Monday, October 26, 2009

What Do We Really Need?

I had to laugh at a sign on a dollar store's marquee: We have everything for your snacking needs!

According to various diet philosophies, a dieter should plan for those snacking needs, but I have a feeling there's not much at a dollar store that would meet those requirements. Maybe pretzels.

I expect a lot of us have had to make some choices about wants and needs through the years—and at times try to help others—but I'm thinking not just about what we decide we need but what Heavenly Father knows we need. I've decided that for some reason what I feel I need at the moment isn't what He feels I need. So I'm trying to figure out what He wants me to learn and why I need what He's giving me (or just allowing me to receive through life's challenges).

I don't know the answer to that yet. Some lessons seem a bit obvious. I really like and need my space but I'm currently sharing my living quarters with two brothers and a sister-in-law. I like structure, but my work right now is mostly freelance so I have to create my own structure, something I'm not good at. Last week I finally reached out to some friends and felt their warmth and support in a wonderful way. Clearly there are some good lessons for me to learn here.

Last week I also had an experience that I think is quite common for parents but one I was fortunate enough to miss out on, at least until now. A teen's ridiculously high cell phone bill. My brother and his daughter are on my cell phone plan and my niece asked if we could add her half-sister, my step-niece. She's a single mom and a hard worker and though I felt it was risky I thought a mom needs a phone. It seemed fine for a few months but then, wham! A $200 bill on top of the regular bill. I debated giving her a second chance. She didn't know her calls were so expensive, she said, and she promised to pay up when she could. Then double wham! a higher bill. Beyond high. She promised more payments and I'll take them but since I can't risk another phone bill like that the decision was made, quite easily this time. Her phone is off.

I don't know how this will end. Worst case scenario I lose my cell phone, go back to a landline, and make payments on her bill forever. Best case scenario, she pays what she owes and has the phone turned back in her name. And I get to keep my phone. But I know I'm not the only person to have this happen.

Sometimes I find comfort in other people's experiences and hearing how they survived them. I know this kind of thing has been common in the past with people, so I decided to google "parents" and "high cell phone bills." Guess what, people are out there talking about it. So I'm definitely not alone.

So what does this have to do with needs? Clearly I needed to be reminded that (1) things can always get worse so be grateful, and (2) other people are dealing with problems I haven't had to worry about, and (3) we all have a lot in common. We're all dealing with something. The trick is to learn from it and use our problems to bring us closer together, sometimes by communicating, instead of letting them isolate us from others. All things I clearly need to learn.

1 comment:

Cheri J. Crane said...

Val, you've endured more than your share of adventures lately. ;) And yes, I suspect most of us experience cell phone glitches from time to time. The summer our youngest son went to Alaska to work for the summer, we discovered that our "national" plan didn't include the two states not connected to the mainland. Good times. ;)