Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Heaviness, Highlights & Hope

My journey as a 'working mom' has often been a challenge for me.  When Jillian was born and I had to return to work, I struggled with guilt.  I felt judged because I had to work and could not stay home with her.  It almost felt as if I was a bad mom because I wasn't home with my little girl.  But Kenton and I arranged our schedules so that I could work during the day, and he would work a swing shift and be home with Jillian during the day. A year later, when I was let go from my position, Kenton and I had a discussion.  By then I had, for the most part, gotten over my guilt and had my first true desires to be a stay-at-home mom and he agreed that would be the ultimate outcome.  Alas, plans did not work out that way and financially, I needed to return to work.  Fortunately God was gracious to me and allowed me to work for a cause I was passionate about (for a short season) and to work for a dear friend and mentor at her Child Safety store.  I worked for Kay for over a year and a half and was so blessed in my time there.   We knew when we moved to WA that I would work full-time so Kenton could finish his schooling and still work at Fred Meyer.  We also knew that we wanted to expand our family.  I hoped and prayed that the timing would work out perfectly for us to get pregnant and have all of the pieces fit into place for me to be able to stay home with both of my kids.

We have spent the last 13 weeks, since Joshua's birth, hoping, praying, seeking, applying, interviewing and believing for a new, full-time job for Kenton.  He's had three interviews, with two nos and one we're still waiting on.  He's sent introductory letters to businesses in the IT field and the coffee industry in an attempt to network.  He's prayed, fasted and continually check in for the job we're still waiting to hear a final decision from.  But today ends a faith-building season for us.  Tomorrow, I return hesitantly and with faith to my job with the state. This outcome has made both of our hearts heavy.  We have cried out to God many times asking "Why?" and holding on to hope that the situation would change, even if it meant coming down the wire, the 11th hour of our wait but as of yet, we have not received the answer we had so been hoping for.

I don't mean to be dramatic, I just want to tell the truth.  I feel as if I could cry at the drop of a hat today for shattered dreams.  But, my new mantra is  . . .  fake it 'til you make it.  And for me, that will be the faith that an answer that will bring provision and abundances that we so desire with come SOON.  It's hard to stand on faith like that in the midst of what I'm facing but stand is what I will do.

Despite the end of this chapter not being written the way we would have hoped.  I have been encouraged and challenged to reflect on the blessings of this season.  The highlights if you will.

We smiled

 We slept

We spent time with friends & family


We went to Anderson Island

And to the beach

 And we celebrated Easter as a family

And most importantly, we loved on each other!

So, despite the fact that our 13 weeks of my leave have come to an end, the time was indeed well spent and I will choose to be grateful for it.  We have experience financial provision, spiritual provision and provision of fellowship with new friends. I will also choose to face my cubicle and co-workers tomorrow with faith and hope, which I know will be a little bit harder to come by.  So, if you think of me tomorrow, say a prayer.  God is the only thing that will get me through to the next page of the story and I am more convinced now than ever that the story is a good one!  (Romans 8:28) 


Ruhiyyih Rose said...

This is a great photo collage, and you have written from your heart so beautifully. I am praying that doors open for Kenton somewhere soon so that your time back at work is short lived! ;)

Emily said...

Hey Mandy...I know weird I'm commenting when I haven't seen you forever! I happened upon your blog and read it. This post was beautiful written! I will be praying for you guys.

tammi said...

Your optimism and hope does my heart good. Praying for, and loving you all! :)

Emily said...

Your dreams aren't shattered, that I'm sure of. They're just modified. :)

BTW, I love the pictures. They make me happy!!!

Carri said...

Oh Mandy, I so love your heart. I am sorry that people would (and still maybe do) make you feel bad for having to work. I know that feeling as well, but on the other end. I often get the questions.. "What do you do?" "You mean you don't work?"

It is hard to feel you need to justify yourself to people who are not walking in your shoes. But be assured, you are an amazing woman of God, wife and "Mother!" You be encouraged in the fact that you are walking in faith and for this time period, you are doing what you need to and be proud of that.

God is going to put you back in the home, and when He does you will have the questions I do, but that is ok... there is always someone who is willing to be used by the enemy to cast fear and doubt in your heart. Don't let them.

You are a treasure, so is your family. Keep believing and know that you are greater in the eyes of the Lord than your own and hang on for the ride because God is moving with power!

God Bless sweetie!