Monday, September 10, 2012

the land of opportunity

Yesterday I wrote about why i stay home with my children, and today its all still on my mind. I don't know if its because tomorrow is the anniversary of the horror that occurred on our American soil on September 11, 2001...or if its just because of all that's happening in our life lately. I would like to just take a few moments and let this bird fly.

My husband is a Corpsman with the United States Navy. He and all the other men and women save lives in a time of war. And then when they are home, they spend every single minute of every single day thinking about those we have lost, praying for them, and training to do it all again, when they are called. I was born to be my husbands wife, I was born to be a military wife. We have been through 3 deployments and you can read about our life in the military so far right here. I believe in protecting the freedoms we have in this country and I am willing to have my husband gone every single birth of every baby and every single birthday and anniversary for the next 25 years, because I believe in America. And as of recently, I didn't really understand why I felt this way...

We were driving to dinner last night, celebrating my husband getting his degree and our anniversary and there was a homeless man on the side of the road with his thumb out. All of his belongings in one tiny sack...and whenever I see this, I am so deeply moved. I am brought to tears every single time. I feel like I have been given an extra sensor in my soul for people and their afflictions, whether it be poverty or some degree I have experienced both. When my husband and I met, we lived on bologna and white bread in an apartment that was so dirty and run down and full of black mold...and I have had my car repoed and have been so addicted to alcohol and self indulgence that I almost ruined my marriage and committed suicide many times. I have been so sick before and in bed full of depression not able to work for almost 2 years. I have seen what it looks like to be so down and out that you sit drunk on your front porch with a phone book in your hand trying to find the number to the local hospital because you feel like you want to end your life. I have been there. I feel so deeply for people who are afflicted by evil in this world, self induced or just a product of living in a fallen world...

But then I think about the places my husband has been. And I am quickly reminded how good I really have it. After much healing from God and a new life in him, my husband and I are now homeowners, we have 2 cars and 2 kids and food on the table every single night. But just because we are Christians, doesn't mean we are immune to all the crap the world presents on a daily basis. We are not immune to the effects of a crappy economy or war. In fact, right now at this moment, we have debt. Some would be because of uncareful planning, and some is just everyday life stuff. We are not immune nor were we properly prepared for life's events. So here we are and I just cant get over our abundance. I am blown away at how much we really have compared to other cultures. But what really is on my heart right now, is our opportunity.

We had some debt, we had a dream to get our family out or it so I rose up one day and decided to take a GIANT leap of faith and start making something. I knew I had a talent in the arts but I had no clue what I was doing. I bought some canvas, painted some stuff and some people liked it. So everyday I took steps forward. I started a blog, created a website by learning from tutorials on the internet and I opened a online shop. And then I started getting custom orders. And now here I am today, chiseling away at our debt..and still able to stay home and live out my dream of being a full time wife and mother. This really is my dream. Its the American dream. And I have started weeping in my kitchen painting these flags. I am crying out in gratitude for all the opportunity that I have and I am weeping for those who have been where I have been.

This place above is a place I wish we never had to be. I wish every single inch of this planet had the opportunities that I have today. I am just one mother and wife who desires to have healthy food on the table and an education for my children. I am just a woman who is certainly most thankful for the opportunity to drive my car to my church on Sunday mornings and gather and worship my God, and feel safe doing so. But I know one thing is for sure...

It was most certainly God only who got me out of my mess.

To him and him alone be all the glory for my physical healing, financial recovery and our marriage restored. My husband goes to work every single day and works hard for our country. And my art? Its all him. He has led me to places and people right when I needed it. And as far as our debt? Well, we have learned when and where to cut costs and how to be better with our spending. We have learned the importance of being prepared and how not to live a life of entitlement. And because I come from a family in the upper class as of today's standards, that was a hard lesson for me to learn. This life is definitely what I make of it and what I give the world... not what I expect it to give to me.

This is a country where I can use what the Lord has given to thrive. If I paint, I can sell my handmade goods online. If I am passionate about photography, I can start a business and market it for free on facebook. I have so many outlets and avenues to create and market whatever it is that I am doing. These are luxuries that people suffering in other countries don't have access to. And it makes me weep over my American Flags.

So about staying home with my children...that's my choice. And I am grateful that I am able to make that choice. I am grateful to our provider that I haven't had to put my kids in full time care simply because I needed to work to put food on our table. And I feel very sad for those families out there right now who are going through way bigger messes and have lost their jobs and who are hurting. We are too. But I am confident that our God will see us through. I am confident that he is the only one who we can lean on when times are tough. And I am grateful to live in this great land of opportunity.

I am confident in a God who will open doors for people who knock.

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