Friday, March 16, 2012


I have let that word control me way to much, "Failure".
Of course, being me, I analyzed it (many times) trying to figure out why I am controlled by a fear of failing. I believe I discovered one of the main reasons it is so hard for me take a chance.
Now, I have always been eager to please, always searching for approval, when you add a situation is viewed as a "fail"- the result is quite a handicap.
Back in 1992 is what I have allowed to haunt and control me. I was in my Junior year of High School, and I had worked very hard that year to pull my GPA up (I had been a lazy student prior). The second part of my Junior year became difficult- at home and church. I pretty much sunk into a depression because of some very difficult situations my whole family- especially my parents, were facing. I have always taken it upon myself to protect my parents, it's kind of comical that I've done that. So, as I watched my parents crushed and crying on every turn- I took it very personally and allowed myself to carry it. Then, after a visit to the dentist, I had an allergic reaction to Demerol. They could not wake me up, after I finally did- I passed out and went into a seizure. They would not allow me back at school without a clearance from the doctor.
Well, these things combined caused me to miss to many days of school (14 days)- which we had to appeal- and were denied (which meant I had to repeat the 11th grade). I remember reading that letter, I sat down and just cried- and then I gave up. It was like I didn't have any more fight left in me- and my parents didn't either. I was so angry, my grades may not have always been the best- but they were that year, and I had never even had a detention or anything. I told my parents I wanted to drop out and get my GED. After many discussions, they agreed- I was pretty adamant and I don't think my parents had it in them to "combat" me.
The hardest part then was, I was terrified to get my GED- what if I didn't pass? I was a pretty good student, but I had to work very hard for my grades- and me and math absolutely did NOT get along. It took me 3 years to finally take that test- which I did pass.
I was 20 years old before I finally got my drivers license. I drove without a license all of that time. Why? I just new I would not pass and could not face that. One day, my friend Jimmy came into my office at work and told me that the following week I was going to take my driving test in his car so we better start practicing. Well, we did and I walked away with my license that day. I was honestly shocked that I passed the test- I really was!
There are so many times that I want to offer advice or give an idea, but am paralyzed that people will think I am stupid. Sometimes I take the chance, but mostly I feel, "..why bother, they aren't going to think it's any good?" I know I am talented in certain area's, but what if I am the only one who thinks so, while everyone else out there feels bad "for the girl who thinks she has talent, but really doesn't".
I became very sick many years ago, as I finally began to recover I took it as the perfect opportunity to go to college- something else I had so desperately wanted but was very fearful of. I really enjoyed it, except for being reminded of how bad I was at math/science, I mean bad- really bad! I finally went to my academic advisor (forever indebted to Dr. Matousik) who personally tutored me. About 3 sessions in, he looked at me and said, "Jenn, you are not stupid, you have a learning disability." He continued to ask if I ever had been tested/diagnosed- I hadn't. It brought me some comfort to have him say this to me, but I also became overwhelmed by the fact that I was again failing.
Opportunity, that is what I often tell others that failure is, an opportunity to learn and do better. Funny that I fail to follow my own advice. I envy the people I know/see, who plunge ahead with the thought to succeed instead of the idea of failing. Not that they are not aware of the risks, but they are not controlled by them, it's worth chancing failure because they are also chancing success- and even if they fail they can value the experience and the education.
About 2 weeks ago, God gave me a great idea. I was so excited about it. But, then I realized that it was going to be like every other "great idea" I've ever had- just an idea. There are many times I have thought of something I'd like to try/do- but then as I weigh it out thinking of the details- I become overwhelmed with the thought that I will just fail- so why try!? In a way, not trying is failure without the option of success.
I began to wonder if I was going to continue following my trend, or if I was going to begin to at least try. It's a big idea- and I'm still trying to figure out the logistics of how to accomplish it. The fact that I am subjecting myself to executives who may look at me and tell me it is not a good idea is overwhelming. BUT, what if after a few "No's" is a "Yes"- who knows, maybe I will get an immediate "Yes".
So, here I am, putting myself out there, subjecting myself to not just failure- but success. It's going to take some work and determination and time- but I am going to try. Many friends will probably get some phone calls from me for advice, help, and encouragement, so this is your warning. I am taking a chance, and am hoping to rediscover many strengths that I have lost along my way.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Timing and Trust

Been awhile! To be honest, as much as I've been itching to blog, I have also intentionally avoided it. I typically write pretty candidly on what's going on in my life and what I'm learning from the processes. Well, I am once again going through a challenging issue with my health and am extremely angry and frustrated by it. Although, I probably will write about it eventually- I am choosing to write about some other things that my family has faced and how God brought us through the other sidein His timing!
First, let me tell how Lupe and I received an envelope with $1000 cash inside!
 After getting settled in our new apartment at the beginning of February, we were very relieved and also a bit stressed. God had provided the money we needed to get us in our new place, but we were then faced with very limited funds throughout the month of February. We just began to pray and believe God to provide what we needed for every day. As I began to make preparations to celebrate Gia's Birthday on the first, I was feeling a bit guilty for spending the little money I did (I already had the decorations, but a present and cake..). On Gianna's Birthday, a very close friend of ours text Lupe to wish Gia a Happy Birthday, he also asked how we were doing. Lupe text that everything was well, just having some financial challenges. K.L. (I will just call him "K.L" to protect his privacy) joked that he needed to send Lupe an envelope of cash " Donny Brasco.." (Lupe and K.L. always joke around as if they are mobsters ). I laughed, didn't put any weight into the comment.
A few days later, I was on the phone with my friend Joanne. We began talking about some of the financial challenges we were having, as we spoke I began to cry. I guess I was beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed. Joanne quickly began to encourage me and remind me of God's faithfulness. When I hung up the phone, I felt better, but told God "Alright God, I trust you for what I need for today and will leave the tomorrows until tomorrow..".
The mailman knocked on the door as I was about to get in the shower. To be honest, the first thing that went through my mind was "GREAT! Now they're sending us certified letters to pay our bills!!", but as I shut the door I noticed the return address on the package was from K.L. Then I remembered he had mentioned that he was sending Gia a birthday gift. There was a card and some money for each of the girls and Lupe, as I opened the card for Lupe (yes, I opened my husbands mail) I see a $100 bill- as I picked it up it was more than one bill. My mouth hit the floor and I began to sob as I counted 10 $100 bills in that card. My heart began to flip flop all over the place!! I immediately called Lupe, and as my ever so calm unshakable husband always is, his response was "...well, he was pulling a Donny Brasco..." (as I'm sobbing on the other end). I then called Joanne back and told her what happened, her response was what I was expecting (unlike my smooth husband), a squeal and excitement.
WHY did God choose to do it the way He did? I don't know, but I know it was in His timing (which is perfect) and we never went without. I am thankful for faithful friends who stood and encouraged and were obedient.
Another challenge that we have been facing for a few years is our car!! About 2 1/2 years ago, we were driving a Toyota Camry which was just getting to cramped with our toddler and a baby and all their stuff. We needed/wanted a small SUV- and the one we (mainly I) wanted was a Saturn Outlook. Well, we found one and were given a pretty good deal on it- only problem was it was an extremely high interest rate. When Lupe inquired to a very close friend and mentor (who was very knowledgeable about buying vehicles) on what options he may have and how to negotiate- the friend offered to put up the collateral for the loan to keep our interest rate down. We accepted, which in retrospect was a mistake. We loved that Outlook, but we HAD to love it- we were way upside down and our payments were way to much!
After we moved to Florida from Texas, our friend who had put up the collateral, asked us to get new financing for the vehicle- considering we were upside down on it, we could not get new financing. Since we left Texas, the relationship with our friend has become a bit strained and uncomfortable, which makes the whole car situation just feel even worse. We began to have that feeling of a car owning us instead of us owning a car. Lupe never gave up on looking for another car or financing, he would try and get turned down and have an offer that just would not work.
Last week, Lupe had just walked away from another offer that just wouldn't work when he received a letter in the mail from another dealership in the area saying they thought they could help. Lupe called them and explained where we were at and what we needed. We wanted to go back to a car now that the girls were older and a smaller vehicle would work, not to mention the gas mileage on a car would be much better!
Long story short, Lupe spoke to the dealership on Thursday night, they called him to come over on Friday night saying they could make it work, and Friday night he drove home in our brand NEW Mitsubishi Gallant!! We now have a lower payment, lower interest, and are getting 40mi/gal instead of 18mi/gal (THAT'S a big deal!), and this will hopefully remove some of the strain with our friend and start a healing process of our relationship.
We are getting used to "riding on the ground" again and are loving the gas mileage! I will admit, I miss the roominess of our Outlook, the adjustable steering wheel and satellite radio, and with summer approaching we will definitely miss our automatic start button! But, it's so worth it  for all the reasons I mentioned above.
We have been dealing with this situation for about 1 1/2 years....why didn't God work it out in the beginning? I don't know, but I am thankful that he sustained us until now with that crazy high payment and has now provided us with exactly what we need. Yet again, we never did without.
I don't understand God's timing, but I don't guess I have to. I just have to trust that His timing IS perfect.
Please continue to pray with me regarding some of this health stuff, I am trying to have faith and trust- but I will admit it's a struggle.