Sorry. But the words in my head were worse.
I am so over being "poor". I put poor in quotes, because, yes, I understand that there are people in the world who are destitute. I'm not in any way saying that I am worse off than those individuals that are starving. But by American, modern world standards...Dude, we're poor.
I'd like to thank the feminists of the sixties who told women that staying at home was lame and they should go to work like a man. So that now, a generation later, women HAVE to go to work just to keep their finances afloat. Insisting on that right led to American consumerism since there was suddenly more money coming in. And now, prices are so high we have to have two income homes because prices are based on those figures.
So those of us who choose to stay home and homeschool are punished.
I'm sick and tired of the money not stretching between paychecks. Of savings being a laughable situation. Of not being able to give what I'd like. Of feeling like a total failure. Of finally catching up on a few bills and then looking over the next month and realizing we're just going to be short again.
It's enough to make a person crazy.
And there are always the good, sensible Christians who would look at our situation and say "If you made the right choices, you'd be fine." If we hadn't gotten married when we were young and penniless. If we had waited longer to buy a house or have kids. If we lived beneath our means.
Thanks, that's helpful folks.
I'll be the first to admit we made mistakes. We wanted to buy a house more than anything when we'd been married a few years. The one we ended up getting was less than one hundred dollars more in the monthly mortgage payment than the rent at our dumpy, poorly managed apartment. So really, I don't count that as a mistake. It was either throw our money into the apartment or throw it into something we'd own. But in the year or two that followed we accrued credit card debt for the first time ever. Right after we bought our house, Thing One came along and I stopped working, but life didn't stop throwing curve balls. Our car died. Our roof leaked. There were medical bills. Dental bills. There were diapers to buy. Another baby came. They needed clothes, food, beds, education.
And so life began to spiral out of control.
I feel like we're always standing against a mountain. We're working hard to pay off the debt each month, but it's like chipping at an iceberg with a toothpick. There is an end in sight, if we keep at it. A little more than three years left. But there's nothing leftover in the meantime. Every month, we're short. But not using credit means there's no place to put that overage. So we just end up being late and living with that constant stress and added fees. Add to that the fact that Seth started a new career this year and is making less than previous years. And he's not allowed to work a second job while he's in the academy. And I'm up to my eyeballs in children and homeschooling and pregnancy.
Here's the rub: I don't want a lot of money. I don't really want a big house. I don't need brand new cars. An occasional family vacation might be nice, but I'm not dying for one. I don't mind goodwill clothing and furniture. I don't mind Aldi's food or making stuff from scratch.
I just want to be out of debt more than anything. I want to be able to breathe. I want to have a conversation about money with my husband that doesn't leave us both riddled with guilt and me in tears. I want him to feel like all his hard work is paying off. I want to be able to take my kids to the Emergency Room when they're sick and hurt and not have money even enter my mind. I want to be able to pay the reasonable bills we have. I want to be able to afford healthy food. And I wouldn't mind fixing up the place so we're not wasting so much money in energy loss.
Those are my dreams. And it's frustrating to know that we're still years away from the stress reduction. Once Seth graduates, he's planning on finding a second job. I have a few ideas for making money myself that I'm praying work out. There are so many things I can't do because I must be home with my kids and I will be schooling both of them next year. And to all the busybodies who say I don't have the right to stay home because we have no money, I have some rather un-Christian thoughts for you. But instead, I'll just say that I'd rather mess up financially than mess up with my kids.
You can tell my faith is definitely tested in this area. I'm weary. I feel like I'm being eternally punished for something. I've been getting hints lately though that this trial has a purpose. It might be bigger than me. God might want to use it for someone else. And that gives me hope. But it also flies against my deeply ingrained sense that I'm here because I sinned, even if I'm not sure what specifically the sin was. But then God brings to mind the man born blind, and the disciples' busybody question, "Who sinned? This man or his parents?" And Jesus responded that his trial wasn't the result of sin, but so the work of God might be displayed in his life.
So in the midst of the tears, the stress, the knowledge that there's never enough, I cling to that. Please God, use this so that you are displayed in us in some way. And give me renewed faith every day that you are in control and will provide, and it doesn't have anything to do with the fact that I do or don't deserve it, but so that You are glorified. Give me joy and peace in the face of this insurmountable obstacle. Give us wisdom for every step.