Monday, June 11, 2012

Never Surrender Blogfest

Don't forget to leave a comment here to enter to win a free copy of Surrender.

I am thrilled to be participating this week in the Never Surrender Blogfest, hosted by Elana Johnson.

Surrender has been out for less than a week and it is all kinds of awesome.

For this blogfest, we are supposed to blog about a time we didn't give up. When we didn't surrender. I've blogged before about hard things I've accomplished in my life. But today I'm gonna focus on one that I've been thinking about lately...and is really more a story of how my husband didn't surrender.

I admit that today, my family and I are pretty well off. I don't have to work outside of the home, my husband runs his own very successful business and we live in a large gorgeous home on a nice chunk of land with all the fancy trimmings of a comfortable lifestyle. I have everything I could ever want, but it hasn't always been that way.

At one point in our marriage (ten-ish years ago), we had two toddlers (and I was pregnant with #3) and were scraping by. After doing whatever he had to to support his family (the man is a stud-we are talking working waist deep all day long harvesting prawns, catching frogs to sell to local restaurants, even running an ice-cream truck...yeah), my husband landed a decent job working the night shift as a security guard at the local resort (his watch alarm would go off at 10:15 every night to remind him to head out the door). Of course, he was also going to school full time at the local college, taught several classes of martial arts, and had two very demanding responsibilities in our church. Basically, we'd watch him sleep.

One day, he came to me and said he wanted to start his own business. He quit the steady job, dropped out of school, and we took one giant leap of faith into entrepreneurism. And it was not an overnight success. We lived on nothing. In fact, I remember one entire week in which all we had to eat was rice. One night I tried mixing rice with tuna water. Another night, soy sauce. One of the biggest blessings I received that year was learning how to make bread in my church group. Now we could have rice pizzas. :)

It was rough, but we kept going. And so did the business. Slowly, it grew, and after months and months of sacrifice on our part, we had enough to buy a home. And then, a better one. And then, a bigger one, and cars for cash. Until, suddenly, we were pretty dang comfortable. Even though most people we know now think we are lucky to be 'rich,' I will never forget everything we went through to get here, and I'll never ever take what we have now for granted. Never.

I'm not a fool. I know the hand of providence played a vital role in our story, but I also know that we didn't give up. We didn't surrender. 'Til this day, my husband's watch alarm rings at 10:15 pm as a reminder of where we came from, and as gratitude for where we are now. And that's enough to keep me going through whatever life decides to throw at me today.

*the good old days*


Kyra Lennon said...

People like you and your husband are the kind who remind me that anything is possible if you just keep on going. Congratulations on all your hard work and success, it sounds like you completely deserve it!

Suzi said...

That's a terrific story. It's wonderful to hear how your/his hard work paid off.

So do you eat rice now? Or did that time when all you could eat was rice turn you off of it?

Stina said...

That's an awesome story. So what is your husband's business?

Martin Willoughby said...

Now that's an inspirational story and it's good to know that you don't forget where you came from.

Enjoy it all. You deserve it.

jaybird said...

This is such a heart-warming story! (Can I admit to dropping a few tears while reading this?) Growing up, I learned to live uncomfortable... like waiting on line for government cheese and peanut butter kind of uncomfortable. But God is good and we always found food to eat.

Today, by no means is my family starving, (actually we could all stand to loose a few pounds, LOL) but we struggle on one income. No matter what we have, I've learned to be content, and never forget the times we had to struggle to get by.

I love your story and am so, so
over-joyed and excited by the happy ending!

Cassie Mae said...

I love this! I'm in those early years of marriage still when things seem to be always work and no payoff, but my man always makes it work. :)

Aidyl Ewoh said...

Wow, great job! It’s so important not to give up.

Aidyl Ewoh said...

Wow, great job! It’s so important not to give up.

Aidyl Ewoh said...

Wow, great job! It’s so important not to give up.

Aidyl Ewoh said...

Wow, great job! It’s so important not to give up.

Robin said...

dang it Ilima, you made me cry again! :) Thanks for sharing your story. Love that he still has the watch alarm going off and that you guys did the leap of faith.

Leslie said...

I loved hearing your story! I remember those tough early years too and how not giving up during them eventually pays off.

Jeremy Bates said...

Cool story right in line with never surrendering.

Now I am left wondering what type of business you guys have. Drop by and let me know on my blog if you have time.

You have overcome because of a relentless willpower that refused to give up. I love it.

Kimberly Gabriel said...

Just stopping by from the blogfest...I love this story! And I love how appreciative you are of everything you have now. Thank you for sharing this....the best part is your husband's watch that still goes off at 10:15 every night. *new follower*

Elana Johnson said...

Woo hoo! What a great post! I love how the alarm still rings at 10:15. What an inspiration to remember where you came from.

DL Hammons said...

I also like that your husbands watch still goes off at 10:15! That tells me a lot!! :)

ilima said...

Wow. Thanks for all the kind words. It means a lot.

Julie DeGuia said...

The ending to your story is perfect - alarm still going off at 10:15 every night. Never Surrender, never forget! Thanks for sharing!