Saturday, September 22, 2007

Camouflaged Blessings

When Chris and I first started out we were very young and very poor. We had our son Alex and not much else.
We bought a piece of land that we could make payments on ($97 a month to be exact) and as we were able we started building a house. We didn't get any loans because we decided early on that we wanted to live as debt free as possible.

So, little by little we scrimped and saved and added on the the house as often as we could. We did all the work ourselves. Yes, ALL of it. We didn't have money for contracted labor.
In the meantime we had to live with my parents which wasn't always easy.
It took three long years to get the house finished and ready to be lived in.
It isn't a large house and I complain almost daily about the lack of storage space I have. lol

Living debt free means never having a brand new car.
Sometimes I'd see someone I went to school with driving a shiny new car and wonder why they were so lucky and I wasn't. All the while not taking into consideration that I had something they didn't. A car that I bought outright with no payments. Sure it might have been a few years older but it always got me where I needed to go and when it broke down I just go buy another car.

Groceries in our house were a luxury too, at first. We never had a fully stocked pantry. We never starved but lived on one meal a day to make the food last longer most times.

Fast forward to now and so many things have changed. Chris has a great job. I am able to be a stay at home mom and homeschool my kids. I still don't have a brand new car but the cars I have now are great running and much better looking, newer models. LOL

We have more than enough to eat and the cupboards are never bare.
All of our bills (internet, cell phones, water, electric, cable, car insurance, etc.) combined come to less than what most families pay on one months mortgage payment.
We can travel where ever and when ever the mood strikes us. We live by our own schedule.

The point of all this is that in the beginning when we were starting out and struggling, doing without a lot of wants and needs, life didn't seem to be very fair sometimes. But now in hindsight we can appreciate those struggles and times that were lean.

Those struggles and decisions laid the path for the life we have today. No it's not a glamorous life, but that's not our style anyway.
Because of those decisions we won't be paying off our home when we are in our 50's or 60's. We won't have credit card debt up to our eyeballs. We will always have a larger income to debt ratio. And now, I can see that the struggle was really a small part of the bigger picture. It now reveals the blessings that once were so camouflaged.

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