this year has been difficult for my family. I struggle to type the word "difficult" because I know we've seen harder days but, as an accumulation, this year has seen its fair share of hurts.
i am constantly looking for the plus side. forcing myself to, as i know, just as well as you do, that things could be so much worse. i have much to be grateful for.
first you should know this: i HATE asking for help. it's ingrained in my system, i'd rather swallow hot coals than admit i cant do something on my own..
i had medical issues. i hate details...so without going into them, i had to have a minor surgery, i didn't follow all the orders to a "T" (it's hard to do that when you have 3 kids at home, one of which, at the time, was only 3 months old) and in turn i tore a muscle near my incision making my life a great deal more painful. in the end, everything healed, i have my health. i'm not perfect, no one is, but i'm healthier now for the entire ordeal I've gone through.
we took an enormous pay cut to move home. we basically cut out income in half. it was a shock to the system, one we still haven't worked all the kinks out of--but we're home. we're so much closer to family, we have a more complete support system...and have i mentioned how much i love my home town?
arnie took a job that he really wasn't "made" to do. being a corrections officer takes a certain type of person. not everyone can do this job and when you aren't really "made" to do it, it can most certainly add un-needed stress to an already stressed environment. ...but this job is the reason we were able to move home. were it not for fantastic family and friends putting in good words here and there, we wouldn't have been able to make this journey.
at the end of a year, we made the heart wrenching decision to really, really trust God.
Arnie lost his job. i wont go into details, it isn't my story to tell, but i will make this clear: we've no hard feelings, no bitterness, and no anger at all towards anyone or anything- in fact, we've nothing but gratitude. at the end of the day, being a corrections officer wasn't in arnie's heart and this lifted a great deal of stress out of our home.
and so, here we are, nearing the end of November and searching diligently for a job, throwing applications, resumes, and references at nearly anyone who looks our way..and i am, most certainly, a very impatient person. when i submit something, i expect it to be reviewed immediately...which i know is unrealistic. i cant help it, though- i want things to happen NOW. i have a need to know that my gut feeling that everything is going to be alright is, in fact, right. I've been fighting myself here recently with the "countdown" towards Christmas...which is what got this whole blog rolling. i needed to stop worrying myself into sickness. worrying gets you nowhere, and it surely must be a slap to God's face when you start worrying the way I've been going at it.
I've decided (slightly from of being thrust into this situation) that Christmas in our home will be handled quite differently this year. if you're accustomed to receiving gifts from us, it may be homemade this year. money being "tight" is more than an understatement...and i don't say this for pity- i say this because "struggling" seems to be a taboo subject. no one really wants to talk about nor possibly hear about struggling, but it's real- it happens more than you think--and to people you might least likely suspect. i'm writing this because even though i know this is a darker time in our lives, it could be so much worse and there are people out there who have it much worse than we do. we have much to be thankful for.
i want this Christmas to stick in our kids' minds so that later, when we are blessed with much, we will remember when we had very little ( material wise) but so much more spiritually...and what it felt like and how we might possibly minister to those who need more than we do. i want this Christmas to be more about the true reason for the holiday and less about deals from black Friday.
right now, there are families that don't have heat...that don't have a home...that are wondering where their next meal might come from. cliché or not, it is the truth. i struggled with writing this because i don't want this to be a pity party, i am so thankful for what we do have, but i also wanted to make a taboo subject maybe become a little less taboo.
we're going to spin this positively, and try (hopefully with success) to celebrate: a year without santa claus.