We on Paradise are like most everyone else.  We wake up in the morning with a job to go to and a Things To Do list that is longer than the time we have to do them in.  We have good days.  We have bad days.  And we have the ‘dreaded’ bills.  This month is one of the worst, as we have ALL of our insurance quarterly payments due, as well as the regular monthly bills.  It’s enough to send our checkbook running, screaming in pain-ridden tears.  I would love to be ‘one of those’ who either sets them aside and ignores them until the lights have been turned off, or one who has enough money to pay someone else to handle them so I can go play.  Alas, that is NOT my lot in life. 

Last night, as I was making out my list of things I really need to accomplish for today, those insurance payments made the top of the list.  They aren’t due for another week or so, but I still want to get them paid and out of the way.  I was running down the list of what they covered – the house; the vehicles; the barn; farm liability – and a realization popped into my head.  Are they really curses, or are they blessings?  Consider this:

If you have an electric bill – you have lights in your house; you have an air conditioner and/or fans to keep you cool; you have a television to enjoy in the evenings; you have a computer, with which you can do research or just scroll; you have a charger for your cell phone; you have a toaster or microwave; you have a washing machine and a dryer, with which you can keep clean clothes on your body.  You have quite a few conveniences in life that are run on electrical current.

If you have a gas bill – you can feed your family with that stove and oven; you have hot water; you have heat to keep you warm in the winter; your dryer may also run on gas, as well as other conveniences you haven’t thought about.

If you have a water bill – running water inside was at one time considered a great luxury.  If you can’t appreciate it, try finding a well in your area and using buckets to haul your water to bathe, wash your clothes, flush, and clean.  This is a luxury you really don’t want to take advantage of!

If you have insurance – this more than likely means you have a vehicle to get to work; a roof over your head; a life you are living; protection for your rented home; and in our case, a farm, a barn and animals that we dearly love.

If you have credit card bills – stop and think of the gasoline you used; the food you consumed; the trip you took; the shoes on your child’s feet; the clothes on your back – or anything else you purchased on a time plan. 

The next thing on my list is to clean my house.  It will probably be a little more complicated than normal today, as I am also on call for one of my jobs.  I could be in the middle of a task, and be called to go to work.  I have been known to grouse about this.  Truthfully, I can grouse long and hard just about cleaning the house – add ‘on call’ to it and I complain a little louder.  Last night, I applied the Curse/Blessing concept to it.  You guessed it.  Both are really a blessing.  I have a house I can clean, when all too many people are homeless in our country (one report states that on a single January night in 2015, well over 550,000 people were classified as homeless).  If I truly think about it, all of a sudden that housework doesn’t look so daunting.  Being on call?  That means I have a job to go to, and an income to pay for this farm and all the bills it takes to make it run smoothly.

This Farm Wife has just had an attitude adjustment towards some of the least fun things in her day.  Instead of feeling like bills, housework and my jobs are a curse, I finally understand that they are a great blessing.  Whether we like it or not, both blessings and curses come with responsibilities – like keeping a job and writing out those monthly – or quarterly – checks.  So, instead of griping and complaining today, and allowing bill paying, house cleaning and waiting for a call sour my mood, I am instead going to turn all of it into an opportunity to worship, and to thank God for the blessings He has given me.  Even if these are the only blessings I have gotten (and believe me, they aren’t – there isn’t enough time or computer memory to be able to list them all), I realize that I am one of the fortunate ones.  No, we aren’t wealthy in a financial sense.  No, I don’t have every item on my wish list, nor do I have the means to complete every item on my bucket list.  But I have what I need at this moment.

I am blessed.  And I am grateful for those blessings.