Today officially begins a new chapter for our family! After 7 months of unemployment/underemployment, Rob begins a new job this morning. He will be working for the State’s employment department, essentially as a case-manager helping dislocated workers re-train for a new field of employment. The irony isn’t lost on us, either!
(He let me snap a quick picture of him on his way out the door this morning to commemorate the first day of this new adventure. The things he puts up with -----> I love this guy!)
Rob has been able to spend a wonderful summer with the kids, and that time has been precious for everyone. He’s definitely rocked the stay-at-home dad role these past few months. I think we’ve both come to appreciate the role each of us has played in our family, as I’ve been the one juggling work and home life and he’s been juggling home life while looking for work. I hope I never forget how nice it feels to come home worn out to find a tidy house and food on the table. I will definitely plan to make that a priority in the future. It’s a small way to make my spouse feel loved in a big way. I’m writing it down as a reminder to myself!
I have been working since March at the medical school in Lebanon. I have worked as a Standardized Patient off and on for the past three years, but I have had the opportunity to fill-in for a few different leadership roles within the Standardized Patient Department over these past 5 months. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity, as it’s been nice for me to have something productive to focus on and the income has certainly been able to help fill in the gaps for our family.
An opportunity recently came up for me to come on permanently, but it just didn’t seem like the right thing to do. The opportunity on the table was more hours than we felt I could maintain without sacrificing too much as a family. So I will continue on as a Standardized Patient, but not take the permanent position. I will continue working in my current role until they fill the new position, however. So, starting today, we are juggling Rob working full-time and me working part-time, with both of us commuting to nearby cities. Good thing the kids start school in two-weeks!
Speaking of kids, they are doing well. Jade moved in with her youth leaders at the beginning of the summer, so our family dynamics have recently changed a bit. We’ve also decided that with so much uncertainty in our own lives, that it’s time to close the chapter on foster-care for the foreseeable future, but we are grateful to have gotten the opportunity to know and love so many kids over the past five years.
Leeann will begin 5th grade and Titus will begin 3rd grade in two short weeks. I still can’t figure out how my kids have gotten so old. I vividly remember those years of my own education… 20+ years ago. Seriously?
( <---- This picture is classic Leeann trying to sneak a ‘cuddle’ from Titus while posing for a picture with him pushing her away. I’m keeping it real here folks, it takes 100 of these types of shots to get one ‘perfect’ one!)
Speaking of keeping it real, I’m not going to sugar-coat things and imply that these past 7 months have been anything other than difficult for all of us. When a pastor leaves a church you say good-bye to so much more than just a job, you also lose your support system, your ministry, and to some degree, even many of your friends.
Not only for you, but for your whole family. It’s been hard on the kids to not see their friends each week. It’s been hard for us to watch them hurt while we are hurting ourselves. It’s also been hard on all of us to be a in perpetual state of unknowns. Until Rob got this job we didn’t know if we were two short weeks away from up and moving anywhere in the world at any point in time. We haven’t known if the kids would return to their school. We haven’t known if we would need to sell the house. We haven’t known if… well, anything!
However, with all of that being said, God’s goodness and faithfulness hasn’t changed. All things considered, we are doing well. We are certainly looking forward to settling in to a routine that’s a “new normal” for us—even if it’s only temporary. We are holding onto God’s love and unchanging character.
We have chosen a local church to settle in to, even though our attendance has been hit-or-miss this summer. Rob has been doing a fair amount of guest preaching (see his new website www.RobBuhl.com for more details) so we’ve been visiting a number of churches near and far. The kids and I don’t always join Rob when he guest preaches, so it’s nice to know that we have a place to return to when we are home on Sundays.
There’s so much more I could say, but I’m going to wrap-up our family update for now. I know so many of you have been praying for us and caring for us in so many ways. We have felt a great deal of love, support and encouragement from so many of you and for that we are grateful beyond what our words could ever adequately express.