Welcome to Wheelbarrow Manor!! Explanation of the wheelbarrow reference is forthcoming!
First let me introduce myself. My name is Stevie and I am a 33 year old Catholic wife and mother of 2 beautiful girls. Big Bear is 3 years old and Me Too is 15 months. My husband Doug works for a Catholic mortgage company. He is not Catholic but I pray about that...a lot (St. Monica...pray for him!!). I am a cradle Catholic.
Okay, now to the wheelbarrow thing. About 4 years ago, my husband and I had decent jobs, good income and I was 4 months pregnant with our first child. We weren't crazy about our jobs but they paid the bills and we had paid off a lot of debt that we incurred due to poor financial decisions before we met. We were comfortable. Doug's company was having layoffs quite frequently but he was the only one doing his particular job so he was safe...so we thought. It was rumored that there would be another round of layoffs the week that he was out on vacation but he was not worried. The Sunday before he went back to work from vacation, we heard my dad's (a permanent ordained deacon) homily in which he told the Wheelbarrow Story. He went on to tie it into having faith during difficult times and I'll never forget when he said that sometimes we may be "white knuckling it" in that wheelbarrow but nevertheless we need to climb in!
After Mass, Doug and I walked to our car and as he opened the door for me we caught each other's eyes and somehow both knew he was going to get laid off and that we'd be getting in the wheelbarrow
Sure enough the next day he called me at work and said that he had been laid off. That was the first time we got in that wheelbarrow and held on tight!
The second time was about 2 years later. During the time that I was pregnant with my first child, I had some experiences which led me to a deeper understanding, appreciation, and love of the Catholic faith and the necessity to believe in and practice all of the teachings of the church. In other words, the cafeteria was closed!! The biggest change for me was that I finally understood the church's teaching on birth control. After lots of prayer, talking, and listening to Janet Smith tapes, I got my non-Catholic husband on board with using NFP after the baby was born. 14 months later we were pregnant again...and hadn't planned to be yet! Important to note: NFP did not fail us - we failed it! I failed it actually - not being diligent enough in my charting. Doug was working as a home inspector and hardly making any money. Our insurance wasn't going to cover the birth - and that was going to cost upwards of $20,000 since I had to have a c-section. We stood in the line for Medicaid for about 10 minutes before I broke down crying and left. We didn't know what to do other than pray - a lot! The Lord provided as He always does. My husband got a great job, with insurance that covered the pregnancy and birth, and much better pay. We were able to move into a bigger house, pay down debt and start anew.
It hasn't been a bed of roses. We are still struggling financially but we are trying to trust that the Lord has a plan. I know that I try to stay in the wheelbarrow but sometimes I start to let go just a little bit. Sometimes I get out and even start to try to push the wheelbarrow myself. And sadly, sometimes I even try to drive. That's when I start to teeter on that tightrope and have to scramble back in to the wheelbarrow! I think staying white knucled in the wheelbarrow is probably the best way to be!