Sometimes, when I read the blogs of my family and friends, I think " Well, their life is pretty much prefect. Perfect jobs, perfect kids, perfect home, perfect vacations....That must be nice." But recently, after having these thoughts I had to ask myself "Is this what others think of MY life when they read my blog?
Our Family blog gets printed into a book every year, a family "year book" if you will. I try to keep it fun, inspiring, and I only include the things I think we'll want to remember in years to come. But, maybe that's not fair to my children. They need to know that we have struggles. Because they are going to have struggles and they need to know that we get through them.
Earlier this week, I dug up a letter that Adam had written to his brother Richard when Richard was serving a mission. Thankfully, Richard saved the letter, and gave it back to Adam when he had gotten home. It was written in the fall of 2007. We had just moved to Taylor and were living in our fifth wheel trailer in a detached garage while we were building our home. A few months prior, Adam fell from the roof while building that 16' tall garage. He broke his back and had spent almost a week in the hospital. He was still in a back brace and recovering when he wrote the letter.
At the end of the letter Adam wrote:
"It's quite the burden to be "handicapped", and to have bills to pay, a wife and kids to feed and cloth, no job, living in a dirty and cluttered barn, heading into winter, being in a new ward with no friends or family close by. With half a finished house, with no income, and no power, (We are using a 200 watt generator). But, even with all that, I am at peace. I know that we are where we are supposed to be. I know the Lord knows and understands our situation. He loves us. Things will work out."
The crazy thing is, until I had read this letter, I had sort of forgotten about that time in our lives. I had forgotten about having to go outside in freezing weather to pull start a generator so I could heat up yet another microwave dinner. I forgot about driving the kids to the Show Low swimming pool twice a week so we could take nice long warm showers in the locker room. I forgot about how lonely I felt and how the only company we had was the mice that decided to move in because our place was just a little warmer than the world outside. I forgot about how Adam couldn't lift anything more than 10lbs so, while building our home, all the heavy lifting was left up to me.
I'm glad I read that letter, because I don't want to completely forget that time in our lives. We need to remember the struggles because it helps us remember and recognize that trials and sacrifices bring blessings.
Things are great now! Not perfect, by any means. But we have been so blessed.
We have been blessed with the opportunity to deliver auto parts to greasy garages in surrounding communities because, until the economy improves, Adam just hasn't had enough tractor work to make ends meet. I have been blessed with an old beater truck that I don't mind putting a lot of miles on to deliver the parts with. I am blessed because even though I have to deliver big heavy tires that get my clothes black, I am able to be home when my children are.
We are blessed with three healthy children, but I still cry sometimes when I see new babies, because I want to have more children but can't. We have been blessed to be able to graduate from "parenting 101" because we have a child who insists on signing us up for "parenting 505"!
We are blessed with a nice big kitchen sink to wash dishes in because our dishwasher is breaking and I don't know if we'll want to spend the money it takes to fix or replace it.
We are blessed to have employment but Between the delivery routes, tractor work, and Adam's calling, sometimes we only see Adam for an hour a day. And sometimes this makes him grumpy. A lot of times it makes me grumpy.
We are blessed with a big yard where All of the 35 pine trees I planted died or got run over by the lawn mower, and We are obviously blessed with enough food because I'm almost at the heaviest weight I have ever been.
How's that for keeping it real? Not quite the perfect life right? But that's O.K. Because it's as close to perfect as we're gonna get, and we're happy with that.