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Character Confession: When It’s Not Fair

Posted by Julie on September 1, 2012 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Is it just me, or do things seem extra oppressive lately? Seems at every turn I’m hearing heartbreaking news:

a homeless child

a little boy with a terminal disease

a faith-filled man with cancer

marriages crumbling

unemployment

loss of insurance

violence

There are no easy answers when we learn of these things. Oh, you’ll hear pat replies, and the people mean well, but they don’t wipe away the tsunami of emotions threatening to not just take you down, but out.

The things I’ve dealt with the last few years might be different than you but I’ve spun my tires with one sentence I utter a lot–It’s not fair.

You can sacrifice, give, and love only to get the shaft in return. You go to work early, stay late, and give your all and a pink slip still reaches your hands. You’re faithful to the gym and your body but the health report has your name on it. It isn’t fair.

My cousin would often tell us that “No one promised you life was fair.” But, still. It hurts. Don’t we deserve better than this?

Not really. Truth of it is, we all fall short and miss the mark. And the minute Eve took that apple, we lost all privileges to live in fairness. We can blame Eve, but deep down I know had I been there, I would have been tempted faster and fallen sooner. Life isn’t fair because we live in a fallen world.

So what do you do when life gives a kick to the stomach and you want to wallow in the it’s not fair?

1. Read the Psalms or more of the Bible. There are a lot of not fair situations there, and authentic laments. But there is something else that helps me that flows through the pages right to my hurting heart: hope.

2. Get off the hamster wheel. That’s my downfall. I will spin a situation to death. Beyond the fairness of it, I want to know why and how. I analyze and analyze. And at the end of the day the situation is still there. If that’s you, learn from me and stop.

3. Make that unfair thing your broken place. For years I had a piece of clay pot that had been shattered as part of an object lesson. The pastor shared that even with the best of glue that pot would never be the same. I have many broken places, events and circumstances that at the time I thought would destroy me. I took those places and decided to take my different life from those things and help others who had similar things. There are “sororities” I have exclusive membership to that others don’t, and vice versa. They might be unfair, but I took my PCOS, infertility, miscarriage, marriage lessons, near death of child and her health issues and decided to be a positive vessel for others.

Yesterday I read a quote that sums what to do with those unfair things that will stay with me for a long time. ABC’s Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts had a nice send-off for her medical leave. She’s already been through cancer, now she needs a bone marrow transplant. On top of that, hours after her last show before her transplant, her mom passed away. Seems so unfair. Yet, here is what she said:

“Life provides losses and heartbreak for all of us – but the greatest tragedy is to have the experience and miss the meaning.”

How about you? Do you grieve over unfair situations? Do you think it is time to let it go? What helps you when life is unfair?

 

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Character Confession: I’d Drag My Feet but I’d Probably Have to File a Claim

Posted by Julie on January 14, 2012 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Saturday! I hope it means sleep in day, but it also means I share my Character Confession.

 

 

 

 

Back in September I wrote about “Second verse, same as the first” because I continue to face situations that seem an awful like other things I’ve been through that I didn’t want to endure the first time, let alone a second or third.

Well, I’m still struggling. One of the issues I mentioned in that post is something I have to deal with. And I don’t want to.

Insurance.

Years ago I spent a better part of a year and the death of a printer sorting out health insurance denials, appeals, rejections, and a lot of fear and bitterness on my part. When we switched companies I danced. I saw their ad on sports stadiums and shuddered. The mere look at their name made me angry, but yay, I never had to work with them again.

Until the next year when my husband’s employer told us that was our only choice for healthcare.

More than that, they switched the Flexcard provider to one who messed up nearly all employee funds the first week of that year. Although they apologized, I had a “I’m watching you” attitude about it. Why fix what wasn’t broke, I liked the previous company better.

And then that Flexcard company flags every single transaction. Never mind the transaction bears the name of your eye care provider and a detailed summary of buying glasses, I still had to make a copy of every receipt, collect them, and send them in.

I get very worked up and upset over the whole thing, although grateful for insurance. I am, but, I’m still scared about it all.

Right now I’m dealing with a claim that every single time we’ve had lab work done, we owed less than $20. Since August I’ve been fighting a $500 bill for the same procedures. It’s tiring and only feeds my anxiety.

Dealing with this makes me anxious and bitter

I also have to sort through dental claims to prove the ortho payment we used on the Flexcard is real. It’s taking me awhile to track down and figure out, so already the card is frozen until I prove it.

And that’s where I am. I’ve put it out there, and I’ve been praying.

But I know in heaven there is no paperwork, no insurance claims, audits, or the red tape that comes with it.

And I can’t wait to get there and enjoy that promise for eternity!

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Character Confession: No Fair, The Here’s Your Sign Version

Posted by Julie on September 3, 2011 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Yep, Saturday. Time to bare my soul with Character Confessions.

 

 

 

(Please note, although I’m not a fair go-er, this is written in tongue-in-cheek. Mostly.)

If you, my non-Ohio friends, don’t hear from me after this post, please alert someone important. I’ve most likely been tied to a pole and forced to participate in the one thing that will always keep me from ever being accused of being a home grown Ohioan.

I. Hate. The. Fair.

Where I live we have a fair about five miles down the road that is apparently the longest running fair in the county. When we moved here from Upstate New York it was all about “the fair.” We moved during the week of the fair and the questions weren’t about where we were from but, “are you going to the fair?”

When I announced the first year, and the second, then the third, and the fourth, and yes the fifth, sixth and now seventh year that I hate the fair and do not want to go, you can’t even describe the looks I would receive. It was as if I spoke in a foreign language. They don’t get my anti-fair lifestyle. These are people who go every day. Take vacation days. School systems revolve around the fair schedule.

I’m not kidding.

What is it about the fair?

1. I’m a loner. I like my life quiet and without fanfare. Fairs aren’t quite conducive to that.

2. I’m a princess snob. I don’t like being in hot sun for hours on end with weird smells. I don’t enjoy parking five miles away and giving up my husband’s paycheck for a sausage sandwich and a drink. I don’t like the dirt, the trampled grass and the farm animal smells. I grew up with skunks leaving their trail so I’d like to think I paid my dues.

3. My stomach can’t handle the food. I think as a vendor when you sign off on providing a service at the fair you promise to dip it in lard and grease. Five times. Oh my stomach can’t take it. My mom loves the fried dough. I like it, but not a whole piece and not to go to all that fanfare (HA) for the greasy treat.

4. And then there’s the people. I don’t need to see couples walk down the path with their hands in each other’s back pockets. I don’t need to hear screaming kids, I can get that at Wal-Mart where it is air conditioned, thank you very much. I’m not interested in hearing teenagers try to impress each other with the world record attempt of the most “F” words used in a sentence—and I don’t mean “Fair.” I also have zero interest in putting my family in rides that are put up and taken back down time and time again. In my mind it’s done in a rush by workers that seem to be characterized on Criminal Minds. It’s a generalization but I have trust issues.

Here is what I can get on board with when it comes to the fair. I think it was a 1995 recording of comedian Bill Engvall talking about the fair. I still cry I laugh so hard. He wonders why in the middle of the fair is a spa vendor—and his pitch is that he’s just giving them away. Don’t they always say that? The thin man juggling all the snacks with the very large woman wielding a cotton candy and fried butter. Classic.

There you have it. I’m a bitter, non-fair going, princess snob that would rather hear about the fair from Bill Engvall.

 

 

 

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Surrendering Daddy’s Girl

Posted by Julie on May 9, 2011 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

So moms, are you back to the reality of getting up first making breakfast, finding socks and feeding the pets?  Yep, must be the day after Mother’s Day.

I try each year to write about the different facets of motherhood from honoring my own mom to encouraging women with infertility because I have been there.  Although I’m writing a little ahead of schedule I feel like I’m supposed to share something I don’t read too much about but is very real just the same.

When you aren’t daddy’s girl and/or when you’re the seemingly invisible parent raising a daddy’s girl.

Guilty on both counts but I think after a lot of time, prayer and tears, that doesn’t define me anymore.

As a child I was the oldest and wired to be a little ahead of my age and now that I really think about it, a bit of sass to me. If I saw injustice whether I understood it or not I was going to talk about it with a lot of negativity. It’s not a real popular place to be especially if you think there is injustice pretty close by.  I was angry and vocal and there was a lot of baggage. We all did the best we could.  But I knew back then I  was not daddy’s girl.

The praise is that before his death we reconciled and I had the absolute honor of being the last to speak with him. I was able to give him a tribute to send him to his eternal destination where I know I will see him again. I believe that was a God given gift for all the years we struggled and I know he never meant and hated that I came away feeling the things I felt. It truly ended all good.

Then I had a daughter.  As soon as she was placed in my husband’s arms he said, “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to discipline her.”  Although that wasn’t quite true it was close. She was chronically sick as a baby and as any daddy would want, he wanted to meet every need she could possibly have…and then some.

It didn’t take long for her to realize this and take advantage. When she started talking she started wheeling and dealing. Everyone saw it but daddy. She would toddle off to him and ask for something I already said no to.  Then came a time when she was very verbal and made it clear she wished dad was a stay at home dad…and wished I would go to work…and take my sweet time coming home.

This crushed me. I definitely felt like a house divided and I didn’t handle it well.

This year things have improved. Oh she still brings artwork after artwork home for daddy and apologizes that she ran out of time before she could draw anything for me or her brother. When she draws pictures of the family I am finally not just in the picture, but drawn a lot closer to her and daddy.  There was a time she drew me way, way, way off the page.

We’re now at a place where she takes her time coming inside off the bus because she’s stopping to bring me dandelions. I always equate them as weeds taking over a lawn I just mowed or want to mow but this year I’m realizing this is a precious gift I enjoy receiving. Her class had a mother’s day brunch and she made sure I received an invitation but hoped I was recovering enough from surgery to attend. She gives me hugs, tells me she loves me and just this morning had a tude with her dad, something usually reserved for me.

I’m grateful that my dad and I reconciled and very happy that our daughter is embracing me as much as her dad. Thing is, I had to let go of that expectation and the minute I did, things improved.  I had to place myself in the truth that I AM a Daddy’s girl, my heavenly Father.  Just as it is with you, I am His favorite.  I love that He’s so Sovereign we can all be His favorite. If I waited and put all my hopes in being received that way in all my relationships on Earth I believe I would be a bitter unfullfilled person.

Life is too short for that.

If you are a rejected Daddy’s girl, surrender that today because it’s not true.  You are THE Daddy’s girl and He wants to lavish and brag on you for all of eternity. He’s not a far off God who crosses His arms and shakes His head at you in disgust–so far from it. His arms are open waiting to hug you with promises and truths.  You just aren’t in His picture, you are in His arms. As you receive that truth and draw closer to Him and His Son, it will change your life.

Take it from this Heavenly Daddy’s Girl.

 



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