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Sunday, September 19, 2010

FOOD FOR THE SPIRIT--One Year

Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of Tyler's losing his job. I thought for today's post, I'd reflect a little on what this IMMENSE and challenging detour has meant to our family. It has been significant enough, that we have a invisible line through our family's timeline, delineating the before and after. All of us have experienced pain, confusion, anger, frustration, helplessness, and grief, but what has come as a sweet, merciful surprise is, that more often, we have felt guided, protected, and cared for. Here is a short list of some of the lessons of the last year:

1. Never take anything for granted. Now that Tyler and I are both working crazy schedules just to keep food on the table, our time together and at home is limited. As a result, we really make our family time count. No more sitting around, watching TV or playing video games. No more feeling picked on because of the countless tasks that need to be done. On my days off, I actually ENJOY cleaning now. In fact, I look forward to it! I now love doing homework with my kids. It has become a special, more appreciated part of family bonding. I love Saturdays, when I am able to clean, cook homemade meals, and take the dog for a walk: all things that I wouldn't have even thought twice about before Ty lost his job. I even love the opportunity to sink my hands into a sink-ful of hot, soapy dishwater, while watching my kids play tag in the back yard.

2. Always make time for family. Tyler and I have really had to improvise with our date nights, since money has been so tight. We now work in the garden, borrow movies from our parents, rather than rent them, go for long walks, and experiment with new recipes, where before, we would simply go to dinner and a movie. We have found these new activities to be even more romantic and FUN! A few weeks ago, we all wound up at home...together...at the same time! It was so unheard of, given the craziness of our hectic lives, that we decided to take an impromptu road trip to Arctic Circle in Tremonton, where we went inside and ordered 59-cent ice cream cones. It was actually heaven on earth, to sit there with my cherished family, all together and share such a sweet, appreciated moment with them. It's hard to explain how sweet that night together felt...

3. Just do it! The day after Ty lost his job, we both started the hunt for alternate employment. Three days later, I was hired to work at Farmers Insurance. Since that time, I have studied for and taken my licensure exam and now I am a Licensed Property and Casualty Producer. I also started my own little photography business, something I never would've had the guts to do, if not for the need to make more money a year ago. I am so grateful that I was led down these paths because my confidence in myself, and in the Lord's ability to help me, has grown immensely.

4. Put yourself in someone else's shoes. Tyler and I have sort of switched roles during this whole ordeal. I have had to put myself in more of a breadwinner role. I understand more about what he struggles with day-to-day: the anxiety of going to work in the morning, the stress of work-related problems that are difficult not to bring home, etc. And meanwhile, he has had a chance to step into my shoes. He's realizing that it is hard work keeping a house, making meals, and helping the children with the schedules and studies. We really have learned to love and appreciate each other on a whole new level. I think we've grown closer in the last year than we'd ever been before.

5. Lean not unto my own understanding. Before this last year, I'd always just thought, "If we ever lose a job, we'll just find another one." But that wasn't God's plan for us. After applying for hundreds and hundreds of jobs--in his field and not--without much luck at all, we started realizing that maybe this is a crossroads for us. As we began praying and really searching to understand HIS will for our family, we came to the decision to have Tyler go back to school.

We are still learning new lessons daily. Though at times, I long for everything to just be "all better," as I look back on this trial, I can see glimpses of the good that have come. I long for stable employment, financial security, and fun trips, but even more, I long to be close to my Heavenly Father and to do things His way. And I know that He leads us daily and that His angels are around us to buoy us during the hard times. I can truly say that I wouldn't have it any other way!

6 comments:

jnkeller said...

I love that instead of taking a defeatist's view of things, you've striven to keep your heads above water both financially as well as spiritually by being optimistic and making everything count. Seriously...you're such a great role model!

kimiko said...

Your year sounds a lot like mine. Last October, Dan stopped getting paid because the company was struggling. In February, he finally asked to be laid off. The week he was laid off, I found out that my former employer was hiring, and they hired me back. For almost six months, I worked and Dan stayed home with the baby. Leaving my baby and going to work was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but it also made me realize how much I had taken for granted staying at home with her before. Like you and Tyler, Dan and I learned about each other's roles, and I must say, I like mine much better. :) Now that I'm able to stay home again with my baby, I appreciate each day so much more. And even though this past year has been so difficult, I can't say it was a horrible year because it seems like we saw miracles almost every day.

Becky said...

I love your first point that things you previously did not necessarily appreciate (cleaning house) is now something you enjoy. Although I work at home, I still don't always get the time to complete housework until after my work day is done. I LOVE doing housework and sometimes wish I didn't have the added stress of work in my life, but like you, I find that I appreciate the everyday things so much more.

Love your thoughts and admire your conquering spirit! :)

Tamaran said...

I love your list.

K Walton said...

Thanks for all the feedback, you guys! I can't tell you how much your love and support has meant to me. Keeping this blog has helped me so much and I appreciate each of you more than you know!

Juli said...

You often say just what I need to hear! I thought you should know that. :)