Today is kind of a “ho-hum” day. Those are the best days to write blog posts, right?! I need to write. Somehow that just makes me feel better. We, in my family, are really struggling financially. I know that the Lord will come through for us. He always does. I just don’t know how. And, I have to admit, I am afraid. I can say all I want, that I don’t care what people think of us, but let’s be honest, everyone does to some extent.
We are really broke right now. In fact, we are so broke that we are applying for food stamps and had to appeal to the powers that be at CitiMortgage in hopes that we can catch a break on our mortgage. No, I’m not talking about a refinance. I mean, I hope we don’t lose our house before things start to look a little better. The very idea makes me want to sob. The trite answer to that would be, well, God must just have something better. But, then there are those that would look at the situation and say that Derick and I are simply not doing enough. We are not working hard enough to earn the money that is needed to stay in our house. In fact, in all appearances we are actually goofing off when we should be working. After all, I don’t have a steady job at all and of all things for Derick to do, he is playing baseball while he is in college, instead of supporting his family.
I would really like to solicit the great wisdom of one or more of the older and wiser women at church. But, I am afraid of getting in trouble, of being told that we are in the wrong. I’m afraid of being scolded, instead of someone coming along side me and working with me where I am and encouraging me to keep going. It is my greatest desire to be a supportive wife. My greatest desire, above everything else on this earth! I know that I don’t always do a very good job, sounding more like a dripping faucet rather that the head cheerleader. So, when my full-time, college-student husband comes to me and says he wants to try out for the college baseball team, what should my response be? When he comes to me a week later and announces that he actually made the team, what should my response be, as a supportive wife? My response was that I am not the head of the house and it is not my decision to make. If he wants to play, and our family can be better served in the long run with him on the baseball team, then who am I to tell him he can’t play? But, is that enough? I responded by not only supporting him in his decision to play, but also by being excited with him at this amazing triumph in his life!
Now I’m going to tell you the inside story. The truth is, God provided a way for Derick to go to school and not work. And it is by his grace that Derick has stayed in good enough shape for the last 17 years that he can play college baseball at 36 years old. And I believe, even though sometimes I don’t want to, that it is actually in God’s plan for me to be a cosmetologist at home for a limited number of hours a week, just so that I can make women feel beautiful that would not normally be able to go to the salon to pamper themselves for one of 2 reasons, a) the cost or b) lack of child care.
In July of 2009, when I was 8 months pregnant with Brody, we received word that Derick would be deploying to Central America for at least 6 months. And he would be leaving in 5 weeks. Three weeks before he left, he received notice that Caterpillar had eliminated his contract position. (Thank God for the deployment!) Immediately upon his return he got new job that seemed to have lots of potential. Only one problem, it wasn’t what he wanted, or felt called by God to do. He has known for several years that he is meant to be a high school math teacher. Well, at some point during his employment with this company, it was decided that the company would go in a different direction and his services were no longer needed. And suddenly he was calling on the aide of the Illinois Department of Employment Security. He tried to get jobs at many different companies but to no avail.
In the end he enrolled at ICC to pursue his dream. The baseball part is kind of a bonus because he also wants to be a baseball coach and his chances are greatly increased if he plays college ball. With unemployment and with his monthly weekend job as a Navy Reservist, we discovered very quickly that he cannot work many hours without endangering his unemployment benefits. He can work some but if he works too much then the amount he gets for unemployment every month goes down considerably. In order to make it worth it for him to not get unemployment, he would have to work 40 hours a week or more, making at least $12/hour. Unfortunately, when he tried to get a job like that he was met with rejection after rejection. So, instead, he has been filling out every scrap of paper he can get his hands on to get money from the federal government and from the Navy and from the VA for us to live on while he is in school. We have been cutting back severely, but even after all that, we still seem to fall short every month.
I am doing hair 3 days a week now, but I really don’t make very much money. It would be nice (and I think I would be lucky) if I were to make enough money to keep gas in our cars every month. I could work full time in a salon and make a lot more money, but I think the overhead of renting space and the cost of daycare would suck away all of my income and we would be worse off than we are now. Not only would I be working to pay the daycare, but then I wouldn’t be home to take care of my family. A salon in the basement would be nice! But, that brings me back to our primary dilemma. It is expensive and we can’t even afford our house right now. So, if we lose the house, then I lose the salon (if I even had the means to install a salon in the first place).
But, what about Peoria Christian, you say. How can you pay for that and not for your house? Well, that’s simple, we got a discount of 40% in financial aide. (Yes, some private schools offer financial aide). And Christian has a very generous benefactor. Plus, every time we have tried to withdraw Christian from PCS, God has miraculously provided just what we need for him to stay. Besides the fact that I don’t want to send my kids to separate schools, and I really don’t want to send them to District 150. Sad, but true. I’d rather home-school and that’s saying a lot! So, we pay Aida’s portion and Christian’s benefactor pays his portion.
Anyway, now you know the whole story, all 3 of you that read my blog! I don’t really know what the point of writing this blog is, but sometimes writing it out makes me feel better. Things in our life need to change, I know. But I don’t know how. And, I’m really afraid that they will change in such a way to make people point fingers and say that we are not being good stewards of the gifts that God has given us. I really think we are, but what do I know. Maybe I’m so close to the situation that I can’t see the woods for the trees.
God, please rescue my family! It feels like we are drowning!