Saturday, July 14, 2012

Life’s Not Fair

I had a battle within myself about posting this.  On one hand I know there are people out there who will judge Anthony and me and therefore my children as well.  We’ve experienced it… not fun!  **Don’t post it!**

And on the other hand, I know that we are not the only ones going through a rough time needing encouragement and support.  **Post it!**

Since I pride myself on being forthright and honest on my blog I decided that I would post it.  Sure we have sunshine, rainbows, and butterflies much of the time but life isn’t just happy, sunny times.  Opposition in all things!  And right now I’m feeling discouraged and sad. 

I may lose readers over this and that’s ok.  For those that I can resonate with, that’s what I want.  I want people to know that Anthony and I are human.  We have rough times just like everyone else.  We battle our own demons and have to find ways to come out on top.  We always do but man, it’s not always easy!

So, right up front I would like to let you know that I know how blessed we are.  With almost 6 kids it would be nearly impossible for me not to acknowledge the fact that we have little blessings all around us.  I can’t imagine my life without a single one of my littles!  Yes, we are blessed beyond measure to live in the neighborhood we live in.  To have the church leaders that we have.  To have made the friends we have made.  And there are so many more blessings which we enjoy. 


Life just isn’t fair!! 

I look around me and I see people thriving in this horrible economy.  And then I ask myself, why aren’t we?  Why must we struggle through this?  Why is it so hard to get food on the table and eat the way we want to?  Why must we downgrade our food supply to processed crap that we tried so hard to get rid of?  (Because it’s less expensive, that’s why!)  Why must our washer decide to go out on us when we’re already 2 months behind on our car payment and all the other bills?  Why did the car battery have to die when we’re already behind on everything else?  Why is the dog deathly ill at a time when we can’t afford to take her to the vet?  (She’s lost over 20 pounds and keeps throwing up and having the runs.)  Why were we doing so well just five years ago and now we can’t find a job that will cover all the bills?  Right now we’re just waiting on an answer from our mortgage company about a loan modification.  If they don’t modify the loan we have nowhere to go because both our families are struggling as well.  Why, why, why? 

This is the part where some of you are judging and saying, Why in the world would you be having another baby when you’re already struggling to support the five that you have?  The only answer I have for you is… the prophets and authorities of the church have always said NOT to wait until you’re financially stable to have a family.  If that were the case, we would never have kids at all.  The other answer I have… it just felt right.  We prayed because we knew there was another one waiting to join our family and we received confirmation that now was the time. 

NONE of our kids have come at ‘the right time’.  There is no perfect time to have a child.  There just isn’t.  And yet, somehow, they all come with the blessings and the spirit we need at the time that they come.  Does that make any sense?  They come on the Lord’s time… whatever that may be.

Some people may think that because Anthony never received a college degree that he is less adequate, that somehow that makes him less qualified in the workplace.  We started our family very early in our marriage and it just wasn’t feasible for him to go to school AND try to make a living AND try to raise a family.  He did go to school and completed some courses but never got a degree.  I know many will say, people do it all the time.  And yes, they are right.  But it wasn’t right for our family to do it that way.

He ran his own business for several years and it was very profitable.  Then, down went the economy and so did the business. 

And you know, I know many people that do not have college degrees that are doing very well still!  I also know many people WITH college degrees that are struggling just as much or worse than we are. 

It’s not fair and I don’t have the answers.  All I know is that right now I’m feeling discouraged!  Is this how our life is going to be for the remainder of our time raising these kids?  Will we ever get to take them on the vacation they’ve longed for?  I hate that many families get to go out of town and on fun vacations while we have to tell our kids no.  They ask all the time when we will ever go on a vacation.  The only answer I have for them is, “I don’t know.”  We may never get to go on vacation.  I just don’t know.  It’s not the end of the world if we don’t but man, it sure is hard to see the disappointment on their little faces when we tell them it probably won’t happen for many years. 

The past couple of days have been full of tears on my end.  Yes, the crazy pregnancy hormones are kicking in.  I just don’t understand why it’s all happening.  I know there’s a lesson to be learned and it just gets frustrating not knowing what lesson it is.  Haven’t we learned enough yet?  Will there ever come a day that we can just plan something spontaneous that isn’t FREE?  Even driving somewhere takes planning because we have to decide whether it’s going to be worth the gas $$ it will take to get there and back.  Will we have enough to get through ‘til the next paycheck? 

I don’t write this to make people feel sorry for us.  I want others who might be going through a similar situation to know that they are not alone.  It’s happening all over and to people you may not even realize. 

This is only temporary!  Even if it lasts the whole rest of my life, I know that these worries will not be with me on the other side.  Things will look up for us at some point.  I know it!  There are lessons to be learned.  In the meantime, I’m just trying my darndest to stay positive. 

Was it a mistake to have started spent the money to start as a consultant for Shelf Reliance?  Some may say yes because as soon as I did that, things really started to fall apart.  However, I believe it to be a tool of the adversary.  He’s got me discouraged and wondering if it really was a mistake.  And yet, I know that I got a positive confirmation when I prayed about it.  Have I made any money yet?  No, but it takes time.  I won’t let the adversary win!  I’ve done a couple parties and they’ve gone alright.  Looking forward to doing some more with even more success!  I absolutely believe in the products and I know things are going to work out. 

We’re not asking for a hand out, we just need a BREAK!  Just a little breathing room would be nice.  If you’re feeling the same way, I hear ya! 

I’m sorry for the rant.  Please forgive me.  I’m human and need an out once in a while.  We’ll get back to our regularly scheduled programming in the very next post, I promise.   



Cari said...

I'm sorry! Sometimes life just plain sucks. I like the quote by Elder Scott, “Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously. When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more. He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everylasting benefit.”

Not that it makes things better, but at least there's some good that should eventually come from all the suffering!

Ruth Hansen said...

Thank you for the open honest post. It's nice to know that in the hard times we are not alone. We have 7 wonderful "littles" and are also hoping for a time in the future when we can take them on vacation. In the meantime there are business and financial struggles to deal with. I just keep trying to remember to enjoy the moment - to be grateful - to see the good. I know you are wonderful at that too. My favorite quote is, "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass... It's about learning to dance in the rain." The good times will come and in the meantime the challenge is learning to be happy in the moment...not waiting for our golden ticket. (or Disneyland vacation.) :)

Today I found joy in a room finally cleaned (that will probably stay clean for at least one minute), a little boy that wanted me to snuggle him when he burned his hand, and a daughter singing while changing the baby's diaper.

Good luck with all the pregnancy side effects. Pregnancy is sure a roller coaster and life with "littles" is that already - a double roller coaster ride. No wonder sometimes it's hard to stomach. lol. Your children are so blessed to have you!

Brooke said...

Thank you for that quote, Cari. I love it! So fitting.

Brooke said...

Thanks for your comment, Ruth. It really is all about finding joy in the little things. My kids are such great examples of that! I just need to remember that they don't realize how hard things are. As far as they are concerned we are doing alright. Maybe we can't do all the fun things their friends get to do but they still have a great life. And I do too. It's just my 'natural man' getting the best of me.

Kendra said...

Oh Brooke, I can so relate. Infact when you were writing I seriously was thinking "how does she know me so well" My hubby is the hardest working man ever, but we have struggled our whole marriage financially. It's tough, Super tough. One year he got laid off, Our washer and dryer broke, our car was having problems, and I was pregnant all right before Christmas.

Right now we seem to just be rolling by, getting through each month, but man it is so tough.. I think one thing that is the toughest is facebook...I really struggle with my facebook bragger friends "Look at this new Ipad 3 my hubby bought me for my birthday" or "Look where our family is going on vacation" yadayadad! It used to drive me nuts, but I either hid them as friends or just have had to come to the realization that my life is different than theirs. We drive from st. George to Orem for vacation about 4 times a year to visit family and that is our "Summer vacation" I just keep praying that we will keep being blessed, because we truely are in many ways even though we have struggled financially.

I am also with you on the whole baby thing. My husband and I know it's time to have our 5th...yet finacially...ya, not so ready.

My favorite quote that I resite daily in my head is...

“It isn’t as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don’t worry. I say that to myself every morning. It will all work out. If you do your best, it will all work out. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake us. He will not forsake us. … If we will put our trust in Him, if we will pray to Him, if we will live worthy of His blessings, He will hear our prayers”
~ President Hinckley

I might not ever be rich or go on big fancy vacations, but hey we have a lot fun together and my kids are happy and know they are loved! Thanks for the post... if you are still reading my long comment :)

Jessica said...

I think you'll find that MANY others are in or have been in your shoes. Reading this post was very familiar to me. We've struggled financially our entire marriage with the worst time hitting with the drop in the economy about five or so years ago. We've been through so much that it literally makes me ill to think about it and just how close we came to losing everything. We have faced our family van being reposesed and a chapter 13 bankruptcy among other things. I will always remember the day we were finally able to have the van with insurance , up to date rgistration and a tank of gas again. Such luxuries! While things are far from perfect, they have steadily and slowly improved the last couple years. We also added two more children to the family during this time. We haven't taken the family on vacation in 11 years, but that's ok. I have to really work at not comparing my life to others. It's a huge struggle! Hang in there!

Brooke said...

It's good to hear that things are starting to look up for your family. I know they will, eventually for us too. It's just a matter of time. My husband was reading his scriptures this morning and ran across one that really resonated with us. I couldn't even tell you where it was. But it said something about not worrying or casting judgment that others will judge you in your extreme poverty because in the end you will be the sinner with them. If you just get through it you will be blessed.

That was the jist of it, anyway. Something like that ;). I'm terrible at paraphrasing.

Thanks so much for your comment and for your thoughts. It's great to know that one of these days things will get better.

Brooke said...

Kendra, I love that quote. Thanks for sharing it with me. I think I need to write all of these down to remember them when I am feeling low.

And hey, I say if you know it's time for another baby... GO FOR IT! Somehow we are always taken care of when we follow the prophets and the Lord. It's not always the way I think we should be taken care of but I'm only human.

Thanks for your thoughts. It's good to know we're not alone, although I wish it weren't that way for you.

Anni said...

Brooke, I just want you to know that I think you're an amazing woman!! I truly admire you! We too our drowning in bills, mostly medical, and I often feel like our medical issues are never ending. It always seems to be one thing after another, and they can't be little things they have to be week stays at Primaries, infant surgeries, stroke while pregnant...Autism. Devin is now up to at least a dozen doctors, specialists, or therapists, and is going to be adding a GI doctor in the next couple weeks(we're now facing a feeding tube since he refuses to eat more than 5 foods). All that come with piling costs. It can feel crushing and hopeless...but we know it's not. We eagerly agreed to all this prior to coming to earth. Our Father in Heaven knows us fully, completely and intimately, He knows who we truly are and can become if we just endure the fire, and learn the many lessons He teaches us through the good times and usually even more so the hard times. I pray that things will start looking up for you! You have an amazing family! You are SO blessed!! I hope someday to be as amazing as you are! I'm so grateful to know you and to have someone as wonderful as you to look up to, cause I really do!
Thanks for the honest post, it really is nice to know you're not the only one that locks themselves in the bathroom and just cries cause that seems like all you can do(ok maybe you don't do that exactly but ya know what I mean) and I can't even blame mine on pregnancy, though I wish I could. We all have trials and struggles but God never leaves us to get through them alone, He is always there for us and He always manages to place us just where and with who we need to be with to get through it. He sends us amazing role models like you to look up to and strive to be like! Great friends to help lift us and remind us of great prophets and apostles guiding and encourages words! Basically, thanks for being so amazing!

Anni(from the ward)

Brooke said...

Anni, you are so sweet! Thank you so much for your kind words. It's sometimes hard for me to accept that someone would look up to me for anything. And yes, I do lock myself in the bathroom and cry sometimes. It happens... even when I'm not pregnant. I feel so blessed to have people in my life that lift me up. That makes me richer than I could ever be with any amount of money. Thanks for being one of those people.

Danielle said...

I noticed reading the comments that many others read your post feeling as though they were in your shoes...I am no different. Our family is in the same place as yours. Struggling, praying, knowing that God has a plan for our family and that we will make it through this difficult time. All I can say is really remaining positive and acknowledging your blessings every day will help you through your struggles. It does for me, knowing that even in hard times our family has so much, in each other- our family has strength and it sounds like yours does as well!