Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Team Hardacker

Has anyone seen the show "My Name is Earl".  Of course you have, it is on in re-runs about 20 times a day.  For those who have lives and don't catch every show ever made: There is a guy named Earl who is going around trying to make up for all the bad things he has done.  He has a brother, Randy, who follows him around helping him make amends.  In one episode he decides Randy needs to get a job and stop being so dependant on him all the time.  So Randy gets a job and Earl finds himself trying to help someone he has wronged in the past.  He just has to pick up some guys mother, buy some donuts and bring them both to visit the guy in prison.  But there are several road blocks to doing that and day after day he cannot get it all done before visiting hours end.  He starts earlier and earlier each day but still can't make it.  Finally Randy has a day off and goes with to help.  They get started at the crack of dawn and race through each task to find themselves sitting at the prison BEFORE visiting hours start.  Turns out that while Earl couldn't do it on his own, with Randy's help it wasn't very hard at all.

Today was a snow day.  Isabelle started school 2 hours late and because John was plowing and Jake ended up helping I stayed home with her and went into work 3 hours late.  Can I just say it was heaven?  Of course, as is our life, nothing goes smoothly.  So the snow all came down around 4am after John had finally given up checking and went to bed for the duration.  He was so tired that when I asked him at 6:30am if he would be home for Isabelle's late start it didn't click with him that it had snowed and he should get up and plow. (And since he came to bed so late I thought he had already been out plowing)  But when I went in to ask him to clear the end of our driveway so i could get out for work it all came together.  Well, sort of...The plow broke while he was clearing our driveway and as he is trying to fix it the phone starts ringing.  John, unable to problem solve a broken plow and a needy client basically tells me to tell her "too bad".  Luckily I have better problem solving skills and get the teenager out of bed and heading in the direction of her house with a shovel in the back of the van to rescue the stuck client.

John was able to get the plow fixed and while this has been a very full day he was able to get everything done. 

As the day comes to an end I am thinking about that episode of "My Name is Earl".  Lately our life has been like that.  I am working and John is working but I can't help him and he can't help me and it just seems like separately neither of us are really getting anything done or going anywhere.  We are a team.  We need each other.  His success is due in part to my involvement in his business and personal life.  And I can't get anything started without his support and encouragement. When we are both focused on surviving our own thing we end up going nowhere.  Today reminded me of that.  Being able to help him problem solve in a crisis, switching the laundry he started the night before and cleaning up the kitchen before leaving for work so it was clean when he started diner this evening.  Life is smoother when we work together.

Over the past several weeks it has become clear that our current working arrangement is not working for our family.  I have been talking about starting my own business for a while thinking i would work full time until I got it started but it has become clear that I don't have the time or energy to start a business and keep my priorities in order while working full time.  And our family is suffering.  So we are looking at and praying about other options.  We continue to be fully committed to John staying in school full time but believe there are other options worth exploring.  Options that give me more flexibility so that we can work together to accomplish our goals rather that being torn apart and going nowhere.

I don't know what will happen next or when but a plan is formulating and I am excited to once again feel like we are a team.

As we recently learned Thomas Edison might say, this has not been a failure, we have simply discoverd one of the ways that supporting John while in school does not work.


  1. I'll be praying for you guys to find something that fits right for your family. The ability to support each other and work as a team is huge, and I know first hand that it CAN be done.

  2. Also, this post articulated something I've been chewing on for a long time, but didn't know how to put into words. Seattle is a very feminist, rights-driven, I can do anything culture. Most families are dual income and the couples live parallel lives, not integrated and united. It's very weird. Men in the tech community have noticed that Bryan and I work together, that we're a team, and they've actually *asked* bryan how they can get their wives to be interested in what they do because they're longing for that teamwork (they don't say as much, of course). Anyway, teamwork in a marriage is gospel centered and missional. God will provide opportunities for you. What I'm doing now pretty much dropped into my lap out of nowhere.