Monday, June 29, 2015

Life, Family, Change...

Life brings us many changes over the years. Our hearts change and many times become more clear as to the path that is laid out for us. Many times those paths leave us with hard choices and rocky roads to navigate. Those roads are rocky many times because we have to consider more than just ourselves. God calls us to put Him first, then our family, then ourselves. We have to reflect and pray over our decisions to make sure that they are keeping those priorities straight.

When Corey and I first got married, I had no intention of having children. I felt very strongly about foster care and adoption and felt that was what we would do. However, Corey felt very strongly about having biological children. We had no problems getting pregnant and so we began our family in May 2004 when our son was born. At this time I was working at a large bank in the collections area and my goal was to work my way up the corporate chain. I wanted to be in financial planning and when I was passed over for a job in that department only because I didn’t have my master’s degree, I quickly enrolled to get my masters degree so I could someday have that job. We had another child, our daughter, while I was still working in collections and finishing that masters degree. I had no qualms about sending our children to childcare so I could work full-time. This is what was right for our family at the time. A few years later, I got an amazing promotion and worked for a different department doing a job that was AMAZING. About a year after I got this wonderful dream job, we found out we were expecting again. My work family was very supportive and allowed me much flexibility throughout the pregnancy and leave. When it was time to return to work, my heart had changed. I kept feeling a VERY strong hand on my heart that *I* needed to be raising our children. The words kept playing through my mind that God had blessed us with these children and I needed to be the one to raise them. I did go back to work but it just didn’t feel right. Don’t get me wrong, I still LOVED my job. I loved my boss. I loved my co-workers. But there was another problem that continued to lay heavily on my heart. During the summer of 2007, I got a “crazy hair” to start a website dedicated to buying and selling pre-owned maternity clothes. The website was just a fun way for me to do something different and meet a little need that I kept becoming more aware of. But now it was the summer of 2008 and I had 3 children and a business.

Wait, what?! I had a business?! I never intended to have a business. MY plans just a few years before were for me to foster kids and possibly adopt 1 or 2 and still keep working my way up the corporate ladder. I mean *I* had a plan. Where in the world did the hard pressing corporate woman go? When did I go “soft”? These thoughts rolled through my head a lot. I was trying to juggle it all…MY plans and the plans that I just kept feeling GOD was calling me to do. I was still working full time (at a job I loved remember), run a physical store and a website and have 3 kids under 5 years of age.

Something had to give. I cried a lot. That was the hardest year of our marriage up to that point. It was hard because no one had the same vision that I did. I now know that is not a bad thing, God didn’t lay these plans on anyone's heart but mine. It was only me that needed to be obedient to Him. So we decided that we would take the leap and leave my cushy income behind and pursue Elegant Mommy full-time – but more importantly *I* would raise our children.

2014-2015 has made 2008 look like a walk in the park. Our lives have been shaken up in so many ways. It has been VERY hard to try to remain positive. I know that I need an attitude adjustment most days. It is HARD to keep life’s balance. It is hard to remember that I have 4 amazing children that God blessed us with. He has also blessed me with an amazing and supportive Husband, who I don’t dedicate enough time to. He has also blessed and burdened us with doing everything we can to make Elegant Mommy and Educated Mommy a community resource for our area. I’m writing this post as a reminder to myself about where my priorities need to lay. God and the path that He has laid out needs to be first priority in my life. Then my family and then myself. It is a daily struggle to look at situations and decisions and decide if it is God’s path or if it’s my path.

Why am I writing this publicly on our blog? Because I know that I am not the only Mom struggling with this. I am just another Mom trying to do what God called me to do. It may not be what God called you for, in fact, I know it is not exactly what God called you for. He called you for your own unique path. Follow that path and do not pay attention to what other people on this Earth want you to do . YOU know what you have been called to do. No one else has to understand, but you need to be obedient to what God desires for you.

God blessed us with another amazing blessing in late 2014 and she has ROCKED OUR WORLD. I can’t even describe all of the ways that she has rocked our world. I was content with the place that we were at in our lives. I was able to keep up with the pace and lifestyle that we had created. But that is about to change.

We are finally moving back to Sioux Falls. Moving back to Sioux Falls will be an enormous change for our family. Corey and I built our house in Hartford 13 years ago. In fact, this week will mark 13 years since we signed on the dotted line to own this home that we put so much of our blood, sweat and tears into. We brought 4 kiddos into this world while we lived here. We had some pretty amazing screaming matches in this house. We had some pretty amazing laugh til you cry sessions in this house. We’ve lived off of a VERY tight budget for 7 years so that we could stay in a house that was WAY above our new income level. We now are all at place of acceptance that we need to be in a different home for many reasons: Our life is in Sioux Falls and being apart as a family for 12+ hours per day is not a good long-term decision for our family, our income level will never be back where it was when I worked for that big bank and we need to adjust our living level to better fit our income level, and we want to live out our family’s path. The path for our family includes being debt free. We have a dream to be debt free. When we close on this home, we will be completely debt free (except for Elegant Mommy – but that will be debt free at some point too!). We are going to stay debt free for a little bit and we are going to rent. There are many people who look at us as a middle aged self-employed couple with 4 kids and see we are going to rent and their thoughts are probably not positive. But renting for our family for a few years is a VERY positive thing. You see if we find the right place to rent or lease to purchase for a few years, we will be able to save up a LARGE chunk of change to put a 20-25% down payment on the home that is perfect for our family. Those years will also give us the time to find that perfect home for our family.

This is where our family’s path is at right now. And it is the perfect path for us.


No comments: