The fog is lifting…

I’m not feeling particularly inspired to write tonight, but it’s been a while, so I figure I’d better write something just to keep the habit going. That said, things are definitely getting better with my emotional/mental state these days. I don’t know if it’s just that the depression is fading on its own, or if it’s the omega-3 supplements I’ve been taking again (they’ve done the trick in the past…), but I’m really feeling a whole lot better about life these days. I have a lot more energy and excitement about what I’m doing in my home-work.

I had a close call shortly after Christmas. Since Sam’s job had been so short on hours, I woke up early one morning (worried about things and couldn’t sleep) and browsed online for jobs –presumably for him, when I ran across an ad for a production artist at a place in Sheboygan. In a fit of incredible stupidity and frustration, I emailed them my resume. No cover letter, just the resume. Wouldn’t you believe it, when we returned from Christmas, there was a message on the phone. They wanted to do a phone interview. I was in a total funk the whole next two weeks. Finally I was persuaded to call them back and schedule a phone interview, figuring I’d better not eliminate my options at that point. Sam and I discussed the possibility of me working full-time first shift and him working full-time second shift, since then the kids wouldn’t need daycare, and they’d see both of us. Sam and I, however, wouldn’t see a whole lot of each other. We also discussed just me working and him quitting his job to stay home with the kids. I wasn’t comfortable with either option and neither was Sam. We sat on the idea for about a week, and the morning of the scheduled interview, after a phone discussion with my mother in law (a woman of much wisdom), I decided the main problem causing our stress wasn’t our debt or even our financial situation, but the limbo in which we’d been living since Sam decided not to return to Valley. Since that is our main stressor, it makes a lot more sense for me to be here at home full-time, keeping things relatively peaceful, sane, and making home a refuge from all the junk going on in our lives. If I were home full-time, I figured, I’d be better able to support Sam and sort of be his secretary and administrative assistant to help him find a better job, plus I’d be here to do all the stuff I already know how to do, but as of late, haven’t had the energy or motivation to do well.

I’ve had a bit of a paradigm shift. I’ve been in “survival mode” for about a year and a half now. I’ve been doing what I need to get by, but I’d lost the joy in doing home work that I had back when things were stable. I used to love being a wife and a mom, yet somehow it’d disintegrated into “what I do to get by.” Since I had my close call with the outside work world and envisioned what life would be like if I were gone most of the day working somewhere else, I’ve come to a new appreciation of the power and the value of being a homemaker. Not just a stay-at-home mom or a “housewife,” but a real home-maker. I already have a job, and it’s the one I was made to do for this season of my life. I will never again get a shot at teaching my kids to be civilized or how to relate to others and God in the same way that I can now by being with them most of the day. Sam would make a pretty good stay-at-home dad, I’m sure, but I’m realizing that doing it myself is a privilege I’m not willing to give up just yet.

So, I’m getting excited about doing this wholeheartedly again, not just in “survival mode,” but doing my best to make a real home for our family, a place where they can come to and rest. A place of peace and harmony (although sometimes a kind of noisy peace). A safe place to land when everywhere else isn’t. A place of acceptance and grace. That’s what I want our home to be about, even if it is small and we don’t have all the nice furniture or accessories that I’d like to have for us. I enjoy making do with what we have anyway –it’s a fun challenge to me to find little things that build up a sense of home, in a different way than hundred-dollar window treatments or Ethan Allen furniture does. I may not have a lot of money in this season of life, but I am thankful that I do have a lot of creativity, and a lot more time now that the kids are growing older and more independent. What else could I ask for?

One thought on “The fog is lifting…

  1. I totally understand, Shelbi. We’re struggling with being dirt-poor, and the outlook is not good for people whose priorities are such that staying at home comes before material possessions. Or having the house warm.

    Stay strong!

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