Day of rest. Went to church as usual. The Sacrament meeting talks were on faith and as I listened I felt I needed to approach my running with more faith. Lately I've been feeling like I had an excuse to not train as well because the focus has been on the children. The children have been doing well, Benjamin has even been beating me, so I felt it was all good - anything I achieve now myself is a bonus. But as I listened to the talks I felt that while the focus on the children and making their running a priority was correct, I could do better in my own training and recovery. So I resolved to do that.
During Sunday School lesson, which was on eternal marriage, somebody made a comment that nowadays it is not realistic to expect a woman to stay home with the children due to the ecomonic challenges of supporting a family off one income. Several people including Sarah and myself, raised an objection to that. Interestingly enough, Saran and I were the only ones under 60 in that group. It is also interesting that there was nobody in that group that had fewer than five children.
I have some thoughts on that subject that I would like to share. It is very challenging to support a family off one income, but with faith it is possible, and I can testify to that. Sarah and I started out in our marriage with a vision - we would have children, a lot if the health permitted, she would stay home to take care of them, and I would do whatever it took to make this possible. In my mind I was ready to work three jobs if that is what it took. The Lord was merciful to us - I never had to. Quite the oppositive - along with Sarah I got to stay home as well. Last time I had to report to an office for a job on a regular basis was December of 1999. Ever since I worked from home.
Even though I have always made more money than the average neighbor, perhaps even a dual-income neighbor, we have always lived what others would have considered below our means. We still do. We have never bought a car much less a toy on credit. For quite some time this meant driving cars that were old enough to date, then vote, then go on a mission. We have lived in small homes and did everything we could to pay them off as fast as possible. We learned how to feed a large family nutritiously at a low cost. We have hardly ever eaten out. We now do this a little more, but still not as much as our average neighbor, and it is always a health-food restaurant.
Some might say we have been lucky, but I believe it is more than luck. Luck is random - sometimes it is in your favor, sometimes it is bad luck, intergrating luck over a large interval you get a quantity that approaches zero. I believe the reason we managed to pull this off the way we did was having a vision and being consistently true to it no matter what kind of luck we got. The vision came from the Lord. We cheated - we did what someone much wiser than us has has revealed to us through his prophets. Thus we had the advantage of being 90-year-old wise in our 20s, and we are talking 90-year-old that is familiar with the realities of the 21st century and still has his mind intact. We played the chess game with a grandmaser wispering us the moves.
So long story short, I believe you can support a family off one income just fine, but you must have the vision, and you must have the faith to stay true to it. Your faith will be tried. Possibly it will be tried more than ours. But it is all worth it. All of those sacrifices pay off.
When I came home I took a much-needed long nap.