iTunes Fraud - A Lesson on Peace in Pandemonium.

Last week was an interesting week to say the least. On Tuesday, as I was cheerfully primping before leaving for work, my husband was online checking our bank account balance, and noticed 6 transactions from iTunes. All unauthorized by him or myself, totaling in nearly $800. Pandemonium ensued.

My freshly applied mascara streamed down my face with crocodile tears while I tried calling every hotline number for both our bank and iTunes. FYI, most companies don't make their customer service hotlines clearly visible on their websites. In fact, iTunes itself doesn't have a hotline - they have an online chat. In the event of an emergency, no one wants to sit and "chat." If this ever happens to you, God forbid, do what I did and call every number imaginable until you get a live person so that they can hear the panic in your voice. I spoke with two very compassionate and helpful people and it did wonders for my attitude towards their company.

Needless to say, we spoke with our bank and with iTunes and still had to wait for the "pending charges" to either be removed or validated before filing a claim. It appeared, as of Friday, that all 6 transactions had been removed. Saturday, 2 of them were returned to our account (totaling $200) and I had to finish filing a claim with the bank. The bank credits the missing money to your account until they can investigate to determine whether your fraud claim is true or not. So right now, we have $10 in our account.

All in all, it's been a real roller-coaster ride. I'm angry, frustrated, and tired. I keep going over in my head all of the things we could have done to prevent it, or at least keep it from doing this much damage - we shouldn't have had Matt's debit card linked to his iTunes account. We should have been diligently saving an emergency fund, etc..........

But the reality is that this could have and does happen at random to thousands of innocent, unsuspecting people, and we have no control over it.

The one thing I've realized this week is that what we can control we must control. And that is our reactions. I know too many couples that let money issues break them apart. If my husband and I lived by their standards, our marriage would be very short-lived. Despite my meltdowns, he has been compassionate and strong. And I have been working every day to reign in my fear and frustration and to reiterate every day - "I'm thankful for you. We can survive this together."

Isn't odd, that in our weakest, most helpless moments, that is when we are most in sync? That when everything is completely out of our control, that is when we are most at peace? Thank God.


The Cock-Eyed Optimist

Who has a full time job? This girl! Writing and "social media managing" for my alma mater and loving every minute of it. The hubs and I move out of my in-laws' house and into our own apartment at the end of this month. (3 weeks from now!)

Things are really starting to change for us, and I'm relieved and excited and nervous all at once. I'd be lying if I said that things are all good right now, though. It feels like at the moment when the things you've been hoping for begin to transpire, the other things - the things you pray with every fiber of your being will never happen - also transpire.

I am convinced more and more that we don't have time to be unhappy or unsure or unkind or uninspired. The less we try, the less we really live. It's so logical, and yet...

So here are the things I am inspired by today:

1. The weather. It was an amazingly perfect day today after a cold, rainy yesterday.

2. Work. I love hearing stories of God's miraculous ways and people who persevere. 

3. My creative friends. My sister-in-law just started her own business this week, and I pray every day that her creativity flourishes and inspires those around her, because I am certainly inspired and excited.
When everything and everyone is telling us that this time is the hardest time to start a business, and this economy isn't going to lead us to the jobs we always planned on, and this environment is about to collapse, and this product and that product are killing us, and this technology is ruining our brains, and this government is all wrong and unchanging, WE are the ones who have to make the choices that will lead us forward. Our parents did it. Their parents did it. Every generation is faced with crucial choices.
There is hope. There is reality. And when it comes to a day like this, when the rain poured down on us only yesterday and now it is a beautiful clear night and our hometeam just won (GO HAWKS!) after a 49yr losing streak and the whole neighborhood is lit up with fireworks, and you've talked to your mom on the phone and you're just thankful to hear her voice, and your little brother just graduated from high school (thank God he survived), then you realize - you have no excuses left. Nothing is predictable. But hope and reality do occasionally walk hand-in-hand into the future.