Thursday, November 12, 2015

Life Changes / The Undiscovered Country

My life has gone through many changes in recent months.  Some of them deeply personal and internal.  Those I'll save for another time or perhaps never write publicly about because quite frankly it's no ones business ha!  I will say  this: I NEVER thought I would think the way I now think...  Vague sentence is vague.

On to what I will write about.  My wife gave birth to our SIXTH child.  A beautiful baby girl with black hair!  Her name is Thea Sue and she is our first baby that got my black hair in fact!  My wife is a trooper!  I can't believe she's gone through labor SIX times and delivered SIX babies into this world.  I could not do it.  Believe me... I thought I was going to die once when I got a kidney stone so I don't want to even try to pretend that I could do that once let alone six times.

We FINALLY painted our house!  We have lived in our city home going on 9 or so years and have wanted to paint and repair the exterior of this 106-year-old beaut since day 1.  Well it took waaaaaaay too many years to make it happen but better late than never.  We also put a new roof on her and we finally have a home that doesn't leak with every rain or snow fall.  There's still more work to do to get our home ready to sell... oh, did I not mention that's the plan?  Yup!  All this work is so we can bless this home to another buyer.  We long for greener pastures.  Literally.  We want green pastures and a country landscape/view.  I NEVER thought I would ever want to move out of Kansas City but my heart has fallen in love with the idea of moving out of the city limits and into a home that's more rural in location.  That's the new dream and it WILL happen.

We also finally got a large family vehicle... one where we can ALL fit in it!  You might not realize this but there aren't many options for vehicles that seat a family of 8 comfortably.  It has been an incredibly long time since we've gone anywhere as a family because of this fact.  Well no more, thank you Jesus!  Our kids were beyond excited when I pulled the new (new to us anyway) family vehicle into our tiny driveway.  It was like Christmas to them!  And it's like Christmas to my wife and I too because, I'm not sure if you're aware of this or not but, cars are dang expensive!  So merry Christmas to my wife and I lol this is what we're getting "under the tree" this year.

Another huge change I had was getting a second job.  Working paycheck to paycheck is not fun and Joy and I have done it for most of our marriage having only brief periods of excess.  With my wife just having had a baby AND teaching our other children, we were left with one option to get more income: Daddy has to get another job.  I have worked at my church full time since 2006 so going out and getting a job somewhere else was very new and very intimidating to me.  Everything I know and have worked for was for ministry and here I was applying at places that have no use for those skills.  I don't know how many places I applied at but only ONE ever called me back.  It was extremely rough.  The only shift they had for me was 3rd shift: 11:30pm to 8:00am.  My days felt so out of wack and they were.  Everyone I knew was asleep when my day was just getting started.  And I was asleep when everyone else day was in full swing.  I would get off at 8am and head to my church for a few hours.  I would then go home and go straight to bed.  I would wake up just in time to tell my kids goodnight and get one or two hours to spend with my wife before heading off to work and starting this process all over again.  Let me be candid: I hated it!  I barely saw my wife and hardly saw my children.  I didn't get to hold my newborn at all!  Was this it?  Was I blessed with six children just to have to work so much that I actually would never see them? 

Then my father had a stroke.  He's ok now but I was shocked and stunned.  I had no clue he was in the hospital.  I was sleeping before work (in the middle of the day of course) when all of this happened.  I remember waking up and trying to piece together different text messages to figure out what was going on.  When I got to the hospital my dad was back to his sarcastic, joke telling self.  Some would hardly notice any difference in him.  Stress is a killer.  My dad and really entire family have experienced extreme stress for the last few years.  I don't want to go through the MANY different situations that have been down right painful to walk through but one of the biggest stresses has been the financial situation of my dads church.  My dads doctors said he can make a full recovery but now it's all about stroke prevention.  This big change is still being figured out and I honestly don't know what the future looks like yet.

About that second job...  Between my dad having a stroke and me never seeing my family, it was obvious that this 3rd shift job simply was NOT going to work.  My family is far more important than money.  Period.  But what about needing more income?  Well, I've been blessed with an awesome best friend!  He was able to line me up with a new job that has a MUCH MORE family friendly shift!  I'll be able to help my dad more and I actually get to see my wife and kids for more than just for good night kisses! 

So life has changed in quite a few ways.  I'm believing for the better.  And don't think for a second I've let go of my dream to make music.  For now that dream does seem on pause but I still believe that's my future.  So if my nerd self were to make a toast right now it would say, "To the undiscovered country!"

P.S. if you got that Star Trek reference then you sir or madam are awesome!  Live long and prosper!