I am getting used to the "You're a crazed maniac" look people give me when I tell them that my favorite times in life recently have been the times when Sean has been laid off from work. Someone asked me (with that look in their eye), "What about money? Don't you worry that you won't have enough?" No, I don't worry! We've never gone hungry. We've never been without our basic needs. In fact, we ended up with the same amount of money in the bank during this last couple of months as we had during the last few weeks when he was working. That's probably because we're pretty good at tightening our belts during the slow times, but it's also because God brings in opportunities for us to make money EVERY SINGLE TIME. God is beyond faithful to us...always.
So Sean just got called up for a 6-week job working on the plumbing at a power plant. While I know that it will give him decent money and will help us build up our account in preparation for the next layoff, I was (admittedly) bummed. Honestly, I almost cried. I have SO enjoyed the time we've had together as a family. I've loved having all my fellas together and I've loved the feeling that all is right with the world. Sean has enjoyed being home with us, too, and he's been able to get work done on the other house. I know that wishing for more time probably seems selfish to other people, but that's okay.
I can say, though, that I think the main thing I've learned during this time is not to wait for layoffs to try to make memories as a family. I've always had the struggle of learning to enjoy the "in-between" times just as much as I enjoy the opportunities God brings for us to do fun things and to have real, quality time together as a family. Life is short. I am learning to make the most of every chance we get to spend good time together. I hope to hold that thought. God has been more than faithful to us. We have a great family--immediate AND extended. We have wonderful kids. We have many multiple small blessings that God piles on us every day. We are wealthy where it counts.
All that to say that I am going to try to be just as grateful for this job opportunity as I have been for the quality time we've been able to spend together as a family. And while I look forward to the next layoff, I am going to make it a point to find the silver lining in every situation.
Today, I'm grateful for...
A happy preschooler. Brendan had a wonderful time during his first day in preschool. He is looking forward to tomorrow. That makes me happy. While I knew that he would like school, it warmed my heart when I walked into the classroom and he yelled, "MAMA!" and ran to me. Even though he's turning into a big boy, I hope it's a long time before he starts to think that loving his mommy isn't "cool".
A great first week of 2nd grade. Liam and I have had a great time during this first week. It's been mainly review and the introduction of a few new concepts, so it's been pretty easy. I've been trying to develop more of a cheerful, "teachery" attitude about it and I've noticed a difference in my level of patience. I am going to try to make it a point to pray together before we start each day. God is faithful if we let him into our little mundane lives. (Liam also got promoted to the next
A lunch date with my husband. I'm grateful that we are good friends, as well as all the other perks that come with marriage. Today, we went for Indian and just sat and talked. It was fun and I loved having some quality time.
My parents. I'm incredibly grateful for my parents, who are always so helpful with our kids when Sean and I need to go places together, or when we just need an extra person to ferry the kids to different places. They're also fun people to talk to...I think everyone should want to hang out with my parents! :)
The beginning of football season. I bet it probably sounds dumb to you, but I love football. It makes me happy. If you're not a football fan, move to Pittsburgh and I guarantee that you will be a convert. There are NO fans like Pittsburgh fans. GO, STEELERS!
The opportunity to shoot a beautiful wedding. I got to be one of the two photographers at Ashlee and Dan Pelczar's wedding. What a fun group of people! I know I have said it already, but the people at their reception had a handle on what a joyous occasion a wedding is supposed to be. I laughed aloud MANY times and I got teary-eyed along with them during the emotional moments. It was lovely and it was another reminder of how amazing it is when two people meet and come together in love for the rest of their lives. Love is a gift.
My hope is that you realize that it's no good for you just to exist between the great times. Living every moment means choosing to be grateful, even during the times when you wonder why life seems so screwed up. The moment you fall asleep tonight is the last you will see of this day...it's never going to come around again, so it is your choice what you do with it. So my challenge for you is to make the best of as many moments as you can. God is faithful to do what he promised, so even when it looks like he has no idea what he's doing, be grateful anyway. Things will get better.