Learning gratitude through life changes (like full time rving and building our own home)!
The past three years have been full of trials & triumphs, changes & difficult lessons.
We have grown as individuals and as a family in ways that we never imagined. One thing is that we have become so much more grateful for and aware of the every day blessings we had just taken for granted for so long!
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We moved from a safe and familiar area to a different state in an area where we knew nobody. We took a place from just woods to a double wide and homestead. We discovered that our neighbors were hostile, racist and liked to run a burn barrel full of rubber coated wire 24/7 (which caused us health issues).
Glossing over that saga to say that it led us to living full time in our camper in order to escape being terrorized. Feeling safe in our home is sooooo much more important to us than what and where it is!
Full sized anything.
In a camper, everything is shrunken down. The fridge, the stove, the microwave, the sinks, the couch, the table, the shower, the toilets, the rooms….everything is smaller! Yes, it can be cozy and less to maintain. I loved some things, but mostly I missed my normal.
I was especially excited when I got a shower with a tub again, so I could take a real shower without rushing to keep from losing hot water and my children could play in the tub! Also, last night I finally got my real full sized oven going, and I am over the moon to be able to bake cookies and make many dishes I have been unable to for a very long time! (I have been using a hot plate, my trusty red toaster oven and my old reliable Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker since we moved into our house in October. )
We have been through some of the worst financial times of our entire lives during this time frame.
There have been weeks where $10 had to get groceries, because that was all that was left after our bills were paid. We had to humble ourselves and ask for help in ways we never would have considered before.
I am so grateful now for the times when I can walk into the store and get everything on my list! The many weeks I stood there almost in tears trying to figure out which “necessities” were the most necessary have made the weeks of a plentiful cart feel so amazing!
My knack at being frugal.
It would be nearly impossible as a big spender to live the life we have been leading. For a natural born penny pincher like myself, it’s like a prolonged marathon I have had a lifetime of conditioning for. Not easy, by any means, but we survive!
I have had many times these past three years where I felt alone in a dark place, and someone stepped in with some act of kindness that renewed my hope.
There is so much power in simply allowing yourself to be used to bless someone, even in small and seemingly insignificant ways. I am grateful to those who showed and continue to show kindness to my family in unexpected ways.
My son was in a serious accident a couple of years ago, and my husband in a car accident this past year. Both have permanent scarring. Both could have been so much worse! We are so very glad to have them both healthy and with us!
I don’t do well feeling unsettled. I need a place to feel comfortable and at home. I am so grateful to have that now! There’s no place like home!
I would never have chosen to experience all the difficulties we have went through.
Honestly, I still wouldn’t chose them. However, we can choose to grow stronger and better from trials or we can choose to become bitter and self pitying. I choose gratitude in the blessings of life and hope that things can always get better!
What are some lessons you have learned through trials? Going through a dark place now? Read and be encouraged that you are not alone!