My 3 Monsters: The Root of All Evil and REAL Success

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The Root of All Evil and REAL Success

Before I left for camp I vowed to get real here on the blog and I haven't forgotten about that.  I've been thinking a lot lately about what a "successful" life or career looks like.  Because I think by many worldly standards I have neither.  I have a substantial stack of unpaid medical bills sitting here on my desk.  The brakes are grinding on my van.  We've been doing dishes by hand for a couple of months now because our dishwasher is leaking from somewhere underneath.  Our "fancy" end of the school year celebratory dinner was at a fast food restaurant -- it was fancy because we put our strict dollar-menu-only rule on hold for the night.  We celebrated our 15th anniversary last month with burgers at In-n-Out and a fist bump.  I don't have a proper job.  And I'm not even looking for one.

Now, I'm not sharing these dirty little secrets with you to garner your sympathy.  I certainly don't feel like you should pity me (though you might feel inclined).  There's not one thing I've just mentioned that I wouldn't gladly change if I had the good fortune to do so.  Except the job situation - I'm quite happily unemployed for the time being.  I only mention these things because I'm learning in these lean times that my financial situation doesn't define who I am.  Those conditions don't exist because we are lazy or because we are careless with our money.  Not because we are hopeless sinners or consumed by greed.  They are what they are - conditions that exist, hopefully temporarily, in my life right now.  I'm not a failure simply because I struggle to make ends meet.  Similarly, many people aren't "successful" just because they have huge houses and huger bank accounts.  We are all so much more than our debt-to-income ratio.

Brent and I are the parents of three generally happy children.  (They're reaching adolescence so the happiness isn't always a guarantee.)  Our children come to us when they have problems or questions or personal issues.  We spend lots of time together as a family, and for the most part we enjoy it.  Our children are bright and helpful and kind to others.  They don't mope or feel sorry for themselves when their friends have things that we simply can't provide right now.  They laugh easily and forgive easily.

Our home is warm and inviting and generally clean.  (I can't guarantee many things as a mother of pre-teens.)  It may not be an impressive home, but it is a haven.  It's our little corner of the world where we can let it all hang out and just be ourselves.  We feel so very blessed to have found it when we did and to have had it for the past 8 years.  The air conditioner works.  At the end of the day, what more do you really need?

I have my faith in the Savior and my testimony of His gospel.  I know beyond the shadow of a doubt who I am and where I'm headed.  I know that my Heavenly Father loves me and that He won't allow me to suffer any more than is necessary for me to grow and become increasingly like Him.  With that perspective I know how to define success for me.  And I know that all the crummy things are just for NOW, not for EVER. And that's alright. 


  1. Well said. You have a gift for words. Thanks!

  2. Anonymous07 June, 2011

    What a great post..I could not agree with you more..We are not defined by our stuff or by our debt or wealth..We are defined by so much more..Hoping ya have a great week..

  3. Our life's are so similar (other than the pre-teens...but I have messy toddler) Thank you for helping me see the brighter side of the upsets of life. And I know you're right...these things are hopefully only temporary! We should gather for an unpaid medical bills bonfire! I have some to add! :) You're great Amy!


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