Following Our God-Sized Dream
I’ve wanted to be a stay at home mom for like, ummm EVER. God is good so of course the one he made for me (my giant), happens to be one of those men who WANTS his wife to stay home. When Jack was born, staying home with him just wasn’t in the cards. I felt called to stay home and I knew that is what God’s plan for me was but infertility can rack up some gnarly credit card bills. GNARLY. Like 5 figures, make you wanna fake your own death to get away from the bill kind of gnarly. My giant and I set a goal for SAHM status to be a “someday” thing for me. We weren’t writing it off completely, but we knew it couldn’t happen at that time.
Going back to work wasn’t as awful for me as it is for some moms. My mother-in-law had volunteered to watch Jack for us so we didn’t have to send him to daycare or strangers. The horror stories of daycare had me all (insert wow and crying face emoji here). I went back to work and although it was hard (who am I kidding? let’s define hard. I was devastated and missed him every second of the day and would sneak away to the bathroom just to scroll through pictures of him on my phone). But, I was reassured at the fact that he was spending his days with his Mimi. The words doting and protective and careful are understatements. Mimi is like bubble wrap for your kid. Jack was safe, secure, and loved.
In the meantime, we decided it was time to take control of our finances and take the first step towards surviving on one income. We enrolled in Financial Peace University through our church (this is a whole other blog post on its own) and our family mantra quickly became, “Live like no one else, so later, you can live and give like no one else.”
From the outside, it may have looked a little drastic. A little cray-cray and a little cuckoo for cocoa puffs. We cut out all frivolous or unnecessary spending. No Target trips, no eating out, no movies, no gifts, no monthly subscriptions, nothing. This meant: NO STARBUCKS. This was real folks. It was that real-real, kinda real. We even canceled the satellite TV and downsized our car. And even though we felt like we were drowning and it seemed impossible, we started tithing. Guys. It was HARD. Like that OH EM GEE I CAN’T DO THIS! kind of hard. The struggle was real.
We were headed in the right direction, but we weren’t ready to take the leap. Going from two incomes to one income is terrifying. It’s petrifying. It isn’t that I didn’t WANT to do what He was asking me to do. It’s that it seemed impossible. He was telling me it was time to stay home with my son. He was telling me it was where I belonged and that was the path He had for me. But what I was telling him was, “Hey God. I totally hear ya. But, can I show you this spreadsheet? This budget I have here looks a little scary. Spreadsheets don’t lie. God, this is called Excel and it is prrrrrretty accurate.”
Every Sunday and every Wednesday, it became increasingly difficult not to get choked up when I would hear the sermon. God was talking directly to me through our pastors, through friends, it was everywhere. I would go home and during my quiet time, during my prayer time, during ANYTIME, God kept whispering the same thing to my heart. But I just kept pushing it aside and ignoring it. But, God kept going. I had heard the call. I knew what I was supposed to do. Marcus did too. But, we were scared. We were fearful. This was impossible. These things He was asking us to do. There was no way.
So, we did what we thought we could. Essentially, we told God we would meet him halfway. I reduced my hours and adjusted my schedule at work so I could have a little more time with Jack. This is where I take a moment to admit, I never thought I would be this person, but I was struggling with this for reasons other than just finances. I have worked at this institution for twelve years. I started with an entry level position and I’m now the Assistant Vice President. I have worked really hard to get where I am and there are a lot of people that depend on me. Also, the people I work with are like family. I was struggling with this decision.
We thought we were doing the right thing by reducing my hours. We thought this was a step in the right direction. But neither of us felt right. We didn’t say anything to each other (or ourselves) at first but we both had that incomplete, this just doesn’t feel legit kind of feeling.
Meanwhile, out of nowhere we both suddenly had thoughts about foster care and adoption. This has NEVER been something we saw ourselves doing and it was never in our plan. I felt this overwhelming urge to give children who don’t have any love in their lives, all of our love. Marcus was hesitant at first but it literally took him one day of praying about it. I got a phone call at work and all he said was, I think we should fill out that application. And I think we should mark that we are interested in fostering AND adoption.
We have this home that is busting at the seams with joy, love, and laughter and we have boat loads of love to give. Why would we not invite children into our home to soak that up? We are struggling right now to have more children of our own but I know with all of my heart, I am meant to be the mother of many. I may be their mother for a lifetime or I may only be their mother for a season, but we feel like we are meant to do this. Wanna know what my giant said? He said, “Babe. Our home could be the only place these kids have ever heard about God’s love. Our home could be the one time they are introduced to Christ. We could change their lives. And, if they go back to a situation that isn’t the best, maybe they could be the light in that home because of the time they spent with us.” Oh, how I love this husband of mine.
Wednesday night, we went to church and as I write this post, I am staring at the notes I scribbled into my notebook. “God calls you to your blessings. Answer His call. Stop wandering. Be courageous. Fear is for non-believers. He has already gone before me. He is already there. Trust the command of God. Take risks. Follow your God Sized Dream.”
I put my notice of resignation in the following Friday.
When I got out to the parking lot and sat in my car on Friday after speaking with my boss, I was overwhelmed with the decision we had just made and admittedly, I was fearful. There was a text waiting for me from my sister with 20+ pictures of Jack. She said, “You are doing this for the most legit, amazing reason.” It was time. It is time. We are stepping out in faith. I am no longer scared or fearful. I am excited to fulfill my God sized dream. I finally feel like I am on the right path, His path. We are doing what we are supposed to be doing. Our tiny little family is meant to change the world and be goodness and light in all of this darkness.
Starting in December, my job will be taking care of and loving this home and everything that resides within it’s walls. (That includes the tiny human standing on the front porch in just a diaper and a t-shirt.) There is no room for fear in this home. We only have room for love, joy, and God willing, more tiny humans.