Lifestyle Mental Health

Thoughts on Perseverance

A few have been wondering how we are doing. Honestly I am doing much better now that I am off social media. I check in once a week, at most. The political uproar, rumors of war, friend’s suffering, distance from family has been all too much during this time. We continue to live in the fifth wheel in the cold of Alaska. There was one day where we woke up to frozen water pipes but Lowell quickly resolved the problem and we were up and running in a couple of hours. The fifth wheel has ‘central heat’ run by a small propane tank. When the small tank runs out we have a spare. We fill up about once a week. Personally my biggest challenges include missing my family, having a small, saggy bed while bed sharing with baby. And, the small space. Seven people for one small fifth wheel. It’s too much noise sometimes and almost no privacy. But we have never felt closer as a family or as husband and wife. 

Our lovely friends and Thanksgiving dinner hosts snapped some adorable family pics.

For Thanksgiving L’s family were in quarantine and suffered with Covid so we had nowhere to celebrate. And of course because of Covid the usual places that offer meals were not doing that this year. I knew of a friend who was in quarantine at the same time and their parents were without a family to host. We had to get creative. They were kind enough to host us and we ‘helped them’ by eating the lovely meal. It was a match made in Covid, lol. For about three weeks our family and the few friends that do hang out with us, and the gym that we have PE at were all in quarantine with the spike in Covid that took place. Thankfully we avoided it. We are all healthy, and although lonely- we are safe and healthy. I thank God for that. This outgoing girl has had a tough time without friend time, or mental break time- especially since ‘working overtime’ when there was no grandma/grandpa to watch kids or friends to see, weather preventing my children from wanting to be outside, and my husband working day and night on the computer on his regular job and then studying for his professional engineering license exam until the night hours. 

To say it’s been difficult is an understatement. Mentally, emotionally, and physically. By not seeing what I am ‘missing out’ through social media, I am able to stay present, handling each day as it comes. I need every ounce of mental capacity to overcome each day positively. I am pressing into God’s word and reading Overwhelmed By My Blessings, a devotional by Robin Meadows. I have also been watching David Goggins on YT. Although he has a potty mouth, his theory on life reminds me of Paul’s writings- rejoicing in suffering and perseverance being fundamental for a fulfilling life. As a person who grew up with a challenging childhood, my mindset is ‘just have to get through this and then it will be better’. I avoid suffering, pain, discomfort- and because of it, I get unhappy. This year has taught me that suffering and pain does not end. If you wait for it to end, it’ll never come. You will feel cheated in life and you’ll use it as an excuse to not do anything in life or overcome anything and be stuck without joy.

Some might wonder if we are poor because of our living situation but we are not. We are just making the choice of living this way to save money for our goals. You can either suffer from consequences or suffer working toward a goal…

Sometimes suffering comes from exterior forces, but even then- Viktor Frankl, Holocaust survivor shared that you have the choice to be content. (Read his book, Man’s Search for Meaning).

I want to thrive, at all times. I don’t want to white knuckle through life, just ‘waiting until…’ I want to feel content through the pain and discomfort. I want to be familiar and ok with the worst, because then it can’t overcome me. I am starting to understand Paul and his writing on perseverance. 

It feels like we both earned both of these- feels so good and I am super proud

This year has been the year of “we’ll see”. And it continues to be that way for us. This week we got the email with Lowell’s exam results. He passed! All the pain and frustration seems to melt away. The years or months of hard work when you work toward your goal are worth it. I felt the same way when I was earning my degrees in college, when I obtained my professional counselor license, when we became debt free,  and every time I give birth. So, so hard- but then so worth it when the goal is accomplished. That is what it will be with our home. We will finally move in and have our beautiful home, we will rejoice all the more. When I finally get to see my family in Texas, I am going to cherish their presence all the more. I will continue to have minimal social media presence, but will update on our website. Make the most of where you are, live fully- right there in the difficulties. 

My phone screen proudly reminds me the words of my friend:

“God created us to do hard things, you can do it.” -Heather Kinder Francis who passed after battling cancer close to a year ago.