I have been looking at my blog for months, thinking of something to update. Truthfully, I don't know what to update though. I would love to post "my life has been a dream since we have gone through all our challengs with Ansen....we passed our test and won ourselves a life of continued ease". Now wouldn't that be lovely. Truthfully, I thought that after what I have gone through with Ansen, that nothing would ever compare. Well the truth is, the answer to that is yes and no. Yes, once you realize that what truly matters most is family, nothing else "really" matters. But no in the fact that sometimes it feels like life is still beating you down in all directions....and its not always easy to see the beauty in some circumstances (possible, just not always easy). I have gotten distracted a lot in my mission to love, enjoy and be thankful for all matters of life.....distracted by life.
First Doug was unemployed (and became so in such an UNFAIR manner, its hard to not still feel bitter about it today). And then when he did finally get a job again (in a horrible market with few options that made what we need to pay all our bills), it has turned out to be the most exhausting job ever. We have come to realize that for us to afford this small house, situated on a busy road with .1 acre of land we stupidly bought at peak of market for way too much money, that we need Doug to work 70-80 hours a week, doing the hard physical labor he does (bc truck drivers that don't have to unload trucks on top of driving them make next to nothing). He is gone 4 am to 5-6 pm (sometimes later) Monday-Friday, and he basically comes home, eats dinner, and falls asleep. 5 days a week he does this, and the weekends aren't long enough for him to fully "recover"...I rarely get to spend any time with him awake sans kids...even on the weekends, when kids are finally in bed, he falls asleep immediately. How long do we keep this up?
We have 28ish more years of this mortgage. We bought this house 7 years ago, but since we have had to refinance three times-due to us being idiots I guess and signing up for just about every banking scam there was, including the infamous adjustable rate mortgage, varying high percentage rates in a 80/20 loan, etc...we have extended our mortgage. We have paid almost 100,000 to date, and we have paid off only 1000-2000 on our actual morgage, while our house has depreciated 60,000. The American Dream at its finest. Do we keep working him to the bone for a house we actually hate; 1. It has very little yard. 2. It is on a busy street. 3. It has an apartment behind us so that anyone can look into our yard...there is no privacy in the summer bc people are hanging out in their balcony, smoking and staring at us. 3. It is falling apart slowly but surely-I have a massive list of things that we need repaired, including: half the outlets in the house-half of the half didn't work when we moved in, the other half have been slowing blowing and they now include one of the upstairs lights, as well as the cellar/laundry room lights, as well as a new roof, and some kind of rebuild on the cellar stairs that has a hole that keeps getting bigger and bigger thanks to someone building them out of particle board?? Those are the biggest house issues right now, there are other smaller ones that we can just live with indefinately I guess.
I try to will myself to grow where we have been planted, to accept this is where we are meant to be. But then why do I have this relentless, nagging feeling in my heart that we are supposed to get somewhere country, somewhere simple and cheap and somewhere with a lot of land. I get these feelings we are supposed to be anywhere BUT here. The feelings are relentless. I am just sick of being stuck in the city....having 6 kids corralled into a tiny yard when we all desperately seek to be "free range". Sitting on my porch, trying to relax as a continuous stream of cars and trucks zoom on by, kids at daycare next door are yelling as they play. I try to enjoy the beauty of the day outside in our fenced in yard, only to hear every word of my neighbors conversation (including their fights), while one of the apartment smokers is watching my children and chickens running around the yard. I feel my heart stifled....its hard to enjoy the beauty of nature at this house, and during the summer we find that we are just driving everywhere we can to espcape the city and be back in nature. Is it too much to want to be able to walk out my door and appreciate nature right in my own backyward? It is so hard, struggling with matters of the heart.
I have tried to "accept" where we are at. That we made mistakes and will now have to pay for them. But as I have felt all my children on my heart, I feel this is my heart...a strong sense that we are not supposed to be HERE. Its the kind of thing where you convince yourself to be "smart" about the situation with your brains ("smart" meaning we pay our obligations and just accept/live with all the financial mistakes we have made) and then that whisper on my heart reminds me of the life we could have/we should have. We bought this house bc I liked the tub!!! Did God lead me to like the tub here?? Why did I care about the most ridiculous things back then?? Why would I not look at the yard and think "this won't be conducive to my farming dreams (bc I had them even back then.) Why did I believe that we could simply sell house in a few years for a small profit and move on to our farm? And as much as these thoughts of a more simple, outdoor based life torment me, they similarily torment Doug. Sometimes I feel like we headed on the wrong path and God is trying to "right" us back where we were meant to. But how do we do that?
We are at a crossroad right now. Due to unemployment finance mess, we have one final opportunity that we could just stop and leave this house and try to go down the scary unknown path. Would we find the land and simpleness we dream of? Would we find someone willing to rent to our large family...willing to let us bring chickens and 2 cats? Willing to let us be self sufficient on their land? Or do we use our tax money and borrow yet more money from my Dad (owe him 20,000 from 2 of my 3 refinances), make this housing situation right, and just live here indefinately....in essence pay our debt for the mistakes we HAVE made (no matter how sorrowful we are for them now) and give up on our dreams. I feel guilty about first option. And the second option depresses me. There is no easy answer in life.
Life is a blessing though. I know God has a reason for this crossroad, as He did for me when I was going back and forth about bringing that 6th little life (Ansen) into our family. One day I will see this as a thing of beauty. Right now, I am confused and sad. And just living each day, not making any decisions and hoping to get a glimpse of any kind of flicker of light in regards to what direction we are MEANT to head. I trust that God has a plan for us and I have peace in that, but I am human and I wonder/worry daily where we will be lead. Its not always easy to blindly trust. But God hasn't led us astray yet....as long as we listen to HIM and not us. Life isn't about houses or even the fancy, garden tub I once coveted. Its about our family being together, no matter where life leads us. I love my family-they are what life is about; as long as we are together, we will find our way through each and every challenge that comes our way (including this one).