Thursday, August 21, 2014

Career Changes

For pretty much as long as I can remember growing up I knew I wanted to be a teacher. An elementary school teacher. A 2nd grade teacher to be exact. I just loved kids and teaching/helping anyone younger than me and making learning fun and just knew that's what I wanted to be when I grew up. Making a difference was like my driving passion... as it is for most aspiring teachers. As I got closer to college I felt totally confident about my Early Childhood major and earning my degree and starting my career.

Enter getting married and thinking about the future and planning for the babies.

Enter knowing in my heart of hearts I wanted my "career" to be temporary.

Enter feeling confident and excited about where God was leading me but knowing He had other plans for me away from the classroom.

Enter challenges and complications from that point forward. Ha!

Before I began teaching I knew I wanted to be home with my babies while they were little if I had the option. If we could make it work, if we could afford it. It was like my biggest goal and loftiest dream. Staying home with my babies while they were babies was the desire of my heart if we could figure it out and God allowed. Then I began teaching and I KNEW. It became more than just a "want" or even a dream of mine. It became necessary and required and what I knew I was supposed to do, called to do.

So Terrell and I both committed to making it happen and worked HARD to prepare for this financial change, which also meant a bit of a lifestyle change. And I gave birth to my firstborn baby boy and I took my maternity leave, finished the last 5 weeks of school that year, and then started my "retirement" the summer of 09. Haha.

Meanwhile I commited to finding something I could do to contribute to our income. And God provided the BEST possible opportunites for us at that time. From the time Garrison was 6 months old, just in time for my last paycheck from the state, until Austin was over a year old, I sold Premier Designs jewelry. I had a very consistent business and truly enjoyed my job. It was just the best thing for us at that time. Ultimately I gradually slowed down to the point of doing very little because of having 2 babies at home (one of whom depended on me for nourishment), Garrison starting sports, and our life changing into lots more busyness and lots more commitments.

So we started searching for a real job for me... part-time, but real nonetheless, and the decision was made. I taught preschool part-time for 2 years and loved it. It wasn't always easy being a working mom (although I use the term "working mom" very loosely since I was only working part-time) and having my children at work with me everyday, but we were SO blessed by that job and our amazing school.

Then we had Layton. And he couldn't attend our preschool with me (for free I might add) because he wasn't old enough. Which means it wasn't worth it for me to work... for more than one reason. Then we made the easy yet difficult decision to have zero income from me for 18 months, or the entire school year until Layton would be old enough to attend preschool. Then we moved. Without selling our house. Then the financial burden returned with a vengeance.

So that brings us to the present and last week's tough week. On top of being sick and not getting the sleep we needed, we were also in deep discussions about our financial future...which also led to discussing my next career move.

While the stress and tension that came with all of our "discussions" wasn't fun, it was necessary. We needed a plan. We needed to get on the same page. We needed to voice our expectations and opinions and goals. And while it was kind of scary- I mean have absolutely no "career drive" in me. I would stay home like indefinitely if I could. I feel called to work and serve in the home, which unfortunately does not provide a paycheck- It was worth it. Even though Terrell and I confirmed once again that we think totally different about this dreaded topic, we found some common ground and discovered God is leading us to the same place after all. Because oh is it scary when you find yourselves headed towards different destinations and you're MARRIED. Umm, hello. Not good. Gracious.

It just came down to knowing at the end of the day, we're on the same team and God's will would NEVER have us land at different destinations. Never. So praying was involved. Being honest with ourselves and each other was involved. And compromise and soul-searching and problem solving was involved.

So, as of last week, we're preparing to embark on a new career opportunity for me. And by career, I mean something somewhat in my field that I can do from home that will provide some small but consistent income for our family. Something we feel God has led us to and that can work either immediately or in the future, temporarily or long-term.

While the thought of another "career change" has been a little intimidating, it's something I'm at peace about and trusting God with. It was His idea after all. And once we've worked out details and made things more official I'll have to share more. This week I'm just especially thankful for God's provisions and for this new opportunity. Oh, and that my husband and I are on the same team. Whew. =)

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