So we're moving...in three weeks. Today I secured an apartment for us in Savannah (in Pooler to be exact). No, we haven't sold our house so do keep that on prayer list. But we have decided to go ahead and move as Ryan is doing a month-long rotation at his new office for the month of May. And after that he only has to be in Augusta for the first two weeks in June and then he's FINISHED with training (way to go, honey!). We found out late last week that our house is not going to be ready until the end of July so we decided to try to find a 3-month lease somewhere, thinking that would be easier to secure than a one month or two month lease. So I surfed the internet and recruited my fam to look up phone numbers and came up with a pretty decent option in Pooler, near both my parents and my sister and her family. And as of noon today, it's a done deal. The Preserve at Godley Station will be home for the next 3 months. I can't believe our time in Augusta is drawing to a close. We've had two kids here and have really grown so close...it will be hard to say good-bye to our first house, these close friends, our church...but IT IS TIME. We're leaving our house here furnished, thinking it will sell better with all our Walmart and Target furniture and accessories. :)

And it's also time for me to say good-bye to my career. I just can't keep doing IT ALL. And my income is not a necessity right now and so quitting my job is the best way for me to serve my family at this point. I really loved my job and found much joy and fulfillment in using my gifts and my brain, working with other people, problem-solving, etc. I liked getting dressed up in nice office clothes, taking business trips, preparing and delivering presentations, sipping lattes in board meetings and conference calling with colleagues all over the world. I liked earning a paycheck, one that has steadily grown over the years into a fairly handsome salary. But over the past few months, God has made it clear to Ryan and me that season was winding down...my kids need me, all of me, and so does Ryan. After ten years of rigorous post-college school and training, Ryan is starting his first real job and this next year will be intense, demanding and very stressful. For the sake of our marriage and the happiness and peace of our house, I need to be on my A-Game, not stressed out from juggling my job, kids, managing the house, etc. One of us can't be totally wiped from outside-the-home demands. And that person needs to be me. So it was with very mixed emotions today that I called my boss (who is a WONDERFUL man, in all respects) and told him quite bluntly, "I'm not coming back." We had a very nice chat, both expressing appreciation for each other and mutual sadness over my decision). He even validated the calling of motherhood, praising me for being willing to give up a career for my family. Quite rare these days from a respected member of Corporate America's managerial population.

That was a hard phone call to make and a hard phone call to end. Very final, making the reality that I've traded classy suits for spit-up stained t-shirts and board meetings for endless choruses of "The ABCs" and "The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round." I am truly mourning the end of my time in this position and if I'm honest, I'm afraid of my new identity and the loss of "my" income. So how fitting it was that today I read a short essay by Elizabeth Elliot entitled, "On Motherhood and Profanity." You can read the entire essay here (and I highly recommend doing so!). God seemed to be speaking directly to me from the pages of this book, reminding me of his definition of success and the things that he values...

"When women--sometimes well-meaning, earnest, truth seeking ones say "Get out of the house and do something creative, find something meaningful, something with more direct access to reality," it is a dead giveaway that they have missed the deepest definition of creation, of meaning, of reality. And when you start seeing the world as opaque, that is, as an end in itself instead of as transparent, when you ignore the Other World where this one ultimately finds its meaning, of course housekeeping (and any other kind of work if you do it long enough) becomes tedious and empty.

But what have buying groceries, changing diapers and peeling vegetables got to do with creativity? Aren't those the very things that keep us from it? Isn't it that kind of drudgery that keeps us in bondage? It's insipid and confining, it's what one conspicuous feminist called "a life of idiotic ritual, full of forebodings and failure." To her I would answer ritual, yes. Idiotic, no, not to the Christian--for although we do the same things anybody else does, and we do them over and over in the same way, the ordinary transactions of everyday life are the very means of transfiguration. It is the common stuff of this world which, because of the Word's having been "made flesh," is shot through with meaning, with charity, with the glory of God."

Reading this essay ministered to my heart and to my fears and insecurities over my decision, which is not, by the way, a reflection of a deep belief that women should not work. Rather, this is a personal decision for Ryan and me, based on our family situation. And my struggle over the decision was deeply spiritual, something that God needed to work out in my heart regardless of whether I am actually employed. But I digress. :) I know that this transition is right for me and for us and I'm happy about it...and looking forward to more time on the domestic front (can't wait to sew curtains for our new house!).

So there you have it. Lots of big news from our house. Hopefully my camera will be resurrected soon so that I can share some new pictures of precious Elliot, growing cuter and bigger by the day - 8 weeks tomorrow! It looks like he is going to have his brother's huge blue eyes and he still favors me over Ryan, woohoo!. :) And Praise the Lord, he started sleeping through the night late last week! It's amazing how different I feel with 7/8 hours of uninterrupted sleep!


Megan said...

Definitely want to comment on this one...

First, there should be no guilt in giving up your career for your family! Not everyone gets to be a stay-at-home mom, and that's okay, but for those whose circumstances allow for it, I say go for it! You only get to raise your kids once. I'm so happy for you Emily!

Second, while an apartment is not your ideal right now, especially with a brand new house looming in the future, just think of all the fun you can have with the boys at the pool! Plus, it's just a temporary living situation. I bet your 3 months there will fly by!

And lastly, our family is thrilled for your family! My Ryan would like to send a congratulations to your Ryan on reaching the end of his fellowship! When things settle down, we need to celebrate. Love you and miss you guys!

Jill said...

Wow! Lots of changes. First, congrats to Ryan on finishing all that training. Truly an accomplishment. Second, sorry about your house. I will add it to my prayer list. It's a tough market. I feel like every other house in our neighborhood is either for sale or being foreclosed. On moving, if I lived there, I'd help you pack boxes like last time. Doesn't time fly? Fourth, I'm glad you have peace about your job decision. Isn't it nice that American women have so many choices? I feel sorry for the guys who have little choice but to slave away all their lives. And, for the record, I think suits are very uncomfortable. I wouldn't miss them at all.

Candace Piepgrass said...

First let me say THANK YOU for posting the link to the Elizabeth Elliot essay on motherhood. As I read the essay I was crying at my desk tears of joy for the path that I have chosen. Don't get me wrong there are days that I miss my suit, the law firm, and my parties I'd arrange for all those law students, especially on days when I get spit up on (which is often). However I look at my family daily and am grateful that Stephen has given me the opportunity to stay home and raise Caroline. Your article this afternoon just reconfirmed my decision, so thank you.

As for the selling of your house Stephen and I will pray that the right buyer comes along soon. Hang in there and know that in this time of transition you have many people who are praying for your family!

Marlo said...

I missed this, but wanted to comment because you worded the struggle so well. Elisabeth Elliot is amazing, isn't she? We will pray for your house to sell too.