Am I the only one who goes through a grieving/acceptance process when I discover something about my life that I didn't expect? Things I didn't envision accurately? Like my first love; my career path; the guy I married; moving to the Prairies; having a baby? You know, BIG stuff?
Most of these things (okay, all of them) are aspects of my life I take for granted until reality SMACKS ME UPSIDE THE HEAD. That first boyfriend? He was around way too long. And even though the break was tough, it was for the best (well, for me - ha!). It taught me so much about myself, my family and friends, and my God. But at the time, I was beyond devastated. How could life go on without him?
As for my career, it didn't exactly take me downtown to Vancouver, living in a Yaletown loft, wearing killer stilettos and pencil skirts, and finishing my days with gin martinis at the local lounge on Hamilton Street, did it? (Yes, this really was my vision as I signed up for Journalism school! I didn't know how underpaid journalists were until after I started applying for jobs, ok? Call me naive).
Then there's Wayne. Yes, our relationship was a bit, um, one-sided for awhile (does over a year classify as "awhile"?). That's because I had grand visions of some tall, dark, knight in shining armour coming to sweep me off my feet in a swirl of passion and romance, not a blonde-haired, blue-eyed service technician with a friendly smile challenging me in a battle of wits and impressing me with his endless smarts. But boy, did I win the prize with that one!
You all know I'm a "planner," right? Type A. Yet, the best things in my life have been the moments, situations, and people I never saw coming. In all these things, I have learned, in a real and personal way, that In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9
So all I have to do is trust...right? See, what makes me such a "good Christian" (sarcasm) is that I'm constantly trying to take back control - it's just in my nature. Thus, I am constantly learning - over and over again - about how to give it back to God.
Since last September, when our precious bundle was born, I have been on mat leave. That is, I am being paid to be a mom. Hey, that's not half bad! Plus, we're living on base, which requires only one car, and in a (bigger) house (with a yard!) that costs us less to rent than the interest alone costed us on the mortgage we held on our townhouse in Clayton Heights.
So what's the problem?
Reality sets in next month: E.I. payments stop and we need to live on a real, for serious, budget. I am here, raising Heidi, and Wayne is out, at work. Why is this so scary now that it's imminent? We joined the military specifically so I could raise our kids without the pressure to work. Why is this prospect suddenly so daunting?
Having thought about it for a few weeks now (yes, it transformed into a writers' block), I can see that even though we chose this lifestyle so I could be home with children, I truly, in my heart of hearts, did not foresee myself actually, for realsies, being a full-time mom. I always anticipated having freelance clients to bring in at least a small income, which we could put away for vacations, or add to our retirement plan, or whatever. Namely, I think I envisioned us still making enough money so that I could buy the nice goat cheese at the grocery store, fun but gratuitous things for Heidi, and maybe some brand-name clothes every once-in-a-while.
But this is not how it has turned out. Despite my self-promotion, my career efforts are returning nothing but an empty inbox, and Brandon isn't exactly the most competitive business market. My deepest fear now is losing the identity I held pre-Heidi, and embracing wholeheartedly my still new identity as mother. And ONLY "mother." Because, to be honest, I can't sit at the computer for more than five minutes without getting up to move Miss H away from the tv/outlet/fireplace/fan/dog/stairs/dust bunnies. And if she's napping, I have other things to do like cleaning/cooking/baking/shopping/driving/sewing/watering/laundry/showering/maybe-shaving-my-legs. How could I commit to a steady stream of clients right now? WOrking moms, tell me: does this get easier?
In the grand scheme of things, I know deep down that this time in my life is the time I need to learn:
And all the other things I really don't want to learn.
But in the end, it will build my character, and build Heidi's as well. As she watches us act responsibly with our resources, she can grow up trusting us as providers, respecting our authority (hopefully), and gleaning wisdom by saving for the future. She will start off on the right foot where provision is concerned, and will hold high standards for herself. Above all, I want her to learn to rely on GOD for all things in life, not image, paycheck, title, or status. It all comes down to our wedding verse again: Luke 12:22-26. "Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes." It's true that He has provided for me in all things; why would He stop now?
We are a home dependent on God for provision, the means to live another day. And if we don't model this to our daughter, who will?