Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Now I KNOW I'm Living a Miracle

In this day and age, it seems harder for a mom to stay home and raise her kids. I have come to the realization that raising one is hard enough on the pocketbook, but six is a completely different beast and seven...well, we shall see. I have decided recently that it has only been from a little help from above that I've been able to continue to stay home and raise our children. Another blessing of tithing and a desire to be obedient.

This morning I read the list of "U.S. Cities Where It's Hardest to Get By." Portland, Oregon is ranked as #6. When I first saw this, I knew we had to be listed there somewhere in the top ten. Sure enough.

I read recently that the ability to stay home and raise children is possible only through sacrifice. I believe that to a point. Yes, we do give up quite a few things. Z and I don't vacation in the Bahamas, we don't have a time share, we don't go out and eat as a family more than once a month usually (and that's to teach our children public manners mostly--to give them experience), but I have never felt "poor." I really feel like I've never been in want. This, in my mind, is an amazing blessing.

There have been a few schools of thought that I've come into contact with. Women I used to work with used to comment about the importance they felt in "contributing" to their household by providing help with the finances. I definitely feel like I "contribute." Who else could do what I'm doing for my kids? The other thing I heard was when I was first pregnant with Q. My advisor at Western Oregon, when I approached her with the news that I was leaving school to raise my child said, "Someday you will regret this child for making you quit school." To me, at this point fifteen years later, I know it would have been the other way around. I would have regretted school for making me miss the first years of my daughter's life. And now, as another blessing, I am able to take classes to improve myself and finish that degree.

We've decided that "keeping up with the Joneses" just isn't important to us. We have been blessed with a home that fits our needs. We now have cars that can get ALL of us from place to place. Z and I get away together to nourish our relationship a couple times a year (thanks to some GREAT friends). We get weekly dates. Our kids seem to be happy and well adjusted.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that none of this is our doing. I just feel that God guides our lives and blesses us with what we need. I'm grateful to have what I do at this point in my life. A few months ago, Z came home and announced that he might not get paid at some point because the school district might just not have the money (this has ended up not being the case. Phew.), but it really made me pause and consider our situation. We all tend to think that we're fairly secure. It's just easier to go on as we are and deny the possibility that things could change, but I realized that all I have is just a blessing.

Because of something said in the most recent General Conference (you can watch this talk by going here and clicking on the correct link next to the talk "Unselfish Service" by Dallin H. Oaks), I've been pondering on the idea of entitlement. I think I've gone through a lot of my life thinking that things have come to me because I've deserved them. Recently, I've come to the conclusion that I really "deserve" nothing. It is ALL because God is good to us. That's all it is, and I'm SO grateful for that.


Grace said...

Julie what a great post! Motherhood and being a stay at home Mom today is looked down upon the world. Moms do a great deal than they are given credit. I feel like you that we have always had enough to get by and yes we haven't ever taken lavish trips but we have been able to do okay.

Growing up, my Mom had to work, it was not an option and I chose at a very young age, that if I could, I would stay home with my kids to be with them. Thankfully that has worked out for us.
I know it isn't always the case with many and that if a Mom has to work that Heavenly Father helps out. I know He helped my siblings and I out as well as my parents.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

AMEN to everything you said!!! Your family is so blessed to have such a wise woman in their home. I am so grateful that my parents taught me financial resposibility and the difference between need vs. want. Funny how those lines get blurred in society.

Jan said...

Genius. Thanks Julie. This really rocked the motherhood. Loved it :)

vaxhacker said...

Very well put (not that that's a surprise at all)! How different it is to see the same situation through the lens of different world views, though, isn't it (thinking of your conversation about quitting school)?

In the end, though, your (huge) lifelong efforts in raising a new generation of people will be far more rewarding and bring more joy to look back upon than anything else you would have done.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...