Jan 5, 2013

Hoeing a Rough Row

We have been hoeing a rough row the last several years. We are direct casualties of the economic fall-out of  2008, and it has been rocking our boat since then. While I feel the details of this are too personal to share publicly, the result has brought serious struggles to our personal economy, our marriage and family, and even my spiritual life. We have been facing questions daily about our future for over three years now and it is really eating at us. Praise God that Father R followed his wise grandmother's advice and "paid himself first" (not omitting God from that; she was also a believer, but this was just a motto to make a point.) This means saving. Had we been spending as fast as he was making it (like so many were), our lives would have been much more drastically altered already. I'm sure we would have had to sell our home and put me to work, doing what I have no idea. I have been out of anything resembling a paycheck since 1986.
    Of course, this would have meant putting Mei back in the high-pressure, award-seeking government school as from which we had just removed her.
    Mei came home from there after 1st grade. I knew she was struggling. The pressures were already mounting. Missing the bus because she is a slow eater.Cramming addition facts while driving her to school. Dressing in the back seat on the way to ballet, snack in a bag. Spelling homework at 8 in the car on the way home. Writing exercises for someone who still had trouble forming her letters (This was Kindergarten and first grade, remember.)
    And the evidences of it in her behavior: badgered by teachers about her thumb-sucking habit who believed they had her best interest at heart, ("She will be harassed by her peers." She wasn't, only by her instructors.), she took to chewing on her sleeves! When I pointed that out, she was switched to a stress ball. FOR A FIRST-GRADER?? Those things are for powerful, white-collar executives in high-rise offices that are nearing a heart attack!
   Father R and I haven't made any decisions yet, but his current job leaves us with almost no family time from Monday through Friday. He commutes an average of an hour-and-a-half EACH WAY every day (commute times in the Washington, DC area are the highest in the nation. Woo Hoo! We're Number One!!). He leaves before we get up, and is asleep before we fall in bed ourselves because he knows he's going to be up before the sun again in the morning. At least two nights a week, he works late on top of that. So Mei can go more than 48 hours without even having face time with her dad who she adores.  I know there are many, many people in this country that are living like this, so I'm not trying to start a pity party here. But, for us, we keep asking, "Is it worth it? And if not (it's NOT), what choices are we left with?"
   I will leave off here. We know God holds us in His hand as He has always demonstrated. And I know that  He has allowed struggles to bring us back to Him, which this one does. Secretly I get excited at the possibilities that He may be preparing for us at the end of this Valley. But patience and releasing control are not my strong suits. Yet I will trust in the Lord.
   My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.  For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.  He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair--every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.  Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. Psalm 2:1-11 NIV
Proverbs 31 Ministries: God Is Waiting 




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