Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Week Eight - Learning

*Warning: This is very long. My eyelids are beginning to feel very heavy so I am going to skip my usual proof reading. Please remember while reading that this was written after a long day, little sleep, and an empty stomach.*

Well, it's Tuesday and week eight of this learning experience of our lives here. The weeks just keep getting better (written with much sarcasm). Without going into detail or telling you how stupid I am, yesterday I crashed our van on the way home from work. Yep, add another thing to our list. I am beginning to think that people should stay away...this may be contagious. :-) I did a lot of damage, more than it's worth. So, yeah, not so good way to end the week (or start it). Enough of that.

Through this whole experience, I have been repeating over and over to my God : Increase my faith, Lord and help me to learn and grow from this. I decided at the beginning of the week that I was done throwing tantrums. I am tired of the tears and although I did a good crying yesterday, it's God's and He will fix it.

Learning #1

I find it very ironic now, the title of my blog. Every day I am totally living that...feeling more content than ever and clinging to the promise that God will never leave me or forsake me.

Back when I started this and picked the name out, I thought I was content...or at least heading in that direction. Now I know that I was no where near content. Through the events of the past eight weeks, I have learned what being content feels like. Believe it or not, this has stripped away the layers and I have finally gotten real with myself. I have heard Suzie Orman say several times that we are liars when we go into debt to buy things that we cannot afford. Translation for me: I was living a lie. Dan's previous job afforded us so many extras. I didn't have to be on a strict budget and it felt good to live that way...for a while. We live in a house we can afford. Our debt has been racked up on stuff. In the past three years, we began to make purchases with our credit cards and couldn't pay off the balance every month. I craved stuff but didn't like the way the debt felt hanging over our heads. When Dan lost his job, I saw my lifestyle crumble before my eyes. I thought of all the stuff that I wouldn't be able to buy...the starbucks that I wouldn't be able to have, the clothes I wouldn't be able to buy for my kids, the dates I wouldn't be able to go on. But, it was all a lie.

Week two of this thing, we cut up all our credit cards but one. Amazingly enough, since then, we haven't racked up any debt and been able to pay some of it down all on 40% of the salary Dan was making. I am changed. No more lies. I have my sights on being debt free and this time I know it will actually be a reality.

Learning #2

My Father-in-law gave me a book called From Fear to Love (I plan on posting more on this book later). I don't have much time to sit down with a good book lately but I have been plugging along when I can. If I let Satan have his hand in this, he could totally ruin my whole marriage.

If we didn't have money to worry about, Dan and I would be the happiest couple on earth. It has been a huge struggle for me to be nasty to him through this experience. This is probably the hardest we have ever had to work on keeping our marriage on the right track. I am not the most merciful, gracious person. It's black or white with me and I expect near perfection. After my accident on Monday early AM, I was beside myself. I was afraid of Dan's reaction because I knew what my own would be. I walked in the door and through tears told him what I did. I truly saw Jesus in him. He showed no anger at all. He was actually trying to joke about it with me. I was, and still am, blown away by his reaction.

I have always known I have been given a gift in him. In these busy 5.5 years, it's been really easy to forget. Words cannot even express how in love with him I am. We don't need our nights out every week. We are down to the basics and I am seeing that when we cut out all of the stuff, we are left with no other choice than to focus on eachother. Dan, I thank God for you!

2 things to add:

Erin said...

And if he was here he would say "well done my child".

Bonnie said...

Beth, I'm so sorry to hear about your van!! Are you OK??? You didn't get hurt, did you?