In March, I got a phone call from the Principal of the local private school from which I graduated. They were looking for a middle school math teacher for next year. Guess what?! I have a lifetime certification in Texas to teach math to K-8th grade and all subjects K-6. Now, I knew that I probably didn't want to go get a full time job if it meant spending all the money I made (and then some) to have my children at that school or if it meant putting my kids in public school. However, what an honor for my former teacher and now, friend, to call me and pursue me professionally! As a stay-at-home mom for 10+ years, it feels really nice for someone to see that you have value in a profession. The principal asked me to come in and just take a tour of the new facilities and chat with him. John encouraged me to go, if for nothing else than an ego boost. We scheduled it for a day when my little ones would be in preschool and my big kids would be at school.
Now, this was supposed to be an informal meeting. Luckily, I decided to dress up rather than down (meaning, I had heels and slacks on). Well, when I arrived I found out that our informal meeting had evolved into a full-on panel interview. Wow. I didn't see that coming. Fifteen years ago, fresh out of college, I would have completely panicked. But this ... it's an entirely different situation when you don't need or necessarily even want the job. The tables are turned and you almost get to interview the interviewer! Well, I ended up (after the interview) visiting with the President of the school, whom I also knew from my time there as a student. He offered to me a very generous swap - my four children at the school full-time in exchange for me teaching there full-time. Now, I did the math and that comes out to more than $45,000 in tuition and fees for my kiddos. Holy smokes, that's a lot of money. It would have been a sweet gig. If ... if, if, if. If I had received any confirmation at all that that was where God wanted my kids and me to be.
But the fact is, when faced with the prospect of a full-time job (and we all know that teaching is more than full-time, because you WILL bring work home with you, at least at first) and NOT getting to spend time with my precious children, I could not bear the thought! I did NOT want to turn them over to someone else for 7 hours a day, especially my little ones! I think God used that day to change my outlook from being skeptical to being thankful for where I am. Looking back, I'm sure he was just showing me all my options so that I would be that much more convinced that homeschooling was for us. Really, I would have no excuses - I could easily have put the kids in public school (free, obviously!) or private school (free, if I was willing to work), but this way, I actually had to "choose" homeschooling instead of feeling like it was my "last resort".
Right now, my kids are my mission field. Now, it becomes more clear to me why missionaries become missionaries and travel thousands of miles from home. It is not unlike homeschooling, in some ways. It is not something you do because it is your "last resort" (or at least not for us!) ... you do it because God puts the desire in your heart, sometimes without you even knowing it. For me, it's definitely not something I'm doing begrudgingly.
Which brings us back to John's job. Remember back in December when we thought we might be moving to Detroit? Well, at that same time, John's boss (with whom he also worked at Capital One) left GMAC and moved to South Carolina to take another job. Do you see where this is going? They talked informally for months about a possible role for John. And I do mean months. Sometimes, six weeks would go by and then they would meet for breakfast when he happened to be in Dallas. Oh, the frustration of the waiting for me! John is much more patient in this area than I am.
Finally, in June, we (John and I) traveled to Spartanburg, SC for John to go through the "formal interview" process. He was the only candidate for the job, and the job description had been written specifically for him, so I encouraged him to please not grow an extra head on the way to the interview and he would, most likely, be golden. We flew in on a Tuesday, looked around Greenville and Spartanburg, then he had a full day of interviews on Wednesday. While he interviewed, I drove around Spartanburg looking for preschools. That is a completely separate and funny post in itself. Remember, he interviewed on Wednesday. Everything went beautifully and he expected an offer by Friday. *cue crickets*
Apparently the powers that be were out of the office on Friday and the offer did not happen. Longest. Weekend. Of. My. Life.
By Monday, though, John had a written offer. After a little negotiating and eventually accepting the revised offer, John gave his notice at GMAC the next day. That was four weeks ago.
So here's the beauty. Realtor fees? Paid for. Closing costs? Paid for. FOUR MONTHS of temporary living while we are trying to sell our house? Paid for. Full-service move? Paid for. That's the beauty.
Here's the ugly. The house is on the market and I am having to be Stepford Wife! This house has to be perfect all the time. Oh, the horror. We put the house on the market two weeks ago. The first week we had something like SEVEN SHOWINGS. Nice! This week ... (what is up with those crickets?!? I would like to hear something else, like maybe my phone ringing with a showing on the other end!!!) the showings seem to have completely dried up. Not one single showing. Is it because God is only giving me what I can bear? And we did a week of homeschool this last week?
I am a complete wreck about the sale of this house. No matter when we sell it, we (the kids and I) are going to join John in SC on Aug. 22. We are still planning on homeschooling, but we got Charlotte into a preschool that starts on Aug. 23 and we don't really want her to start late. Besides the kids miss Daddy too, too much to wait much longer than that. He is coming home the first and third weekends in August, so that will be good, but single-parenthood is wearing on me for the time being.
My mind is swirling with questions. "What will we do if we don't sell it and the four months of temp housing runs out and we don't have the money to extend the corporate lease on the apartment itself and ...???" Every single day I have to remind myself that God did not order our steps for this ENTIRE LAST YEAR to bring us here and abandon us! One of my favorite verses that I memorized in middle school and still find myself quoting almost every day is Jeremiah 29:11:
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD,
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future."