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puzzle pieces

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Star of Struggle

{~Another post from the past~
As I pulled the Star out again this year, 
it made me think of what came before ~ and all that is now.
~I had to share this once more.~}


As I shut off the lights of my (maybe-too-early) Christmas tree tonight, the star hanging by an old twist tie attached to the top branch of the tree caught my eye.
It was the star my husband of only 2 months had made with me.....

When we got married- 18 years ago- we of course had the typical struggles of most average newly married couples; student loans, still-going-to-school loans, rent payments, scarce furniture about the rented place, hunger pains.... 
(I remember openly "Yahoo-ing" in the grocery store when Kraft Dinner boxes would go on sale for 32cents...which we then would take home and make by adding the cheese packet with water (no milk or butter) and then have toast with jam (given by his mother) for dessert.
So when our 1st Christmas was upon us a mere 2 months after the wedding- it was quite the effort to scrimp and save but still have enough money to feel festive. 
Hence the cut-out star. 
He drew it on a a cardboard box we had used to move in with, 
I covered it with tinfoil, 
he attached a twist tie, 
and VOILA! - the top for our Charlie Brown tree.

All this to say....we struggled. I struggled moving away from home. He struggled to find a job in a new place. I struggled through nursing school. We struggled to adjust to married life. 
As years went by struggles came and went. But rest assured once a struggle was worked through...yep! a new one was around the corner.
This never-ending battling has persisted....not just with each other and marriage, but also on an individual basis.
And I see it everywhere. We all struggle . Through something. It may be a completely different issue from one person to the next but we're all doing it. Trying to get through our days, weeks, years - scrambling through the mess we call life. And it's hard. 
And sometimes you wonder just why it seems to never end.

When I looked at that cardboard star tonight, it made me think that the struggles I faced 18 years ago- are NOT the ones I face today. 
The ones I face today- I HOPE will not be the ones I face in the next 18 years from now. For that reason and hope alone, I'll keep dancing. 
And I will probably hold something else up in remembrance of the struggles of today, wave them in the air, 
and ecstatically "yahoo" that those struggles are over!

~beyond all that struggle~life is grand!~
~~~~~~

{Just a side note:
Guess what? 
The struggles I was facing a year ago when I wrote this~ are NOT the same ones I was facing back then;)
Yahoo!}

46 comments:

acorn hollow said...

struggles makes us stronger and defines who we are in the future. thank you for your visit and comment on my blog your blog is lovely.
cathy

Hilary said...

It's so encouraging to remember that struggles do come and especially go - particularly when in the middle or beginning of one. This was a lovely way to express it.

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

It's amazing the difference a year makes. I love your pictures on your side bar. looking forward to more visits and thank you for visiting my blog.

In My Tennis Shoes said...

what a lovely post... i'm so excited to share "my first" christmas with my husband this year! and so blessed to have him by my side through the hill and the valleys. Thank you so much for your kind words. Happy Tuesday!

Deb said...

great post....love the star...struggles are what bring us closer together...

Lynne H. said...

How awesome you saved that star all these years.. That speaks volumes about the strength of your marriage as well.. struggles from yesterday make us stronger for tomorrow, no doubt.

great post to remind us all, we are not single-strugglers and life really is beautiful...

Allison said...

Beautifully said! It does seem that life brings one thing after the next, doesn't it? I love that you have kept your star, and still use it. And I love that you have struggled through and have let life make you into such a lovely person! It is so encouraging to me to hear others tell about the struggles in their own lives, and how they faced those struggles and made it through. Hugs to you Dawn!!

Liesl said...

I love the star, so nice to know your husband made it specially for you. To me a struggle is something to get over and sorted out as quickly as possible so I can put it behind me and go on...I hat ongoing thingies....Can't wait for Xmas! Have a wonderful day
xoxo

Jayne said...

I figure that if we never have "valley" moments, then we can't appreciate the "mountain" times nearly as much. My mantra has truly become one of "I can't control what life throws at me, but I CAN control how I let it affect me in my life and how I respond to it." Yep... for the most part, all joy baby, all joy! Yahoo indeed!! Hugs from a fellow nurse.

Nancy said...

Struggles are a part of life, that's true. However, I'm a big believer in learning from the hard times and doing what is necessary to make things better, if at all possible, even if it means making a drastic change.

Yep, I'm one of those "life's too short" people... :)

texwisgirl said...

I remember loving this post the first time I read it in your archives. Very well said and felt and well worth repeating. I wish nothing but new, fresh and clean struggles for you! :)

Home In The Hollow said...

Dawn, struggles=strength...:)JP

Chloë said...

i really loved this. that star is precious. my husband and i are in that newlywed/no money stage, and while i look towards the future too often and hope for a better time, i know that this time we're in is precious too, and i shouldn't try to rush it all by. thanks for posting...your posts are always so good and uplifting!

Leah J. Utas said...

What wonderful energy and memories the star brings you.

Hope said...

What a beautiful star! It not only looks good it has a genuine energy of it's own holding on to the fond memories and hope, that you and your hubby share. It is the reason for Christmas...hope.

what a wonderful post, Dawn.
thank you

CherylK said...

That is just the prettiest star, ever, Dawn. And this post is so apropos, right now. We're all a little stronger for our struggles, that's true.

Out on the prairie said...

Lovely post and a good push for me to get that holiday spirit.I have a few saved items that I put out, and shared many when my kids left home.Struggles do make our lives develop fuller,many let go when the going gets rough.I filmed a wedding last year and the kids told me of their struggle to keep it under 15K and had to go over their budget. I laughed having done mine for less than $200, putting a house on my wives finger and keeping the ceremony simple.

heather yalin said...

Yahooooooo!!!! Life *is* grand! Happy day to you, Dawn!

varunner said...

Every year brings something new :-) Glad some of your struggles have ironed themselves out.

Lynette said...

It is wonderful that you kept the star when things were going easier and you could afford better. You reminded me of our struggles in the years after our marriage. These struggles all made us stronger and we grew so much closer together. Not easy come easy go!

fourwilkies said...

I'm glad you kept the star! Thanks for sharing a great memory of the early days of your marriage ... very sweet. We spent our first Christmas together with the flu - the "real" flu - not such a good memory!

Melissa Allam said...

Wow, after 18 years, still using that same star, a reminder of taking joy in the things that you had and always a memory, whether good or bad. I guess if we didn't have the struggles and the good times we probably wouldn't be here. Glad you are in a different place today and that your struggles a year ago have been overcome.

our little love nest said...

Prayers and love for you and your family, sweet cousin. You are all going to do well!! Just a feeling I have. In all of your struggles there is an answer in prayer. I am still in the woohooo stage of mac and chees sales. So weird! Oh well such is life.

our little love nest said...

or cheese even...ergh at my fingers today. ;)

Farm Girl said...

Very lovely and sweet post. Yes, isn't life just like that, full of the pain that turns into a sweet kind of joy as we remember with eyes of love. I love your cardboard star and the memories that go with it. I think God allows times like those to see the miracles He gives us each day.
It makes me so thankful that the heartaches I went through a year ago are not the ones I have today.
Very true words.
Thank you,

Hi Kooky said...

I love this. I get so sick of the struggles. Sometimes I feel that I was born weak. All I want is peace, sweet peace! (Maybe it's a phase I'm going through...) But you're right - this life is full of struggles and we just have to keep on truckin' and thank God for all the incredible blessings He gives us!

~*~ saskia ~*~ said...

Hooray for life, sweet Dawn. Happy times, struggle times, we will face it all, yes we can!!
Much love for a wonderful Tuesday xxxx

Heather D said...

Dawn, thanks - I needed that. We all have our own struggles like you say. Some I think are a little more difficult than others. I am greatful for each new day. Hoping to learn something new from the previous one. Thanks again.

Barbie said...

Wow, your a nurse too. Me too :) Loved this post. I too remember 16yrs ago struggling through Christmas and maybe a couple of years ago as well. Makes you so appreciative when it finally gets easier.

Bela said...

Dawn, dear, you are so bright I bet you can overcome all obstacles!!! Love you!! Your star is wonderful!! Kisses!! Bela.

Aimee said...

I loved this post. I think we have all dealt with our own struggles in our lives. I think we wouldn't be human if we didn't. But, I honestly believe that those struggles make us struggles! I love the idea of waving your arms in the air and basically saying a final goodbye to the struggles that were overcome! Yahoo!

Canyon Girl said...

It is easy to see that the struggles of your past have brought wisdom to your present.--Inger

nicole said...

great post.

Farmchick said...

Really a nice post.

Zuly said...

Hola Dawn! gracias por visitar mi blog! Es un honor!
Me gustó mucho tu blog hoy.
Un abrazo,
Zuly Castillo
http://pedacitosdetela.blogspot.com/

Rick said...

Neat to have such a reminder of the early times ! Brought back memories of our early 'furniture' - amazing what we would find useful because it was affordable - matching style and colour took a backseat !

Lovely post !

Jimmy said...

It's always good to look back and remember those struggles because as you said we are no longer going through them, I remember those early years and the problems that molded us into the people we are today, we have to be thankful for those in a way.

Time changes things quickly and in a mere years time look at the difference.

Nice reflection Dawn, Thank You.

Elizabeth Grimes said...

How sweet. What a treasure that cardboard aluminum star has turned out to be. :) A reminder of the past struggles and how far we've come. Eddie and I have only been married 3 years, and it feels like those first struggles are light years away. Of course we always have new ones coming!

koralee said...

First off...love your new Christmas Banner...I need to find time to make mine.

Love your star...love it!

Yes...it is good to remember our struggles...that is how we grow and become thankful.

Hugs to you and would love to go skiing with you....right now it is sooo cold here all I want to do is stay in and eat soup. xoxoxo

Hugs. xoxoxo

Jordanna said...

OH my goodness, I love this! So cool to remember where you were to be thankful for where you are. That whole contentment thing :). So are you a nurse?!? I didn't know!

Dawn said...

Jordanna....no. Sadly, I am not a nurse. I only took some schooling for it. I ended up deciding to go another route- and became a mom:)

Gaston Studio said...

Wonderful post. Struggles do change over time, as our circumstances also change. Great that you've kept, and use, the star as a reminder.

Congrats on POTW mention!

Jordanna said...

Oh I'd pick being a mom over being a nurse any day :) just not quite yet. That's awesome though! Moms are the BEST. And you are one!! :)

this free bird said...

How did I miss this post girlfriend?? You are such an encouragement to me today - looking forward to some of today's struggles being long gone next year (hopefully).

xoxo,
Carrie

kcinnova said...

A wonderful story and encouragement for all of us. Your POTW is well-deserved!

sarah, flourish design + style said...

What an amazing post.. the most cherished item on your tree I'm sure :) xoxo