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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

My apologies. I've been on something of a blogging sabbatical since last Monday, so I'll explain why. I probably needed to add to it the blog. Just for memory-sake... I mean, this is probably one of those experiences that God will somehow use to shape me in a significant way.

Monday morning, I awoke to an empty bed. Paul is never awake before me, so I was a little alarmed. Both the boys were stirring, so I grabbed Simon from his crib and headed out to the living room.

Paul was just coming back in the room, too, and without even a good morning, he said: "The Honda was broken into last night. They took the car seat and the stroller."

My heart sank. We've had some increased activity to the ONE shady house at the end of our otherwise quiet neighborhood - new, broken down cars in and out at practically the same hours every single day. People, strung out on God knows what, wandering from the house and down the road to the main road. It's so unsettling, because the road we live on is a quiet country road... our neighbors to the right have several small kids, and a family member of theirs lives in a nice house set back off the road behind some trees. The other homes, towards the main road, are quiet and well-maintained. We've had MANY neighborhood meetings about this house, and the house seemed to vacate a few months ago. The owner of the property (who doesn't live there) cleared trees and cleaned the place up, but now... the insane traffic and random people are back. We've had so much drama with this house over the years, from the people that frequent it:
  • A guy lit our mailbox on fire. He went to jail.
  • A guy stole my father-in-law's truck... crashed it down the road and we got it back the same night
  • A lady hopped our backyard fence and hid in the bushes, because she said her boyfriend was beating her. She was strung out and pregnant and when we told her we were calling the cops to get her help, she ran.
  • We've had people from the house at our front door demanding to use our phone
  • We've had cars FLYING down our quiet road at 50mph... which is what I hate most. We have kids that sometimes ride bikes or play ball in that street in front of our house, and they are oblivious and careless.
So, you can see my immediate train of thought: now, we can add theft to the list. And to take Simon's entire car seat system and our stroller?! For some reason this felt like even more of a violation. It just became way too personal.

It wasn't until minutes later I realized we had accidentally left Porter's iPad in the car, too. We had been taking in a bunch of groceries the night before, and never made it back out to get the iPad. It was gone.

Paul's leather jacket, my new green raincoat, a pair of boots I'd gotten and changed out of when my feet needed flats.... gone.

The most frustrating part of all of this: the cops won't do anything. They just tell us to keep calling in and filing complaints. We've been doing it for 5 years, and the only time they've come out is when the mailbox was set on fire/truck was stolen. 

And, we had about $1,300 worth of stuff stolen, but it's in our best interest to not file an insurance claim with homeowners. My insurance agent is a friend of mine, and told me our home insurance would go up for 3 years, and we wouldn't get enough money to replace all the items since we hsve a $1,500 deductible. Insurance enrages me more than anything... I pay monthly for this, and I can't even use it when I need it. I work hard for my things, and I pay bills and have insurance... and I'm not even truly protected, in any way.

So, yeah. I was challenged. I prayed for God to show me the silver lining. And then I got an email from my father-in-law, who forwards me and all my siblings Joel Osteen's daily devotion every morning, and this was the scripture for the day:

“Set your mind and keep focused habitually on the things above [the heavenly things], not on things that are on the earth [which have only temporal value].” (Colossians 3:2, AMP)

I laughed. Perfect timing, God. And then He reminded me through the day - I have given you the means to replace these things. We headed to the store to buy Simon a new car seat and I told Paul this, too (he was dealing with some serious rage, haha - such a male response - they desire to protect and provide, and when someone messes with that it's no good). I also told him I was praying that whatever pawn shop our stuff ended up at, that it was bought by people truly in need, for their newborn or children. He replied that his prayer today had been that the people who took our stuff would be so sick with guilt, that they'd either anonymously return our things or get their lives cleaned up.

It's been over a week and we haven't gotten our things back yet, so I'm just hoping that somewhere, there's a sweet newborn riding in style, or a child playing with an iPad that his parents wouldn't have otherwise been able to afford (we're not sure what's really up with the iPad. It hasn't been turned on since we got it stolen... we have a notification set up to alert us and track it when it does). 

Anyway, praying for the best outcome helps me to me sleep at night, for sure.

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