Saturday, February 14, 2009

What to do, what to do, what to do......

Okay, so what do I do? I guess I need not ask you all -- rather ask the Lord. But, I'll throw it out there anyway. Perhaps you have a valid response.

Ski trips, cruises, dance lessons, athletics, swim teams, sports academy memberships, trips and travels, new dresses each Sunday, large homes, basketball and tennis courts, horses, snowmobiles etc. All these things are items we've lacked and have had to discuss in our home as many of our friends, family members, neighbors and ward members have these things. We can't afford any of them. It wouldn't be so bad if it were a temporary thing but it's been 9 yrs. and we've not been blessed with these opportunities.

I don't think I feel sorry for myself; as we have 'sufficient for our needs' but, I do wish that sometimes we could have an outlet more than just going for a walk or petting stray cats. lol

We are blessed and are very grateful for what the Lord has done for us. And yet, the load is heavy and we sometimes wish for a helping hand or just someone noticing that we don't have the same opportunities that they do. (Sometimes validation is the only thing that is needed.) I wish that I were truly happy for all the ward members who just returned from a cruise with their spouses; but, for some reason, I haven't been able to feel that. Perhaps that is something that I really need to change.

Tears have been shed over the years at the 'blessings' that others' seem to have and we don't. It might be easier to live out in the boonies where we wouldn't have to see the comparisons. Yet, that, apparently is not in the plan for us, as we've been led to this place and are grateful to have a roof over our heads and small bedrooms to share.

I wonder if some of my sadness about the whole thing is that in our affluent society we might tend to forget those who have less. It might be easy for us to think that since we are doing well -- that everyone else is too. I fear that I did that too before I was in this circumstance. I've repented about that and hope that I will never see others' in need and not care.

I'm working 3 jobs and raising 3 children alone. I have 3 callings and try to do whatever the Lord would have me do. I've sought him in mighty prayer and feel that I am doing what He would have me be doing at this time in my life; though it can be very lonely and difficult and that path seems to be unending. I've learned that those who have never experienced this are most often completely unaware and sometimes even uncaring. I don't seem to have much of a friendship with those who are oblivious, rather the ones I love most dearly are the 'real', humble and sincere ones who seem to be more aware of life's challenges and are not trying to keep up with the Jones'. And there are no manner of 'ites' among them.

What do you think?

And.... I REALLY wish we'd send the money from the planned ward ski-trip to the African village where children LONG to go to school but are only able to if they have the required $13.00 uniform. They have no way to get that money. $13.00 would change their whole life! I believe we'll be held accountable for how we use our resources.

Brigham Young said: "Here is what I have, it is the Lords'. He has given me all that I possess, it is only committed to my charge to see what I will do with it".


Rick Carpenter said...

Someone taught me long ago that there is always someone out there who has it tougher than I do. That being said, I would like to share with you what I have been going through. Not to compare, but to empathize.

At the risk of sounding arrogant (I don't intend to by any means, but I must make the point), I would describe myself as very intelligent, talented in several areas, confident and quite level-headed. Yet I have struggled mightily in my life recently. Due largely to the current state of the economy, I have been out of work for three months. I have been attending networking meetings, getting counseling on job searching, etc. Yet no one will give me a serious look Everyone who sees my resume is very impressed, but no employers will actually take the plunge and interview me. Perhaps in the same way that being single makes you feel inferior at times (and it shouldn't, but it others), not being able to get a serious look from employers often makes me feel 'defective' (note that name, you may have seen it before...). It often makes me feel like a failure, like less of a man. I know I can run circles around those who do get the interviews, and the jobs. Part of the problem is that I have worked for companies that have gone out of business and therefore cannot verify my track record of success. Some other jobs I have had that don't necessarily look impressive on the resume, but I won't lie about the job history, so I deal with it. I am one of those people who has executive-level talent but can't prove it to anyone because they won't look. It's frustrating and very discouraging. So I ask the same question: what to do , what to do, what to do?

The only answer is to keep trying. Keep faith that the Lord hasn't forgotten about me, and that all things will work for my good and give me experience. Many others have descended far below what I am going through. So I keep trying. I keep prayerfully looking for solutions. This is largely why I am in law school, to get past the barriers I have been facing.

So in my own way, I understand you very well. I don't have a bunch of 'toys' either. We can't afford them. I have jet skis but they are older ones. They work fine and they are fun but even at the lake I look like the 'ghetto'. I have very wealthy family members that spend money on trips and things, and we hear all about it, too. And when the issue of my situation comes up, I sense less empathy than I do questions about what's wrong with me. And it doesn't hurt me personally that I don't have the toys they do. What bothers me most is that my kids haven't had the things and the experience, and the really cool vacations, that their friends have had. That really cuts me deeply. Maybe it shouldn't, but it does.

Having said all of that, please know that I don't mean to whine or solicit self-pity. I am grateful for what I do have: health, great children, and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

But I am so deeply impressed at how well you deal with your trials, and how much good you try to do despite your challenges. You are like the wife of an apostle... just missing the apostle. I have no doubt that whatever the Lord has in store for you will be worth the patience. Just hang in there and know that you are appreciated and respected by all who read your posts.

Sondra said...

Heidi, You totally live on the wrong side of the tracks. No wonder you work 3 jobs... You need to come to my side of the tracks where I don't have to deal with that stuff.

Actually, I can NOT believe it is a ward thing to go on cruises.... that would NEVER happen in my stake. It is wrong that people may feel the pressure to keep up with the "Jones's" and go into debt to go with the other members.

I don't think you really know what it's like inside those other people's homes... you just think you or your children do. The economy is so bad right now that it's not good that ward members are using their money for this kind of activity.

I live such a frugal life that these types of things don't bother me. I love to stay home with my kids - go to a movie once in a while ... but I am very frugal (we have to be).

I've been divorced for over 10 years - but I am sooooo over being married or dating.... It's just not my season in life right now... right now I am just enjoying my children... When I am child-less ... I'll think about dating again - it totally takes the pressure off that aspect of my life and so I don't worry about the married thing and am VERY happy being a Mom.

I wonder if you are just going through the teenage years with your daughters.... who by the way will never be happy - LOL.. that is teenage life and we will always ruin their lives... don't let it bother you... just provide a loving, safe, gospel centered home for them.

I seriously would move to the other side of the tracks... get down to 1 job and enjoy your children before they are gone. Don't try to keep up with the Jones's.. you never will. I've always lived in almost the cheapest place I could find... clean it up and be happy. As long as it's clean and tidy I've always managed to make a dump into a mansion. You have to do what you have to do. My first home was a $6500 mobile home that I lived in for about 10 years and sold it. That money was my down payment on my current home (which is wonderful but on the wrong side of the tracks - I call it the ghetto).. but it's mine and it's wondeful.

The other thing is winter blues / snow and no sun... things will look better in the summer. I don't know if it is my age... but lately I have been so happy.... I love the gospel .... I love the motivation I get from my group of blogging friends.... I love being a primary teacher ... I love being a mom.... I'm happy and content...Sometimes I get busy and frustrated I don't have more time in a day... but basically life is SOOOO GOOD! I don't know why... It could be my age and the ability to enjoy life. I hope you can get there too. You'll have to check out this blog.

You need to talk to more people being frugal -- I believe there are more of them then the rich cruise going bunch.. Join our crowd - it's much more fun and less stressful. {{{Hugs}}}}

Rick Carpenter said...

To Sondra: With all due respect, you must read deeper into Heidi's blog entries, and you will see that she is incredibly frugal and careful with her means. She has to be under the circumstances. She works the 3 jobs - not all full-time, I'm sure, because she needs to. It allows her to maintain a loving home, not a lifestyle. She could teach volumes to all of us from what she had lived through, what she has learned from it, and how she tries her best to rise above it on a daily basis. It certainly is inspiring to me.

Sondra said...


I sure hope that what I said wasn't taken in any mean intent. It sure was not meant to be.

Heidi... I hope you know from reading my blog - that I am a happy, light hearted, up-lifting, person.

I was trying to express how I cope with being a single mom. I chose to leave a high paying corporate job to be a house cleaner. This way I can be there in the mornings and after school for my children. I CHOSE to be poor so that I can be a mother. And - being poor has made me so much happier then the rat race of trying to keep up with the Jones's. I am more happy now being a mear house cleaner then I have ever been before.

I was trying to inspire and lighten the sadness - NOT be mean in anyway. Sorry if what I posted was taken in a way it WAS NOT written. It was written in understanding and love and a way to up-lift.

Heidi.... I am truly sorry if this caused you any sadness. Delete it if it did! Sondra

Rick Carpenter said...

I can't speak for Heidi, but I didn't interpret your comments as mean at all. I thought they were well-intended. It just sounded like Heidi was misunderstood. I don't know of anyone, except maybe my own wife, who better exemplifies a devotion to motherhood and righteous principles, and who does not try to keep up with the Joneses. Sorry to you, Sondra, for creating a stir.

Larissa said...

I understand what you are saying. I feel this way many, many days. It's one of my biggest challenges in life. I have always been frugal and even as I lived the life of a doctor's wife (although it was very short lived because it was in his early years)I never had the chance to really experience the benefits of everything we had worked so hard and sacrificed so much for. For example, I am almost 40 years old and have never owned my own home. We had to rent all through school and residency and then in the early days of building the practice, we lived with family. Now, I find myself alone with three children STILL living with family. It is not easy and it is something I cry about at least weekly. I feel like a failure for not providing a roof over my childrens' heads, for not providing a good marriage for them to be raised within, etc. Their father will be able to buy himself and his new wife a nice home, season ski passes, and cruises and vacations. The new wife will get to reap the benefits of the life that I worked so hard for! She will be the doctor's wife without having to sacrifice anything to achieve that. That reality is very, very difficult to swallow! Why I made the decisions I made in my life, I do not understand? I do not understand why I was to marry a man, support him through all of his schooling, have his babies and then end up a poor single mom. I don't know if I ever will understand but I do know that the Lord has something wonderful in store for us. We have to keep being patient. Some of us don't reap the benefits in this life, I suppose. I guess we have to wait for the other side. Again, I don't understand it. I guess everyone has different challenges in life and this one is ours! Sorry I can't be more uplifting, but I just want you to know that I can empathize with you. Good luck and hang in there!
P.S. We need a mommy's group that meets and does cheap/free things with the kids.

afro said...

could i just "amen, sister friend" on the comment about donating the money to those that could really use it?

ski trip or something or other?

it's not that the kids that are planning on the ski trip don't need the bonding experience with their peers(heaven knows--"I" went on those tahoe trips in young womens and very much benefit-ted in the long run)


the world today is a different world than the one I grew up in. yes, apparently 33 is OLD (!) heaven help us all... and i see some expenses and sort of shake my head at the unreal nature of it all

not that others don't "value a dollar"

but, more...

think of what that dollar could do!???!??

thanks for your honesty and continued--"keep your head up" mantra. hang in there! just keep moving in a forward direction!


Bonnie said...

Life is full of challenges, giving us the opportunity to build character. Challenges are required; however, building character is optional. Few work to build character, let alone work diligently.

You are admirable not only because you strive to build your character, but you are also building character in your children. You then go one step further, sharing insight with your friends and encouraging them to also choose to build character.

Character builders can feel very lonely. Take the opportunity to vent, and press forward. Character is very foreign in this world, but not in God's world.

We Are Family said...

Hello Heidi, I understand you completely and feel left out most of the time. I know it cuts through me when my kids mention what their dad has been doing with his new family and see their faces because their dad just don't get how they are making the boys feel. Since I had to change jobs it seems more stressful becaue I work 6 days a week now and don't get home until after 6 in the evening. I feel sorry for myself and have real emotional days.

Like you said we are grateful for the things we have and the blessings of having what we do have because their are others out there that don't even have that. I am always trying to find ways to help those less fortunates than we are so that my children along with myself can make a diffence in others lives along with making a difference in our own. I don't want to take anything for granted and not appreciate what I do have but at times it is tough. I commend you on all that you do. Stay focused and the Lord will provide in his own timing. Chin up and Smile Always,

Heidi A. said...

Wow, I'm sorry that I didn't read these sooner. I've been too busy with life and am now trying to get back to my blogs.
But, thank you ALL. You made me cry (and that was a good thing). It's nice to know that there are such KIND people out there.
I just got called to be the singles rep for the Stake -- which includes region as well. I know that the Lord will bless me in this calling as there are others in similar sitations as me.

Thanks, Rick, for sharing. I am SO thankful to know that I am not alone in this. And, you too, Sondra and Larissa.

And, thanks Rick. I felt that you understood me.
I'm very frugal and working the jobs only part-time so that I can be home with my children full-time. I homeschool them and we live with my parents and are caring for them. (That is one of the jobs).
I am very conscientious of not over-doing -- hence, the not-being-able-to-keep-up-with-the-blogs at times.

You've all made my day and Rick, I wish the very best for you. And, you're right, we do share similar feelings. Thank you SO much for sharing.

My brother is a Bishop and businessman. He refers many people who come to him to 'linked-in' for job searching. He says that most find jobs through other people. And, I know that you are doing what you feel to do. I pray the Lord's blessings for you and your family!
These worldly things wont' matter in the end anyway. :)