It's 12:54pm and I'm wishing it was bed time.
Of all that has happened so far today, it's the generous outpouring and the near collision with the reckless driver at the grade school that has me thinking.
We live in a low-income neighborhood. About half of our neighbors are home owners, with the other half being high turnover rentals and a couple of crazy college houses on the block to make life interesting. Our grade school has an 87% qualification for free/reduced lunches. I sometimes feel badly. We drive a very old car, I coupon and cook from scratch. We wait til the last possible moment to hit the thrift store when the seasons change because money is just always that tight. Christmas is quite stressful, car insurance is due that month also, so - you know.
I get jealous, though I know I should not, of our peers that seem to do so much better. We have more children, less education and at least as much debt than many people we know. We are working on the debt thing and doing well, it just takes time. It's very disheartening to work and work and never have anything except the necessities.
And just as that pity party really got going full throttle, I see one of them. The guy that wears winter weather gear in summer to keep it from being stolen. The "Duck Dynasty" looking guy on the corner with a small cardboard sign that says NEED FOOD. The woman that walks her young child to school in every kind of weather because they don't have a car. She speaks little English. Did she come here alone with her son to get away from a terrible life?
I see them and it makes me cry. I cry because I'm EMBARRASSED. How could I feel sorry for myself living in a low income neighborhood, when I'm wearing $150 running shoes? Okay, yes, I had to buy them used from eBay for $50 - but I have a computer at home, a job to save money from and a checking account with which to even do that. How could I feel sorry for myself when I have a loving husband, a safe and warm house, food to eat, and clothing to wear. I'm such a spoiled, rotten, ungrateful brat sometimes. I can't even stand myself.
Just as everything sanctioned by God, this is FOR MY GOOD. And - for our children's good.
Our school is 63% minority. Yep, our little white kids are the minority precentage. I went to school in a very white, middle class neighborhood and was sort of scared of other races. Our kids don't even see colors of skin. It's absolutely beautiful. Had I ever come home with a non-white boyfriend, my Dad would have killed me. Our kids will never know that bias. They are free to choose friends based on mutual interest and, hopefully, love of Christ! What a wonderful world that opens to them.
I'm rambling a bit now - but I'm just so glad to have been slapped around a little. I still get jealous of others' seemingly easy time of things. I guess God just knows that I have enough faith in Him that I can handle this. It's a dubious honor. Sort of like when you are really good at doing something distasteful at work that nobody else wants to do. And...then that's your job from then on. Yeah. That's what having a large family on a small income is like.
Only with a much better Boss.