By Beckie Dragon
I would like to share a time in my life that was especially hard.
My husband and I had had many years of struggling financially. We were renting an apartment and were struggling to keep up with all of the demands in life.
My brothers and sisters decided it was time to move Mom into an assisted living center. This had left her house vacant. My husband called me one day from work and talked to me about the possibility of moving into Mom’s house. I did not like the idea, but I also didn’t like the idea of being homeless.
Anyway, we did move in with 6 children. This was a very difficult move for me for multiple reasons. The house was old. The original part of the house was made of adobe and was only about 900 sq. feet. The kitchen/dining room was carpeted, not very conducive to children. In the morning we would find slug trails on the carpet in front of the sink where it was damp. There was also carpet in the hall and, worst of all, the bathroom. The washing machine was in the hall. When we used the washing machine, we had to put the drain hose into the toilet around the corner to drain. When anyone had to use the bathroom, you would have to pull the hose out. If the washing machine didn’t get turned off it would cause a flood. This obviously happened on several occasions. Cleaning up the carpet was a chore! There were two bedrooms in the back of the house. You had to go through one bedroom to get to the other one which was just not very convenient or private. The back bedroom had a makeshift closet and it had mold in it that was impossible to get out. There was a big bedroom that was originally the living room when I was very young until the prefab living room was added on. We worried about the roof caving because it was sagging in.
We decided to put all 6 children in the big bedroom. We got two bunk beds. The bottom bunk was a double bed and the top single. I actually took my old bedroom back and the back bedroom was the office. This was the basic living conditions of the house.
The other reason it was hard for me to move in with my family was emotional. There were not a lot of happy memories there. My Mother had a mental disorder and we had a lot of really rough times. My parents didn’t get along and there were a lot of disagreements and arguing. OK, sometimes downright fighting.
Being back in the house brought back all of those negative feelings. Plus, I felt ashamed that I was in a place that I couldn’t have a better situation for my family.
I was sad and depressed all of the time. Life was hard.
Then a miracle happened. My siblings decided to deed us the property. Our church decided to help us build a new house. We did what we could as a family to build the house. We worked together! This is when things started to look up.
The new house was not a mansion, but it felt like a mansion. It was heaven to me. It was over 1500 sq. feet. It was clean and new and fresh! I loved the color of the walls in the main part of the house. The guy that painted it surprised me with the color saying he knew I would like it. I gasped when I saw it! It was kind of a peach color and some spots he had done faux painting. The kitchen, dining room and living room were all open and felt so big to me. I even had a real laundry room. We had our own master bathroom. My husband designed the kid’s bathroom with a separate toilet room, tub room and double vanity room so that all the kids could be in the bathroom at once. Brilliant!
It was a miracle to me that this home became a reality. I will be forever grateful for this home. It was a fresh new start. It lifted my spirits and gave me hope. We had all worked hard to build it and it was ours.
Now 20 years later the old adage of “make it do or do without” has gone on too long. While the newer house is in great need of repairs, new carpet, paint and furniture, etc, I am so grateful for that old house that reminds me things could always be worse. The law of relativity helps me keep things in proper perspective. After all everything is relative!
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