Year One: A case of lemonade’s

Tuesday, February 06, 2018 was a shocking day for us. Robert has to quit his high-paying job and take an unpaid medical retirement. His Ankylosing Psoriasis Arthritis was out of remission and brought his health down. His symptoms included Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Our financial picture was okay, or so we thought. Until reality sunk in. We cashed our savings and 401K in and final bonus. We paid to get rid of the truck and payment of $751.00 monthly. We bought a used truck for $7100.00 and had to make $2500.00 in repairs in September.

We were ushered into the world of Social Security Disability Insurance claim and hiring a good lawyer.   May met with approval for September 2018.

My prescriptions were $2,000.00 monthly, and Roberts was $900.00 monthly, no problem if you have insurance—now we didn’t. Discover Catholic charity organization that would help one time per year. They helped with mine but couldn’t with Roberts they used the amount that would have been allotted to him, and we paid the difference on the prescription bill.

We paid off credit card debt. Stopped the housekeeper, lawn care, dog walker, and pooper-scooper services. We made changes for the Internet/TV and cellular phone services $800.00 monthly became $300.00 monthly. Then my daughter helped shave $200.00 off the bill. We cut back on eating out and spa days. Mindless shopping was a thing of the past.

 Little did we know that in seven weeks he would suffer a heart attack and have heart surgery performed hours later on Tuesday, March 20th. The hospital required an $18,368.00 deposit ($61,000.00+ Surgery). Public health services were non-existent; I filled out two applications (1st was lost) and kept on them for three months only to be denied services because my husband made too much money in 2017. We have a huge garage sale fundraiser.

We began to search for medical insurance; what a sticker shock! $500.00+ monthly for basic and I do mean basic insurance through care.gov program; no prescription coverage, two annual checkups, and 70/30 copay with $1500.00 deductible and only pay the hospital $250.00 for any hospital stay greater than 20hours. In 2019, despite it using part of the name- our insurance was not Obamacare approved so guess who had to pay a $1100.00 tax penalty?

April rolls around an air conditioner/heat pump quit working.  We coast into May, hot temperatures force us to spend $2400.00 on portable air conditioner/heat units. Our electric bill doubles for three months until we take a personal loan out to replace the ac/unit in June.

July 1st rolls around, we pay our mortgage. No funds have been coming in from employment or any other source. We officially run out of money. SSDI does not start until September 15th.

Our pride is sunk. My daughters help with food and life insurances. We’re not out of the woods, yet.

December comes, we ask, and our church helps us out with utilities, and a community link helps with food once a month. Christmas giving is non-existent without the use of an online store credit card. We go into debt willfully; we don’t want the grandchildren to think we forgot about them. We spent $40k of savings & SSDI to survive the 1st ¾ of the year.

January 2019. Our real estate taxes increase, the homeowner’s insurance raises $400.00, and we have an escrow shortage that jacks our payments up.

February 6th, 2019 one year to the day, we list our house for sale.

March 11,2019. There are pitfalls with our credit score that have to be addressed so we can buy another cheaper place to live. We have learned to live frugally. I have been attending a Dave Ramsey Financial University workshop. We were cut to the bone. What turned out to be fair weather friends abandoned us, and true friends came forward to offer encouragement.

Our faith in GOD had grown. Our commitment to the church has grown in creating and developing a ministry and helping out other ministries with our time and talents. Our family dynamics have remained stable; we have each other’s heart.  We are over the foothills and are climbing the mountains’. God has been our strength, our refuge, an ambassador of our belief in him through Jesus Christ our Lord. Evil will always be among us, but so is good.

The crucifix of our body

Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him, all things hold together. 1 Colossians 1:15-17.

When we look at the vast universe, ever expanding with galaxies, stars, asteroids, comets, planets, and other heavenly bodies we are amazed at Gods creations.  Are we no less amazed at the creations on earth?  Have you ever wondered what the glue was that held our skin on our bodies, muscles and ligaments, nerves and cells together? I found out today in church that the glue is a protein molecule named Laminin. What is unique about this protein is the shape it takes on itself.  It is a crucifix, a symbol of the cross of biblical days of capital punishment. It is also in the heavens known as the Crux Constellation.  God gave us this symbol hidden in our bodies to the naked eye (invisible) yet providing an essential function within our bodies, notwithstanding, if we did not have this miracle protein we would not exist as human beings.

Since God created mankind we have yet to fully understand all the molecular and electrical fields of our brains and consciousness though we have made great strides in both areas of study.  Why did God create the Laminin in the shape of a cross? I think it is so that we humans can be amazed by science and prompted to theologize the significance of finding something so small to be of great worth.  Just like discovering the Crux Constellation is a reminder of the crucifix- a symbol that God created the heavens and the earth.

 

Image result for laminin

Laminin – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laminin
Laminins are high-molecular-weight (~400 to ~900 kDa) proteins of the extracellular matrix. They are a major component of the basal lamina (one of the layers of the basement membrane), a protein network foundation for most cells and organs.

InterPro: IPR009254   Symbol: Laminin_I
Pfam: PF06008
Function · Pathology · Use in cell culture · Laminin domains

The Crux Constellation

Image result for crux constellation origin

 

 

 

 

Love, respect, and approval are our basic needs, too.

You are unique. Even identical children have their own independent fingerprints. God created us; mankind, in his image. God gave us rights to love and acceptance, respect, forgiveness, and approval.

You are capable. A newborn comes into the world, and its whole life is changed. The source of nourishment, diapering needs, warmth or coolness of body. It makes it mind up if it can trust it’s caretakers to fulfill the basics of needs. Love is a learned behavior.

You survived!  And not only did you survive you flourished. You are a capable, independent person of attributes. You possess a gamut of emotions from happiness to sadness, a disappointment to acceptance, love to despise.  You seek approval from others, from GOD, and from yourself at the most basic level of needs.

You are respected. At some point in life, you have earned respect from yourself and others. Respect is a sense of well-being in your world. Respect is innate that God created you to be perfected through Christ and it is good.

Your self-image is positive or negative, rarely neutral. A positive outlook tells itself that it is liked, loved, respected, appreciated, forgiven. An adverse or negative outlook tells itself that it is unlovable, disrespected, demoralized, or not worthy of forgiveness.  A healthy person will fluctuate in our self-image based upon external factors that we internalize as to be a positive or a negative condition. How we view ourselves influences our success or failures as individuals.

Kat Challis 06/20/18

Are You Happy?

Are you happy, truly happy? Not the giddy, silly, I’m on top of the mountain type of happiness that is event centered. I am talking about the day in and day out kind of happiness that makes you want to get out of bed and do something that day.

Are you happy that you have employment! Happy in that you like your job. You feel that you are contributing to the company’s success.  You value your co-workers as individuals and as a part of the team. When you look at spending 1/3 of your life working for yourself or someone else, does it give you pleasure that you have a purpose- a feeling that something is happening because of your efforts? Even mundane, repetitive jobs have a goal such as; shopping or maintaining your home or transportation.

Are you happy that you have a family to call your own?  Having dynamic relationships with people that share a common bond- parentage or adoption into a family through blood or the legal system. It’s not easy to have a family; there are disagreements, feelings get hurt, apologies are not always forthcoming, so you have to forgive for self-preservation. One must love unconditionally those in their family unit, even those who are unlovable by having an ornery or evil spirit. Unconditional love is grace- God’s grace, it not that anyone has earned it or is deserving of it- grace exists. While your exercising grace is it a joy to be with your family members individually or as a group? Do you feel enriched and loved by other people, so they give you cause for happiness? Or are you missing the happiness boat?

Are you happy that you have developed friendships with otherwise strangers? Some of these friendships are close to family feelings of importance. They have a value that can come for a small season or a lifelong season. Sometimes we disappoint most of the time were in sync with the other persons thought processes and personality that’s what endears them to us.

God can be our source of great happiness. A belief in a spiritual power so high that it shames our perception of happiness/ but gives us a benchmark to strive to attain. We are made up of a spirit/soul, physical being, and a thought process. One can not be separated from the other.

Whether its work, family, or friends we need happiness for our physical well being, spiritual, and mental health. When you are unhappy, you have a physical reaction like frowning, being anxious, being tired, have aches and pains, depression and taken to the extreme suicidal thoughts. You may even waiver in your faith in God. or not want to be with anyone else. It takes more energy to be unhappy than that of being happy. Happiness is a conscious choice that effects our subconscious actions. So choose happiness or “fake it ’till you make it’ happen.”

An Angel’s Visit

There once was a man, aged by dereliction.

He came to our trailer door pleading for something to eat.

He asked if he could use the water hose.

So, I gave him a towel, washcloth, and soap.

While he began to clean his too thin body

I began to cook.

I remembered to treat him as an honored guest and put on our best.

Pan fried steak sizzled while the biscuits baked and the vegetables cooked.

From my best plate, he ate and said it was the best meal he ever had.

I was just thirteen years old, but I was certain that God had sent an angel

to our door that very day.

Kat Challis 06/17/2007

My LORD

My LORD os a special spirit,

that settles upon me like a dove;

so soft and gentle does he comfort me

in all of my tragedies.

He tells me of all the wonders

he has in store for me to behold.

He tells me of the galaxies the pilgrims

have called their home.

He shows me all his creations,

my eyes light up in wonder and awe.

Now, I look all about me and see with

truth revealing, that man is just a special

part of this place I call home.

And now, I look forwards to my special spirit to guide me in the ways

of righteousness and help steer me from wrong,

So, if you’re ever in need my friend and

you don’t know where you belong…

you can just borrow my special friend, the Spirit

that’s  everlasting; the Lord God almighty

and take him on home.

cc December 15, 1990 Kathy Challis orgional titled, “My Lord” & “Take him on home”