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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Things Change...

So I'm on Facebook (a lot) and I still get a kick out of catching up with old friends from throughout my life. It's been wonderful to see what everyone has done, who they've married, how many kids they've had, etc. But it's not just the "old" friends that only come across my radar, it's friends who I've lost touch with in the last couple of years for whatever reason.

Tonight I got a message from one such friend. Our families used to be so close. We would hang out all of the time. Her husband practically lived with us when she would go out of town. We went to church together, were in small groups together and then ...we weren't. There was no fight, no big falling out, life just happened and time got away from us.

A few months ago I found out through a mutual friend that this family moved to like Central America - not as missionaries, just moved. Well, she contacted me about homeschooling and where to get curriculum and when I wrote back I was like "Wow! I can't believe that you made such a wild move!" They were a well-to-do family. He owned his own business, she had an internet business for a while, they lived in a beautiful house and bought a second one as an investment and rented it out. I have to admit, I was a bit envious of their life because while theirs kept getting better, ours stayed still or got worse.

When she wrote back, I was shocked. So shocked that I read it to Frank because he heard me gasping. They lost their businesses, they lost one of their homes to foreclosure and rented the other out for two years. They're living in a place that doesn't thrill them but they know that it is short-term. She didn't get in to WHY they chose to make this move but I was still blown away! I mean, we are struggling right now but we know that it is temporary. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

After I put her message aside it reminded me of why we, personally, never looked to have a lot of stuff; why it wasn't an ambition of ours. It's harder when you lose it. And most of us, at one time or another, will lose it. Growing up, we lived in the best houses in the neighborhood; my dad drove the newest and flashiest cars. But in the end, we had to sell those houses and get rid of those cars. My parents divorced, they were mean and bitter at times, we had to live in an apartment, my mom worked three jobs to support us...I mean, for all of the "stuff" we had, in the end, we had nothing. I never saw owning a home as the great American dream because it doesn't symbolize that for me. And if you watch the news during the last year or so, it wasn't a dream for millions of people who were being foreclosed on.

I guess the lesson here is to not envy anyone. You have no idea what God has planned for them - their successes, their failures, their joys, their struggles or the price they pay for them. I have to remember to keep my focus on my own family, my own home and be thankful for all that we have - even when it doesn't feel like a lot.

7 comments:

janaes jewels said...

and how!
values to pass along to your kids and a fine example to your peers....

PJ said...

that is very true. when we start getting down and feeling sorry for ourselves, the universe tends to show us just how lucky we really are. when my kids were little and i was just starting our life i wanted nice things for us, but as they grew i realized more and more how much that stuff really doesn't mean anything.

hugz!

Jen said...

You really hit the nail on the head. I grew up in one of the nicest homes in a neighbor of very nice homes, my father was a doctor so we had nice things. When I first married we lived in a nice place in a nice neighborhood, since we divorced it's been a slow downhill. The thing is though I miss living in a beautiful large house my little one, in a wonderful neighborhood is a home like all the others before were not.

Lola said...

I grew up in working class cookie cutter neighborhood. Virtually all the houses were the same ranch design except for 2 duplexes. When we were little our cars where always used. It was only after we were old enough to have our own jobs and contribute that my dad used his company discount to buy his first new car. We went without a lot. My Mom was a stay at home Mom because that's the way my dad wanted it.

Since I've had my own kids I've hit more than my fair share of rough patches too. I've faced foreclosure more times than I can count.

I always remember one thing, when things get really bad, and that is that there are so many others who have it worse than I do. It doesn't solve my problems, but puts them in perspective.

Kelly said...

that's so sad for your friend! it just goes to show that appearances aren't everything.

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jenn_US said...

facebook is really an amazing way to catch up with old friends. i luv it.