We never imagined we would be going to law school when we married 9 years ago. Heck, we didn’t even know it was in the plans for us 5 years ago. When we were married we knew we were going to have a family and we knew we were going to finish our bachelors degrees. That was where we thought our education would finish and life would start.
6 years ago when Matthew was in his senior year of college and we had 2 kids I thought we were going to get a “real job” and move on in our life as soon as he was done with his 30 hour work week and 16 hour school week. We were exhausted but felt very at peace with the life we had and how we managed all the craziness.
We had worked VERY hard through both of our degrees debt free. Prior to having kids, we both would wake up in the mornings together so we could leave for work together. One of us would get into our biking shoes to ride our bike to either school or work which usually would follow with riding our bike to the other place we had to go after our first stop.
The other person would get dresses in nicer clothes because it was their day to take the car. (LUCKY!!! #nepoleondynamite) It was their day to have the air conditioning and the plus padded seats. (ahhhh….) Yes, this was the coveted place to be.
We did this so we could pay for our tuition, books, and living expenses while in school without having to take on debt and cause the added stress and frustration that debt causes to our life. We CHOOSE to do this because it made us happy and it was worth every second of riding that bike!
It is my nature to hate debt. I am a saver by nature. A free spirit, but a saver none the less. Growing up my grandma gave us $2.00 bills stuck in books. Every year I would collect those $2 bills and put them in a secret envelope in my drawer. (I swear no one knew they were in my underwear drawer because no one EVER puts things of value there, right???) #indenial
My husband had grown up a free spirit, spender. Money burns a hole in his pocket and he wanted to spend, spend, spend! So I had worked on changing his thought process before he bought to “think, think, think, and if you still need it or want it then ask me… haha! I swear we are a partnership here….
By the time we were starting to have kids, my husband had adopted my belief that we would do what we had to do to have enough money for school and be debt free. So anything that would cause us to spend money we didn’t have was avoided at all costs. We didn’t see eachother a lot. But it was ok because we had everything we needed and we were in control.
When I graduated, I was 7 months pregnant with our oldest child and we knew I would stay home. So that ment my husband changing jobs and working nights so he could have school during the day and leave me with the car to run errands. It also ment a huge pay cut. While this was extremely scary to make this leap, we knew the Lord would help us because we were doing what we had prayed about and knew was right.
We did everything we could to live as frugally as we needed to. We rode bikes and walked a lot of the time to avoid spending money on gas. Couponing helped us to survive the tough months and having one car kept expenses down on insurance. We really had to think outside of the box at times to make it work.
I can honestly say that we were happy. Life felt right and we were living the life we needed to. We were making the sacrifices to follow the Lord and do what he wanted us to and have a family. We were SO blessed!
Needless to say, when my husband was almost finished with school I was SO excited. We made it!!! All the sacrifice had payed off and we were well on our way to a real life where he would make real money and with no debt, we had a bright future.
My husband decided that he was going to in the California Highway patrol. He began the application process and took the next couple months getting everything done and ready for the application and testing to start with the highway patrol. We knew he would be a shoe in because he had nothing in his past that would make him get kicked out of the process.
He took mental testing, academic testing and physical testing. He scored really high on all of them. He was the top of his group. They did the background check and everything was what it should be. A lot of people got kicked out of the process but he was still going strong. He had grown up with some family friends and family members that were highway patrolmen and he knew what he needed to pass.
All of this assurance came crashing down one day when something very unexpected happened….