There are at least two ways to look at every situation. Focus on the good, or at least focus on finding the good or even the hope for good in the future, or get swallowed up by the bad, annoying, frustrating, negative aspects. It’s usually not hard to find the bad. Everyone’s a victim of something, but as my parents told me very early on, ‘life’s not fair…. get used to it’.
In basically EVERY other developed country besides America, when you have a baby you get close to a year off with job security. Wouldn’t THAT be lovely. In that scenario, I would have basically had 4 out of the last 7 years off. Yes, please. As its stands, however, I’m due to report back at 8am Monday morning. Where three months have gone is BEYOND me. I am not o.k. with this. The temptation is strong to lament how unfair it is, to grieve the end of an era with sack cloth and ashes on my head. Maybe slightly dramatic…. but not by much.
When I look at my days currently, I have no idea where I’m going to carve out the time necessary to accomplish an additional 40hrs per week of work. Though I’m hoping, like years past, with some creative time management I can compress that 40 hours into 20-30. If that can’t occur, there’s gonna be some re-evaluating of things going on round here! Even 20-30 hours however, is a stretch for my brain right now. It’s not like I’m hanging out watching movies, reading books, and eating bon-bon’s (are those even real, or is it just a random snack word someone once made up to make women seem lazy???)
When I think of the shifts that are coming to support my return to work, I am thankful, but not necessarily happy about them at the outset. It’s kinda hard to explain. My truest desire, would be not to work so I can focus on school for the boys and social outings/activities for us all to engage in. However, that would likely require us to move out of the area, and also that the two days a week we’ve had Desiree (sitter for the kids) would cease to exist and I’d be on 24/7. I really love the two days a week of support…. like, REALLY love. So you would think I would be ecstatic for that to be increasing to full time support again. Desiree’s schedule freed up and she will be able to start coming M-F again next week when I head back to work. (Taken a year or so ago…. Time needs to STOP… NOW… How is AJ not that baby anymore?!?)
The thing of it is, I see that shift and availability in her schedule as a gift from God, He is providing the means necessary for us to make this transition work, and for that I’m thankful. However, me going back to work full time wasn’t my first choice. Do you see the tricky thing here? I can tell, at least for the moment, that God is calling me back to work. In my mind, there wouldn’t be the provision of full time care if that was not the case, but MY prayer would have been for the provision of say a big fat promotion for Kevin. Maybe someday.
The real head scratch-er though is when our next school year kicks off, roughly 3 weeks after my return to work. I still can’t wrap my head around how last year worked. All I know is that it did, and only because of God’s grace. So that is all I have to go on as we tentatively step out into this coming school year. I don’t have a plan. My beloved plans that have carried me for much of my life run and hide at the complex puzzle that appears to be this coming year. Kevin is terrified for me. My parents have expressed concern for my well being. Most of my friends shake their head in bewilderment… as do I. But. BUT. There remains this inexplicable peace…. kinda like one that ‘surpasses all understanding’, that tells me to just take it one day at a time, and when/if the time comes to make a shift, then (and only THEN) will I know which new direction to take.
Rather than letting anxiety consume me as I worry about the enormity of the responsibility that is educating my boys and the insecurities I have about my own inadequacies for the task. Instead of being fearful about the security of my job, or the financial support it adds to our family, and how that will sustain over the course of this year…. Rather than focusing on ALL those things…. (which would like to consume my mind completely)
I am CHOOSING, actively, minute by minute, to ‘Be anxious for nothing, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, making my requests made known to God. So that HIS peace, which surpasses ALL understanding, will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus’. (Phil: 4:6-7) It is working. His word is true. It is most certainly NOT in my own strength that this will work, but in His if that be His desire. His word tells me to focus on ‘whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if something is excellent or praise worthy, think about THESE things’. (Phil: 4:8)
What is true, is that His provision goes before me with Desiree’s schedule freeing up. What is noble is following His lead in raising my boys as He directs me to (even though its terrifying). What is right is that He made this work last year. What is pure is the sweet love I get from my babes. What is lovely is being able to work in my pajamas! What is admirable is how faithful my God is to provide for even the most seemingly inconsequential needs. What is excellent is that even in going back to work, I get to be here for the moments that many would have to miss when they return to work. What is praise worthy is that God can shift a perspective from one of ‘having to,’ to one of ‘getting to’…. I don’t have to go back to work…. I get to go back work, and I get to stay home with my babies. I don’t have to home school my kids, I get to home school my kids, and I don’t have to do it in my own strength, I GET to do it with His…. which is inexhaustible (thankfully!).