I didn't fall off the face of the earth in May, well maybe sort of...I had high school graduation and final exams on a Friday night, then we rolled out of here for Disney World for 8 days the next morning. (Nothing like stacking big events right on top of each other.) I should learn some moderation. (snort)
This blog entry will need some sort of a preface. I worked outside of the home for fourteen years. I drove over an hour each way commuting from home to work; I worked by myself in an office that was isolated and had minimal contact with coworkers. Because I was so far away from home, I missed most of my kids' major events like field day, awards day, grandparent's day, etc. I missed every summer. I worked while they went and did as a family either with their grandmother or father or with trusted friends and family. It was good, but it was equally bad. We ate tons of convenience foods, Daddy did all of the Mommy stuff, and we saw each other for a whopping two hours every evening provided there wasn't church, basketball, piano, etc.
I was caught up in a lay off from my job two years ago. At the time, I was devastated. What will I do? How will we eat? Since my husband is in full time ministry, I made close to the same income that he did. It was a huge financial hit for our family. We decided that we'd take the entire summer off and not worry, just be happy. (Thank you to Dave Ramsey and his Emergency Fund advice.) With all of that said, being laid off from my job was the best thing that ever happened to me. I was given this amazing opportunity to own a travel agency. (I can't thank my friend Sonja enough for what she did for me.) I work from home, get to be with the shorties full time, and our overall quality of life improved dramatically, even though our income went down.
I then had the opportunity to teach high school English where my kids attend school. The teacher who was in the position just became burned out, so I took over last October 2010 sort of as an emergency fill in. I'm not exaggerating when I say that it's the best job I've ever had. I can't wait to get up in the morning and get to school. I adore the kids. I love the work. I can't believe that God trusts me enough to let me teach. What a miracle! They're bringing me back next year. The funniest part to me is that with the two jobs combined, I made exactly what I did before. No commute. I never miss a kid's school event. I'm home during all of the hours they are. We ride in together and home together. I eat lunch with The Little Flower. I'm there for every program, play, luncheon. I'm in school the exact dates they are. It couldn't be any better.
We're preparing for a busy, but relaxing summer this year. We'll have summer camp for the Shorties, Vacation Bible School, and lots of lazy afternoons by the pool. The Best, Jerry, the Best! (Obscure TV sitcom reference.) The reason that I love summer so much is that I finally get to exercise some homemaking skills (limited as they are).
I get to cook almost daily and manage my own household. I get to go through closets and re-organize everything (aka "relaxation therapy"). I get to watch movies at night, read as much as I want, and sleep until 9:00 every day (understanding that we are up until 11:00 almost every night all summer). I can't imagine how I worked all of those years full time without being a homemaker. Don't get me wrong, I loved working, but this is fulfilling in a way that can't even be compared to my "career".
Today, for example, I've had a cup of coffee, done my prayer and devotional quiet time, and am now writing. I'm going to check in on about 12 client travel plans, follow up with some Disney people, and do several new quotes (the only thing better than going to Disney, is helping other people go to Disney). Then I'm going to sweep out the storage unit, do my Wii aerobics, then take the kids for a swim. We're watching movies tonight for a Girl's Night, since the boys are going camping. I'm making homemade Spanish rice and burritos for supper. There's no rushing, no crazy, no deadlines, no panic, no stress, no traffic, nothing at all to spoil the buzz of just being "Mom". And guess what? If I don't clean the storage unit or do the aerobics, it'll still be there tomorrow.
God has blessed me far, far beyond anything that I would have imagined for myself. He replaced my income, gave me the desire of my heart, all in ways I never dreamed. I'm fulfilled in my work, happy as mother and wife, content in all things. When I faced uncertainty, He told me to trust Him more. What is it in your life that you are worried over? I challenge you to give it up to Him and see what He does with it. I'm a walking, talking, breathing testimony to the power of God to hear and answer. To quote Sheryl Crow (who was taking the thought from the apostle Paul), "It's not having what you want; it's wanting what you've got." Rock on.