Well, I finally got my voice back and have moved on to the 'up all night coughing' stage of this fun virus. Hopefully I am turning a corner!
The other night I hosted Bunco at my house and it was really fun, even though I couldn't talk above a whisper because of the laryngitis. I had made quite a few changes to my decor since the last time I had the bunco gals over and I got a lot of really wonderful compliments. One sweet friend said "I just want to go around and take pictures of all the great ideas! I've seen some things on the blog but it is so fun to come see it in person!"
Later that night I was sitting and reflecting over the evening and I thought about how much those compliments and comments had affected me. They were truly a balm to my heart and salve on old hurts.
They say a woman's sense of how she feels about herself comes from her home and a man's from his job. I think this is very true. When I married my late husband I was just 20 years old. On our wedding day I moved from my parents home to the house he lived in, a rental of his parents. My husband was a Christian school teacher and made the lofty sum of $600 a month!! A few months before our wedding, the school he worked at decided to close their doors. It took him 6 months to find a new teaching position after we were married. I was working at a daycare and we survived on unemployment, odd jobs and generous parents.
The house we rented from his parents was nice but every single stick of furniture in the house was a hand-me-down from his parents or mine. We were grateful to have it, but nothing matched, nothing was fun or attractive, it was just depressing. Several of my friends had married around the same time and some through debt, others through two good paying jobs, managed to have houses full of beautiful things. I tried to be content and I tried not to be ashamed when we had people over. But I hurt. I used to think "I would be thrilled to have just one thing, ONE thing that they have." But we made do and I learned to be the frugal queen!
You see, my husband had found a new job at last~making $800 a month! Baby #1 was on the way and 22 months later a baby sister. We struggled financially but there were LOTS of blessings and we always survived somehow. The greatest blessing over the years as our family grew was that I was able to be home with our kids and my children were all able to go to wonderful Christian schools free of charge! When it was time for college~ TONS of scholarship money and grants were received because of the great prep they received at those schools.
Hubby climbed the ladder and wound up as superintendent of a large school. We bought our first home, I started a business and the money was good. We traveled some, bought nice furniture and fun things for the kids. I had a pretty house and was no longer ashamed of my home but funny how you never forget those feelings of hurt and insecurity.
In 2004, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. He died 3 years later and I am now raising our youngest, twelve year old Maddy, alone. The days of plenty of money are over and I am back to being the Queen of frugality. I am content with where I am and so grateful to God for His provision. I sometimes remember with longing the days of free spending and then I quickly remind myself of those who have lost everything ~in Japan and so many other places. I AM BLESSED! And I have learned to decorate again on a shoestring~thrifting, repurposing and creating. Buying a new couch is really fun, but the satisfaction of making over a $5 chair from Goodwill~ Priceless!
A few weeks ago Maddy turned to me and said "Mom, our house is cute!" Those words and the comments of my friends the other night are like a sweet ointment on those old hurts. Getting to share them with my dear blogger friends is a joy as well. Thanks for stopping by!