The Ongoing Struggle

I am hesitant to write this post, because I know people will say, “just get over it, you have enough,” but I need to get it off my chest and out of my head too. So, here is the ongoing struggle in my life.

Today, I posted on Facebook that I wanted to have a yardsale and couldn’t figure out some logistics and was met with a comment, from more of an aquaintance, that I should just donate it all to our local thrift store. While I love our thrift store and donate to them, I really want to have this yard sale to raise money to pay some of our bills or be able to do something fun. This may sound frivolous and like I don’t care, but that is not the case. I checked today, since I was curious, and our family lives about $5000 above the poverty level. $5000 looks like a whole lot to me, but in reality it’s not a whole lot. I’m not trying to make anyone feel sorry for us, so please don’t. I just want people to understand that it’s hard. It’s hard to watch every penny, it’s hard not to be able to buy what you want. It’s hard not to cry when you get a bill that you just can’t pay. It’s hard to want so badl to be out of credit card debt and be almost done paying it off and then have to use it because you can’t catch up. It’s hard to tell your children that you just can’t afford something and it’s hard on those occasions when you can’t buy groceries when you need them because payday isn’t until next week or the one after. I know that those who have been in our home find it hard to believe that we struggle that much because we do have nice things. Most of them have been bought/paid for/given to us by other people. We are blessed in our family and friendships. I don’t enjoy being so dependent on other people though, lest you think I do. I feel like a big freeloader sometimes. :(

As a Christian, I struggle with the fact that I should be content and happy with what I have been blessed with. I go back and forth between feeling perfectly content and knowing that I don’t need anything else, feeling poor and like we have nothing, and like we should give up all that we have because there really are people who have nothing. I know in my heart what “nothing” looks like, sometimes it’s just hard to see it with my eyes. I’ve been reading Radical with our Sunday School class and it really has made me feel bad about how little I give. I try to give often in different ways, but I feel like I don’t give enough. At the same time I don’t have a whole lot to give (this may just be an excuse). I also don’t share enough about God. I realize what makes me truly rich is Jesus and the fact that I will one day be with Him in Heaven. But does having that assurance make it any easier to live the life here when we have trouble taking care of our family? Sometimes yes, sometimes not so much.

I know some of you will say, because people do, that I should be working if it is that hard to live comfortably. And many days I feel guilty about not working. However, we decided that we want our children to be raised to know that God is what is important and to know the things we value. We also want to be a part of our children’s lives. When sending Kristopher to public school for those 2 years this was not accomplished. We barely saw him, and when we did all we heard about were bullies and how they watched movies all the time and while many of the teachers in our school system are Christians they still are required to teach things that our family doesn’t agree with. The best way to prevent that is to home-educate them, ensuring that they learn what we want them to. We feel this is what God wants for our family, at least at this time, and while it makes the money situation difficult, it also helps some in the same area.

I know eveybody struggles with something. I know many of my friends share my same struggle. I also know I have friends who can go do whatever they want and who don’t even think of not being able to buy groceries. It’s just hard to find the balance between and be a productive and helpful witness while I am struggling. Yesterday I felt guilty for having anything, today I feel like I don’t have anything leftover to give… Is there any way to get over this struggle? Sometimes I wish there were and other times I’m glad I have this stuggle. It would be terrible to have way too much and not realize I was supposed to do anything with it. At least I see the blessings in my life and am able to look onward. I just hope that I can help others to find the real riches and that when I get to Heaven, I will hear: “well done.”

Sorry, that was a bit of a run on post…It’s also hard to write something tha sounds great while listening to 3 children. ;) Have a blessed day everyone! I know I will be blessed whether I see it or not. Praying that I will see it!

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One Response to The Ongoing Struggle

  1. Brad says:

    I somewhat know how you feel. I’ve been below and just above the poverty line trying to raise a family of four and it wasn’t easy. I know it must be harder with more kids. While I am not a Christian I was at one time and can understand about feeling guilty about feeling sad at an unfavorable circumstance. I know you’ll probably disregard it when I say you shouldn’t feel guilty about feeling sad. It’s the way you feel and its an understandable position. I know what financial frustration feels like, there is no other way to feel about it. I applaud your decision to stay home with your kids. It’s especially important while they are young. I too would want to home school my kids if the school was teaching them things I thought were wrong. I’m sure you are doing the best you can with what you have. Little blog posts like this will help you relieve stress so you can be the best wife/mother/Christian/person you can be. You should always feel fine with complaining on them. If you have never heard of him there is a man named Dave Ramsey who council’s people on the Radio about financial matters. He’s big on the Bible and Christianity and says that what he teaches is according to God’s word. While I haven’t read the Bible enough to know if this is true or not I do not that the advice he gives on financial matters is good sound advice. I don’t know how y’all handle those matters now but if you are having problems he might be able to help you out of them. You can find him on the radio, the Internet, I know the Library has his books.

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