Thursday, August 7, 2014

Time Away

We've been absent from our home for a few weeks, spending some time with my husband's family in the Pacific Northwest. We did complete a few projects during our time away, however:
  • We made some inexpensive purchases at IKEA and Costco--stores we don't have locally--to complete some of the items on our project list.
  • We did some experimenting with my mother-in-law's breadmaker and discovered we would like one ourselves.
  • My husband had some smoothies his sister made with her Blendtec blender, and he decided that he would like one himself. (I decided that we would wait until our old blender, a five-year-old Black and Decker, dies.)
  • My husband made some homemade elk jerky using his brother's smoker, and we pondered the idea of our own dehydrator and smoker.
  • We made edible sidewalk paint/chalk, edible colored sand, and edible play dough for the little one.
  • We visited a county fair with quilting, flower arranging, sewing, and other exhibits.
  • We did some baking, making some pretty good four-ingredient peanut butter cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and strawberry pizza, if I say so myself.
  • We discovered that our little one loves chickens and that slug hunting in the garden is a fun activity.
We try to glean some life lessons from everything these days. For us, during our time away, we realized how much we need to focus on our goals. For two Sundays, we attended my in-laws' church. The second week, the pastor preached on families and family roles. One of my sermon notes reads as follows:
If you cannot support yourself as a single man, you cannot afford to support anyone else and are not ready for marriage and family.
In the two years, I've embraced this idea that as an attorney I am helping support my family. But while I'm earning money to buy the items at IKEA and Costco, I'm not doing as good a job taking care of my family at home as I would like. My husband and I made the decision earlier this year that he again would be the breadwinner for our family, and that goal is what we are working toward. Still, I spent a lot more time on vacation than I had hoped working on my cases when my intent was to work on my blog and on my future non-attorney work goals. My dislike of that fact cements my assertion that I need to work more steadily toward getting away from my law practice and work on taking care of my family--and myself--better.

My little one certainly deserves it. While I had my daughter in the church nursery for a calm-down period on the second Sunday of our visit, I read some excerpts from a book of devotionals for mothers. More than one of the devotionals pointed out how critical are the first five years of a child's life. While working over the last year or so, I have convinced myself that I can work now and begin home schooling my child and spending more time with her when she is a bit older and the student loans are paid off. I was foolish to convince myself that my daughter needs more money now than she needs time.

My husband and I haven't lived together full-time in several months, so the last two weeks together were a bit bumpier than we had hoped. But we did realize a few things. No one's perfect, and we certainly aren't, but we are happy with ourselves, with our goals, and with our family. We have some tweaks to make, but we wouldn't want to be in anyone else's shoes. God put us where we are with the resources we have for a reason, right?

I've seen several friends' Facebook posts about praising God in the hallway while waiting for the window or door to open. We're in the hallway right now. We are slowly learning to rejoice about it. In fact, I am becoming more and more thankful that our current home is the hallway. I am certainly glad to be there today!

Until next time,

Erin

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