Tough Times . . .

Let’s see if you’ve heard any of these.

“Tough times never last, but tough people do. ~Robert H. Schuller

“You’ve got to stay strong to be strong in tough times.” ~Tilman J. Fertita

“I think most art comes out of poverty and hard times.” ~Willie Nelson

I’ll bet you can think of a few more to add to this list. Most of the time, when I see sayings like this, or “When life gives you lemons make lemonade,” I shake my head and walk away. Lemons and lemonade. Right. Got it.

But I have a bucket in my sink! It’s been there for a few weeks, and I don’t think it’s going anywhere. In fact, I’m starting to wonder why we don’t have a permanent bucket there.

What am I talking about? Drought. I’m talking about drought. No rain. Lots of wildfires. You get the picture.

The dictionary describes DROUGHT as “a period of drier-than-normal” conditions. Boy. That’s an understatement. The drought is getting very serious in central Texas.

So what’s a girl to do? Put a bucket in the sink. Need to wash your hands? Please let the water flow through your hands and into the bucket. Want to put fresh water in the pet bowl? Dump the old in the bucket. Rinsing out your coffee cup? Put the rinse water in the bucket! You get the picture.

I feel like I’m living back in the old days, but it’s actually pretty handy. When the bucket is full, you pour the water on an outdoor plant. The plant thanks you and lives another day–maybe. Have another bucket full? Pour it on the tree, please. Now I’m wondering if there’s a way to divert the rinse water from my washing machine out to the yard.

I know that rain will come again. In fact, we had rain last night. It lasted a few minutes. We received about 1/10th of an inch at our place. The cats and dogs, hubby and myself sat on the porch and watched it fall. It was beautiful! It wasn’t enough to fill our lakes and ensure drinking water, but we were grateful for the little bit that we had.

Hard times require you to look at things differently, think about things in a new way, and depend on one another. I’ve seen social media posts of people offering to take water trucks to area farms to help water the animals. I’ve seen people offer to board animals for free when there have been wildfires on adjacent acreage. Our town recently had a “pray for rain” meeting on the town square. People come together during tough times, and I love that.

Also, I really don’t mind my bucket. Maybe, after the rains return in earnest, I’ll even decide to keep it around.

What about you? Do you think that tough times make us stronger?

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32 Comments

  1. Patti Foster on August 31, 2023 at 8:24 pm

    We all face tough times at some points in our lives….and it’s always our choice in how we face them. Do we wallow in self pity and helplessness, get angry and bitter, or do we face it head on and problem solve ? Do we isolate ourselves and try to tough it out alone, or do we join together with others …’many hands make lighter the work’! Do we depend on our own strength, or seek God’s help and guidance? Do we remember to be thankful for the good things in our life, or do we only see what we have lost? Taking action in some way, even if it’s small… like saving waste water for plants , can empower us to find more ways to cope.! Tough times remind us what is important in our life, and what is frivolous, and that people are more important than ‘stuff’. I do think that facing trials makes us stronger and more resilient. That said, sometimes even strong people become broken when they face overwhelming troubles, and sink into despair and depression. We need to have patience and show loving kindness, and do what we can to help lift them up.
    This topic reminds me of the poem “It’s in the Valleys I Grow” (you can google it if you haven’t heard of it before!) When life is going smoothly and we’re on the mountain tops, we often coast along enjoying life and feeling pretty self reliant. But when pain, grief, illness, financial woes …or droughts or floods!…come our way, we find ourselves in the valleys, fearful and vulnerable, and that’s when we realize we can’t do it all on our own, and we learn to rely on God, and sort out what’s really important in our lives.

  2. Jane Squires on September 1, 2023 at 5:39 am

    Sometimes. But when health problems seem to never end it is frustrating. I have AFib and irregular heart rate is constant. I am battling not to have a stroke or heart attack. My legs aches bad for three nights. I lost sleep. Prayers of friends got me one night of rest. Now I am awake because blood spiked way high. Took me three hours to get it under control. Legs aching so bad I sit and cried almost makes me lose faith.

    • Pat Shrader on September 1, 2023 at 8:56 am

      I’m not sure if “tough times make us stronger,” but I know that they certainly make us more appreciative, especially concerning health issues. Whenever I have faced health challenges, I’ve been especially grateful for people who have offered assistance (like doing an errand or something), paid a visit, or listened with a kind and patient heart. When we are feeling vulnerable, this kindness goes a long way! Hopefully, after the challenges have passed, we can remember how much it meant to us, and offer the same to someone else who is going through a rough time. 💛

  3. Anne+Rightler on September 1, 2023 at 5:53 am

    Jane, I am so sorry to hear of your health issues. Keep your eyes on Jesus. I pray for healing and peace for you and wisdom for your doctors. Some of my favorite verses in times of difficulty are Habakkuk 3:17-19:
    “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights. “
    I pray you can find you joy and strength in Him.

  4. Anne+Rightler on September 1, 2023 at 5:56 am

    I’m not sure if tough times makes us stronger but they sure help me realize how much I need the Lord to give me His strength. I’ve come to recognize He is my Rock and my Refuge.

    • Cindy J on September 1, 2023 at 10:40 am

      For me, tough times did make me stronger! I was fighting an ongoing battle with my, now deceased ex hubby, who was a gambling addict. He didn’t see himself as such, obviously, but my son and I did. Suffering from the damages that his gambling addiction was causing, not just relationship wise, but financially, destroyed us. Living without necessities, just because of him, made me realize, that I didn’t want to live like that no more. I tried, too many times too count, to get him to get help, but no! He said he didn’t have a problem, yet he was spending all our money gambling, plus borrowing to do so! If he couldn’t gamble, he became evil, in more ways than one.
      The only one that got me through it all, was the Good Lord above!

  5. Marilyn+Messmann on September 1, 2023 at 6:49 am

    My husband and I have had a lot of tough times in the past years or so. Health wise he has been able to do a lot better especially with the Doctors the Lord provides. With each year we pray it will be better, but he is 85 and I am 83. We live in Indiana, and don’t have a lot of the weather issues you have, thank the Lord. We are praying you all get some relief from your heat. Thank you so much for the books you write, I look forward to all of them. God bless.

  6. Diana Foust on September 1, 2023 at 8:23 am

    Our attitude makes the difference in whether hard times make us stronger or bitter. As for the water bucket, we have done the same even in west central Indiana. We have a well so we don’t waste water. We also have a small stock tank that is filled from part of our roof drainage. It will fill ( 100 gal tank) with only .25 inches of rain. Do hope it cools for you soon.

  7. Debbie Earls on September 1, 2023 at 8:35 am

    I think tough times do make us stronger. I also think that it brings people and communities together. I pray you get the rain you need soon.

  8. Carol Wilson on September 1, 2023 at 8:56 am

    I miss seeing the deer from Leon County 😁

  9. kim hansen on September 1, 2023 at 9:00 am

    Makes us more aware of how precious things are. Water is something i think alot of us just take for granted. We have been in a drought here too. Still waiting to see when water restrictions will become more tougher here. Very little rain this year. Yes we have 4 months to go but don’t think we will get much of rain. Maybe snow will help a little.

  10. Joan Kurth on September 1, 2023 at 12:57 pm

    I know tough times make you stronger. They make some people bitter. That is rough because it hurts you and those you encounter. I remember saving water like that and pouring on the garden and mom’s flowers. On the farm you just didn’t waste water, especially if you had my dad. He taught how to not waste anything. That is better than this “throw away” society we live in today.

  11. Joan on September 1, 2023 at 2:26 pm

    To reuse the water for your plants.
    Joan

  12. Jan on September 1, 2023 at 2:37 pm

    Yes, tough times make us stronger and usually makes people work toward a common goal.

  13. Daniele K on September 1, 2023 at 3:31 pm

    I think tough times either gives you strength and appreciation or they make you bitter.

  14. CELIA on September 1, 2023 at 3:36 pm

    Tough times certainly will cause an adjustment in your attitude. I find myself singing songs of Praise to God frequently, reading the Bible more, and praying more. I notice other people’s difficulties and heartbreak more regularly and find myself praying more for them. AND…I am grateful for all the help I receive and smiles of encouragement.

  15. Suzanne Sellner on September 1, 2023 at 4:19 pm

    I think hardships make us be resourceful. You have obviously found a way not to waste water that could be used to water outdoor plants. Some years ago, I gave my husband two rain barrels to collect rain water and store it for use in watering plants. That has really helped us use less city water, thus conserving water and keeping our water bill as low as we can.

    We love to read. Instead of paying for cable tv, movie tickets, and other entertainment, my husband and I read. We like to buy used books from our library’s used book store. That benefits the library, and it saves us a lot of money. While we used to buy season tickets to a wonderful Christian theatre that produces live plays and musicals, now in our retirement, we buy tickets to a local musical theatre in our community. The tickets cost less, and we don’t have to drive downtown, thus saving time, gas, and anxiety.

    As we’ve aged, we’ve developed various health issues. We’ve become more compassionate toward others with health issues, and we have learned to trust the Lord more and to appreciate each other’s help as needed.

  16. Marilyn on September 1, 2023 at 5:05 pm

    Save the water to rinse your hair after shampooing.
    Marilyn

  17. SARAH TAYLOR on September 1, 2023 at 6:03 pm

    Yes I know tough times does make us stronger Prayers coming you will get much needed rain!

  18. Marion on September 1, 2023 at 7:35 pm

    “Survival Of The Fittest” Darwin
    Marion

  19. Jo on September 1, 2023 at 8:08 pm

    I remember keeping a bucket of water in our trailer. We used it for dishes and our dog. If hard times make people stronger, I don’t see many happy faces. In some cases fear takes over. Sometimes I think pouring a bucket of water cools things down.

  20. Gloria A on September 1, 2023 at 8:12 pm

    I don’t think that I get tougher but have to turn to God for strength and courage remembering Who is in control of life. We need to focus on what is important and become more thankful for those things. Praise God we have had rain the last few days.

  21. Connie R. on September 2, 2023 at 9:02 am

    Yes, I do believe tough times make us stronger, because they certainly draw us closer to God for strength and encouragement. No matter how I feel, Scripture says that God loves me and will give me that strength regardless of how I feel.

  22. Kay Bennett on September 2, 2023 at 12:30 pm

    Sure wish you guys would get some rain and a cooling off soon. Tough times definitely make you stronger. Sometimes they get you in better shape too, lol. Good luck.

  23. Myra M. on September 2, 2023 at 2:59 pm

    I think that tough times can make us stronger, but it’s according to how we respond in those times. A relative of mine responds negatively, and that’s tough to deal with: they have a glass half empty. I choose to be positive and deal with each day as it comes.

  24. Sherry Brown on September 5, 2023 at 5:48 am

    Yes, they can make you stronger. They can definitely bring you to your knees, like they have me. My faith in God has helped me get through some very difficult times.

  25. Melissa Henderson on September 6, 2023 at 9:50 am

    I try to reuse water for feeding the plants indoors and outside. Difficult situations can make us lean into God and rest in His promises. 🙂

  26. Vera Day on September 6, 2023 at 6:56 pm

    It rained once back in early July I think it was. (Eastland Co.) We are under water restrictions, too. I’m getting pretty good at cleaning house without any water at all (vinegar is my new friend).

    • Beth Scott on September 6, 2023 at 9:09 pm

      My dad used to say “I’ve never had a bad day in my life. Some were just better than others”
      I think we are given lessons during hard times so we can help ourselves and others when similar situations present again.
      And yes, you can capture the gray water from your washer. There’s a hose behind the washer. Pull it out of its drain and stick it in a bucket in the sink. I don’t know how many gallons it produces though. I think it might be illegal to stick the hose out the window…like into a tub or something.

  27. Sa on September 13, 2023 at 8:35 am

    When I was visiting my parents, I noticed that they had a 10 gallon bucket on the floor outside the kitchen sink. They have been using dishwater to water the plants and grass. The weather has scorched the garden and they applied water conservation rules in the neighborhood.

  28. Kristina M. Anderson on September 13, 2023 at 10:48 pm

    I live in Florida where we have also had a hot summer. I save water for my plants as well. Drought and the cost are my reasons. It costs to water my garden, but I can save a little by recycling the water. When I refresh the cat’s water dish, I dump the old water on the plants. Instead of a bucket, I have a bowl (I have misplaced my bucket). I am lucky that my washes hose is easy to access. I can drain the water into a large plastic receptacle (I need to buy a new bucket), and water the plants with it. We do what we must. I will be glad when fall weather hits (which will probably be in late October). Take care!

  29. Janie Fater on November 2, 2023 at 8:39 am

    I went on a cruise in October 2022. I went with my Sister and brother in law I had a great time. I would like to take another cruise.

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