A Home With No Income

To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.

We have all heard those famous and symbolic words. For many of us, our marriages will be tried in most all of those areas. Although what your trial or what the valley may look like differs for us all. And oddly enough, sometimes we choose to create the test, before we allow the test to find us. So this is where you will find us. Making a risky choice, that will potentially tests our vows.

A couple of months ago my husband decided to leave the car business. It was no sudden decision. In fact the business itself has been eroding at our family the past few years.

Late nights at work, soccer games missed, bath times and dinner times without daddy was finally wearing us down. And it was pulling at my husband’s heart strings more and more each day. Every morning it was getting harder and harder for him to leave, to justify success at the cost of our family. And to be honest, sometimes our marriage. Like Matt Chandler said this morning at church, the car my be the newest model, pretty but if you open the hood..not so much. We looked like we had it all together on the outside. But the kids were having a hard time. I was having a hard time. And we were all exhausted.

So although the time came to soon, when the opportunity for the right moment to step away from the car business presented itself. We made a family decision to act on it.

I can’t count the times I have told my husband to give it all up, that I would much rather live in an apartment with the minimal things than to have an un-necessary lifestyle that we can barely enjoy together because of the hours his job demanded. Well that is often easier said than done. But we were about to find out if my words were true. If I was able to give it all up for a husband who is home more.

We lasted a month before I found myself constantly asking the hubby if I should look for  job to help out. We had no income coming in. He was working on an online business pre job loss but it wasn’t all set up. He had to teach himself how everything worked. The ins and outs of website building, product supply, business branding and social media. Needless to say he was plugging in some long hours. But they were at home. We have money saved but at the same time it’s not exactly ideal to have cash going out and none coming in. So here we were putting all our eggs in one basket. A dream that we were confident would give us the time and financial freedom we were seeking. However, like all things it takes time. And an online business makes no exception.

So what were we to do? We had a garage sale. We tried to clear out everything and anything we had that was deemed un used or unnecessary. I had been longing for this because I hate clutter. But I think over the years my husband and I have grown into the idea of simplifying our lives. And It’s a hard thing to do in the car business. It seems like everyone is trying to keep up with one another. Who has the best suit game. The best rides. The nicer houses. Taking the best vacations. We weren’t really like this, but it was hard not to find yourself feeling envious over what someone else had. However, like I said before although it looked pretty on the outside, if we had the ability to see under the hood of most people’s lives the exterior would not be worth the broken interior. Anyway I can’t tell you how freeing this was. Not only did it supply some extra money, but it was good to let go of the clutter.

In this new situation, we’re blessed with the ability to seek God in our lives more. We prayerfully took on this pursuit. Even though we wanted it, we had several conversations with each other and lots of prayer time, asking that God would either open the door or clearly shut it. It seemed like this was an open door, and we were ready to follow in faith. I cannot tell you how things have fell into place. My neighbor recently got a dog and had asked me if I could let her out and play with her a little bit each day while they were away and that she would pay me to do so. This would become our means of income for the next two months. Then a job fell into my lap just as my husband was thinking of going back to work. I started this past Monday. During this past week my husbands online company received an order everyday for the past three days. I have been doing well with my business in essential oils, which not only has the possibility to provide financially, but it is something I am actually really passionate about and I love teaching on them. Also, the hubs has been uber driving. That’s right Texas, move over college students trying to pay your school loans, we have kids to feed and he will drive more than you. I am just saying your Honda civic isn’t quite as cool as the chevy, so move over undergrads, we have bills to pay.

Its funny when the security blanket is lifted and you actually start to take action on the things you should have done or otherwise wouldn’t have done because there was no sense of urgency.

Needless to say this has been different. We are exhausted. Making dreams happen is exhausting. Who knew? Like you can’t just wake up one day and want time freedom and financial freedom….for free. Ironic. But it’s a different exhausting. It’s a fulfilled exhausted that is rewarding in the weirdest ways. Maybe because we are all under one roof before dinner hits the table for once. Meals are done as a family regularly.

So yes, I am a working mom now. But if you must know, it is where my daughter attends school and soon my son. So currently I miss my little man like crazy. True. But I get to see my princess all throughout the day. And soon I will see my son during the day too. I am teaching essential oil classes whenever I can. My husband is always bettering himself to learn more about building a business. Packing and shipping orders. Making arrangements for holiday vendor shows. Giving out coffee filters with his website on it to uber passengers (genius marketing strategy), cleaning the house and sometimes handling dinner if not just throwing it in the oven, and watching out youngest on the days he doesn’t go to mothers day out. Driving to piano practice and walking our dog. Like I said we are busy. But my, how God is so good.

So if your wondering how we are doing…. Our daughter overhead my husband telling me he got a text from someone that read, “Are you ready to come back to the car business?”…Before I could respond she said “NO!…or you could say no thank you dad.” Case closed. Are we worried about paying the bills, yes. Have we had serious conversations about selling our house and making play by plays on what might need to happen for us to pay the bills,yes.  If you want to know if you will love your spouse through that whole “for richer or for poorer” commitment, have your home’s sole provider quit their job. Shit gets real, real fast (pardon the language). But if I had the option to turn back, I wouldn’t. Sure I think this whole going to bed early thing is ridiculous. Like why should I have to go to bed before 10 when I am not even 40 yet. That was not expected at this point, but my body seems to have other plans. Apparently it doesn’t function before the hours of 6-7 without going to bed before 10. And now that I have a job, making it to work on time kinda trumps being able to watch the lip sync battles on Jimmy Fallon.

There is a saying I always used to to tell my husband. “Never get so busy making a living, that you forget to make a life.” I felt like that’s what we were doing. Just going through the motions trying to live the American dream, but at what cost? To have nice things we’ll eventually give away or lose? You can’t buy back time. You just can’t. And we want to live. We want to experience life with our kids and show them that money is not worth feeling separated with your spouse. Money is not worth losing family time. Money is not worth losing a purpose. Money is not worth missing games and family holidays. Money is not worth nice dates and large gifts. In fact my most favorite dates have been the cheapest dates. They take more thought and more creativity. I feel like it’s less of a show and more of a genuine desire to spend time with someone else despite the circumstances. (Don’t read into this too much, if your “job” gets in the way of your family or your spouse…it’s time to move on. That’s all I am saying.)

We’re a house with very little income. But we’re a home with a whole lot of heart.

So if this is the last post you see it’s because I had to sell my laptop to keep the lights on. But that’s ok. You can find me playing hide and seek with the kiddos on a Saturday ….husband and all.

Ashley of Today's Eden Blog Recipes and Podcast