Monday, February 1, 2010

Confusion, Frustration, and Hypocrisy

(Warning: Stop reading unless you want way too much information into my personal life.)
Ahhhh life. Lately I'm feeling very wrapped up inside my own head. We've had an awful, terrible, horrendous year financially. And I've tried to do the right things, like support the husband, live within our means, swallow pride, put family first, and keep perspective. I have not been able to afford eating out, or dates, or sitters, or gifts, or make-up. We eradicated most every luxury we could. (I say most... you see that we still have internet). At the worst, I have been so broke that I wondered where the diapers, toilet paper, deodorant and rent would come from. And I have all these awful thoughts, like... I'm better than that. Like, I'm 31 and should own a house. Like, I'm too good to swipe my food card in the grocery line. Like I deserve more. For months I have gone to the store and bought food (thank you Uncle Sam) and NOTHING more. We made do. And then I cracked. I just bought what we needed and some things I wanted... on credit. Credit we couldn't afford. Dumb. Now we're back to square one, but with debt on top of our woes.
And while I might be feeling somewhere close to bitter today, I should be feeling grateful. God himself has kept a roof over our heads and food in our mouths. We're all clothed, clean, warm, and healthy. And I absolutely adore my little family. I hear stories of true poverty and suffering, so how can I complain? Haiti, India, Guatemala... I live in America where our standard of living is so high that because my wants aren't met, I am pitied. If I lived in a 3rd world country, our lifestyle would exceed all those around me. I deserve no more than anyone on this planet. I try to remember that, and most of the time I do... but today, hmmm... .
I'm tired. I'm tired of the uncertainty, the instability. I'm tired of my husband working sooooo hard at multiple jobs for next to NOTHING. Running a business can blow... but the rainbow we're chasing is always just around the corner. And really, the corporate ladder rarely offers opportunities for greatness. 'Yes sir. No sir. May I have a raise, sir?' I absolutely respect that world and it certainly offers more security, but it's just not for Michael. He dreams big. So I hang on. By my teeth.
Life is supposed to be hard, right? But I feel confused... and sad inside about that. I KNOW God exists, and I KNOW he hears my prayers, but I don't understand His will and timing. Why did my friend's baby have to die? Why haven't we made money yet? Why can't my parents live by me? Why do I have the MOST annoying health issues that make me the Good Year Blimp who may or may not have ripped through the bums of two pairs of pj pants this month? I'm such a hypocrite. I pray that the Lord will spare us from real, true tragedy... and He does. I let Him know that I'm willing to learn life's lessons through other means, so bring it on... and He does. So WHY in the world do I feel any sort of frustration, confusion, or hypocrisy? I have no right. The nerve of myself! Uh, note to self: Reroute to gratitude. Reroute dang-it!
(I hope to be the subject of an incredible rags-to-riches story someday. And I hope to be the most generous, humble, and kind sort of rich folk.)


Brimaca said...

I had no idea Summer. So sorry. I hope things turn around. Prayers to you and yours.

Emily said...

LOVE YOU SUM!!! Hopefully one day soon we'll talk besides via phone messages! I so wish we lived close to each other. XOXO

tawnya said...

Sum. So much I want to say. I want to do so much and just make it all ok for you guys, but just know that you (whether you see it or not!) have weathered this well and realizing that life sometimes sucks is so, so normal. You ARE blessed, but somedays I know that doesn't matter. Or feel like it.

You know where I am if you need ANYTHING.


Jackie said...

I TOTALLY get everything you said Summer. We've been there for seven years. And I had to give up brand-name makeup too! Maybe that's the worst part of it! We hope that someday when we are in a more comfortable financial situation this life experience will help us be more generous, more frugal, and more grateful.

But for now we sit on our own DI couch and in our own craigslist chair in our own normal (but wonderful to us) house and feel want for nothing because we do have a roof and we do have our children.

You know you're blessed, but I don't think it's wrong to feel bad either. It sucks to rent and wonder where the next paycheck will come from and how you'll pay freaking medical bills that you don't want to pay anyway ($700 to get my eye cleaned!).

I am convinced that the Lord knows us and knows what is best. If my life had gone as planned I wouldn't be where I am today. Fortunately for me my life has gone as the Lord planned, and that is far better than I could have imagined; I'm sure you feel the same way.

Dianna said...

Knowing that you appreciate good literature I thought I'd share this little quote I just came across:
"God loves us, so He makes us the gift of suffering.
Through suffering, we release our hold on the toys of this world, and know our true good lies in another world. We're like blocks of stone, out of which the sculptor carves the forms of men. The blows of his chisel, which hurt us so much, are what make us perfect. The suffering in this world is not the failure of God's love for us; it is that love in action. For believe me, this world that seems to us so substantial is no more than the shadowlands. Real life has not begun yet." From C.S. Lewis's The Shadowlands.

I'm thinking about you and praying for you Summer. I know this is hard, but I also know you are not alone. Lots of love to you.

Jackie said...

Just thinking---you can forget about everything else and just be grateful that when uncle sam pays for food he doesn't exclude diet coke :)

Summer's World said...

I'm not sure how many of you re-check comments, but I just wanted to say thank you for the well wishes. See how blessed I am! I'm doing better today, so excuse my need to vent yesterday. Still hanging tight.
Love you all!

Dixons said...

Amen, sista. I think many of us have been there. I know a year ago I was at breaking point and I felt exactly like you--chasing the dream for years, trying to be so supportive of the entrepreneur husband, knowing the big break was just around the corner, prego, on WIC, not eating out, cars breaking down, paying tithing and wondering how in the world the bills would get paid, 30+ years old, in debt, living with the in-laws, no end in sight....Fast forward just 1 year and life is so very different. Granted, we still owe my parents, we're going to be house-poor in this new house for awhile, I'm still working part-time, Dan's job isn't as sure and solid as I would hope, but life is good--SO, SO much better. I promise there is a light at the end of the tunnel! And you know what? It's ok to be sad and discouraged at times when life is hard. It doesn't mean that we don't have faith. I had a supervisor whose favorite quote was "It's OK to go to pity city, just don't unpack your bags." I love that. ;) Hang in there, chica! I miss you.

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Coburn Kids said...

Thank you Summer for being so brave and honest. I needed to hear all of it. I have been feeling the same type of hopeless and confusion. The Lord really does see the whole picture, but it sure is frustrating to not be let in on the plan. Not to know what to do and how long things will stay the same. You are not alone. And thanks for reminding me that I am not alone in this either.

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About Me

My photo
Logan, UT
So I used to think... I used to think it was my world. Maybe Michael thought it was his. But we have been re-educated. By a 4 year old and a 2 year old. It's their world. We live in it.

A peek into our window

Birth of Child #1

Birth of Child #1
He looked like a blue alien. Luckily it didn't stick. And thank goodness we didn't go with Michael's idea to name him based on what he looked like.

Birth of Child #2

Birth of Child #2
Much less eventful, thank goodness! She was born with red hair and 2 teeth... and skin colored skin!


  • Quincy says "Where's Avy? I dunno." She talks sooo much and she's so small (5th percentile) that is seems like she shouldn't be talking at all.
  • She roams wildly during church and has become quite the scavenger approaching anyone with food. Its embarrasingly adorable!
  • Quincy's vocab has exploded to include the words, "please, thank you, outside, sucker, candy, Avery, Grandpa, slide, ride, hold you, ni-night, water, bird, doggie, airplane, etc.....! She seems so little!
  • One of the most "wow" things she has done is climb one of those HUGE blow-up slides and slide down REPEATEDLY, ALL BY HERSELF!!!
  • Quincy (with great effort) threw the upper couch cushions on the floor and then proceeded to dive off couch, climb back up, repeat.
  • She says"I want: cookie, go, this, that, drink, wa-wa, play." She also says no, baby, hello, bye-bye, and peek-a-boo. And of course she says "Mom and Da."
  • Quincy talks a lot now. But first thing in the day and then 100 more times: "I want coo-kie." Very telling about her love affair with food.


  • A day after being educated, Avery pulled down his pants and touched his boyhood saying, "Hey Grandma, these are my private parts." HA-larious!
  • (After using the bathroom) "I made a waterfall. Then I made it stop."
  • "Hey Dad. This is my [invisible] friend Caillou. Will you be a monster and scare us?"
  • "Grandpa, what's in your belly?" says Avery. Mom says, "What do you think is in there?" "A baby?" guesses Avery. "Nope. Just lots of cherries," says Grandpa Schaefer. HAH!
  • Quincy was crying in the middle of the night and Avery said, "Take a deep breath, Quincy." It was sweet.
  • Quincy was screaming like a pterodactyl for Avery's food, so he snapped "Chill Out Quincy!"
  • In Avery's first attempt at being a smart-a, he was playing with his friend Jaden Knight and we were asking the boys their full names. Avery responded that his name was Avery James Day. Might have had to be there.
  • Avery still tries to stick his hand down my shirt. When I won't let him, he occasionally asks if he can stick his foot down my shirt instead.
  • I told Avery that Heavenly Father lived in heaven. He thought I said he lived 'with Kevin', so in alarm he asked, "With Kevin and Melissa?!!!"
  • Avery was out cold and we had to go. It was odd how I couldn't wake him, so I threw him over my shoulder and started heading out. All of the sudden with startling gusto, he yelled "I see Jesus." I thought he was a visionary, but turns out he woke up just as I walked past a picture of Christ.