Note: I won’t have a Saturday Smiles post this week due to a book review scheduled for tomorrow as part of a blog tour. (Be sure to check it out, though. It’s a good one!) Saturday Smiles will resume next week, as long as I don’t have another day like today.
I should have suspected the kind of day it was going to be when our son came charging into our room in the middle of the night, scared of thunder, and our daughter followed a few hours later having wet her bed. I’m protective of sleep because I seem to have had so little of it since becoming a parent five years ago and especially when entering a weekend of solo parenting. I wanted to start the weekend fresh, ready to take on the world, not already feeling like my regular coffee consumption just wasn’t going to cut it.
Pair the less-than-restful sleep with a mostly cloudy day of intermittent rain and I was ready to curl up with said coffee and a novel and ignore the rest of the world for a little while.
But today my husband had a second interview for a job he’d interviewed for earlier in the week. So, he set out early to make his third drive to Lancaster this week. And because it was raining and we only have one car (I know, this is a “First World Problems” kind of sob story, isn’t it?), we skipped morning storytime, intending to attend afternoon storytime at the library after my husband got back.
The kids and I ate lunch and checked the weather to see if we might have to walk to the library anyway. Then I got a text from my husband that he was headed home with a job offer. Good news! At least, that was my first reaction. And I wondered if maybe we’d skip the library visit so we could talk about the offer and whether or not he was going to take it.
Less than 20 minutes after the text, a couple from church stopped by with an envelope of cash for us. Just to help us out. Overwhelming. We were already planning to eat dinner out tonight so my husband could meet his ride for the weekend retreat, and I wasn’t sure we’d really be able to afford it, or for him to chip in for gas. Problem solved. Praise the Lord. The gift also gave us a little breathing room for buying some food staples.
I’ve been such a whiner lately about whether God knows what we’re facing and whether He hears our prayers and whether He even cares what we’re going through right now. Oh, He cares. I pondered this verse today: “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you.”
My mind was anything but peaceful as I job searched for me while my husband was at his interview. And it became unsettled again when he got home. We spoke briefly before I hauled the kids to the library, and he told me some of the terms of the offer.
I got the kids signed in and settled in. Within minutes, Corban was asleep on my lap, the first sign that the change in routine had us all out of sorts. Minutes after falling asleep, he peed his pants, and consequently my pants, too. So, there I was sitting with a large almost-three-year-old on my soaking wet lap with a 4-and-a-half-year old on the other side of the room quietly listening to stories. And the diaper bag was in the van. So I texted my husband and asked him to come even though he’d been home only a few minutes and had barely had time to eat lunch. He showed up about 15 minutes later and I carted the boy child to the car to change his pants. I left my purse and license inside, so we couldn’t go home for me to change. I debated whether I should go back in with wet urine spots on my pants or just wait outside in the car with Corban. I chose the Billy Madison method and went back in, pee pants and all.
We managed to make our craft and escape the library without further incident. We made it home, where we talked more about the job and I learned I had about an hour to ask questions and decide if I was on board with this next step. Here are some of the points I had to ponder:
- This is an entry-level job at Chick-Fil-A, but the owner is willing to pay my husband the highest hourly rate she can pay for that level. So, it’s not a quick financial fix for us by any means, but even with commuting for a little while, he’ll still be making more than double what he makes now. (Which if you do the math is practically nothing.)
- Holidays are their busiest times, so he can’t take vacation when most people would have vacation, like between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
- On Tuesday, my husband was not so excited about this possibility. Today, he was all for it.
- We’re not sure whether we can actually afford to move to Lancaster on what he’ll be making.
- Just before I texted him to come rescue me at the library, another place called to offer him an interview. Seriously, after months of hearing nothing from anyone, we get two in one day???
- We’ve been waiting so long on God that now it seems like we’re rushing into something.
- We only have one car, and when he works days, if we haven’t moved, the kids and I will be without wheels for most of a day.
- He won’t have to work Sundays or evenings, which was one of our main criteria for a job.
While we were talking all this out and Phil was packing for his weekend getaway, our doorbell rang. Standing on our front porch was another person from church with a box FULL of leftover food from a funeral dinner today. Like tons of food. Soup. Lunch meat. Rolls. Cheese. Stuff that hasn’t been in our fridge for a few months because we’re working with a lean budget. After he left, I lost it and started crying in the kitchen while putting food away.
God is so crazy, unbelievably, faithfully, hysterically good to us. And I am a colossal whiner.
So we decided. Phil will take this job. It is a step in the right direction, even if it feels more like a stepping stone in the midst of a raging river than a bridge across torrential waters carrying us to safety. So, yes, my graduate-degree-holding husband is going to work at Chick-Fil-A. Yes, we are Christians. Yes, we like their food. Yes, we’re glad they’re not open on Sundays. No, we don’t hate gay people.
We had already planned to eat at another Chick-Fil-A tonight because it was a convenient meeting place for Phil’s ride to the Poconos. While waiting for our food there, Phil’s future employer called to confirm. So, I thought that was funny. We ate chicken. The kids played and made friends. We met up with the rest of the guys going to the retreat. I drove the kids home in the rain and the dark.
And because the day couldn’t get any calmer, I noticed when we were just a few feet out of the parking lot that a bug of biblical proportions (you know, about two inches or so) had attached itself to the passenger window, which was down. Because it was icky looking and I didn’t want it flying around in the car, I put the window up, thinking I would trap it or kill it. I think maybe I maimed it. At the next stoplight, I put the window down a crack to see if it would fly away and instead it dropped into the car. Talk about distracted driving! I pulled over in a grocery story lot, having kept one eye on the bug and one eye on the road. I had to shake the floor mat a little to get it to fly away, but we got that problem solved.
The kids and I ended up at the grocery store at 7 o’clock on a Friday night. They were all confused because it was dark. We needed milk, mostly, and a few other things and by this time, my nerves were so fried that I snapped at the bagger when he made what he thought was a funny comment about WIC checks. “Hey, they’re no picnic for us either!” I said. I might have smiled as I said it, but at that point, I was just ready to be home.
After a minor thunderstorm, at least one child is now snuggled all tight in bed and the other one is quiet. Me? I’m headed for that novel, finally, and maybe a cup of chamomile tea.
Tomorrow is another day.
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