Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Move

For the last few years, Andy and I have been committed to two things.

One, that I stay home with our kids.

Two, that he finishes school and can move into full time teaching (his goal is to teach middle school students and coach wrestling).

Those two goals have meant lots of decisions about our time, about our money, about our relationships.

We've gotten pretty good at the routine.

I know that when a new quarter starts at school I'll have a week or two when I'm antsy and irritable, until I get a handle on Andy's new schedule and realize that he will still have time for me.

When someone offers me a job (it has happened more than once) we know that we'll think about it, and dream for a little while about what it would be like to have some extra cash, and we'll always decide that me being home is better.

When someone offers Andy a job (it has also happened a few times) we think about it. Andy looks wistfully in the distance and I know he is thinking that working a real job would be a whole lot more fun that sitting in class and doing homework, but we always come back to the fact that teaching is where he KNOWS God has been propelling him. So he keeps keeping on with school.

When being a one car family gets annoying Andy will wander Craigslist looking for a beater, we'll stare at our bank account, considering the value of the car vs. the value of our tiny emergency fund. And as of yet, each and every time we prefer the security of our little bit of savings over the convenience of another vehicle.

When we drive by houses for sale we sometimes pull over, just to look at the price and to enjoy the moments of dreaming of days ahead. We've kept a tiny apartment since we've been married and have enjoyed being resourceful with closet space and the satisfaction of filling the living room with people, even though we've never had fancy furniture or a table big enough to seat more than four.

But the apartment situation has changed.

We are now in a house!

My in-law's house!

Yes, oh my gosh, it is hard. And a little weird. And, if I let it, a blow to my pride.

But any change is hard. And the more people you have in the house, you realize that you are weird and your husband is weird and your family is weird. Let's all be weird together. And as far as my pride goes, I didn't need it anyway.

Why would I be embarrassed? There is a very strong cultural stigma associated with "living with your parents" but when your parents, or parents-in-law, are really neat people who love Jesus, there is a lot that can work really well.

Andy's folks have known about our two commitments and have been asking how they could help for awhile. When our landlord said that she would have to start charging us rent again, they immediately offered us a home. Their way of cheering on their son and caring for his family.

Thank you Aicheles.

So there is no shame. I could have sought full-time employment and made arrangements for Jack and Joey. Andy could have taken a break from school and found a job that would support us... but we are choosing not to compromise the things we have set out to do.

So, here I am. In one day I went from a tiny little apartment to a huge and beautiful new home with a yard that measures in acres. I don't know quite what to do with myself.

But I do know that I must be thankful.

Without gratitude the endearing quirks of multiple-family life would soon become grating.

Without gratitude I would forget that my two-year old, who is spending more of the day crying than laughing, is a boy with a God-given future.

Without gratitude I would let feelings of entitlement grow in my heart and feel betrayed by the world.

Without gratitude my heart is in danger of becoming hard.

No thank you!

Or rather, "Yes! Thank you Lord for these days."

1 comment:

Alissa Maxwell said...

Good for you guys Emily. It can be so challenging in our culture to stay focused on what you know is BEST for the long term when other "good for the short term" opportunities come along. And this will be an amazing blessing for your kiddos to be fully embraced by their grandparents in these early years.

I understand the pride issue BIG TIME, as it was a real struggle just to accept my MIL's offer to come stay with us this weekend while Scott's out of town - "I can do this by myself" doesn't always mean we should.