Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Answered Prayers

I haven't posted with job news because things are up in the air right now.

I've been praying that God would throw obstacles in front of the changes that aren't right for us. And at the end of each prayer I've tacked on a half-hearted, "and, of course - if you want us to stay put for a while, let us know." But I've not-so-secretly hoped God would see things my way, and uproot us in a major way. Because I love change. I really do.

Let's start with obstacles. There are three positions Penn has pursued in the past few weeks.

Position 1, at the ski resort, is just too big. Too many hours, a staggering amount of work and responsibility, too much stress, less time with us. Just a step backward as far as quality of life. Even though it would be an excellent career move... Obstacle city.

Position 2, at the Vermont inn? They hired someone else. So that's a small obstacle, don't you think?

Position 3, is similar to his current role, but a step up. A bit more managerial with more people to supervise and less hands-on. The big draw? It would be a HUGE salary increase. Huge. HUGE. I just can't emphasize how much more money it is. But there are obstacles. Like it is in one of the most expensive zipcodes in the Silicon Valley. Where are we supposed to live, even on this (to us) amazing salary? For some reason neither of us are excited about it - the job or the move. That's kind of weird, in and of itself, right? No one followed up with Penn after last week's telephone interview, so we figured they weren't interested and that was okay with us.

In the meantime, I woke up early Saturday morning and Penn was missing. Not answering his cell phone and gone for several hours. I was racking my brain, trying to imagine where he could be. It started out innocently enough - Perhaps he's picking up breakfast at McDonald's, getting the oil changed, making a grocery store run - that kind of thing. After a couple hours I was considering more dramatic explanations for his whereabouts. Maybe he'd driven himself to the emergency room. Maybe he'd been in a car accident. Maybe he'd been forceably taken from the house, at gunpoint. Maybe he'd decided to leave us for that girl from the bar who'd thrown herself at him after the reunion. (It didn't bother me at the time, but I obviously hadn't forgotten about it, right?!)

Finally, he called. He was at the men's Bible study breakfast.

Oh. Oh-kaaaay.

He thought I would remember that it was scheduled for that morning. But even though I'd pointed it out to him in the bulletin a few weeks ago and he'd actually put the invitation on the front of the fridge I'd totally forgotten about it. In a million years, I didn't expect him to go. He didn't go last year. Or the year before that.

Wow. So totally unexpected and exciting. My husband. Voluntarily signing himself up for an organized church activity. Getting up early every other Saturday morning to discuss a book about spiritual discipline.

When he came home with his study book and Bible under his arm I was so proud! I tried to play it cool, like it wasn't in the least bit surprising. But it was. It still is.

That night he got out a calculator and figured out how many pages he needs to read to get through the Bible in a year. Ohmygosh. And he's already finished two chapters in his book and two days of Genesis.

I've prayed for Penn to have a closer relationship with God. He and I are always moving in the same direction, but at a different pace. The fact that he takes us to church every week, occasionally prays with me, says grace when the three of us eat together, and brings up spiritual matters fairly frequently - that is really more than I ever expected.

I've been pretty careful to give him space and not nag him about faith issues. Because that would be such an ineffective approach. From time to time I remind him that he is the spiritual leader of our family. For the past few years I have been so amazed to see him step into that role more and more. And I know his motivation for doing so has very little to do with me. I tend to try to control every little thing but I've tried very hard not to try to manipulate him when it comes to this kind of thing.

It's a fine line to walk between encouraging and supporting someone, with out trying to lead or coerce them, isn't it? I think it's the difference between a) asking a question to see if someone agrees with you or to change their mind and b) asking a question to see what someone really thinks.

So this is all so encouraging to me. And also my own Bible study is about to begin. I've signed up for MOPS. I actually have a social engagement on my calendar for the month of October. There is a women's retreat, Oysterfest with my in-laws, and my parents' "Barn Party," all in the same month.

All of a sudden I remember how much I love our house. I've rearranged a few things, which is fun and allows me to see it with new eyes. Our weather has been absolutely perfect for at least a month. Lots of variety, ranging from mild and rainy to summery and sunny. Fall is almost here - my absolute favorite time of year, which always serves as an emotional pick-me-up.

Basically, I feel like I've had a perspective shift. All of a sudden I feel quite content to stay right here for at least a couple more seasons. Maybe longer.

We still have the same goals - for Penn's career and to find a hometown for Nicknack. But they aren't immediate. I'm wondering if God hasn't been working on my heart and mind because the thought of a major change no longer sounds so exciting.

And Penn is on the exact same page, which is always a good sign.

But this morning Job #3 people called. They want to fly Penn down for an interview. I think he will go. Until you can see a place it's hard to know how you feel about it. It's always good to have more information to make a decision. But in my heart of hearts, I hope he doesn't like the area, the job, the people - something.

I know we can find a new church there, but that sometimes takes a lot of time. He's taken such a big step with this Bible study, I'd hate for him not to be able to go through with it. The move and all it entails, a new job and all it involves - both would be hugely distracting. Would he still make time to move forward with his Bible reading plan?

So I'll be praying about this, but right now I'm leaning toward putting the job hunt on hold until at least January. In the meantime I'm just enjoying September and looking forward to all the fun things happening, just around the corner. Here, where I am right now. For as long as we are here, whether that is three weeks, three months, three years or even longer.


Alana said...

Life sure is puzzling sometimes, isn't it. Just when you think you have it figured out God can throw you for a loop. Hang in there, whatever God has in store is sure to be just right for you.

So glad Penn is stepping out to do the Bible Study. Can't wait to hear about your first experience with MOPS. We had our first meeting yesterday and it was great as always!

Lisa said...

I can almost hear your excitement as I read this post. How wonderful that God is leading Penn into a closer walk with Him.
And, whatever God has planned for your family - it will be awesome. So, until He reveals that to you, I pray you will continue to enjoy where you are. You are so very blessed.
Can hardly wait to hear more - about the job situation and about Penn's Bible study.
Love in Christ!

Heather said...

Isn't life just crazy sometimes. I feel you! I LOVE MOPS! It is awesome and a great outlet. Hope you enjoy it!

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

Sounds like God is definitely working in your home, and in your hearts! Praise His Name!

You commented on my post about drowning out the noise...I'm having to be very intentional about it. I've been sacrificing sleep, but it's been SO worth it!

Robin said...

I absolutely love how you always listen to God. You always think through things carefully and take your time and make deliberate decisions. I guess I appreciate it because I am the most impulsive person alive LOL!
I think it's also great how you are so patient with your husband's spiritual journey - realizing that is his and not yours. You are one wise woman!
I love fall too - it's the best time of the year!

The Small Scribbler said...

I think men relate differently to God. I study His Word and discuss it's meaning and teach it to the kids. Stuart? Notsomuch. But, he prays continually and lives a life of greater obedience than I do. So, he is learning by my teaching and discussing and I am learning by his living example. It's a good balance. In our earlier years of marriage, I pushed him to study more. Now I don't. That's God's job. Sounds like you've already got that figured out.

Contentment is an awesome thing. So glad you are finding it right where you are.


connorcolesmom said...

yep - I feel you sister!
We have been down this raod before. I have to tell you from experience that when it is the rigth move you will just know it. My hubby had been looking for years and when I was 7 months pregnant with my second child he got a wonderful job offer from a friend who just so happened to come into town for dinner. Fast forward 4 months and we were moving to Georgia. We have loved the move, the new city, the job, all of our new friends, and have better friends here than we did where we use to live.
God has a GREAT plan for your family. He will reveal it to you in His perfect timing!!
Oh are you going to San Antonio?
I have hotel rooms - do you need one?
Love ya,

Rachel Anne said...

Thank you so much for your prayers this week...we've needed it.


Rachel Anne