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If you're here just for the deals scoot on past to the next penny-pinched post ~ I promise not to be offended. 🙂 But, if you need some encouragement today, maybe this one's just for you.
My six year old experienced failure for probably the first time in her life yesterday. It was nothing major (really ~ at all), but up until that moment, at least in her mind, she's been the kind of kid who could accomplish just about anything she set out to do. She looked at me pitifully, absolutely crushed because she just couldn't believe she hadn't accomplished her goal. She was devastated.
Now, as a mom with two older children, I've watched my children meet failure head on more than a time or two over the last thirteen years. And often, one of my kiddos has struggled a bit more than the others as they've made their way through life. For whatever reason, things haven't come easily for them, and more often than not accomplishing what's been a breeze for my other kids has been beyond overwhelming for them. While I've encouraged, and cheered for, and done everything I've known to try to make life just a wee bit less difficult for them, there are days when life just is hard. And absolutely not fair. And downright
frustrating nerve-wracking exasperating.
As I watched my littlest struggle through this new-found experience of failure for the first time yesterday, I realized that I could shelter her from life's difficulties as much as I'd like, but ultimately she would have to learn to use that defeat to make her stronger. And, as I've watched her older sibling struggle along at times, I've seen how they've faced adversity and in many ways become a stronger, more capable, and much more determined human being.
It hasn't been easy. (I can't tell you the number of days we've both cried for hours while suffering through homework.) It hasn't been fun, and goodness gracious, if you were asking me if I'd choose this path to building character I might just fling you out the window.
But this child is making it just fine. In fact, I'm pretty sure they're the strongest of my three, and they've learned the value of hard work in a way my other children likely will never know.
So what (on earth?) does this have to do with penny pinching? It would be easy for me to wish my children nothing but a life of success as I look towards their future. But after watching how my children have each reacted differently to failure, I've seen firsthand the wisdom and tenacity that comes only from adversity.
There are times in our lives when daily financial struggles may feel so overwhelming that there's no way to keep pressing on. And sometimes it's just hard. And undoubtedly not fair. And exasperating doesn't even begin to touch on just how overwhelming those days are.
But the lessons that we learn in those sometimes-way-too-difficult days change us and mold us into who we're meant to be. I'm not telling you to beg for it head on. (Heavens, who on earth wants to deal with difficulty if they don't have to?) I'm just telling you that it's worth it.
So, if you're struggling with a failure ~ financially, personally, spiritually or in any other way, know that even these moments have value. Promise.
And undoubtedly what you're learning today will give you a whole new outlook on tomorrow. You can do this, and you're not the only one who's been there. Hang in there, and blessings to you wherever you are in the midst of this.
Looking for more random ramblings?
- The Value of Homemaking Series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4
- Praying with your children
- Do our children need it all?
- Blessed and I didn’t even know it
- Keeping up when you aren’t really keeping up
- How I learned to love doing laundry
- Learning to be thankful despite the mess
- Becoming a person who lives generously
- Our Laundry room $100 re-do
- How far will you go to pinch a penny?
- How much should a family spend on groceries?
- Don’t Sacrifice What You Really Want For What You Want Right Now
- Save the Way You Can Save: Penny Pinching Is Not A Competition
- Are You Satisfied With Your Penny Pinching?
- You Do Have Time To Coupon (But You Don’t Have To Do Everything. . .)
- Are Coupons For Everyone?
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Struggles make you stronger. My oldest had more struggles than most of her friends in high school. I kept telling her God was preparing her for something big and she would reply that she wished he would stop already. She got through high school and is now in college and she made the adjustment with ease. A lot of her friends, however, did not have such an easy adjustment and I think it was because the didn’t have the same struggles she did in high school. I truly believe that my daughter will be able t face anything life throws at her.
Thank you so much for sharing Cindy – that’s such an encouragement to me!
Alycia E says
From one mother to another thankyou for sharing this powerful message today, not only is it a lesson that my boys are learning , as I have my 30th birthday today it’s a lesson that I’m still learning. Struggling is so very hard but it molds us in to hopefully better human beings. This spoke to my heart today, thankyou so much.
You’re so welcome Alycia -it’s such a very hard thing to go through trying times, but we really do learn so much. Hope you have just a wonderful 30th birthday!
Alycia E says
Wow this post popped up on my Facebook feed today and I read it again, not realizing I had already read it and posted on it. Here I am almost a 2 years later and my whole world has changed. My family and I moved to another state in Sept and it has been a huge adjustment, but so worth it. The sentence that sometimes life is not fair is so true. Thanks for posting this message again and reminding of some of the struggles we all face as parents.
Deb Bingley Kelley says
Amazing!! Difficult times are hard, but prepare us for the awesome times to come. I also feel failure or having difficulty with "things" gives us empathy when we see another having a tough time….Letting our kids fail -is so hard as a parent. I wish I could lock them in their room and keep them safe. But that isnt life…I feel being there to guide them and help dry the tears if so important.
It’s soooooo hard Deb – I do want to wrap them in bubble wrap and protect them, but know that’s not what they need. This parenting gig is way harder than it looks 🙂
Shirley McCraw Boothe says
I love it… both of my kids are grown, married and with kids of their own and my heart still breaks for them, their spouses and now my grandchildren when they go through difficult times… BUT this is right on the mark… as much as we want to step in and fix every little thing for them, accomplishing the majority of them on their own has made them the amazing people they are today… its rough while they are going through the hardships but watching them emerge on the other side is a wonderful feeling.. 🙂
Hi Laurie, I started reading your blog just very recently, but wanted to tell you that this is a great post. Thank you for the encouragement – it helped me today. Take care.
Thanks so much Caitlyn for sharing ~ that means so much to me! So glad you found PPP 🙂
Janissa Miller says
You just don’t even know how much I needed this encouragement today. Thank you for being willing to share with us.
Thank you–I really needed this today. My son has aspbergers and is incredibly sweet and smart but has such a hard time making friends and getting to know other kids. I really needed that reminder that there is a plan for him and that all things will work out well in the end.
Bless your heart Jaime ~ I know that has got to be so incredibly overwhelming for you. I wish I could tell you how many times when mine was younger I really didn’t even think we would get through some difficult times, but the changes as they’ve grown have been incredible.. but it’s so difficult when you’re in the midst of it! Be encouraged ~ I know God has big plans for your son!
Christi Spencer says
This was SUCH an encouraging message today!! I love the CS Lewis quote you used and will keep that close in hand for my own life and in the lives if my children, family, and friends. Total side note- I absolutely love reading your blog and have loved telling others about you and your ministry! Thank you Laurie for using your gifts, talents, and abilities to bless the lives of countless others!
Thank you so much for your sweet encouragement Christi ~ that means so much to me! I can’t even tell you how humbled I am that you’re kind enough to share PPP with others, thank you. Blessings!!!
Thank you Laurie. I’m going through a major life change and this post made me feel better about it. And I know it will be better for me once it has been done
Blessings Aimee ~ I know you’ll get through this but hate it when life’s not easy. Hang in there!!!
Laurie, your children are blessed to have such great parents. I know it is soooooo hard to watch your child fail. So. Very. Hard. But, necessary for their development. I think that it’s vital children to learn these lessons and have all kinds of experiences – good, bad, happy, sad, easy, difficult – whatever they may be. As we grow older, these are the life lessons that help us develop into reasonable, well-adjusted adults. But it is so very hard, as a mother/parent, to watch it happen to our sweet little ones…and trust me, as they grow older (mine is now 19) it doesn’t get any easier. But, oh the successes and the smiles are so worth it!
It is so hard as the momma, isn’t it Angela? Thanks for your encouragement ~ I know it will be worth it but goodness somedays I just want to wrap them up physically and mentally in bubble wrap!
I love this post, Laurie. Good timing bc it’s something that I needed. Give her sweet hugs from me!! Just the thought of her being sad tears my heart!
She (of course!) was over it within a few hours, but definitely resolved to do better next time. You know my kids well enough to know that thankfully she’s pretty thick-skinned, but it did break my heart to watch her as I realized she’d not experienced that before!