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Different Priorities

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Hello BAD community, thank you for your inquiries.  I thought I would pop in and share a quick update.

Debt

My sole debt at this point are my $32K-ish student loans which are in Income Based Repayment requiring $0 per month.

Income

I am still on the hunt for work, chasing any and all leads.  It’s been very frustrating and I can’t explain why this has been such a challenge.  It’s been a year since I had full time income.  It’s been challenging but a very enlightening experience.  Most recently, I was turned down by Amazon Customer Service which is work from home for $10.  I just can’t explain it.  Someone asked me why I wasn’t getting work…I could only answer that it’s my age, my weight or I’m just not in God’s will.  So I keep plugging along.  I do still have two part time jobs equaling about 15 hours a week.

The twins turned 18, so the adoption subsidy ended.  That was a hit because I was assured it would carry them through high school.  But despite it all, we are doing well.  We are fed, have shelter and even a few extras.

Housing

We continue to live in our free housing situation.  We have painted the front and back decks and continued to assist on the farm.  It makes me feel a bit better, but my pride has definitely taken a hit.  There is limited heat, and it can’t seem to keep up very well.  The nights are cold.  I am grateful for down comforters, wool socks and sweatsuits.

Challenges and Upcoming Changes

Remember when we moved out of our apartment we put stuff in storage.  It was costing me $78 month.  We went in October to get some winter clothes out and some more school materials.  And it had been leaking!  We lost a ton of stuff…violin, most all the winter clothes and more. I am in the process of getting rid of my car, downsizing to just the twins car (’96 Honda Accord) in order to save the insurance and property tax money.  I hope to save enough over a few months to buy another older used car which won’t cost as much in insurance or taxes.  Hoping to do this mid-January.

Holidays

We will be leaving next week to stay with family for a month over the holidays.  We are looking forward to sleeping in real beds, not having to go outside to go to the bathroom and having heat regularly.  We will be spending 10 days with my parents, which will be hard based on our history, but I am really working on forgiveness.  It will be the first time since I had kids that I won’t be in my own space for Christmas. I am really struggling with that, but the kids are looking forward to an airplane ride to Texas and time with family.  (I was able to get round trip tickets for all 5 of us for $391 by being flexible with my dates, buying early and my dad’s generosity with his points.)

Gymnast

I have really tried hard to stay where we are at in large part due to Gymnast training and my bartered arrangement for his training.  It seems to be paying off.  He is competing as a Level 6 gymnast this year, and his first meet was a week ago.  He placed 1st on vault, 2nd on floor, 2nd on high bar and 4th overall.  He competes again this weekend, and then we will leave for the holidays.  He is training 5 days a week, 4 hours a day.

Princess

She finished up volleyball season and has decided to take up TKD again.  (She got her black belt when she was 10 years old.)  A local studio is offering $25 per month per child for two classes a week.  I can afford that.  She and Sea Cadet will begin in January.  She continues to excel at school, working on most of the same classes as her twin brothers (seniors) with the exception of math.  She has learned how to knit and it making massive amounts of Christmas presents with her skills.

History Buff

He is applying early admission to the college of his choice.  Please send a prayer up that he will be accepted.  That would be a huge relief for me and joy for him.  He continues to work at the movie theatre and is also now a attendant for a special needs young man a couple nights a week.  He plans to study criminology and recently began participating in the Police Explorers program.  He is on track to graduate from high school in June, but has serious senioritis!

Sea Cadet

He has another year of high school, which we have known for some time.  We are calling it his super senior year.  Math is a BIG challenge for him.  He wavers a bit now between military, college or just working at a camp year round for his future.  He continues to work at the move theatre and has also picked up a part time job in the kitchen of the camp where he worked as a camp counselor this summer.  He is applying to be a senior counselor this next summer.  He and History Buff share a car and pay their own insurance and phone bills.  I can tell that watching History Buff get ready to leave the nest bothers him a bit, but I think it will be healthy for both of them.  I continue to think that the military route is the best one for him, but will support whatever he decides.  We are going to try out community college for his super senior year to give college a test run.

Me

Most days I feel like I have no idea what I am doing and feel like I am failing my children.  Then others, I am just grateful for the opportunities we have had as a result of this hardship.  We have gotten to raise chickens, live in a camper, live in the country on a farm, be completely free.  I long for a stable home, comfortable bed and a recliner to relax in.  But I am so grateful for all the extra time I have gotten to spend with the kids and my grandmother.

We are spending a great deal of time volunteering.  It gets us out of the house and feels good to give back. I have no idea what the future holds.  I’m just taking it a day at a time.

The Home School Foundation did a feature on us as part of their Single Parents who Homeschool grant program.  I thought you might like to see it, you can watch it here.

 

 


21 Comments

  • Reply Walnut |

    Hope, you are an incredible individual. You have so much resolve and determination and I pray that the right doors open for you at the right time.

  • Reply Jasmine |

    I echo Walnut’s sentiments. It seems like you are doing the best you can with what you have. And you should feel incredibly proud that you are getting through this difficult time without taking on any additional debt. Wishing you all the best and hope things line up for you soon!

  • Reply Marzey doats |

    So good to hear from you Hope! Be sure that your example of grace and faith in this difficult time is an amazing foundation for your children. I am hoping that you find a new job soon. Meanwhile, there is no shame in taking the help that others are glad to give you. All the best.

  • Reply Emily N. |

    Thanks for checking in, Hope! I’m sorry to hear that things have been so incredibly difficult. I hope the holidays go well with your family and that things start looking up for you soon. I know it’s not much comfort now, but after this you will be the best steward ever of whatever good things you get.

  • Reply Shauna |

    Hope, you are an inspiration! You children are so lucky to have you! Wishing you the very best!!

  • Reply tpol1 |

    I wish you all the best in the coming new year. When a door closes, another one opens for you. I am sure things will work out for the best sooner than later. Take care and be well…

  • Reply Kristina |

    Good to finally hear from you Hope.

    In regards to History Buff, if he’s interested at all in some sort of law enforcement career, I would advise him NOT to study “Criminology” or Criminal Justice, both degrees by themselves are pretty much worthless (and this is coming from someone who has a B.S. in Criminal Justice). City, County and State agencies don’t really care what you major was in school, only that you finished. If he’s looking federal, Computer Science or Accounting would be the way to go.

  • Reply Kathleen |

    Thank you for the update, Hope. I was wondering how you and kids were doing. And every time, I thought of you and them, I sent out good wishes. As a mom of four, I remember thinking “Let me get through today.” Much kudos to you!

  • Reply Den |

    Hi Hope,
    Thanks for the update! You and the kids are amazing and I wish you all the best in life!

  • Reply Catherine Lyle |

    Dear Hope, I think most parents have spent time on the their floor or couch feeling like they failed their children with tears in their eyes. Lord knows any parent struggling with debt or resources for sure… You ate not alone, loved, and despite being broken and shamed you taught your kids to survive. That is a real skill and emotional strength that will carry them the rest of their lives. You never know what is in their future and perhaps God needs one of your children to lean on what will become some powerful strong memories. Plus, anyone getting out of debt leans on their struggling memories to stay out of debt. Regardless, you are a great mom, keep your head up!

    • Reply Hope |

      Thank you, Catherine, sometimes it’s just nice to here that I am not alone…or the only one going through times like this. Your words of encouragement are greatly appreciated.

  • Reply Tammy |

    Thank you so much for the update! I hope things turn around for you soon. Enjoy Christmas with your family and I hope you check in with us soon.

  • Reply kate |

    Hope, I am so sorry that things have not turned around with regards to your work. But look at you! Thank goodness you paid off so much debt when you did and look at how well you have done not bringing more on. You are not failing your children. They know you love them and you are doing your best, and that is all any mom can do. Keep your head up.

    • Reply Hope |

      Thank you, Kate. I will say that being mostly debt free feels really good. And has made a HUGE impact on this time in our lives. It is nice to know that the money coming in can be spent on our current needs rather than debts of old. Very freeing even in these tough times.

  • Reply Katie |

    I’m really glad you posted an update. Not incurring more debt is an accomplishment. One day, one step, breathe, and move forward. And please don’t retreat, keep reaching out. The job opportunities are going to come through your network. Tell everyone you know that you’re looking, seriously. I often hear if jobs in my area, but don’t know of anyone looking, which is a shame.

    • Reply Hope |

      You are right, I need to be more vocal about my search in my local and online personal communities. I will tackle that one this week!

  • Reply Constance F |

    So, so glad to hear from you and that you’re doing well. I recently read an article on the art of receiving. Receiving a gift, receiving a compliment, etc. There were a couple of anecdotes: one about a mom, who when complimented, would always say, “Oh, it’s nothing.” Well she was wrong. It’s always something when you’re given a gift or a compliment, and it pleases the universe when we acknowledge that. A gracious “Thank you” is often sufficient; more is great if you’re up to it.
    I say all that because it’s pretty obvious reading your post that you’ve been given a lot of gifts during this time of hardship. You have a roof over your head, food to eat, water to drink, your health, kids who by all accounts are doing stellar work . . . and yet there is such a note of discontent. I know you worry about the future. I know you wish for more and better. I know that it doesn’t help to have anyone tell you to “think about all the homeless people” or stuff of that nature. BUT: Give thanks and appreciation that you have what you have. You’re able and do get out and volunteer. Your kids are doing wonderful things and show all signs that they will become fully functional, tax paying citizens. Praises to Him that has brought you all this, and praises to you for listening and doing.
    Keep your head up, Hope. You’re a strong woman and you’re raising strong kids. Try to write down 3 things every day that you’re grateful for. Continue to volunteer – many people get work through their volunteer opportunities. Talk to your church leader. Congregations can be a great source for finding work. Get a book called “The $100 Start-Up.” It’s got some great advice on earning money via your skills and talents.
    Best wishes to you, Hope. I pray that you continue to make progress and that you see some light at the end of your tunnel. Continue to walk into the light. You are blessed.

    • Reply Hope |

      You are absolutely right, Constance. It is hard not to focus on what I don’t have instead on what I do, but reminding myself and the kids the many things we have to be grateful for is definitely mood changing and sometimes life altering. I will definitely check out the book as well. I think the job situation has been the most disheartening.

So, what do you think ?