We’re the parents of 8 children, all of whom are adopted. We drive a big old 12-passenger van and a Suburban to boot. Quite often we’re asked how in the world we have enough money to do it all. Our secret isn’t in what we have. It’s in what we’ve decided to live without.
The secret is simple: We live small. We’ve intentionally chosen to live well below our means. It started in 2014 when we sold our large suburban home, gave most of our possessions away, and moved to a house that was less than half the square footage (more on that in a second). We didn’t have to choose this lifestyle. But we did so because we believe we’re part of a bigger story in this world. One of generosity.
We are so humbled by the outpouring of shared stories and support after our post Why I Won’t Accept Your Help. It seems that so many of us are caught in a place of prideful/wishful thinking. We wish we could do it all. We can’t. If having a special needs child has taught me anything it is that I am NOT in control. I can’t do this alone.
I am stronger when I am walking alongside others on this journey of life.
Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart. ~ Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV).
Is there anyway to truly have a happy marriage? I believe there is. It’s found in the simple act of serving your spouse. There are some big rewards when you do this.
In past posts and articles on marriage I have been quite frank- a healthy marriage comes from intentionally choosing to serve your spouse and put his or her needs above your own. I make no apologies about this, nor do I add anything to it, such as an exception or disclaimer.
Marriage is hard. Anyone who has been married for any amount of time will testify to this. When you mix two individuals, from two different backgrounds, two different households, who have, at times, two very different perspectives, you’ll face conflict to some degree.
It’s to be expected. In fact, it’s normal. Marriage, like any other institution on planet earth, is far from perfect. In-spite of the imperfections of my marriage, and yours, there’s a big question I’ve been asking myself lately. It’s really a question for any married man (or woman) to ask themselves. Ready? Okay, here goes: Are you a teachable spouse? I know, not your typical marriage question. Those are usually along the lines of “Are you faithful?” “How committed are you?” or “Are you in-tuned to one another’s needs and wants as a couple?” Blah, blah, blah!