I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the congregation. Ps40.10
I have been meaning to update this for a long time . . . We are praising God and thanking Him for His goodness to us! Things have worked out better than we could have hoped for Jim finding a job and going back to school . . . we were very prepared for the job search to be a long and difficult process, considering the economy currently and knowing of several people who are having a hard time finding a job . .. AND, because we feel like seminary is the right next step, and we would like to get through that as quickly as possible, we could not see a way to do that and Jim to work full-time. The plan originally was to move to the seminary he will be going to, live on campus (cheap!), and both of us work part-time. The big looming question then was what to do about health care, as a family plan currently would run us about $700 a month . . . there didn't seem to be any clear answers as to how to make seminary work, and we were questioning everything: where to live, how to make ends meet, if an expensive seminary education was just a joke, whether our days in the ministry were simply over . . . . in the midst of trying to navigate these decisions we were still in the midst of some pretty intense situations, and so after one unbelievably bad weekend, we were forced to take a hard look at ourselves and face the fact that we were emotionally, spiritually, and physically exhausted.
Finally, we realized that we weren't getting any answers because we had been asking the wrong questions. So rather than leaving one traumatic situation and throwing ourselves and our children into a new and potentially more stressful environment, we put the brakes on and began to ask, What is required for us to be a healthy family again? What does a safe, calm, restorative environment look like for us and our girls?
We determined that the best decision for us and our girls was to not make any major decisions right away, but to create as much stability as possible, and to be in a place where we can rest and be a part of a community. So to make a long story short, Jim arrived at the conclusion (and I in agreement) that we should try to stay here, in our hometown, to be near family and friends for one year at least.
After we reached this decision, everything else fell into place! Within one week of being unemployed, Jim was hired by the engineering firm he worked for before going into the ministry nine years ago. He is going to be working just thirty hours per week, or more as his school schedule permits, and will be able to go to seminary as a full-time student! And the best part is that his company offered to pay our health insurance, even though he'll only be working 30 hours! We truly never expected that!
So once again life is not what we expected, but the rightness of this place and the peace we have is unquestionable. We are eager now to embrace a quieter and simpler place for a season, and to enjoy the friendships and family that God has given us here. In addition, Jim couldn't be happier about starting back to engineering, and is equally looking forward to being a seminary student! I am thankful to be able to continue being at home with my girls, and so glad that they will have their grandparents near for a little longer at least. As with everything in life, we are attempting to hold loosely to even these things, as we want to always be willing and ready to go wherever and whenever He may lead . . . but for now to be found faithful and fruitful in the work and the place (even our hometown) that He is calling us to.
So I began this blog with the intention of keeping friends and family up to date on our daily lives, as I pictured us living somewhere far away . .. and even though we're ending up close to home, I've found that I enjoy blogging and I'll keep it up for those of my friends who I don't get to see often enough, and whoever may happen to run across this blog and care to read it!