Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Another Lesson Learned

I finally finished off the last of the brilliant PB&J muffins I made on Saturday.

Lesson learned: Never make a double batch of anything you don't KNOW your children will like. Otherwise, you'll end up finishing them off by yourself, two at a time, for daaaays. Oh well. I guess the baby and I got all of the protein and fiber and vitamins and beta carotene and such from these yummy, sneaky muffins. The thing is, the kids probably would have eaten them if it weren't for the raspberry jam tucked inside. And I thought that would be a great surprise. Ha!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Forward With Faith

It's official...

  • The woes of Wall Street have made their way to MY street.
  • The evils of the world CAN reach me (and my precious children).
  • When it rains, it really does pour.
And you know what? I am still at peace. Joyful even. There is a smile on my face and in my heart a sure and steady knowledge that all is well. There is an absolute perfection in the pattern of my life. I don't understand it yet. But I'm learning to trust it, a little at a time.

Now, I won't lie to you. If you'd called me a week ago I might have told you a different story. I was A N G R Y.

A couple of weeks ago, JDub found out he'd have to take pay cut. The amount we'd lose each month would be the equivalent of our monthly health insurance premium. I pulled our budget out, crunched numbers and made the new salary work. There wouldn't be any frills, but we'd be able to pay the bills. And then, we'd still have JDub's commission checks to cover "extras" like dental care and haircuts and such.

Then, the next week he came home to tell me that he'd have to take ANOTHER pay cut. This time, the amount taken from his salary would be as much as our mortgage payment. On top of the last one. The last string of confidence holding me together snapped. I was despairing. Sure, we still had those (highly irregular) commission checks. We had savings. Some food storage. We were definitely in much better shape than many other people. And he still had a job. But I did. not. want. to. be. poor. again. We've been there, done that. Fought our way through low incomes and crushing debt. This was not where we'd planned to be at this time in our lives.

As I said, last week I was angry. Hurt. Despairing.

And then something changed. The major turning point was a trip to the LDS temple. I went with a heavy heart. I had time to read the scriptures (especially this one), to ponder and pray in a space that is clear from the world's distractions. More than anything, I felt my Heavenly Father remind me deeply of who I am, how much I am loved as an individual. Through the eternities, I have never been one to shrink from difficulty. I am a woman of faith. Joy is my heritage and my eternal privilege. It was time to stop wallowing. To get up and get on with it, already.

So I have.

And I can't see how it will all unfold, but my trust is finally where it should be as I wait for miracles.

One small (or perhaps big) miracle is that JDub's employers have decided to sell a portion of the company to him. This is something that we have discussed and desired, but had never really anticipated. The website he will be purchasing has been a steady, solid money-maker for the company for the last few years. We didn't think they would want to let it go. But, hooray! They do! So we are now looking for office space and trying to secure funding and coming up with a business plan. This sure beats trying to decide between applying for Convergys (so JDub can make the big bucks) and staying with a company that JDub has put so much into, but can no longer afford to pay him a living wage. He has single-handedly brought the online portion of this company into existence and has worked so hard to make it profitable. I am glad he will not have to abandon that.

This brings with it a whole slew of blessings and potential problems. One being that we will not have a steady, predictable paycheck and may have to go for a month without pay at all while we wait to see how the numbers settle and decide what we can expect as a monthly income.

We'll just keep putting one foot in front of the other, trusting the Lord, trusting each other. It has never been money or circumstances or even freedom from difficulties that has brought us joy. We have been richly blessed, in good times and bad. Our faith has done more than sustain us. It has made life joyful and enjoyable, no matter what. The anger and the hurt and the frustration and the doubt, I think, are all a part of it too. I don't know where we've gotten the idea that, unless we always "feel" happy, we're doing something wrong. I strongly believe that allowing ourselves to fully feel and welcome our negative emotions can teach us a great deal.

But faith is that forward step. That determination to go on, to trust the perfection inherent in our life and to allow the negative to be impermanent, to wash over us and then fall away as we claim the joy that is our heritage as children of a God who loves us.

So I am stepping forward, waiting, trusting...

What about you? How have the world's current conditions and other trials affected you? How are you finding your faith and your center-point as you make your way through?