It has been a good year. And a bad year.
There have been a lot of things that have not worked this past year. Me being out of the house nearly 10 hours a day has not worked. John taking on so much responsibility at home while also being a full time student and working nearly 30 hours a week has not really worked. Ignoring our children for most of the year has not really worked.
There have been some good things too. I was able to separate myself from my homemaker life. I miss it but if I am going to have a career going forward I needed that separation. John has spent more time with Jake and especially Isabelle than he normally would have otherwise and created a beautiful bond between them. We have worked together as a family to care for the house and each other. And most of all, John as a student has worked very well. Throughout all the struggles of the year I have kept going because my husband was thriving in school.
But I am not one to accept that I must be miserable to accomplish a goal like this. I believe we can have success in our family life while also putting John through school. I believe there is a better balance out there than what we have experienced. And so this winter as everything was feeling so overwhelming we started talking about what our family needed. Who we are and what will work for us.
We are self employed people, not 8-5 desk sitters. Our personal lives and our work lives have been fully integrated for so many years we hardly know the difference between them. I needed a job that allowed me to continue that kind of flexibility in our lives and in the pursuit of our financial support. By the end of the year John had found a nice balance with his construction work and his school. But I was getting nowhere starting a business on the side of an 8-5 job.
We decided that when he was done with the semester I would quit my job. The plan was for me to find something part time so I had some consistent income while I worked on generating self employed income on the side. John would be able to work extra and had several good sized jobs lined up for the summer so it was the perfect time for me to make a little less money while establishing a business and building up some income. It was scary but we had the Peace that this was where God was leading us in this second year of our life change and everything would work out perfectly.
I had hoped that my current company would keep me part time and gave them a month notice to consider and come up with something. Unfortunately it became clear very quickly that it probably wasn't going to work out long term to stay with them part time. At first I sort of panicked. I was irritated at how they were handling my request. Then I was worried about finding another job. And I sent out a couple resumes to jobs on craig's list and got zero response to them. Crickets. The whole time I know I heard God's voice in the back of my head telling me to relax, that He had directed this plan to part time and that He would provide. I wanted to draw that truth to the front of my head but was too busy riding my roller-coaster emotions to let it happen. Still, God doesn't need me to be on board waiting patiently to put His plan in action.
A friend of a friend from church, who didn't even know she would be looking for someone when I first quit my job, found herself panicking last week over loosing her bookkeeper/assistant. As she was telling 2 of my friends this problem they both told her it wasn't a problem because they should hire me, "Melanie would be perfect". And, long story short, less than a week later she had hired me to replace her sister as her assistant. In her confirmation email she echoed my thoughts exactly:
"I am so grateful God has provided (as usual). Isn’t it funny that the stress still gets to me even after He has provided in every single solitary situation??"
On June 4th I start a job I never even considered as a possible option, but God did, He knew where He was leading me all along. I will be working 20-30 hours a week from home. FROM HOME. I will be able to get Isabelle on AND off the bus the last 3 days of school and all of next year and the years to come. I will be able to set my own schedule and take time to pursue my own things on my own schedule. I won't have to ask permission to take a little time off to run up to the school for one of Isabelle's class parties, or take a long lunch with a friend and I can run Isabelle to her various activities this summer all without worrying about warming a seat for the required number of hours each day. The job just needs to be done, I won't be monitored online to make sure I am really working. They are trusting me to get the work done. The job sounds to be a lot like what I have been doing in my husband's business for years only on a much larger scale. I will know more in another week but for now I just can't believe how perfectly God has worked this all out.
So exactly, to the day, one year after returning to work full time I will be leaving my current job. And the following Monday we start this transition of me returning to work all over but, in a whole new structure.
Although it has been hard and didn't end up working out long term, I am so glad I have had this year working outside our home. It gave me the opportunity to re-learn what the work force is like, get up to speed on current business practices and augmented my very basic understanding of Excel and Word. It created a forced discipline that I don't know if I could have developed on my own but which I can take with me into my new job. It pushed me into a new mind set. A working mindset rather than a homemaking one. It prepared me for what is next in my life. It wasn't the right place for me long term but it was exactly what I needed this past year.
So here I sit with 3 working days left before I start my new life amazed at what God is doing. Can't wait to see what's next!
"For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11