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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Turnips for Dinner

Joshua and I have always had more than we needed. We were both blessed with parents who wanted us to have everything they were able to give us. Now that we're parents ourselves, life seems to have gotten real.

I knew things would be difficult once we had children, but I didn't know what it would look like. We both have degrees, and lots of debt (mostly mine) to go along with them. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't wish I had understood what I was getting into before I signed on the dotted line.

I never thought we would choose between paying bills, or buying groceries. I never thought I would buy a 10lb bag of potatoes, forget trying to eat healthy, and just try to feed us. I never thought our student loan payments would take so much of our income. I never thought I would decline party invites because we couldn't afford to take a gift.

What I'm saying is this: losing income, paying for adoption, and being broke has made me a much more grateful person.

Just in case you're reading this thinking that I'm okay with it, I'm not. I feel extremely guilty about bringing my student debt to our family, and not bringing more money in. I hate that we count pennies, and I hate that I'm so embarrassed about our struggles that I don't talk to anyone about it. I hate that my husband has to work two jobs. I hate that we waited so long for Isaiah and can't give him all of the things we'd like.

But I'm grateful. This has taught us that we can survive. It has shown us that the way we lived before was excessive, and what we used to think were hard times, weren't so hard at all. I'm reminded that things can always get worse for us, so when I say my prayers, they're full of thankfulness. Every time I start to feel like things are going from bad to worse, or I need to have a pity party, I remind myself of the things I do have. I have a home. I have a family. I have taught myself to be resourceful (hello reusing aluminum foil). I have learned valuable lessons that go back to our grandparents' generation. While I haven't gone as far as making my own lye soap yet, my grandma is ready to help me when it's time.

When I feel like our dinner is sad, I remember a story she told me once about picky eating. She was born and grew up on a farm in the middle of The Great Depression. I didn't taste a turnip until I was well into my twenties, and she was the person who made me try it. While we were discussing how it tasted similar to a potato, she told me that when she was younger there was no such thing as a picky eater. You either ate or you didn't. She said that some days they had turnips for dinner, because that is what there was. You ate what was available. And you were happy with it.

So while things aren't ideal, and here and there we may need to have turnips for dinner, we have each other.

We've survived every hard day before this one, so why should today be any different?


  1. You give me hope that there are still people in the world who know what is really important. Much love to you.

  2. While I am not happy for your current situation I sure can relate, right now we are on one income (well sorta of income) and I have really found how to be thrifty and still feel like I am living. I always feel that I can get through it as I know my parents did, I remember as a kid being sent to school with things like peanut butter in tortillas and carrots because that was what we had and feeling so lame when everyone else had things like lunchables but now I am happy to see my parents being able to redo their house and take little vacations.

  3. I totally get this! I have so much student debt and so I have to work, but would rather stay at home but it's just not possible with all of our bills. I want to give my son everything too and my student loans are this giant burden over my head, but my husband was raised in a frugal family so we're trying to stay frugal and live modestly so we can do things like vacations and pay for his college. I think it's much harder to get by in today's world than it was even 10 years ago!



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