"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." Proverbs 3:5

Archive for November, 2009

An Early and Amazing Christmas Gift

I had the most amazing experience this weekend…This has been a particularly challenging season in our lives.  Most of you know, I have been having some crazy unexplainable health issues going on.  We are also reaching the end of James’s slow time at work.  This is always a financially tense time of year for us- a time we really have to put our trust in the Lord that he will keep on providing for us.  Some of you also know that I really enjoy photography.  More than just enjoy it, I think it does for me what playing basketball does for James- releases tension and just helps me to refocus again.  With all the doctors visits and just plain feeling crummy, I haven’t been making time to do any photography work and I’ve really noticed how its begun to wear on me.  Plus, we have had computer issue after computer issue that at one point made me question if maybe this was a sign that shouldn’t be investing my time into it.

Well, the latest problem that we had started as a blessing.  We had some gift certificates to Best Buy and James, who is incredibly supportive of my job (I work from home) and especially my photography, insisted that we use them to buy a new computer monitor since the one I had was from the computer stone age.  I was so excited.  We took our time picking it out and when we finally made a decision, we bought it, brought it home, set it up, and… THUD.  That was the sound of my heart hitting the floor after turning it on because the color and brightness, and pretty much everything was so far off that I knew I would not be able to do any photo editing until it was fixed.

After countless hours playing with the monitor controls, I knew that I wasnt going to be able to get it right on my own.  I began researching monitor calibrations.  I found that there were free programs, and then there were $200 programs.  Hmph.  James and I have a motto after several good intensions for saving money that ended in a bad way- you get what you pay for.  But, I still had hope that maybe one of the free ones would be ok.  So emailed a couple other photographer friends and praise the Lord, one of them had a calibration tool (one of the really good ones) that I could borrow.

I borrowed that calibration tool, sat down with anticipation as I set it all up, and then… THUD!   There went my heart on the floor again when I noticed that my sister in law’s hair, in all of her pre-wedding pictures I took, appeared purple.  She definitely does NOT have purple hair in real life or in the picture I printed out on our printer (So I knew it had to be the monitor, not the picture itself).  I tried running the calibration tool several more times and still she had purple hair.  So, I called the person I had borrowed it from and he gave me a few ideas to try or said it might be my video card.  I tried his suggestions, I researched online, and when neither worked I called the computer repair shop we go to.

They didnt seem very hopeful that they could help me, as they dont usually do monitor calibration, but they said that if I didnt mind paying them $39.99 possibly for nothing, they would give it a shot.  Oh, I minded.   Thurs night I prayed.  I told God that I didnt know how to fix this, and that I really needed him to do it.  I told him that we couldn’t afford to take this computer in AGAIN to be worked on.  I told him I believed that He wanted me to do photography in some sort of capacity but that I couldn’t do that until He fixed my monitor.  I was up half the night praying and running the program and in the end Cherie not only had purple tinted hair, but part of it turned green too.  I woke up the next morning tired, mad at myself for not being able to fix it, and confused and frustrated as to why God didnt fix it. After talking it over with James we decided to go ahead and take it to the shop.

We got to the computer repair shop and the guy quickly looked at my computer and said that it was more than likely the video card, as was first suggested.  I asked how much that would cost and he said $59.99. I asked- is that including or in addition to the $39.99?  He said in addition too.  I told him that I would need to talk to my husband but that I really didnt think we could afford the card at this time.  As I’m talking with him, this lady stands up and comes over and says- “If that is all that is wrong with her computer, I’d like to pay for the card.”  My mouth dropped open and told her no, that was ok, she really didnt have to do that.  But she insisted.  She went on to say that she had been where I was at and understands what I was going through and told me that if I could cover the cost of the labor, that she would love to pay for the video card.  And that I should consider it an early Christmas gift. 

Wow.  I was so overwhelmed by her kindness and generosity, I didnt know what to say.  My eyes welled up and I asked her if I could give her if I could hug her.   She laughed and said yes.  Then she told the man at the counter that they had her credit card number and that if I needed the video card to make sure it got charged to her account.  And then she left.

A great reminder for me that God always provides, even if its not how I ask him  or expect him to.  AND, what an amazing way for Him to prepare my heart for the upcoming holiday season.