Six years after Scott started the three year PhD program, he finished and landed a job, in you guessed it---Nor Cal at Lawrence Livermore National Labortory. And like other families having experienced the bare essential living of graduate school, we thought we were going to have so. much. money! Wrong.
First of all, we moved to the Bay area. As of August 2015, the average price of a home was $661,000. Yep. Might as well be a bazillion dollars!
Second, Lawrence Livermore National Lab, Scott's employer's principal sponsor is the National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Energy. Meaning, Scott works for the government. AKA: NOT a "Google" salary.
Third, We have five ever increasing expensive children. Sarah is serving a mission for our church $. Anna is starting Utah State University in the fall $$. And Max, Natalie and Sadie keep growing out of their shoes $$$!
What all of this means is: we are driving the same cars since Sarah was born. We are renting a house and we're seriously entertaining binding our children's feet so they can wear the same shoes for 3 more years. jk. sort of.
Yet, I've learned a few things. Beginning with, the promise made by the ancient prophet Malachi is true:
We have always aimed to pay our tithing. (In our faith, we pay a tithe; one tenth of all of our increase is donated to the church.) One of the many blessing I have notice as a result of paying our tithing is: our cars have lasted! One might think, that a "windows of heaven blessing" would be two brand new cars. That would be nice but- I've noticed and believe the windows of heaven blessings are what E. David A. Bednar calls "subtle but significant".Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Throughout these post-graduate years, it is confirmed: we clearly don't have a whole lot of money, but we are rich.For example, a subtle but significant blessing we receive is the spiritual gift of gratitude that enables our appreciation for what we have to constrain desires for what we want. A grateful person is rich in contentment. An ungrateful person suffers in the poverty of endless discontentment.
|Machines O' Wonder|
|This is the ceiling upholstery in the Prizm. Notice the upholstery is gone. This is styrofoam. It falls into your eyes.|
|Odometer reading on the van|
|The floor mats in the van. The van doubles as a horse trailer. Not really, but Anna brings home half of the barn floor.|