Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Goin' against the Grain

I mentioned in a previous post that Matt and I will have a lot of decisions to make when he comes home, and some before he comes home. One of those decisions involves me and teaching. I have decided not to pursue a full time teaching job next year. There were some openings available that sounded like good possibilities (to apply for and see...), but there has been a tug at my heart to remain somewhat open and flexible. I have had the concern about the combination of teaching full time next year and adjusting to life with Matt home again. When I have mentioned this concern to professors or others asking my plans for next year, sometimes I apparently appear to have two heads. "Of course you can handle it." Maybe I would be able to handle it, but I do not desire the added stress on our relationship. I love Matt so much...that's why I married him. I am sticking by my decision to substitute ...but waiting on the Lord for a different direction if He has one. So, I'm not really writing this to justify myself...but sort of explain this...since it has been a very real, growing experience for me as I'm learning how to be the kind of wife I need to be for my husband.

As a teacher, time is very important for planning, correcting, faculty meetings, mentor meetings all in addition to teaching time... As a first year teacher, I would be pretty much starting from scratch for lessons, activities, ideas, etc. It's part of teaching, and a part that I really enjoy. However, next fall, I cannot justify spending extra hours away from home or at home but not really "being" home with my husband. When he comes home, I need to be free to take care of the things at home and be a blessing, support, and partner to my Matt. We found out this week, that October is looking more likely for Matt to be home than July. If possible, I would like to be out in California as much as I can. That just would not be possible if I'm teaching. My heart would be with him...and I wouldn't be giving the children/students what they need or my husband what he needs. When he does come home in October, we will have been married 22 months...12 of those he will have been away from home. Not living with your husband for over half of your marriage, however long or short, is significant. There is going to be some adjustment and I think some more dating all over again. Don't get me wrong, I haven't lost my love for him, quite the contrary. I would just like to be wise in prioritizing and making the place and environment he comes home to a loving and welcoming one. Then maybe as the year goes on, a long term sub position will open...who knows? I need to be open to moving as well...I follow and go with my husband, and we do not know where he will be working yet. We do not want to settle down because of the location of where my job is but where his is.

Since Matt has been gone, I have come to appreciate the many aspects of home responsibilities even more. When we were first married, I was going to grad school full time and working at the Y's childcare part-time and then full time as I phased out of grad school. I was busy with school work when I wasn't working or at class. Matt helped out a lot around the apartment. Since he has been gone, it has been almost a full time job just making sure everything is taken care of. It would probably help to have a different apartment ;) , but this is where we are!

Because of my flexible schedule, for the most part, I have been able to receive Matt's calls and IM's. Those are priceless. I am realizing what I blessing I can be to my Matt by staying home. Since we do not have children yet, I don't think I need to not work at all outside the home...but I need to keep in mind I married my husband not my work. I hope I am making sense. I was encouraged by a prayer for Matt's priorities this week from "The Power of a Praying Wife Book of Prayers" by Stormie Omartian. I'm going to share the whole prayer, it's found on page 70 of the little book.

"Lord, I pray for my husband's priorities to be in perfect order. Be Lord and Ruler over his heart. Help him to choose a simplicity of life that will allow him to have time alone with You, Lord, a place to be quiet in Your presence every day. Speak to him about making Your Word, prayer, and praise a priority. Enable him to place me and our children in greater prominence in his heart than career, friends, and activities.
I pray he will seek You first and submit his all to You, for when he does I know the other pieces of his life will fit together perfectly.
Help me to properly put my husband before children, work, family, friends, activities, and interests. Show me what I can do right now to demonstrate to him that he has this position in my heart."

This has been a little bit difficult and confusing. I spent 4 years in college to receive a teaching degree, then 1 year for my Master's...and in NY, I only have 5 years to get those 3 years of teaching in and a Master's to become permanently certified. This fall, I will have 3 years left (and we all know upstate NY is booming with elementary teaching positions)...actually dropping me down to 2 because of my decision for next year. Was all the time, education (and gulp, money?)a "waste"? I don't believe so, even though it doesn't make much sense to me. Will I ever use my degree beyond subbing? I do not know what will happen with all this, but I do know I need to be faithful to the Lord's leading for my life, my husband, and our family. My intentions are not to preach to others about how they need their marriage and families to be. This is where I am. Please keep us in your prayers! We appreciate it! I'll take some words of wisdom and advice too!

*I love you Matt!

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