We've recently undergone quite a few big life changes this year. 2013 has been anything but boring. Even just keeping up with our littles is enough to make for a busy life.
Since December of last year I started to feel God calling me away from my job. I wasn't sure how that would work, or if I was hearing him right. Perhaps I was just overwhelmed with my current workload and the stress of the holiday season.
In January some changes at work caused quite a stir which led Ben and I to really examine my role as an employee and our membership at the church. We had a LOT of deep and quite emotional conversations and we prayed incessantly. For a long time we waited to see what God wanted us to do. It was painful to be in that place, not knowing what God desired of us or had in store for our future on quite a few levels (personally, professionally, and overall spiritually). We continued to wait and pray.
I started to think that it would be nice to have Kai's last year before going to Kindergarten to focus on him and Desmond solely. It felt like a daydream, but I thought about it a lot. I loved my job and frankly, we needed the income to even get by. We have done a lot to slash our budget. We don't eat out, go to movies, buy toys or even clothing really. We've switched to cloth diapering and use baking soda and vinegar to clean just about everything, just to name a few things. So it didn't seem doable for me to stop working and still be able to survive (buy groceries, pay for gas, and you know...our mortgage). Still, the desire lingered in my heart.
Things at work got even more difficult, but nothing worth leaving over. I found a way to simplify my work tasks which REALLY helped for a while. Then we tried out having me do lesson planning and volunteer scheduling late at night after the boys had gone to bed. Long gone were the days when both boys napped and I could get 2-3 hours in each afternoon. Still, I found it wasn't enough time and I didn't much like missing out on one on one time with my husband to be working in the other room at 8pm. When I tried to preoccupy Kai so I could get things done while Desmond napped, I felt like I was neglecting him. Working from home has been one of the biggest challenges I've ever faced. I've work outside the home and for a short time I was solely a stay-at-home mom, but balancing both roles at the same time has been the hardest by far. Even with a well-timed schedule the kids pull rank, as they should.
Ben and I talked and prayed. My dream of leaving in the fall turned to the summer. Next thing I knew, the desire to be home full-time weighed so heavily on my heart that I knew without a doubt that God was calling me to leave my job, not in the fall, not in the summer, but right then. It was hard to swallow, but I knew I had to be obedient and trust in Him to provide for our family. That Ben and I both had to lay our pride down and recognize that we weren't the ones providing for our family in the first place, not alone anyway.
I drafted a letter. Prayed about the timing, and submitted my resignation mid April. It was both painful and freeing. I had to clarify often to staff, friends, and volunteers that we weren't leaving the church and that my leaving my job was strictly in response to God's call on my life and had no bearing on any leadership or co-workers.
May 2nd was my last day and on that day we were gifted $500. It was our first tangible affirmation that we had made the right decision and that God would provide for us in unexpected ways. While the last month has been met with some uncertainty, I'm constantly reminded that God will take care of us and I believe it, deeply. I've even had job offers and suggestions for earning additional income. I know that is not God's plan for me, to leave one job for another.
I will miss my jobs directing the Nursery + Toddlers and Preschool age ministries, but there is no doubt that this was the right move at the right time for our whole family. God is orchestrating the perfect people to take over and I'm exciting to watch these ministries flourish under their leadership as a church member and a parent of children in both age groups.
I'm so enjoying being at home with no outside deadlines pulling me away. No emails, texts, or phone calls. It's glorious. I can tell my kids are enjoying it as well. I've found a joy in fulfilling a dream that God put in my heart just 5 months ago and I look forward to seeing how He'll continue to grow and bless us through this new journey.