I don't feel able to adequately express myself tonight, but I'm going to try.
In January of this year, Dave had two jobs and I had one. In February, Dave had two jobs and I had none. In April, Dave had one job and I still have none. These jobs were quit because of BURN OUT.
We have cut our spending more than I thought was possible for a couple with two kids. I live on "X" amount of dollars per month. Exactly. Not more. I count my pennies. I look for deals more than ever. I use coupons whenever possible. I watch how much I drive the car. I use cash ONLY. Not debit. Not credit. If I don't have the money for something, I DO NOT GET IT.
We have not eaten at a restaurant - even a fast food one - once since April (which is quite miraculous for us).
Dave has been home - EVERY NIGHT - for supper (compared to RARELY being home).
Dave has spent more time with the kids in the last month than the entire last year (he was just working stinkin' hard).
We have had more family time than ever.
And you know what? I have been able to step back and be truly thankful for this financial struggle. It has always been my desire to get out of the rat race and learn to RELAX. We have attempted this off and on over the years, but this has truly been the closest we've come to accomplishing this. Although I will likely have to get a part-time evening job because we can't quite meet all of our NEEDS, I don't want to fall into this trap again.
I am tired of chasing the almighty dollar.
I am sick of being married to material things.
I am constantly amazed when I hear parents say that they work their long hours "for the sake of their kids". So non-existent parenting is okay as long as our kids have their toys? Their sports? Their hobbies? Broken marriages is a price worth paying?
We are so twisted in our thinking in the world today. We fight the thought of letting our kids struggle when struggling is necessary to survival.
Struggling is the stepping stone to thriving.
Do we want our children to thrive?
Lord, help me, truly. Like any parent, I want to give good gifts to my children, but Lord, I do not want my gifts to be a detriment to them. I want their gifts from me to be long lasting, life changing - things that will mold their character and help them be better Christians than I am. Not materialistic things, Lord, for those things pass away.
Help me, Lord, not to fight AGAINST their struggle.