No more trick or treat. I choose Thanksgiving.

LOVE this quote!

In the last month, I have faced some evils. A fake publishing company CEO tried to dupe me into paying $6000 to let his company publish my book. My oldest son’s orthodontist tried to trick us into treatment he didn’t need, and paying a balance we didn’t have.  A travel company try to scam me into a travel membership with the enticement of a free cruise and round trip airline tickets. This is only a few of the situations that have been thrown in my way. The worst of all was this. I had a devil trying to exhaust, discourage, and trick me into forgetting how much I have to be thankful for.  On Thanksgiving’s Eve, this reality soured my palette. It’s felt like tricks with no treats lately. 

I can’t express how protected I feel as I reflect on all of this. I asked my friends to pray I’d have wisdom while I navigated emails from a “publisher.” They were answered. Several questions in, I was feeling uneasy. A lot of fluff but no straight answers. When he came out an asked if I’d be willing to pay the fees to sign with another publisher, I knew it was a scam. (No thanks Turdburglar!) I’ll stay with my current publisher and retain the rights to my book. I told him, that I found it interesting after researching his publishing company, that I couldn’t find any published books or Authors under them, and they also couldn’t be found under the Alliance of Independent Author’s list. It was then he back peddled. He told me, “that was just one of his publishing companies. He had other’s.” Really dude? Name one.

The orthodontist situation is long and frankly upsetting, but lets just say that the moment our previous orthodontist sold her his practice upon retiring…we were in for a terrible ride. I am so thankful that several things sat wrong in my gut instantly. It’s a miracle we didn’t fall prey to any of the attempts. There have been numerous serious problems dealing with them, right down to fraud and illegal activity. After many calls with our insurance, another orthodontist, and a botched retainer she refused to fix…we ended up at the orthodontist of my other two kids.  I was stuck, not being able to fix the retainer that literally fell out of Aidan’s mouth if he talked. The orthodontist I trust, who takes care of Alex and Alli, confirmed my suspicions. She fixed Aidan’s retainer, and told us that what we had experienced, was illegal and unethical.  She told me, “I am terribly sorry you guys had this happen. Please let me know if I can help in any other way.”  She didn’t even charge us to fix Aidan’s retainer or to have the consultation. I almost cried. I just kept saying thank you. This was massively kind, and a welcome change from feeling nearly taken advantage of.

Over this last month, my spiritual energy has had the bathtub cork pulled and was swirling the drain. We found out Alex has to have surgery on his right hand again. It’s for a different injury than the first. I am so sad he has to face this. I hate it. It was an ordeal to get one of his procedures scheduled. Hours on hold, multiple calls, and finally tears. After a week and a half, God came through and made the pieces fall into place. Our tire went flat and we had to have two replaced. My body is giving me fits per usual. My phone quit and I had to get a new one. This reflux continues to burn my throat with the fires of hades. My singing voice is pretty significantly affected. I was no Andre Bocelli beforehand, but I did love to sing even if it was just between God and me. I feel like a big part of me has been muted and frankly this problem has finally made me mad. Why this too? Why?! Then my computer broke. I had to take it to apple to be repaired. I couldn’t write my article for my magazine or anything else for that matter. You guys…it’s been a long month! On top of that, Claire is moving across the country from me in just over a week. She is just one of those people you meet in life and wonder why you aren’t actually siblings. She is a sister of my heart. I just….(picture a blown up balloon released and shooting around he room, just to land on the floor and Phhhhhhhhhhhhtttttttttt….till it’s flat) That balloon is me. My heart hurts, my body hurts, my brain and my soul are tired. 

I hate the devil. He is a jerk. It is his perfect plan to suck my faith out. I was thinking today, about how distracted this stuff has kept me. How it seems fiery darts are always whizzing by and I’m kept ducking and shielding. You know what? I’m throwing one back at him. Guess what…I still am thankful! I still love God! God is still my number one numero uno, even when I don’t understand him. God always has my back. Through all of this, God is working and I can see it. I may not be able to sing, but I can write and I can speak, and I will still praise my Almighty King of Kings. I will still revere His name and His power. God is good all the time. 

Every single problem I have, God is capable of handling. When I have problems, God has purpose. I have found that my biggest problems have led to my largest growth. I find that I am a big picture kind of girl. This somehow helps when my problems seem so big. If I back away for a mental moment, it brings new perspective. The truth is, all of these things, I’ve confronted until they were solved. This one problem though…I hadn’t solved yet. This 10% of my issues, that I haven’t solved is my discouragement. Turns out this 10% is actually more like 100% my problem. 

When I feel the most drained, it’s ironic that the one thing that fills me back up, is praising my Father in Heaven. He is worthy to be praised. He has made a way. He has guided me, directed my path, and even in the things I cannot change He comforts me. It is time to praise God.  God is good. God is love, comfort, protection, and faithfulness. I thank Him for the good moments as well as the painful moments, because one day they will culminate. Hopefully they will all lead my soul right back into His arms. The good and the bad is just life. If we never experienced sadness, we would not recognize joy. The bad must exist for the good to be recognized. I choose to recognize the good, the joy and the light. In just these moment, writing out his blessings and his faithfulness, I feel full. I feel thankful for all He faces with me. There it is. The solution to my 100% problem. I just have to choose gratitude.  Thankfulness, joy, and peace, will follow.

I hope your Thanksgiving is full of incredible joy as you appreciate the things you do have. In my blog, “Me Too” I shared the story of my husband’s friend from work and his wife. Their names are Frank and Jovanna Calzadillas. They survived the Las Vegas shooting. I wrote a bit about their story in that blog, and my experience meeting them. They recently were on the news here sharing Jovanna’s incredible journey since being shot in the head. I am going to link that story below. I can’t read their story or watch it without crying tears of thankfulness. God is great, and so is each journey to Him. I love you each. I hope your hearts are full. Huge Thanksgiving hugs my friends.



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