My eyes run wet, streaming tears that burn my face.
I feel like I'm watching him become more and more ill. He works 3 jobs so the I can stay home with the children. He's never here. And when he is here, he sleeps, because he is so exhausted, and in so much pain.
I feel the weight of our life on my chest. And I don't like it.
7 years ago (a week from tomorrow) I married this man with hopes a better life. And indeed, it has been a better life. And that's what I'm trying to remember now. I'm trying to remind myself that it is so much better of a life.
Every day that he hurts. Every day that I am alone with the children. Every day that we aren't sure how we'll pay the bills. Every day that we wonder where we'll be living in a year. Every day that I deal with hurt so deep it aches to the core of my being.
All of those days are 100 times better than one second of the best days of my childhood.
So why am I sitting here crying my eyes out, feeling the ache and weight of all of these burdens on my chest?
Perhaps it is because I feel as though we're stuck in a vicious cycle, and we'll never make our way out. I want us to have a better life. Not a life of things. I don't care if we live in the double wide trailer for the rest of our lives. I don't care if I drive that 10 year old SUV in the driveway for another 10 years, and I certainly don't care if we eat frozen pizza, apples, and grilled cheese for dinner 5 nights a week.
I want a full life. A life where my husband is home to watch his children grow up. A life in which he doesn't have to work so hard to support us that it causes his illness to get worse, instead of better. A life where he isn't working most Sundays and can be there to help teach Dylan how to lead in worship. A life where we can enjoy our marriage, and revel in the salvation we have been given.
I've long held the conclusion that this life is pointless other than to serve and worship the Lord. What does it matter if we live in a mansion or a shack? What does it matter if we drive Porsche or a Ford? What does it matter if we wear designer clothes or something off the clearance rack at Walmart? It doesn't matter. Not one single bit. In the end, the only thing that will matter is how we loved. How we loved God. How we loved our family. How we loved our enemy. How we loved strangers.
So that is why I feel the weight of this life pressing in on me. Because we are so consumed with keeping our heads above water financially, that we're missing out on loving life, and in that, having the opportunity to love others.
I am now trying to decide whether or not I should post this blog. In reading it, I feel as though I'm an idiot. There are people starving in Africa. There are people living in the mud all over this world, and I really should be thankful. So before I post this I would like to say that I would gladly live in a cardboard box if it meant I could have my family back. We've become accustomed to our Satellite TV and our cellphones (bc we don't have a house phone, though we do have fancy cellphones), our bikes, and our computers, our air conditioner and our fridge. And I realize that we are blessed beyond measure and richer than just about everyone in the world. I know that. And I would give it all up for my family. Most of our problem is that we live in a house we really can't afford bc our landlord is amazing and overlooked our credit score and let us move in anyway. And since we've moved in we've lost our house back home to a Deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, which pretty much means we can't buy a house for four years. So we indeed are stuck. Eric is a paramedic. And paramedics don't do it for the money. Our rent is exactly half of his MONTHLY pay check. Which is why he works two extra jobs. It isn't that we're not doing okay right now, bc we really are. Our bills are paid, our pantry is stocked, we are set. But what is the price we are paying for it?
I'm a wife. I'm a mom. I'm a photographer. I'm a lover of Jesus. My house is a mess, my kids are dirty, we eat take out more often than not. My life is loud, busy and crazy. And that's okay with me.
This is Eric, the man you've been praying for. He's a paramedic. He quilts in his spare time. No, I couldn't make that up :) He has NASH (a form of liver disease, non-alcoholic) and diabetes, but those things don't define him. He's a man of God, an insanely wonderful husband, and the best daddy in the world.. Just ask these guys..
Our daughter Ali, she's 9. She's fiercely opinionated and strong willed. She's a Daddy's girl, but the umbilical cord hasn't but cut from me, either. She's a gymnast, and proud of it. She spends more time upside down or turning flips than she does walking. She's crazy smart, and absolutely sure of it. She is my insufferable little know it all.
Our son Dylan, 7. We lovingly refer to him as Chubs. Or Chubby. Or fat boy. Ahem. He is all boy, as you can see by his crazy wild energy. He has the highest pain tolerance of any child I have ever met. He plays soccer and does gymnastics, but truly he is a gamer, a nerd. He is an avid reader and loves to climb. Not to be outdone by his sister, he's a drama king, but to him, I'm the best mommy in the world.
I'm here to use my voice. So many people can't. In a world of darkness, I just want to help God's light to shine through. I pray that my words are His, and my love is His, as well. This is my journey through the darkness. To start are the beginning of the story, click here.