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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ants, Money and Choices...

I have a million different things to blog about.  Everything from our recent 4 day trip to California to celebrate my grandpa's 80th birthday, to how much I missed my dad on Father's day, to a fun kids day we had a couple weeks ago, to the awesomeness...yes I just used that word, of the Redwood National Park.  But the only thing on my mind this morning is "Ants, Money and Choices".  I need to process all the thoughts bouncing around in my head, so here I am typing away.  There aren't any cute pictures to go a long with this post because who really wants to see a bunch of dead ants? :) This is me, just being honest, just being real.

We have an ant problem.  They keep turning up everywhere and I am sick of killing them.  I think they are sugar ants and they are now my enemy.  Each morning I wake up wondering where they have traveled today.  This morning it was the inside of the food pantry.  Yep...hundreds of them.  Mark is currently at the store finding a solution as I type.  Yesterday it was the kitchen counter.  A few months ago it was the family room floor.  I think I might have even had a bad dream about ants last night.  Anyone know a good solution to rid my house of the ants? 

I will just start this section with a statement "I HATE money!"  There never seems to be enough of it.  I particularly hate it today (or lack there of) because it causing us (Mark and I) so much stress.  Mark had received a raise things evened out and were good.  Fast forward to now...Mark's raise was reduced and now we are short $500 dollars a month.  Fabulous...I could really just cry.  I've gone over our budget.  I've cut things out, I've weeded things down, I coupon, I've started staying home more certain days of the week to save on gas, I use programs set up to help with gas vouchers for medical/therapy appointments for my kids, I have recently applied for a medical premium program that would reimburse Mark his health insurance premium each month since two of our kiddos have Medicaid insurance.  Two of our three cars are paid off,  we are looking into refinancing our house to lower the monthly payment even more.  I've given up the dream for private Christian school for my kids because as much as I would like to think we can afford it, we can't  I'm holding off preschool for Bella for another year to save costs...and now I am really crying.  Reality sucks sometimes.  We need a new roof...badly, the dishwasher is barely holding on, Grace needs a new bed (thankfully not a mattress) but I know everyone understands life is just like that.  And money makes the world go round.

So...the money issues (or lack there of) lead to the choices.  This is where I have become a great big ball of stress.  You see...I feel responsible for the money issue we are in.  If I had a part time money worries.  At all.  So we sit down to look at our choices...they are bad and worse.  There really is no good choice.  Sucks being a grown-up. 

Choice #1: I find a job and work again.  I spent a week crying about this one because I love being at home.  My heart is here.  My kids are here.  If I have to work, I would pick to work two or three mornings a week at a church preschool, or a quiet office job one or two days a week would be ideal.  Honestly I am really open to anything that might fit, but who wants to hire a mom/teacher who has three special needs kids?

Choice#2: Mark goes and works the "road" again.  Working the "road" on the railroad is HELL.  There really is no other good word to describe it.  It means Mark has NO SCHEDULE.  It's like being "on call" 24 hours a day.  He is married to the computer so he can try and predict when he is going to work.  The phone rings at 3am, off to work he goes.  Stuck in Pasco, WA for 3 to be Mark.  Want to go to the movie with the family?  Not sure if I will be called while we are out, so better not go.  That schedule literally drove Luke to temper tantrums and tears ALL.THE.TIME.  He couldn't handle dad not having a schedule and knowing when he had days off.  He would cry when he woke up in the morning and found that dad wasn't here.

Choice#3: Mark gets a second job.  I don't like this idea either.  Mark already has a volunteer second/third job and I don't think we can handle a fourth.  Back in February our church began looking for another pastor.  Since Mark was the president of the church board all of the responsibilities of the church became his plus finding a new pastor (organizing, resumes, interviews, meetings etc).  20+ hours of church work each week volunteer plus the gas it takes to make 2 trips a week.  Its 35 miles round trip.  It has been this way since February.  In May, Mark and I began being the youth leaders again on one of the two evenings he has off.  The former leaders stepped down and there was no one else to step forward.  I feel so completely stretched right now.  Because of these situations I am able to look at my parents and their ministry in a new light.  I have a greater appreciation and understanding for my parents and their time served as pastors.  It has been a season of growth for us and we have walked sometimes one foot in front of the other.

I wish I had the magic solution to sum up the ending to this blog post.  I don't.  That has yet to be determined.  I've considered working from home, but I am uncertain.  There are options.  Do I sell things on ebay or etsy?  Do I open a preschool in our home?  Do I get licensed for daycare? I could tutor, but afternoons/evenings are not a good time due to Mark's work schedule.  All I know is there has to be an answer to all this and I know we will find it.  Meanwhile the stress is great and we are trying to look for the positive while we feel overwhelmed.  We appreciate anyone who would pray for us during this time. 


Angela De Suze said...

I don't know if I have the right words today, but I can pray. We will be praying for you for sure!!!

Carissa said...

I appreciate your prayers Angela! It was so nice seeing you a few weeks ago.

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