Blessing in Disguise

 

This illness is the best thing that has ever happened to me.  (GASP!)  "Why would you say that Michele?" — you ask.  I've realized that its the best thing because it has caused me to slow down, and really take a look at what matters in life.  What matters in life, first and foremost in my relationship with the Lord and my relationship with my family.  That is what matters most.  Anything that comes after that is just the icing on the cake. 

Due to this illness I was basically forced to quit a job I had been at for 8 years.  I have always worked.  Before I was 16 years old I babysat to earn extra money, or did extra things around the house so that I could earn money.  Then when I turned 16 I hoofed it over to the Humdinger, and applied for a job.  I kept going back until Ron hired me.  I would ride my bike to work until I was able to get a car, pay for the insurance and the gas.  After high school I went off to college for a couple of years, and then began working in a law office when I was about 19 years old while I continued to go to school. 

I got most of my "schooling" on the job more or less.  This last job I had was by far the best as far as teaching me everything I needed to know to be a paralegal.  My boss taught me to think for myself, think on my feet, and taught me to write better.  It was great.  I honestly loved my job. 

In November 2008, I got hit with an illness, unfortunately.  It was not a new illness, it had been one that I had been dealing with for years.  It just erupted again during that month and I was down for the count.  The details of which aren't important right now.  I began having to miss a lot of work due to it, and began to feel it wasn't fair to my boss that I couldn't make it to work.  He was always very gracious and very understanding, but he needed someone he could rely on (I felt).  So in May 2009, I gave my notice.  I continued to work periodically when he needed some extra help here and there, but then realized this month that I couldn't do that anymore because the stress was really affecting me.

Honestly, I loved having the security of having a two income household.  We didn't have to worry about finances at all.  It was wonderful after having had so many years of struggling financially.  The great thing was that the Lord gave us enough extra income during the time from when we were married to May 2009 that we were able to get completely out of debt (with the exception of our mortgage).  Thank you Lord!

In evaluating this decision to stay at home, I realized that the pressure that society puts on us as a whole to be a two income household.  I mean, look at the advertising.  They show us all these design shows that show us these big, beautiful homes that are decorated to the "nines", you see the brand new cars everywhere, and the pressure all around to own a Lexus, an Acura, a Hummer, a Mercedes, a BMW, etc, but honestly, who are those for?  Us?  Or do we purchase these things to impress others?  Same thing with clothing, shoes, purses, make-up, etc.  I mean, when we purchase a "Coach" purse, or "Steve Madden" shoes, who are we purchasing them for?  I think we generally (me included) do it to impress others, whether we want to admit it or not. 

I mean, the big beautiful home is wonderful, but if you are working so much (both of you) that you never get to see each other, or you're working so much that you don't get to enjoy it, is it worth it?  Is that fancy car worth it?  I've realized that now, more than ever, my kids need me home.  I'm not as frazzled (like when I was working) as I am beginning to adjust to this stay-at-home lifestyle.  I can cook them meals, take care of them when they are sick, just be there for them when they come home from school.  Nicole came home the other day and didn't even turn the tv on for at least an hour and a half, and sat and talked to me.  To me, THAT is worth it. 

Now, are we going to be able to afford to go on extravagant vacations, and purchase all the best (I'm talking Abercrombie or American Eagle) for them?  Probably not, but honestly, what will they remember more?   Me spending time with them, or that American Eagle shirt I bought for them in 2009? 

I am beginning to think that this illness was a blessing in disguise because honestly I wouldn't have quit my job otherwise.  I'll be honest — I loved having the extra money to get what I wanted, get them what they wanted, etc, and I did love the work I did, but I'm realizing that being home for them and with them is far better than what I had prior to the illness.  I get time with the Lord now in the mornings, I get time with the kids, I get time with my husband.  Money can't by that.  I can always go back to work after they all move out, but for now, I believe that the Lord will provide for us — He already has.  Stay tuned — I'm sure there will be more.  Thank you Lord for my life today! (I put the pic of the kids, because they are worth it!) 

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Author: Michele C.

First and foremost I am a Believer in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I am a wife, a Mom, a young budding writer, and entrepreneur.

4 thoughts on “Blessing in Disguise”

  1. Michelle……glad that this is making you happy……I know exactly where you are coming from…..I've been a "stay at home" wife for some time & love it. Sometimes, I think I should go back to work just to be around people because we live out in the country, but I actually love the peace and solitude most of the time. I enjoy reading.I see too, those who cannot afford it at all carrying "Coach" or other designer purses & clothing or shoes….driving the expensive cars…..having iPhones & top of the line stuff……& I'm thinking it all has to be for show, you know. It's like we use to tell our son, "class is not having all that stuff that says"look at me, I'm somebody!" ….it's knowing that you could buy it, but choose to be happy without it". I don't need all that stuff to know who I am…..I'm a child of the King…..who already owns the cattle on a thousand hills!

  2. I think I'm going to change my bed linens today cause here it is 5 in the A.M. and I can't sleep lol!
    I've always enjoyed being a "stay at home" mom for the same reasons that you mention. I too felt it was very important to be there for my kids. I often felt that it was that lack of parent availability that is what is wrong with todays youth, our society has made it both neccessary and acceptable to raise our families without this very important dynamic. We are no longer able, in most cases …not all, to afford to have one parent be there for our children at all times. We wonder what has happened to our children when it is very simple, the ones who love them most are unable to be there for them when they need us most. Except during the occasional "quality" not "quantity" time that has become the norm, the majority of todays parents as you know are needed in the workforce just to make ends meet. So we fill our kids days with afterschool activities that unless we are there to cheer them on often leave them feeling exhausted, empty and seeking friendships to fill the void from lack of parental involvement. If not for financial reasons some parents will even prioritize their own lives around their desires which makes matters even worse often pushing their children's needs down the list in efforts to convince themselves and the world into thinking they are doing what is best for their children when all their children really want and need is their time and love.
    I commend you Michele for putting your work aside for the moment and enjoying this time with your family, we only have them for such a short time. I know your struggles with your health have been difficult at times, but you are setting an example and a standard for your kids that will last a lifetime and in todays world is sadly disappearing. There is no replacement for a loving parent. Bravo! : )

  3. ahhhh thank you Patti ! That was very encouraging for me to hear. If people would attempt to just live within their means, such as not getting the 3000 square foot home, not having the house designed to the "nines", paying cash for things rather than credit (I learned the hard way), not going out to eat, or out to the movies, making time at home doing family things, you really can make it work. Not having as much money has caused me to get very creative with even our grocery bill. I bought two whole chickens the other night, and was able to make three dinners from those three chickens. One night it was the chickens themselves with some rice and veggie. Next night I took the chicken, chopped it up, seasoned it, added some grated cheese and mayo and we had grilled chicken/cheese sammies and chilli from the can. With the carcus of the chicken I boiled it up and got some absolutely beautiful broth from it and I'm going to make a wonderful, delicious soup out of it using whatever is left in my fridge, then go to Grocery Outlet and get more veggies (cuz they are cheapest), and make a soup from that! I couldn't have done all this before when I was working 40-50 hour work weeks because I was too exhausted by the time I got home to do all that, do laundry, do the grocery shopping, try and attempt to have relationships with everyone in the family, time with the Lord, time with my husband, clean the house, pay the bills, balance the checkbook, do ministry (when we were doing it). I was truly and thoroughly exhausted and burned out.
    It has taken me four months of not working to finally start feeling better and less stressed out. Even in spite of things going on, I'm able to handle them much better. I feel more balanced than I've felt in a long time. It is a much better situation all the way around. Will we be able to afford everything? Maybe. Maybe not. But God provided for me while I was a single mom, He will provide for me now!
    Oh yah, and Patti cake, we need to do lunch again soon! Love you bunches of flowers, Michele

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