Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Big Question

My due date is fast approaching. The questions from strangers and loved ones alike have changed from "are you excited?" to "are you ready?". And the answers are yes, and no - but also no, and yes. Yes we are excited, yes we are equally terrified. No we are NOT ready, who is ever "ready" to be a parent? Yes, I am ready to get this baby out of me, to have the freedom to move around again without stares and without wobbles.

The question though, that is hardest to answer is the one about what we're going to do after the baby. For money, particularly. I'm doing my best not to be annoyed by the question because people are just curious, about how a young couple like us can make it living in the countries most expensive place to live. Now that is a question we definitely don't have the answer to. The best we can do is smile, shrug, and say that we trust God with His plan for us after the baby. Which doesn't satisfy anyones curiosity, but that is the honest truth indeed.

There are many things I wish I could do that would make money for our little family. If I could create handmade things and have my business boom in a matter of months, I would love that. If I could write a column in a local paper or perhaps a book, I would love that too. If I could be an event planner, somehow gather years of experience in a few months and magically have a thriving business come February when I'm ready to go back to work -- heck that would be freaking awesome. If I could be a case worker for people seeking treatment around the bay area, that would be sweet. If I could do any of these things full time and bring the baby with me on "most" days, well that would be living in a dream. But none of these things are even on the radar of possibility right now. I don't doubt Gods power to change that, but I don't see it right now - so they stay in the area of my brain labeled dreams and only come out to play during nights of insomnia.

I do have a couple things lined up, though. Right now I am technically on leave from my substitute teaching job. Because I am basically a contractor for this company there is a lot of freedom, freedom I'm super thankful for, regarding when I can come back. They are holding my job until February -- in which I would need to commit 2 full days a week to working as a substitute teacher in the San Jose area. I also am a contractor for the delivery driving job I was doing part time up until just last month. I was delivering blood & medical supplies on an as needed basis for the American Red Cross & most of the major San Jose hospitals. A job I also loved because of the freedom of scheduling and independent nature. I have figured out that I'm just not cut out to work a 40-hour a week job at a desk with a supervisor and boss breathing down my neck all day. I don't like corporations, or authority, or people telling me when I get to go pee. Part of that is me being stubborn, the other part is me just being myself.

What I do know is that I have made the decision to leave my current job with the major health corporation where I have spent the last year. Grateful doesn't even begin to cover my feelings for the job that I have had there, I have matured, learned, and enjoyed it so very much. As much as I love it, it has come to bring me a lot of stress and anxiety -- something I absolutely crumble under. It has also given me a new perspective on my own motivations for the job. One thing I need to make clear is that I have absolutely zero competitive nature in me. Within the last year there have been a lot of changes, and the job has become significantly more about numbers and money. Numbers and money, to me, don't belong in an industry that should be geared towards saving the lives of addicts. When you meddle money with rehab you get sub-standard care, you get "cookie cutter" rehab, you get program directors & admissions directors with one thing on their mind -- how they can get the most money out of insurance companies and bank accounts while still seeming to care.

When I realized that that is where the corporation was heading towards, I became really dissatisfied with the work I was expected to do. All the presentation of numbers, all of that garbage (to me), killed it for me. I knew this job was a "sales" job of sorts when I took it, but I wasn't prepared and am not prepared to follow it in the direction it is going. I have two weeks left at that job - I am enjoying it as much as I can with all of my coworkers that I absolutely love.

Ok, I'm getting off my soap box now and stepping back into what I really intended to blog about :)

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In addition to me going back part time, Seth is still working part time at his job in Salinas -- which by the way is the coolest job ever. He works on broken and restored war airplanes & privately owned airplanes. He is only working after school right now and weekends when he is needed (like today) but he is learning so much and really enjoys the work. Who knows, something really great may come along in the next few months for him -- maybe it will be closer to home or pay more of an hourly wage.

My Etsy shop is open again, and I am feverishly working on new items. I was so excited when 25 minutes after listing a new item yesterday it already sold! That will provide some income for us as well as we transition into our new lives as parents in the coming months -- I'm praying it can get more traffic & business with more advertising and word spreading.


We are also getting help from our families financially which is amazing -- we wouldn't have been able to survive this past year without their help.

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Have I mentioned that I don't really want to go back to work? Saying that you want to be a stay at home mom in this society is like whispering a demonic hex over your life. People laugh, they stare at you blankly, they scoff, they shake their head. "But why on earth would you throw away your education?"..."Don't you want to do something of value?" -- to me that's the demonic hex whispering right there! Raising my children (singular for now) is the most important job I could ever do on this earth. There is no amount of money I could put in our bank account that would make me want to go back to work full time instead of being home with them (him). I know I'm saying this before I'm officially a mom, and bla bla bla I might feel differently in a few years, or get bored, or desperately need money but if what I've heard about how motherhood changes your life -- I'm pretty sure I'll feel this way in a few months.

I used to have really big occupational and financial goals. And these admittedly were goals driven by a culture that told me I need money and stuff to be happy. That mentality has caused me to make an idol of money -- a deep seeded core idol that God is now just revealing to me in the deep down ugliness of my heart. Now as I work, with God's help, on unravelling this idol from the top down and not letting it reign in my life any longer I will trust Him with what He is doing in our bank account - and with the hours of the day that I'm "supposed" to be making money.

People tell me in response that you can only trust God so much or so far. Really? The God that moves mountains, splits seas, heals marriages, pardons murders, rescues sinners and wipes them completely clean of sin-- money is somehow to big and powerful for that God? That's a lie. Hate to break it to ya, but God is much bigger and grander and more amazing than you are making Him out to be.

We are about to enter a new season of life that I could easily label as scary, unknown, and crazy. I'm choosing not to look at it that way. Choosing joy instead, choosing faith, choosing to trust -- a lot more happiness follows those choices than those ugly labels over a season we don't have a lot of control over. So, as the question continues to be asked I will continue to smile, shrug and say those corny words about how we bank with Jesus and not really with Chase.

But if you know anyone hiring an admin, writer, crafter, counselor-type person come February, you just let me know.


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