Today is November 1, which means that 30 Days of Thankfulness posts started popping up on my Facebook stream shortly after midnight (Baby Love wasn't sleeping well last night, despite how utterly exhausted he had to have been from all the Halloween fun, so Mommy was on Facebook a lot.) I have done 30 Days of Thankful in the past because I do think it's crazy important to have an attitude of gratitude, and when you actually have to think of your blessings daily, it brings them more into focus. But this year feels different and substantially more difficult. Team Green is in Month 13 of the hardest year ever. satan is relentlessly pursuing our family with a vengeance. It's been difficult to blog about it because it's painful and so super sucky that why would I want to document it? But I'm going to, because I need to explain it out so I can get to my place of gratitude.
Hubs has been unemployed since October 2011. He got severance pay, we liquidated his 401K, and were blessed with a huge gift to get us through Christmas. We were so hopeful that it would be max only a few months before he found a new job, and life would go on. Fast forward to February. All the money was gone, since it wasn't like it was a million dollars to begin with, and the unemployment payments didn't even cover our rent (especially since ex-wife kept having mediation delayed so she was getting almost half of it for child support each month...) so we tearfully packed up our life, put most of it in storage, and moved in with Hubs' family. In March, he received a conditional job offer, but unfortunately it fell through. In June, he started taking classes towards a certificate (possibly associates, but right now we're focused on the certificate) and has been applying for jobs the entire time to no avail. There are a lot of people living in this house (the 3 and sometimes 5 of us, Hubs' parents, his 12 year old brother, and his 16 year old sister) with very distinct personalities, and it's not a recipe for peace. We don't have the same ways of doing things and that further stirs the pot. Needless to say, there has been conflict. It is incredibly stressful, which has caused strife in our marriage and ultimately landed me in ICU with DKA 2 weeks ago.
I know that God loves me and loves my family. I know that He isn't the source of all of this garbage. I know that satan is. And I know that some of the things that we've been dealing with are our fault, the result of something one of us did or didn't do. But the vast majority is so obviously satan testing our faith and commitment to God. Has it wavered? Of course it has! And we've had to ask God to help our unbelief.
My hope for this life to ever improve is dwindling. That's not me saying I don't have things that I love and am grateful for, but when every day dumps another truckload of dirt on the pile, burying you further, its difficult to hold on to that optimism. I don't care who you are. And sure, it's a lot of "first world problems", but the reality is that I live in the first world. I know that there are so many people who have so much less, etc etc, that it could be worse (and we are well aware of that since it frequently has gotten worse) and honestly, being reminded of that doesn't make our situation less crappy. It actually makes the person throwing that at me look like a jerk. It's kind of like, "Oh you feel terrible because you have the flu? Well, you shouldn't complain because at least you aren't dying of cancer!" Does saying that make the flu feel less awful? No! But it makes you look like an insensitive jerk for saying it.
In the midst of all that awful year, Cherie turned 10 (and has entered puberty full time), Eli turned 1 (is 33 inches tall, 32 pounds heavy, has 16 teeth, talks all the time and is dabbling in sentences.), and Owen turned 7. I love them so much, and I think that makes it worse. I can see how they're suffering from this, too. Say what you want about how resilient kids are, but I've seen how other things have affected them, so I also think that's a bunch of crap. And as for Eli, yea, he's pretty oblivious to a lot of it, but I can't raise him how I really want to, and I feel like as smart as he is, he would be further along if we were living in our own home again. It adds to the frustration.
So with all of that, I'm having a hard time with my attitude of gratitude. Noah and his family lived on the ark for 1 year and 17 days. Then God remembered Noah. I'm hoping our year and 17 days is just about up. I'm just waiting for our dove to appear...