I have been feeling anxious verging on depression over the still sluggish economy & the holidays fast approaching. My wife & I both work 60 hours per week but the money goes nowhere & we have not had any extra money in savings for 2 years now. Christmas is coming & I have no extra income for gifts for DW or my DD. The stress of it all takes its toll..... but I just wanted to express that regardless of it all - I am still so very blessed. I thank God that we are healthy. I thank God that although we have no extra money - we also haven't gotten behind and although we now live & pay bills week to week - at least He supplies our needs. We have retained our home, farm & Christian schooling for our daughter. The dogs, horses & chickens are all fed. My small business is still afloat - barely - but at least the bills are paid somewhat on time. I worry about whether the local economy will ever recover - but I should be more thankful that even though we are not ahead financially - we are not behind. The stress of the last couple of years has been great but I came home last night & REALLY looked around at my home & family & although I wish I could do more for my DD & DW - in reality we are so blessed already. We DO live simply & frugally - no satellite tv, no recreational activities outside the farm, no new clothes or cars or any of that stuff.... but we DO have a nice home, a small farm, a beautiful & healthy wife & daughter & are able to provide a safe, conservative education for DD.... when I take the time to stop & look & think about it all I cannot deny that God has blessed our hard work & gave us even more than we deserve. I just wanted to encourage you all as we all live through these uncertain times of a fragile economy, no jobs & increasing stress to simply STOP, take a breath & really SEE what you have. I know it is not what we are accustomed to - I realize that just working hard, living frugally and prioritizing the important things no longer guarentees that our dreams are fullfilled and that this realization in itself is depressing. I realize that many of you - like me - feel overwhelmed at times, that we are caught in a cycle that was not of our own making - that we, at least, have lived simple, frugal lives & that the basics that we have no control over are now taking all we can make - things such as health insurance, taxes, power & groceries - have increased in these trying times & you like me are afraid Not to have some of these basic assurances. Even more frustrating & depressing is the number of people who no longer have character, honor or integrity. BUT REGARDLESS OF ALL OF THIS ..... I am so thankfull that even though I make mistakes, wrong choices & allow all of this to take its toll on my mental outlook, that God reminds me of all of the blessings in my life. As the holiday season approaches - look around - see those whom you care for & recognize that which you have. Focus on what is really there rather than on what you cannot do or supply this year & be at peace. I hope you all do not battle with these things as I do & I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season. That God will bless each of you, will cup His hands around you & will give you peace.