Bill and I are very discouraged. We try not to be, but sometimes it just comes out no matter how hard we try to remain positive and upbeat.
We are truck drivers. We leave our home, our family, our beloved home church, and everything we own. I give up the desire of my heart to have a dog. We sacrifice all of that for our job.
Mostly we like our job and see the best in all circumstances. We have made it our service to be the encouragers for so many other people. We see and experience so many things. We have attended over 200 Christian churches. We have met countless wonderful people.
But Since we left home, right after Christmas, we have only worked 2-3 days a week. Then we sit for 3-4 days waiting for another load.
We have spent time in weather 25 degrees below zero. We have driven through horrible blizzards. I am only saying that to point out that we aren't sitting because we are afraid of bad weather. No, we are sitting because we aren't getting the load offers that we used to get.
We hate sitting around so far from home. We begin to have negative attitudes. We begin to get irritated with each other. We start to think that we want to give it up and go home.
We do plan to do that soon, just not quite yet.
Right now we are sitting in Atlanta, GA. We have been here since Thursday morning. There are, at any given time, 20-30 other trucks just like us, waiting for a load too. We have been offered loads. But our company is trying to take advantage of all the trucks here. So our load rates are very low.
We understand the concept of supply and demand. However, we are out here to make a living and will not buckle to the pressure to take cheap loads just to move. So we wait. And get more and more frustrated.
We take turns reminding each other that we have had to wait patiently in the past. We go back and forth trying to lift each other's spirit by remembering how God has always provided our needs and often has blessed us beyond what we might have hoped for. We need to take heart and be strong. The Lord takes care of us.
We need to count our blessings. We also should continue to encourage others to look to Jesus.
God is enough. His love is good. His provision is sufficient. His refuge withstands. His patience is enduring. His mercy lifts my soul. His kindness is tender. His forgiveness is amazing. God is so good, He's so good to us.
I hope that reading my circumstances do not bring you down. I would rather you see that even in discouraging situations I look to God and others for encouragement.
We all need encouraged.
Bill and I made a commitment to ourselves when we took this job that every penny of our tithe would be sent home to our home congregation. We believe in this verse:
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. (Malachi 3:10 NASB)
And we believe that it means your home congregation when it speaks of "storehouse."
And God does truly bless us. And from these blessings we try to share blessings with others as we can.
We have given donations to organizations, offerings at the churches we visit, people that needed things done, food to the hungry, all of which was above and beyond our tithe. And the best part of that is, as we bless others, we, too, receive more blessings.
We realize that many organizations depend on pledges and promises for support. And we understand that they must be able to depend on people's promises. They have to know that their funds will be there.
When you make a pledge or you promise someone something, you are giving your word. What is the value of your word? How much is your promise worth?
Are you one that can be counted on? Do you often disappoint by not keeping your word?
I remember once when I was a little girl, hearing my dad tell someone, "I give you my word, that's the best I can give you."
Is your word the BEST you can give?
A lot of people make promises with good intentions but then don't follow through. Do you know someone like that? I do. There is one person that when they tell me they will do something, It really takes restraint on my part to keep from rolling my eyes right in front of them. Their word has no value to me.
Then there are those that I know will keep their promise to me no matter whatever obstacles get in the way.
We don't want to be people that can't be counted on. We have been approached or solicited by those that we think are doing fabulous things, yet we are very reluctant to pledge. Why? Because we don't want to ever disappoint by not being able to keep our promise. No, we will continue to give as God blesses us.
We waited out over 50 horrible load offers. They were coming out 2-3 times lower rates than what they normally do. We were being forced to accept a low rate or sit with nothing. It was getting very difficult to keep your patience. Just as we had given hope, late Tuesday afternoon, we got an acceptable load offer. We got the load.
We had to deadhead from Atlanta to Louisville, KY just to pickup. As we were driving north, I realized that we would be passing through Nashville. Our niece, Kacey lives there AND today was her birthday!
I sent her a text to see if she would be available even though it would be close 11pm est when we got there. She was out with a friend. They went to dinner and now were at a concert but it should be over by then.
So we made plans to meet up.
It was so good to see her and especially on her birthday. 23 years before, I was right there in the med-surg room and watched as she was delivered by C-section.
We had a nice but short visit that lapped over past midnight so now it was our anniversary. Her friend, Oscar, was very nice and I was thankful that he gave her such a nice birthday outing.
Too soon we had to leave. I squeezed her tight and told her goodbye.
We got in the truck and drove away.
Soon I went to sleep.
Pops and I have been married for 37 years. Yay! I love him more and more all the time.
Our anniversary was mostly driving. But we are together and I thank God for that.
We reached our delivery location at 8pm. We were a about 2 hours early, however, once there we were told that our shipment would not be accepted until the next morning. So we spent our Anniversary night backed into a dock, sleeping. Oh well.
But the bad part was, since we had to wait until morning, we lost a load. It's Thursday and we had one load this week.
We drove to a nearby Walmart to wait. And wait. And wait.
There was a burger place beside us called Burgetory. And beside of that was Five Guys, another burger place. I watched customers come and go all day, to most places. At supper time I decided that we needed burgers. So I made my choice and went inside. There actually was 5 young guys working there.
When I brought our food to the truck Pops was working on a load offer. And before we even unpacked our food we were deadheading to Detroit for pickup.
Pops drove all night with not much sleep. I stayed awake until after we made our pickup in Detroit then I went to bed.
I woke up somewhere in Ohio and began to drive.
We were scheduled to deliver at 7pm, but we were on track to get there around 4.
We made our delivery and headed to the truckstop.
The next day Pops and I got our laundry done in the morning. We had made plans to meet up with a friend that lives near here. He was picking us up and taking us to eat.
We did some driving around then went to a place called Genghis Grill. You fill a bowl with raw foods then take it to the grill and go to your table. After its cooked they bring it to you. But to make sure that you get the correct food they write your name and table # on a tag.
Phil handed his bowl and said, "I'm Phil."
Bill handed his bowl and said, "I'm Bill."
So when it was my turn, I handed my bowl and said, "I'm Jill."
It was funny but it was even more funny when they brought the food,
"You're Bill?" Sat bowl, "You're Phil?" Sat bowl, "And you're Jill?" Hahaha. Good times.
We did some more driving and then he brought us home. He showed us the church he was going to the next day.
We had made plans to meet him at church the next day.
On Sunday we drove to the church in time for Sunday school.
It was a good Sunday school class and nice service.
After church we went to eat again. This time, Bob Evans. Bill's order got messed up so he had to re-order. The waitress gave him his meal free including dessert because of the mess up.
Phil drove us to a post office so I could mail some letters. Then brought us back to our truck. I spent the afternoon getting groceries and cleaning the truck.
We watched a movie and now plan to watch the pro bowl on tv.
No load prospects yet. I sure hope that our work picks up now that it will begin a new month.