Lately in my life I have been feeling an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Isn’t it funny how we often fail to notice the ways in which we have been blessed immensely when we’re in the thick of it, going through the mundane tasks of life just trying to survive the day until bedtime?
My feeling of overwhelming gratitude keeps spilling over the edge of the cup lately, bringing me to tears fairly often (that may also have something to do with pregnancy hormones however).
The first part of why I have been feeling so grateful is because of a more obvious blessing
My husband just recently was offered an amazing opportunity to advance in the path he would like to go in with his career. This new job is a HUGE step up from his old one, in several different ways. We keep pinching ourselves to make sure it’s real because it really is SUCH a huge blessing to our family and nothing like this has ever happened to us before. I mean, we’ve been blessed in some pretty huge ways, but never such a drastic positive change in our lives so quickly (besides when we got married and have brought new children into the world haha). I’ve actually had nightmares about it all being taken away from us as quickly as it came because it still just seems so good to be true that there’s a part of me that still doesn’t believe that it is.
I think this blessing has been in the works for us for a while though. Around this time last year we were praying and asking if we should try going to Texas for the summer for Alex to try out summer sales. We prayed a lot about it. We felt good about it. We felt like it was an experience we needed to have. We felt the need for a change so we took the chance. The kids and I had a lot of fun in Texas and Alex worked hard. And he struggled. It became harder and harder for him as time went on and things became stressful for all of us as a result. We wondered why we weren’t finding the success we’d hoped to find when we had felt so good about coming. Why weren’t things easy? Why were we struggling so much? Did we misread the situation? Did we make the wrong decision? Time and time again I prayed and I kept feeling like there was something more and to be patient. I thought this meant that we needed to stay longer and wait for it to get better in Texas. So I kept convincing Alex not to give up and we prayed harder, read more scriptures, and tried to stay positive in our difficulties. I grew tired of watching my husband be miserable and I got the thought one day to start putting together a killer resume and cover letter for him and send it out to everywhere I could think of that was hiring.
I never would have done this if Alex hadn’t been struggling and unhappy, and he was always content at his other job before the sales so I wouldn’t have done it then either. During my “let’s find you a new job that will further your career and make us more money” kick, Alex decided to text a guy he knew who was a dealer support rep for a great company, and asked him if they had any open positions or if he knew of anyone or had any connections in similar positions with other companies like it, because he was interested in getting into that line of work. He planted a seed.
A few weeks later we prayed yet again after Alex was offered a promotion at his other job if he came back right away. We felt like it was time to leave Texas and go back home. We felt a little defeated and confused, but also blessed that he was given a promotion in coming back home. So we came back home and it was honestly a little hard for me. We came back to a moldy apartment and I was reminded of how old and cheap it was, how it was falling apart and had this weird smell you could just never get rid of. The first week we were back I may have cried a few times. I was being selfish of course, and not feeling grateful for all that we had. I was just so sick and tired of not having enough money to go around, of living in this super old smelly, moldy townhome, and it all seemed worse than how I remembered it. I thought going to Texas was the opportunity that we needed, but didn’t realize yet that we weren’t meant to go there to make money, but to change our mindset.
After we had returned we got back into the normal scheme of things. Pretty soon, Elijah started preschool, Sophie got back into dance, Alex got used to his new position, and we moved on. I started looking at different places (townhomes or duplexes) to live because I was determined to make a change if I wasn’t happy with something in my life and a townhome or duplex change was a doable change for us, especially because with Alex’s new promotion came a slight increase in pay and we had been already living in a place that was well within our means and could have been paying more in rent month to month to begin with if we’d had to.
During this time Alex was told by his friend he had texted over the summer that this friend’s position was about to open up because he just got promoted to a new one, and if Alex would put his resume into the ring, he would fight for him to get it. We got so excited and so hopeful about this. We tried not to get our hopes up too much but we did. And this went on for at least a couple of months as we waited to know if he would get the job or not. We talked about all the ways the pay increase would help us and dreamed about having great benefits and some of the other perks that came with the job… And he didn’t get it. They gave it to someone else who had more experience instead. This was such a bummer for us. We were both kind of devastated, even though we told ourselves we wouldn’t get too excited about it. It was kind of hard not to.
A couple of months after our let down, we were informed by Alex’s friend that the person they had offered the job to decided not to take it in the end or for whatever reason it didn’t work out. So the position was back up for grabs. Alex sent his resume in again and, again, his friend fought for him. This time he got an interview. And then 2 more. Here we were, waiting, yet again. The process took about 2 months I believe, from when he sent his resume again to when they gave him a final answer. It was excruciating for us to wait that long to hear back about something that was such a huge deal for us. Alex was stressed about it and we both were trying hard not to let ourselves get too excited this time, even though we kept getting little clues that this time it might actually happen. And then he was asked to meet with them in person and they made him an offer of employment. We took the weekend to pray again and make the final decision, and then he accepted their offer.
This job is, like I said, one of the biggest blessings we have EVER received. It makes a world of difference for us, financially, career-growth-wise for Alex, benefits-wise, and in many many other ways. THIS was the opportunity we needed and I can promise you if we hadn’t taken a difficult path this time last year that forced us to no longer be content with the way things were, it never would have happened. Alex never even would have thought about trying to see if he could get into a dealer support rep position somewhere if it weren’t for our struggles in the middle of the summer last year. I feel like all the struggles we have gone through in the last year have all been worth it and we have come out the other end of the tunnel, into such blaring light I almost feel blinded by it. I feel blessed beyond measure and still can’t believe it’s all real.
–I also forgot to mention that in the fall, when we were still struggling to figure out what we needed to do, we also made the great leap of faith to welcome another child into our family and I found out I was pregnant in October, right in the midst of all the uncertainty. I knew it was right for us and I knew everything would fall into place, whether Alex stayed with his current job in his new position or found something different. Now I feel extra blessed that we have received this huge blessing just in time to welcome the new baby into the world. I’m so glad I felt such comfort and peace about the idea of having another child and that I didn’t let uncertainty, doubts, or fears keep me from doing it. Heavenly Father has never let me down before and I knew if He wanted us to do something, He would bless us for it–
There’s another part to my cup of overflowing gratitude though. The usually less obvious part. I have recently been blessed with the realization of what a great life we have had together so far since being married. I have been able to see what Heavenly Father sees when he looks at our family.
Here’s how: This week I have been forced to go through my phone and delete pictures and videos from it as the storage has finally gotten full after a year of having it. Many of these videos are at least a year or 2 old, as some were brought over from my old phone before this one. So I’ve been going through and watching all these older home videos from a year or two ago, when my kids were so much more babyish than they are now. I cried several times watching these happy little moments, that are mostly just the mundane everyday little moments I happened to catch on camera. Some were the whole family doing things like bowling or sledding together, some were the kids and Alex playing together, and some were just the kids singing/saying/doing cute things. I cry because I am once again overcome with gratitude for and reminded of the beautiful life I’ve been given. I have 2, almost 3, beautiful kids, a wonderful husband, and despite all the ways we have struggled up until this point, we have been overall happy. We are living such a happy life, even if we don’t always realize it in the moment. When I look back in time through these little videos, it’s like through fresh eyes that can more easily see all of the happiness we’ve had in our home and that is the biggest blessing of all. Heavenly Father has so sweetly reminded me that we have each other, regardless of anything else that we may have or not have. We will always have each other. And isn’t that the most important blessing of all?
I’m so excited we get to have another person in our family soon. That we have the opportunity to increase our happiness even more. And I can’t say it enough: I am SO so grateful.