Anyone else?


#1

Here is my current troubles and the situation that I find my family in. My wife and I have 3 beautiful, healthy children, 7 year old son, (almost) 3 year old daughter and a 6 month old son. My wife stays at home to care for the children while I work full time and wait tables part time to make ends meet. That is where the troubles arise.

A little more background…My wife and I are very devout Catholics, we follow the Church’s teachings and even take a lot of criticism, even from our own families, for our strong stance. We know what we have in our faith and this is very important to us in our lives. It is important that our children grow up in this faith and that they understand how important the Catholic faith is. We send our son to a Catholic school. We do our best to give what we can to church and charities (we could do more, I know). We feel that we live good and holy lives. We know that we fail and that we are not perfect. We do not claim to be the best Catholics around. By many standards we could be doing more, but we try to get involved. Point being we do not take our faith lightly. Faith and family are the 2 most important things in our lives. Onto the problem…

As I mentioned I work 2 jobs just to make ends meet, living paycheck to paycheck. We are fortunate enough to have sold our old house and have money set aside to have a new house built and this is a huge leap of faith for us. We are really going out on a limb for this, but it felt like the time was right and that this is the direction that the Lord was leading us. So we did it and now we continue to get more and more scared about the future. We have been through so many hardships in our lives, my failed marriage (annulled), her problems with her mother, the resistance to our engagement, no support for our wedding, having to pay for the wedding ourselves, seeing others in her family get hand outs and we do not. I know, I know let the pity party begin. It just seems like there is no end in sight. We have credit card debt, debt to family, it is as if we are in a tunnel and cannot see even a bit of light. We just ask ourselves, when do we get our break? My wife and I wonder what we need to do. We feel as if God does not care. Now, having said that, we know that it is not true. We know that He has a plan for us, but week after week and month after month and nothing changes becomes disheartening. I am searching for a different job, but to no avail. I am having no success. It is like our prayers are not getting there. Now we know that it is God’s will not ours, but we find it hard to believe that we are to continue to suffer. We have a lot to be thankful for and I do not mean to make light of that. I know that we are blessed and I count those blessings. It is really hard on me to work 2 jobs and at times not see my children for 2 and 3 days at a time since I am up before them and home after they are in bed. I know that it is tough on my wife as well. Physically and emotionally. She is such a strong woman and I see that everyday, but yet we still struggle. We still hurt. I guess I am just wondering if anyone else has felt this way and what you did to get past it. I need to pray more, I know that. I need to rest more, I know that. It is as if there are not enough hours in the day for everything. Umph! Thanks for letting me get some of this out. It is off the cuff, but it is how I am feeling.

God Bless!


#2

It was good to read your signature at the end of your post–I think your answer lies there. “Because you are precious in His eyes, you are honored and He loves you.”

God has not forgotten you. He esteems hard work, sacrifice and prayer. You have all the foundation in place, but now you need to trust.

Think of the child-like trust your little three year old daughter has in you. She knows that when she is with Daddy, she is safe. She isn’t afraid to be in uncomfortable situations, because she knows you are clasping tight to her hand and perhaps even carrying her through the tough parts or the places where she is too tired to walk by herself.

Place all your heavy burdens upon the cross of our friend, Jesus, and lay down your doubt, too. Tell Jesus to take these crosses and help you carry the weight, because you can’t do it alone.

Stop the negative self-talk. Don’t allow your mind to even think thoughts such as, “God has forgotten me.” Read the book of Job to get some perspective. Chapter 23:10 “when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” Be grateful you have not lost your future home, the place where you live now, your two jobs, the health of your children, the life of your wife, etc. Your blessings are enormous! I know it is hard to fathom in the midst of wanting more, but also remember to do as St. Paul teaches, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Ths 5:18)

What is God calling you to do during this time of trial? What lesson is He hoping you to learn? These trials don’t come to us arbitrarily, there is a purpose in Him allowing you to go through this.

There is a story of a young Christian family who was captured during the holocaust and sent to a miserable concentration camp. Two sisters ended up together, and they managed to carry a small bible in their shirt. One sister, Corrie Tenboom, was isolated in a small cell for months upon months as she got over what was probably the upper respiratory flu without any medicine, hardly any food and not more than a cupful of water a day. After getting somewhat better, she was put in the same block as her sister and she noticed her sister despairing over the fleas in their bunk. She was tired of getting bitten and eaten alive every day. Corrie reminded her to give thanks in ALL circumstances, so they prayed together and thanked the Lord for the fleas in their bunk. A week later, the bible was open and out in front of many–when an SS officer came in to do checks. There wasn’t time to put it away. Having a bible was a death sentence. However, the guard said he was too disgusted by the fleas and filth in the corner where the girls stood to come anywhere near them, and the bible was never found. They were convinced that thanking God for that trial is what saved their life that time around.

It’s a small example, but a true story and I often think of it when I am confronted with a situation I detest and don’t understand. I immediately begin thanking God for the trial and asking Him how I can better understand what He wants me to learn from the situation I find myself in.

Trust in God and know He is not leading you astray and He has not forgotten you, nor your heart’s desires.


#3

We have this program a our parish in Modesto called Crown Ministries. We even laugh because, well, we adapted it from the Protestants and, as our Pastor says, “Gee, if the Protestants started it, it must be good - right?”. Anyway, I have not been through it so my information is second hand but from what I gather it is about getting out of debt and is based on Biblical principals. I also understand that Catholic Answers also has some guidance in this area.

I know the fear you are in…you have taken on a lot! But I will almost bet my bottom dollar that someone like you has a HUGE fortune…because you are exactly the kind of man God wants men to be and I am not blowing smoke up your bloomers.

Ok, probably there are things you and your wonderful wife could be doing to better manage your funds…shoot, me too. I plan on checking out Crown ministries after the first of the year because I will be retiring soon and I would like to be closer to debt free when I do. I am pretty good but I have a tendency to impulse buy. hmmm…need a little more prayer in that area maybe?

Anyway, I know that you needed to vent…we all do. Know that you have a safe place here to do that…you are loved and you are safe.


#4

:crying:

thank you…


#5

That was absolutely beautiful, Princess Abby :slight_smile:


#6

PA -

Corrie Tenboom was the one person my mother wanted to meet - of course now mom will have to wait and meet up with her in Heaven. I read “The Hiding Place” and “Tramp for the Lord” many times, thank you for reminding me of them again!

Kage


#7

[quote=kage_ar]PA -

Corrie Tenboom was the one person my mother wanted to meet - of course now mom will have to wait and meet up with her in Heaven. I read “The Hiding Place” and “Tramp for the Lord” many times, thank you for reminding me of them again!

Kage
[/quote]

Yes, I loved her books and am still amazed by the Ten Boom family story. I think she (being the sole survivor of her family) eventually moved to California and died in the early 80s, if memory serves me. I was sad to find out as a young girl that she was already gone. Such a fascinating and inspirational life!


#8

Mirror Mirror:

I guess I find your post confusing. You sound like you’re stretched to the limits, but you plan to build a new home? You say you’ve sold your old house. Where are you living? Are you working the second job to finance this new home? If you plan on paying for Catholic schools for your children, tuition expenses will also rise as they grow older. Have you and your wife sat down and created a budget for your current situation and what expenses/income look like down the road? This is critical for the responsible management of your money.

But back to the new house: If you are under stress now, it will magnify to unthinkable proportions if you undertake building a new home. Do you have another 10 or more hours a week to oversee your new home’s construction? Do you want to spend even less time with your family? I have seen many families endure more than their share of financial strain due to building a brand new home. Most of the people I know who built a new home did not find it to be a rewarding experience. In fact, for my friends with young children, it was almost nightmarish and wiped out a lot of their financial solvency. I think new construction is best for people with a lot of time and a lot of money, and where the children are past the young childhood years.

Maybe God is trying to tell you something with this new wave of “scared” feelings that you and your wife are overcome with. Listen to your gut feelings and don’t be afraid to shift gears. Pay off your credit card debt and size down to a lifestyle that will allow you to spend time with your precious children. Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses at the expense of your role as their one and only father (on Earth, that is). That sort of motivation is the financial downfall of many couples and is detrimental to most marriages.


#9

[quote=Cupofkindness]Mirror Mirror:

I guess I find your post confusing. You sound like you’re stretched to the limits, but you plan to build a new home? You say you’ve sold your old house. Where are you living? Are you working the second job to finance this new home? If you plan on paying for Catholic schools for your children, tuition expenses will also rise as they grow older. Have you and your wife sat down and created a budget for your current situation and what expenses/income look like down the road? This is critical for the responsible management of your money.

But back to the new house: If you are under stress now, it will magnify to unthinkable proportions if you undertake building a new home. Do you have another 10 or more hours a week to oversee your new home’s construction? Do you want to spend even less time with your family? I have seen many families endure more than their share of financial strain due to building a brand new home. Most of the people I know who built a new home did not find it to be a rewarding experience. In fact, for my friends with young children, it was almost nightmarish and wiped out a lot of their financial solvency. I think new construction is best for people with a lot of time and a lot of money, and where the children are past the young childhood years.

Maybe God is trying to tell you something with this new wave of “scared” feelings that you and your wife are overcome with. Listen to your gut feelings and don’t be afraid to shift gears. Pay off your credit card debt and size down to a lifestyle that will allow you to spend time with your precious children. Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses at the expense of your role as their one and only father (on Earth, that is). That sort of motivation is the financial downfall of many couples and is detrimental to most marriages.
[/quote]

Cup,

Let me clarify a few things that you hav brought up. We sold our old house back in January and have saved the money from that to finance the purchase of this home. We currently are renting a home and will move out once the new house is built. We do not have to “oversee” the construction of the new house, it is not under our control. We simply picked things out for the house and are having a home builder take care of the rest. The money that we gained from the sale of our old home is being used to finance this home and to buy things that are needed for this home, lights, window treatments, etc. My first job does not pay me enough to make ends meet. Mind you, we do not live outside our means. We do not friviously spend money. My wife and I are very responsible about that and know the difference between wants and needs. We sacrifice many things to like new cars, new clothes and things so that we can send our son to Catholic school. I know that this cost will increase and that is why I am trying to find a higher paying job now.

Fortunately, I have a wife that keeps us grounded and we are not the type that have to “keep up with the Joneses” we know what we need and what is important. The second job is another source of income for the family. We use part of it for things that we need for the house and also for gas, groceries and the such. We do not spend it for our own pleasure. It is something that I have to do for our family. It is what we chose to do at this point in our lives. I know that I have many, many things to be thankful for and I give thanks to God for those things everyday, so please do not think that I am being greedy. I am just frustrated and confused. I know that you read that we are having a new house built, but are having financial problems, what is up with that? We have planned and planned and sacrificed for this house. We know what is in store for us and we are scared, but optimistic.

I guess I was just looking for some encouragement.

Abby,

Thank you so much for your kind words! I have read and re-read your post. It has brought me a lot of comfort. I was pretty upset when I originated the post, but your response was like words spoken from the Holy Spirit. Very inspiring! :blessyou:


#10

cut up your credit cards and get on a cash basis

Crown financial ministries is great there is also Catholic financial planning resource on the catholicexhange.com website.

recycle, reuse, stop buying stuff beyond needs, defray wants for now. proceed with the new house plans only if resulting obligation, including all expenses is less than the old house. control spending, and avoid using spending (even gift-giving) as self-medication for a feeling of deprivation because of being poor or working toohard.


#11

I wanted to add that my husband and I (we have seven children) never even flirted with the idea of building a home because we saw what it did to others. Something important to realize is that your income will only have more demands made on it as your family grows. You need to pay off debt and start saving so you have a financial cushion to catch you if you fall. I’d recommend that you find some books on financial advice, I’m sure good Christian ones are available. I’ve read the books “Your Money or Your Life” and “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and they have helped focus our financial goals immensely. Our only goal is to pay tuition. Travel, clothing, expensive cars, nice furniture, great house, etc is all secondary to the goal of providing our children with a Catholic education through college.


#12

Mirror Mirror:

It looks like our posts crossed. Well, it sounds like you are walking across a tightrope and just need to keep moving ahead, trusting that you won’t fall. It’s not my way of doing things, but you seem confident that this is God’s plan for you. Your faith is a good thing. God bless you and your precious family.


#13

[quote=Cupofkindness]Mirror Mirror:

It looks like our posts crossed. Well, it sounds like you are walking across a tightrope and just need to keep moving ahead, trusting that you won’t fall. It’s not my way of doing things, but you seem confident that this is God’s plan for you. Your faith is a good thing. God bless you and your precious family.
[/quote]

Seven children, what a blessing!! Thanks for the kind words. Many have said that if you can survive building a house together, then you can survive anything. We are doing great with it, we are so excited, scared, but very excited. God does have a plan, discerning and accepting that is the hard part.

You are very kind, your name fits you :angel1:


#14

Why thank you. And here’s a link to a website for those courageous souls building their homes:

ths.gardenweb.com/forums/build/

If you need any advice on your new home, check that forum for help, support, or answers.

Have a great day!


#15

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