Thursday I was having a pitty me day. Luke and I are at a good standing financially. It looks like we'll be out of almost all debt within about 3 months (PTL!!!) and that will help a lot with finances, but because we BOTH have chosen for me to stay home and for just him to work things are still very tight. There's LOTS of things I have to simply say no to even in my cooking choices and doing things with friends due to lack of extra spending money. I tend to focus on that and get discouraged--mainly because I do the ugly old comparison thing to friends or family and see what they do have and what I don't. It's a really quick way for my road to discontent and depression. If only , if only, if only runs through my head a lot. BUT, my husband is fairly happy in his job and though we make half of what most people we know we don't lack for much of anything. With careful planning and waiting we can usually save up enough in time to do extra special stuff. So compared to the rest of the world and even a lot of Americans, we're not bad off. anyhow as I said, I was having a down moment. It was mostly due to finding out my sister-in-law has just started my not-quite-3-year-old neice who has every concievable thing in the world and is still sweet in ballet classes. Abigail has asked for nearly a year to take ballet classes and growing up I always wanted ballet classes and we could never afford them either. I always said that my daughter would take them when I had one and rented every instructional video I could get my hands on at the library. But, it still wastn't hte same. $40 a month may not seem like a big deal to most people, but there is no way we could do it--plus the gas money to drive there and back and the shoes and leotard and such. We can't. It kills me we can't and I just wanted to wallow in my poor little me state.

But, even though there are a lot of things that I can't pay for that I seem to think everyone else can, I have a husband who loves me above all else. He has gotten to stay at home with us the last 2 days and it has been sooooo wonderful. I have a husband, who even though we are very different and often don't communicate so well, who truly adores me! He loves comming home from work and playing with our kids instead of shuting himself in his room for "a little bit of deserved quiet" or kicking back in his recliner to watch TV or sports. He'd rather (most of the time) be with me and the kids. He works in a job that would drain me. It's with preschoolers who've been kicked out of preschool and his job is to get them ready behaviorally to go back or get ready for a regular kindergarden. He gets peed on, sworn at, kicked, screamed at, etc.... on a daily basis. He could write his own SuperNanny show with the horror stories he brings home. Yet he wants to still play when he gets home. My children adore their father and he adores us. we spent a little over an hour in the snow both yesterday and today and just played. It's been a delight to see them play with their daddy. He's been in school since August and we haven't gotten to see much of him. Even on Saturday's he's been gone all day studying.

So, all this to say, I have A WHOLE LOT to be thankful for and I just needed to write it down.

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Feb. 1, 2008 at 7:23 PM Like Renate said at the ladies luncheon on Sat, put on your peripheral vision blinders, eye on the prize my dear.  You and Luke have set your goals, good for you, stick to em.  It's good that you guys are on the same page right now and it will continue to bring you together!  We all have our moments of "if only" but it's nice when we realize all that we have.  I relate so well to you in the way we think.  Prolly why we're friends, huh?!  And Luke is great to come home and love and play w/ the family.  Brett does the same thing, minus Veggietale carols, and I often think how does he do it?  He works 14+ hrs at a job he dislikes, yet still comes home to spend time with us instead of down time or tv time.  Melinda, we are blessed women.  And a side note...I think you are fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!

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Feb. 1, 2008 at 8:11 PM Amen to that sister!!!!!

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Feb. 2, 2008 at 12:31 PM

We have faced the same ballet issue, and my oldest had to wait until she was in 4th grade to start.  We paid for the first 2 years, but as gas and grocery prices skyrocketed, it became more of an issue.  After a summer of prayer and discussion, my husband and I swallowed a LOT of pride, and humbly sent out a letter to grandparents (they have 4 sets) explaining that we felt we would do whatever we could to keep her there, but that the cost of the classes, plus leotards, tights, shoes, exam fees, costumes, and gas to get there and back 2x/week was eating away at us.  We simply offered anyone who wanted to help the matter how big or small, and definitely no hard feelings if they couldn't because we totally understand that our parents, while being older and wiser and therefore maybe having a bit more money, are still not rich by any means.  However, God has richly blessed us through the act of one of these grandparents who stepped up and said "I'd like to pay for her tuition fees this year."  Another one offered to take her back and forth to class one night/week and in doing so paid for her winter recital costume (to our surprise!). 

I don't know if this is an option for you, or maybe something similar.  What I do know is that God cares for you, Melinda.  You are a great and wonderful blessing to so many women, especially myself!  God cares about your bleeding heart for your child....He cares about your child's desires, too!  He created her with those desires for His purposes.  Ask Him...He longs for us to ask Him not only for our needs, but wants as well.  He draws pleasure from delighting us.  That's not to say He will answer every prayer with a difinitive "Yes", as we all well know.  But, oh, how He desires for us to come to Him w/ even those little things! 

God bless you and your family, Melinda!  I will be praying for you!

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Feb. 2, 2008 at 12:32 PM BTW... it took a lot of humility for me to tell that!  Thank you, God, for humbling me!

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