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Unflinching Determination To Carry You Through

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A few years back, late in the month of November, I was reading a wonderful article about my favorite spring flowers — sweet peas. I learned a lot. Like why my efforts to grow these beauties had always been barely a notch above pathetic. I'd been planting at the wrong time of year. Who knew I should be tilling the earth while humming a chorus or two of "Come Ye Thankful People Come?" Not me. But I changed my ways. The Thanksgiving after reading that article, while the turkey was in the oven, I was in the garden.

I won't insult my New England readers to even suggest that I, who live in Southern California, know two wits about the true meaning of winter. But I must admit that after I planted the seeds — and the temperature dropped to the low 40s followed by the torrential rains of December and January — I kissed my sweet peas goodbye. I doubted this planting in November thing was going to work anyway. Surely that article was written for folks in the Southern Hemisphere.

And so, in anticipation of starting all over with a new batch of sweet pea seeds, I walked back to that part of my garden, knowing I would have to face the weeds sooner than later. But instead of weeds, I was greeted by ... sweet peas! No kidding. An amazingly sturdy crop, they were already 2 feet high and blooming profusely!

Words cannot express the joy I felt at that moment. It was a priceless, unexpected gift that startled me with a jolt of joy.

It was the promise of spring, the assurance that life goes on and some things never change.

As I cut the first bouquet, I couldn't help but wonder how those tiny seeds made it through the weather. How did they not wash away under the pressure of record-breaking rainfall? Things far more sturdy in my garden washed away that year. What made them stay in there and work so hard? What was worth the struggle for them to sprout, take root and hang in no matter what?

Whatever it was, I've been praying for some of it for myself. For you, too. I know that hanging in with unflinching determination — especially when the storms of life pound us like we've never been pounded before — is not easy. But it's the right thing to do. And when the conditions are the most difficult, the payoff is that much sweeter.

Perhaps you're facing a season of unemployment, a broken relationship or worse. Whatever it is, dig in, hang on, and ride this thing through. Grab on to those things you know to be true — things you can count on that will never change. Let the storms roll over you, not carry you away.

No matter where you are today and the challenges you face, remember this: Spring is coming. Your diligence will pay off provided you don't give up, or ever give in.

Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com and author of 20 books, including her January 2012 release, "7 Money Rules for Life." You can email her at mary@everydaycheapskate.com, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2099, Cypress, CA 90630. To find out more about Mary Hunt and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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