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.
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
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?