Thursday, May 30, 2013

Whither thou goest

I've kept quiet about some of our reality lately-- partly because I don't want this to become a space of endless negativity, and partly because I have not truly processed all of the hows and whys that I find myself swimming in quite well enough to put them into words.But  here it is: through no fault of his own, Mr. Blandings will find himself unemployed quite soon. His boss is resigning as of Friday, May 31, leaving my husband-- and his co-workers-- at the mercy of an incoming individual with an eye towards change. That means that Monday, June 3rd, we are expecting a quiet dinner. The kind where the children chew slowly and cheerfully offer to refill glasses that are still half full. The kind where Dad pushes his plate away and picks up his Bible for study time and we all lean close, not exhaling, waiting to see whether we should laugh or cry.

Mr. Blandings has applied for 50 jobs since February. Yes-- 50 jobs. Nearly every night, he has cheerfully led our family activities until each of the children is in bed. Board games, sing-a-longs, movie night, soccer on the back hill, read-a-louds, then baths and goodnight kisses. Then, as Reuven and I settle in to nurse and knit, he opens his laptop and sets to work weeding through possibilities, sending out resumes, and cashing in on contacts.

It's soul-eating work, this. More often than not, I kiss his furrowed brow and slip off to bed while he is still deciphering the latest batch of job listings. Are the hours this company expects compatible with raising a family? Would this job bring me joy or frustration? Will the vacation options here allow me to travel to Nepal regularly? Hours later, when I feel him join Reuven and me in bed, his body is still tense and I can almost feel his mind grinding over the events, the options, the oh-my-goodness-what-is-happening-in-our-lives-now.

Thankfully, God has been faithful in answering my most desperate prayer. While it makes the most sense to be praying for a specific opportunity, my heart has been burdened that my husband should first and foremost see fruit from his work. You see, I trust wholeheartedly that God has a job waiting for Mr. Blandings. And while it is looking more and more like it may be something so outside of what either of us would choose for our family (because let's be honest, were it up to us, we'd already be in Nepal), I have no doubt that it is a good, and it will prosper both our family and the kingdom of God. But oh, the labor to get there. The endless parade of searching, of feeling like a slab of meat being set out for inspection by panel after panel of faceless recruiters whose form rejections cut off yet another hopeful arrow thrown into the air of speculation.

So my prayer has been that God would offer Mr. Blandings feedback. Phone calls, interviews, doors that prove that he is an accomplished man worthy of consideration. The Lord has been gracious in this request. So far, six interviews have been held. Three of those jobs have already gone to other people. One is for a position that would be a fine transition, but not a permanent solution.

Which leaves two. Two positions. Two opportunities. In reality, two roads forking away from the life we know now. I have no idea why, but I fully expect Mr. Blandings to be offered one of these jobs. One would move us into the faster-paced, more corporate world of Western Washington. The other would drop us deep in the heart of Eastern Washington's quiet farmland. Both would require moving. Both require starting over, to some degree.

Night and day. Opposite worlds. As Mr. Blandings told the children yesterday at dinner, "Guys, either way, life changes here. Either way. There is no staying the same. That ship has sailed."

I have no idea what God's plan is here. I feel--once again-- like I am sitting at His mercy, waiting for His word, unable to move or not move. Truthfully, I could not make this call if I wanted to. There is simply too much at stake.

So I comfort my children. I encourage my husband. I celebrate birthdays. I tend a garden I do not expect to harvest. I look to the Lord and surrender. Whither thou goest, there I follow.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The win

And the winners are ...

They pointed out the sign during our weekly library trip. 

"It's a video contest. The whole two-county library system! You enter a book trailer for a chance to win $150," Atticus told me eagerly. Film, you see, has become his thing--so much so that the tiny flip camera we bought a few years back has become an extension of his hand.

"Do it," I suggested.

Mr. Blandings went a step further.

"It's a school assignment," he decreed. "You two work together. Write the script. Storyboard it. The whole deal. Start to finish. You have one week."

So they did. For one solid week, everything besides math was pushed aside for these two to make way for this one delight-driven project. It was consuming. Fun. Laborious. Thrilling. Nerve wracking. I watched them work from afar, waiting until the premier to see what they'd been up to in their creative frenzy.

When the end result debuted, I was impressed. Not shabby for two kids, a $100 camera, and some pre-installed movie making software. But who knows what the competition is bringing to the table, I thought. Let's be prepared for disappointment.

Lo and behold, they won.

Yet another reason why homeschooling teens is, in my opinion, awesome.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Meanwhile ...

Jo has finished her Doula Skills Workshop and is concentrating on fulfilling the certification requirements.

Reuven is rolling!

Oli is learning conversation skills by making animals interact.

Seven has a cold. Again. 

Logan blasted through the second set of Critical Thinking Skills workbooks I got for him this year. I'm glad he likes them, but whoa, are they pricey!

Mani is loving the warmer weather.

Atticus becomes an official teenager in less than a month. And, oh, yes -- he got a haircut.