampered "Christian wife" that had it all together and wouldn't have anything in common with me. I didn't like her. I wrote her off as just completely out of touch with any reality I might know. A few weeks later, when I took a class on seeking faith, who do you think one of the leaders of that class was? Yup. Trish. I remember seeing her and thinking, well, this class is a bust. Thankfully, God loves to show me how wrong I am but in a fun and humorous way. The long story short (that I think I've blogged about before) is that she is one of my most trusted and loved friends. A true friend sent from God.
I have so many friends in my life that have similar starts. My wonderful friend Kristen and our other friend Alicia - I did a similar thing. My first encounter with them was...I think at a friend's party. They were fans of this band - I was friends with most of them and was very protective about the guys and who tried to gain access to them. I was pretty smug and not very welcoming to girls who tried to enter our tight little circle. I sized these two up as groupies and didn't really pay them any mind. Fortunately, they were NOT groupies. Well, they LOVED the band. But they weren't just vapid chicks trying to hook up with a popular band. They actually ended up marrying two other friends of mine that I knew through that band. And they have been two of the most supportive loving friends I've ever had. They were pretty much the only two people we let babysit Pokemon Boy when he was a baby. They have driven me to doctor appointments, one of them drove us home from the hospital when Lil'Bro was born. And to think I thought they were just annoying groupies!
Yes, I realize all of these stories are a huge revelation that I am one big huge judgemental snot bag. But the beauty of it is, in stead of God stomping on my head with his ginormous steel-toed boots, he just shakes his head and makes these people I have misjudged my new best friends.
I was sitting here going through a list of friends that fit this pattern. It's pretty funny. Well, it's pretty pathetic, from one view. But over all, it's more funny. To me, anyway. Thank you, God, for not stomping on my head.
In another "Woo-hoo, God rocks" report:
God has once again rocked the money thing for me. I'm not sitting here saying that I expect God to constantly drop found money in my lap. But it seems to show up when I least expect it. And I am always seeming to have enough money to provide for my needs.
I remember back in that faith seeking class I mentioned above in my Trish story, they talked about tithing. When that subject came up, I remember thinking, "There it is...the price tag every evangelist eventually tosses at you!" But it wasn't like that. There is so much more to it and I'd need a whole blog to get into where it came from and why we still continue it today. But the part that stuck out in my head has always been the fact that it's the only thing God says "Go ahead, test me in this! See what happens." [ref. Malachi 3:8-12] Most everywhere else God kind of warns us not to put him to the test. But this, he says, go ahead - tithe and see how I bless you. I've seen so many people tentatively try it out. And I know so many people who have amazing stories that surprised them. I tell you, since I became the single person responsible for my household finances, I have finally really given like I wanted to. It started out rather sparingly. I was scared to give too much away at first. But man, every time I have hit the straights, God provides what I need out of the most unexpected ways. I'm not talking excess or lottery winnings. But I'm just blown away how it always seems to appear right at the right time.
So right now, I'm doing ok. I'm still living off of my severance package. And I will confess I have been treating the boys and myself to a few too many frivolities. I've been starting to wonder if it will stretch. Will I be able to keep the house? Will I be able to get out of the non-house debt I've dug myself into before it all runs out? But through it all, I just keep saying, Ok God, I'm trusting in you here. Whatever happens - house/no house, debt/no debt - I know you'll work it out. I'm not waiting for my big American bling bling lifestyle. I don't want that. I just want enough to raise my kids, meet my obligations and still be able to give some away. And I've been able to.
Today, I met with my financial advisors. And without going into boring details, I have basically just had a huge (in my book) amount of found money come into play. And it has no tax implications because it's from after-tax money (I've already paid taxes on it a long time ago). And it's just enough to be able to pay off the remaining amount of non-house debt I have. Still giving me a good chunk to either put into a retirement fund or into a rainy-day liquid fund.
This blows my mind. Because I dug myself into quite a hefty bit of non-house debt since the beginning of 2007. Between the actual legal costs of divorce, what I paid out in settlement and then the whole guilt spending resulting from said divorce, I had quickly racked up an amount that made one of my church friends gasp (but to be fair, she's a completely debt-free person). That was the amount I started chipping away at in January. Right now - 6 months later, I have it decreased by more than half! And I'm about 2 weeks away from being able to wipe it all out and just have a mortgage to chip away at. That is mind blowing to me. And that is all God. Every tiny bit of unexpected found money that has come my way in these 6 months went to pound away at that debt. And now this!
I know this is not very profound because I'm not putting numbers out there. I'm not really thrilled to say, "Hey, I'm stupid enough to have racked up $xx,xxx.00 in debt in a mere two years!" But you can fill in those Xs with any numbers and you can see it's substantial. Especially for a single mom who got laid off this past January.
God just keeps rockin' the rescue. He keeps providing. Even when I mess up my own finances. He's not a head stomper. He's a loving father that is amazingly patient with us. He has always had his hand out to me - my whole life. I'm just so glad I finally realized it back in 2005 and turned and REALLY took it.
God, thank you for the awesome friends you put in my life. Thanks for the new ones you're introducing me to right now. And thank you for always providing what my boys and I need. Whether it's money or love from my parents. You're so awesome. I love you.