Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Three Months Later

I may as well give in and accept quarterly updates as a "thing" right now. How have three months gone by? Surely not one day at a time??

Since my last post, I've begun working weekend nights at a local restaurant after I swore 10 years ago that I'd never wait tables again (funnily enough, for the same boss I had 10 years ago, but at a different restaurant) while Deej wraps up his thesis (one more week. ONE MORE WEEK.) I'm not sure how people survive grad school and children and working, but apparently, they do. Even though his doctorate has been a labor of love for us, the last year or two has felt like a lot more labor and a lot less love, which is probably normal when you try to tackle what we did in a year with the moving and the babies and the child-wrangling and the pudding and blah blah blah people do it every day with a much better attitude than I do, I'm sure. Bless em.

As much as I've grumbled (and it has been SO much and I have been SO sick of hearing my own complaining these past months, which is partly why you've been spared updates), we've actually been so blessed - really - in this season. I got to go back to work with a boss that I really love working for. I'm pretty sure I add grey to his head, but he's fun and so very accommodating to all the call-outs that happen during the wonder years. In a span of two weeks, I had to call out to take my oldest to the ER for a fun round of 'let's see how many heart palpitations this round of croup can induce in mom', which was followed by a completely random lung cancer scare d/t a bad xray reading (negative, folks), followed by another call out to take care of my youngest when she caught big brother's croup. Add on family issues, and the same money issues everyone in America faces, and the subsequent fights with your spouse, and it's so easy to become bitter and cynical in these situations, and to forget the bigger picture. I really failed hourly in this, and threw some ridiculously obnoxious pity parties, but I was daily convicted by Phillippians 2:14; "Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God.." Again, I failed pretty miserably at this, but I want to get better. So every day that I'm awake and I DON'T have lung cancer, I'm going to try real hard to not grumble. Every day I'm awake and my children are both healthy enough to scream with laughter and make messes and bicker and snuggle, I'm gonna try real hard to find nothing to complain about. Because frankly, besides being obnoxious and displeasing to God, it's so fruitless. Nothing gets better by complaining, and it almost always makes everything worse. 

Anyway. It's been a hard few months, but it's had some real bright spots, too :) At work, I've made genuine new friendships, which is always such a gift at any stage in life. I look forward to working with my girls every week, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to be salt and light (another reason to not be whiny. Nothing salty or lighty about a whiner.) The money has helped put food on the table, which is always something to thank God for. And my husband and I have grown closer, by his patience (sorry babe, thanks babe) and by God's grace. 
I've learned the teeniest tiniest bit to knock my Martha-Stewart-fantasy-standards down a few hundred notched and adjust my expectations of my house and life to the reality of the season we find ourselves in. That comparison thing will kill ya, which I'm sure is news to no one but me, but it's been nice to give myself some grace, again at the prompting of my husband. I've lost 12 pounds after seriously curbing my sugar intake, and limiting my white bread from 37 servings a day to about two. Reading "Foodist" by Darya Pino Rose was very helpful and practical to start making some changes, because I'm a sciencey nerd and need to know exactly HOW I'm shaving years off my life before I do something about it, so there's that. If you struggle to wonder why most everyone on the Standard American Diet looks and feels similar, it's a great book that breaks it down and gives practical solutions to a lifestyle (healthstyle) overhaul. Anyway, I feel great and my clothes are starting to get big, so good things all around.
My now out-of-state mom gets to come down and stay with us about a week out of every month, so every time that happens it's like a little holiday where we make memories and revisit old ones and generally add richness and delight to our years. Bright spots all around, I tell ya.

Most exciting in this season where Deej is about to finish "The Theese" as we call it, is the future unknown. I'm somehow this dichotomy of a homebody that thrives on structure with an underlying thrill for adventure and travel, but only if I can still maintain a measure of control, which sometimes/mostly I can't, but I can always trust God, so it works out somehow. I love stability and need roots, but I've always wanted to travel and I love learning new cultures and have a knack for learning new languages. Before marriage and children, I wanted to be a pastor/nurse so I could do medical missions. I've been begging Deej to consider a postdoc or position overseas for the last three years, and even the hint of that potentially happening is thrilling to me. Imagine the kids with accents! The schools! The churches! The foods! The weather! The landscapes! The people! The shopping! The broadcast programming! The architecture! The friends we haven't made yet! Imagine being 90 minutes from Paris, or being able to take a long weekend in Brussels or Prague or Cyprus! (Of course you never imagine the friends and family and church you leave behind for two years, so I'll pretend that part doesn't exist because IT'S NOT REAL IF YOU DON'T SAY IT or something like that.) Temper that excitement level with vaguely ethereal fears of the unknown and that's pretty much the mix causing my resting heart rate to be in the low hundreds these days. He's applied at a few good places stateside, but a few are a really good match overseas, too. I have come to utterly trust the God that ordains our steps, and I have made so many poor choices and mistakes in life to know that even if I think I want something in the moment, it does not follow that I will still want it when I get it. I don't want to take even one step off the path He has laid before us, and to come full circle, I aim to be content in the riches He has given us in the gift of the every day, no matter where, or how, or with how much. Still, one can dream...

The hopeful-fish-and-chipper.