Friday, January 06, 2012
Depending on how you look at it the wide open possibility of having absolutely no idea where your husband will work next can either turn you into a 10:30 a.m. Moscato drinker or cause you to create elaborate fantasies in your mind about your "next life."
Aaron has been diligently applying for jobs in the community where we have lived most of our married years. This place feels like home to us, we have friends here that we'd fight to the death for, I only rarely get lost when driving around, and a Chuy's finally opened in said town two weeks after we moved to Haiti. Rude. Right? Rude. But it's here now, and we're here, so I'd gladly live right next door to Chuy's and see what it's like to eat nothing but tortilla chips and creamy jalapeno dip for the rest of my life.
If Aaron can find a job in the town that feels like home to our family, then that's our obvious preference.
To be an over-achiever in the diligence department, Aaron decided to branch out today. He took a deep breath and started looking at jobs all over the U. S. of A.
My only fantasy so far about our "next life" involved our home town, Chuy's, tortilla chips, and liquid happiness. Now that Aaron is looking at jobs all over the country and submitting his fancy resume my thought life is admittedly out of control. Coming back to start all over is equal parts heartbreaking, thrilling, and nausea inducing. I guess it's better to be letting my mind run wild dreaming of the life that is coming instead of sitting here stewing on the circumstances that find us here abruptly trying to piece our life back together. Very little feels definite right now, but one thing I know for sure: I down-right refuse to choose the road of bitterness. I've been there before, have you? I'm convinced there's not a worse place for a soul to live. There is a fine, thread-like line between looking back to learn from mistakes and looking back, brooding, eventually being swept away in a deep, drowning current of darkness and despair. There are times when I think of the gravity of this situation and all that must happen rather quickly for our family to be "okay" and I'm tempted to chew off all my fingernails or put on my running shoes, turn up my inappropriate running music, and run until my anxiety and maybe even my legs fall off right there on the asphalt. Thankfully those moments of panic have been few and far between so far, and mostly what we feel is gratitude for a God that goes before us and provides a million opportunities every day for us to thank Him, see Him at work, and catch a glimpse of His faithfulness. Instead of dwelling on what happened, I find myself thankful for our friends and family and every once in awhile I find myself in the middle of a disturbingly detailed daydream of what our life could look like next.
Aaron has an Ag degree from Texas A&M University. I found myself dreaming the other day that some newly widowed rancher's wife would hire our family to live on her awe-inspiring acreage. She'd be funny, sweet, and quirky. A tad bit lonely. Our herd of a family would move in next door. While Aaron kept the ranch from going under, we'd fill her life with fun and laughter . She'd fill our life with banana bread. We'd introduce her to wii bowling, and she'd teach me how to fold a fitted sheet and can green beans safely so our family could bypass dying of botulism.
Then I realized that the lady in my dreams was the exact lady off Driving Miss Daisy. Same. Exact. Lady.
Same face. Same voice. Same lady.
Scratch the dear old lady.
I started dreaming Aaron got that same rancher job, sans Miss Daisy. This time he worked for a ranching family who liked the idea of having Aaron around. The fact that we have four boys to help out is an added bonus because this couple's only son grew up to despise ranching and became a lawyer in a high rise building in New York City instead. Tragic. The parents were grief stricken, but still hold out hope that their beloved son will one day see the light, leave the big city, and come back to the ranch where he belongs. I'd homeschool the kids in the middle of nowhere America and blog all about my precious children, our ranching adventures, and our mastiff. I'd spend my spare time cooking beef and butter loaded meals. I'd snap pictures of our food. The boys would saddle up early in the morning to go help their dad work cattle. We'd all wear boots, do chores before the sun comes up, and I'd make bacon every morning for the first week or so and then would stop doing that because let's get real. Who cooks bacon every morning? No one. I couldn't even keep that up in an elaborate fantasy.
Then I realized that this fantasy felt oddly familiar. It felt real. Too real. Hmmm... Oh. Wait. A. Minute. Hold the phone. This is Pioneer Woman's life. It's official. I'm hopelessly in love with her.
Aaron also has a background in video production and graphic design. I wasted no time imagining that his video skills, incredible list of references, and 18 months of life in Haiti had landed him a job with IJM or Compassion International making videos that inspired people to action on behalf of the poor, enslaved, and imprisoned. We'd move to Nashville because duh...that's where all the artsy people live. The obvious next step would be for us to become friends with Andrew Peterson's family. I'd offer to watch their kids any time they needed me to so that A-Piddy could crank out more books for us to read. Andrew and his lovely wife would eventually introduce me to Sara Groves, and I'd probably lick her. Because that's how much I love her. Then I had an imaginary conversation with Sara Groves. In case you are wondering, there is no recovering once you lick someone. Try as you may, the conversation afterward will be awkward.
In between fantasies, I keep trying to really talk up the family band. In the most excited voice I can muster I say things like..."If Dad can't get a job...you know what that means!!!!" The boys all growl. "Mom. No. We're not being a family band." Even when I use my infomercial voice and add jazz hands to my family band suggestion they barely even look my way. I have been pushing the family band idea for about a decade now. They are over it, I guess. Whatever, family. I'm still not giving up on that dream.
When Aaron really wants to rain on my imaginary future plans he reminds me that he could go work for the styrofoam cup factory down the road. They are hiring, in case you are wondering. Aaron applied. The position pays well. If given the job, Aaron would do "cup checks on seams of formed cups" and run the box taping machine. We had to read the entire job description three times before believing this was a real job. It sounds way too Dunder Mifflin.
Crazy future fantasies aside, we're fighting daily over here to remember that God is in this. We don't want to be worried. No matter what Aaron does, we'll be proud of him. He's faithful, hard-working, he can do smarty-pants jobs, and yet he also finds physical labor rewarding. He's taught school, led worship, and served on church staff for many, many years. He's been a carpenter. He can fix just about anything. His past employers have always been sad to see him go. I'd put my money on Aaron any day.
If you know of any jobs that would fit, Aaron wants to be open to prayerfully considering anything. A job is a job, and one thing we've learned over the years is that joy can be found in just about any situation. No matter where we find ourselves next, we know God will provide, He'll give us ample opportunities to love each other and love our neighbors, and He'll grow deep and lasting friendships along the way. You may need to remind me of those things in about 10 minutes when I start to forget and my fingernails start to look delicious.
I'm still not ruling out the family band. No way.
Posted by Hendrick Family