This last year and 2 months has been crazy to say the least. We have had a lot of heartache, a LOT of stress, and so many difficulties at times it felt like I was joking when I would talk to people about it. But a lot of good has come out of it and in the end I thank God everyday for the difficulties that we went through. Ill lay out what I am thankful for:
This last year tried and tested our marriage multiple times, and in more ways then I care to put online. And there were times I wasn't sure if our marriage would make it. But through it all, and with a LOT of God's help, we made it to the other side. Our marriage is stronger, our communication is better (still not perfect but it is better) and I feel like we can now use this to help other couples. The devil will not only try your marriage by attacking your finances, but will show you every hole in your marriage nad make you doubt yourself on your choice! And you know what its ok to question things. It makes you realize what you need to FIX.
After almost 9 years of marriage (has it really been that long?!?!?!) we are way past the honeymoon phase, but have definitely learned that you have to WORK on your marriage and it is HARD a LOT of the time. But the results are totally worth it!
The last year has put a renewed focus on my kids. Coming to realize that you are so busy that you don't even get to see your kids is a hard place to come to. For almost 4 months I worked swing shift. I was gone from 2pm till 12am monday-friday. I didn't realize the impact of it until the beginning of this year. I realized I didn't remember a lot of the kids school year. I missed SO MUCH in that time I was working. Now I work at a job thats during the school day and I am home to get the kids off the bus. It is so much better.
Ugh with so many ups and downs in our finances through our marriage I finally feel like we are on track. We are in the middle of Dave Ramseys Financial Peace University and I think EVERY couple should take this course at least once. It is helping us realize the ways in which we needed to change, but also helped us realize the things we were doing right!
For example: We switched to an all cash budget 3 years ago and realized the debt trap we were entering and stopped it. Now we do have to get caught up and actually, you know, budget (hehe) but we were heading in the right direction.
The other thing is that we are finally Tithing regularly. We came to realize that when we tithed we always have more than when we don't. When we tithe God opens up opportunities that are weird and out of the blue! We are also regularly putting money into savings. Its not much as of yet, only about $100 a month, but that adds up. I cant wait to see where that goes in the next few years.
I finally feel like we have one. For so long I have just felt like we are hanging on by a thread, just barely treading water, but now? I feel like we are afloat and heading in the right direction!
Now do I now that trials are still going to come our way? YES! But now more than ever I am willing to throw my hands in the air and say "God please take it! I cant do this on my own!!!" He is the one in the drivers seat, I do my part by being faithful with what He has given us, and He will do the rest!
Please be praying for us though... there are a lot of doors that have been cracked open and we are sitting here waiting to see which one God opens. If He opens it, then who am I to close it?