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Blessed by the hard times . . .

Ronda Rich's picture

Daddy always believed that the good Lord should be thanked for the hard times as much as He was praised for the good times.

Every Thanksgiving meal, as well as our regular Sunday dinners, was blessed by the patriarch of our family with a prayer that included Daddy’s humble voice saying, “Lord, thank you for the trials and tribulations of this old life, knowing that those trying times draw us nearer to thy almighty hand.”

Drove me crazy. I saw no logical reason to be grateful for the challenges because as I saw it, if you bragged too much on God for sending those tribulations, he was most likely to be encouraged to send more. It didn’t seem like a very smart idea to me.

Now, I am wiser.

It has been one of the three hardest years of my life, perhaps the hardest because it was a steady flow of tribulations. In the other two years, the troubles came in one big clump.

It began in January when a water line break in the ceiling of my childhood home destroyed the house. As the insurance agent said, “If this were a car, we’d total loss it.” It took six months to reconstruct it and if you have ever dealt with construction, you know how that will try a person’s religion.

Still, the insurance company and the contractor rose up beautifully and generously to the task. In the midst of a challenge, there were blessings to be found.

I won’t list all the troubles here for there isn’t room neither do you have the time to read them all but, among other things, one of my houses was broken into and beloved family mementos taken. It nearly killed me to lose those pieces of Mama and Daddy, particularly a couple of items that Daddy had cleverly crafted himself.

Two months later, another attempted crime drove me to becoming a modern day Annie Oakley and led the sheriff’s department to cracking a case they’d been investigating for months. Again, a blessing in the midst of a tribulation.

As Thanksgiving approaches and I reflect on what I am thankful for, I finally see Daddy’s wisdom in all of this. I liken the effect of hard times on my soul to the effect of exercise on my body.

When I’m running or pushing myself in weight training, I hate it. It wears me out. But when the exhaustion is over and I look in the mirror to see toned, fit arms, abs and legs, I love it and am so grateful for the results from the exertion.

When trials and tribulations wear me out in a similar fashion, my soul is building stamina and my faith is building muscle. Yes, it’s been a devil of a time this year, but my heart and soul feel as strong as my body. I am thankful for that.

“I wouldn’t take a million dollars to go back through what I have faced this year,” I recently said to a friend. “But, on the other hand, I also wouldn’t take a million dollars for what I’ve learned and how much I have grown.”

Thankful am I for these tribulations and the good that has been wrought from them, but I am also prayerful that I have seen the last of trying times for a while. Like a school child who has spent two straight hours worrying with algebra, I need a recess. But if you don’t mind, I’ll skip the seesaw. I’ve had enough ups and downs for a while.

If the good Lord, though, doesn’t see fit to grant that recess and He keeps me in class a while longer, just know this: Come next Thanksgiving, Lord willing that I’m still here, I’ll be thanking Him again for the troubles as well as the blessings.

[Ronda Rich is the best-selling author of “What Southern Women Know (That Every Woman Should).” Visit to sign up for her weekly newsletter.]

Comments teach you to not be so materialistic and self-absorbed!

That woman is such a self-obsessed idiot. I thought she was going to share a truly tragic event in her life, like being diagnosed with cancer or losing everything, ending up living in a homeless shelter, like so many other Americans are experiencing during these tough economic times. So, her greatest tragedy is a water-line break that ruined her house but the insurance company helped her through the costly repairs? Waaaaaaahhhhhh, our little hearts just break for you, Diva. Then she goes on to spew about her difficult life at the gym while she works soooooo hard to keep her middle-aged body toned!? Waaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh, what a tough life you have, sweetie. These are her "tough" times? Really? I don't know whether to laugh or cry at this latest column of hers. Obviously, her priorities in life are very skewed!

Cal, why do you continue to give this brain-dead, self-absorbed, screeching hyena, column space in your paper? I think I would even prefer Ann Coulter's lunatic-fringe ramblings to Ronda's verbal vomit. Gag!

[quote=main stream]<em>Cal, why do you continue to give <strong>this brain-dead, self-absorbed, screeching hyena,</strong> column space in your paper? I think I would even prefer Ann Coulter's <strong>lunatic-fringe</strong> ramblings to Ronda's verbal vomit. Gag!</em>[/quote]

Don'cha know--
The Diva's column is the print-media version of a chick-flick; some people are offended and turned off by those cinematic works--

They have a choice: change the channel...
You should simply turn the page...

Have some TUMS, dude...
Be careful --watch your BP

PTC Observer's picture

Thanks for your incisive in depth critique, common among liberal posters is your shallow technique of personal attack.

And the liberal class have self anointed themselves as the “intellectual class”


... can't stand an intelligent, independent, strong willed, southern lady that actually wears make-up and shaves her legs.

Where is that open minded 'anything goes', it's all good, make love not war, total acceptance liberals are always touting?

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

Your friendly local teabag supporting, fanatical, right wing, extremest, Christian, party of no, 'enemy', 'hostage-taker', neoconservative, gun and bible clinging, homophobe.

Hey man, at least she used to be a NASCAR writer who spent lots of time in the pits! I bet she can even change her own flats!

I have no doubt that Ronda Rich would be the type of manipulative female you would most like to associate yourselves with. Y'all like those pretty, air-headed types... she's a lot like Sarah Palin... mostly glitter and lipstick, but no substance whatsoever. I wonder if Ronda can see Russia from her house too!?

Ronda is an embarrassment to most southern women and she only perpetuates the negative stereotype the rest of the country has for female southerners. I've personally been around southern women for over 20 years now and none of them are like Ronda, the manipulative bimbo.

Have you ever read some of the reviews on her books...of course the airheads love her but the others say exactly what I've been saying:

"Making Southern Women Look Bad. What a disappointment. I can't believe anyone would write a book advocating flirting and high heels to get ahead at work. Take it from a native Southern woman - we are not as superficial and silly as this book makes us appear."

"Probably one of the most pompous, self-inflated pieces of writing I have ever read. Ronda Rich creates a romanticized world of Southern women in which the largest majority of Southern girls seductively drawl their words, manipulate men into getting what they want."

"In reality, anyone who lives in the South knows that Ms. Rich is full of bull to put it nicely."

"Among the most offensive paragraphs in this book (and there are many), the one that shocked me most was the notion that when a man in a position of authority - like a boss or co-worker - tries to feel "a Southern woman" up, we don't go slap him or claim sexual harassment, but instead tell him to be nice in an "enchanting, lilting tone."

"When I read her suggestions for getting revenge I was revolted and put the book down."

"It supports the belief, erroneous or not, that southern women are raised to marry the most affluent, wealthy man they can stomach."

"It turned out to consist of chapter after chapter of total fluff that might have been taken straight out of a 1955 book entitled "How to Use Your Charms to Catch a Man."

"This book is a waste of your time if your intention is to learn the true heart of southern women. I have lived in the south my whole life and when I meet women who act the way the author extols -- I know to go the other way."

"After reading this book, I almost assumed that it was written tongue in cheek, but then I realized that this woman wants her ideas to be taken seriously. I could not finish the book b/c her ideas were so disgusting and it was a complete waste of time and brain cells. I could never recommend this book to anyone."

"SERIOUSLY- I have not been this appalled and offended by someone's writing in a long time. Her constant claims that she is NOT being manipulative is in fact manipulative! Virtually every idea that she presents for how a southern woman should behave is in some way colored by flattery (which is just another term for lying), manipulativeness, and selfishness."

"What I did not care for was what I saw as artificiality to get what one wants, the complete fixation with how one looks on the outside and the advice to seek revenge."

"She talks often about how Southern ladies ostracize women that do not fit in the mold. For all the author's talk about being polite and charming, there was some pretty mean spirited advice in there--always directed at other women, never men."

Mike King's picture

... Its tough getting older and less attractive, but hopefully you'll have better luck trolling the bars over the weekend.

Observerofu's picture

that must have stung a little.

Such wonderful Southern charm. So gracious.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

Now if Cal thinks this stuff is good for his paper then it must be.
These kind of women, including Palin, are easily manipulated and used as pawns.
Remember Thomas Jefferson and George wouldn't put up with gross acting wives and demanded civility and graciousness from them for company, but the ended up in a cabin for the night!

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