Friday, November 21, 2014

Marriage is like football.

Hey friends. You've probably noticed by now that I go a little overboard on Facebook posts every November around my anniversary.  This year is no different, but I did start to question whether I was being a little obnoxious about the whole thing. Then I thought about how much people post about their favorite football team, and I decided that my marriage is like football. So it's okay.

And for your reading pleasure, here is why marriage is like football. In no particular order...

1.  Each year is like a football season. We play games (also known as life happening). Sometimes we lose. Badly. Sometimes we have HUGE wins!

2. Sometimes we add new players to our team. We've added 3 players in our 14 years. I'm fairly confident our roster is full at this point.

3. Anniversaries are like the Super Bowl. If your team made it to the Super Bowl, wouldn't you be excited?!?! 

4. Some seasons, we've lost every. single. game. Badly. Like, we got slaughtered. But it's okay because we still showed up to the game every. single. time.  That means we still get to our Super Bowl Anniversary even if we spend the day lying on opposite ends of the field glaring at each other, only content to at least be there.

5. Some years we have interpersonal team issues and certain members don't get along. As long as we don't have any sex scandals coming out, we can handle them and move on without calling in the commissioner. ;)

6. Some seasons are AWESOME and we win every game that life throws at us. Those are the anniversaries that get extra celebrations. They're more meaningful when we had a losing season a few years before. We can see that our team has matured.

7. I don't really have a seventh reason. I've exhausted my sports analogies for the day/week/year. 

So there you go. I will continue to post things on Facebook until Monday. Then everyone gets a reprieve until Jon's birthday. In January. =)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

So....we're moving! Again.

So.  I've announced on Facebook that we're moving on December 13th, and people are asking me where we're going. Since the answer is a little more complicated than "We're moving to ______ for _______!", I thought it would be easier to write it here. Ready? Here's the deal.

We came to the conclusion at least a month ago that staying in Raleigh, NC simply isn't going to work. All of our connections are in South Carolina, and our very best job option is there. We've been jumping through all the necessary hoops to make the top job option happen, but we're still waiting on the final answer.  In the meantime, we had to give a 60 day notice to our apartment community letting them know we will not be renewing our lease. THAT had to happen by last Friday. I'm fairly insistent that we be where we're going to be before January so that the kids can pick up right where they left off in their homeschool group. Thankfully, the organization we're a part of has numerous groups throughout the country so we can simply move to a new group and continue with our same classes. Still, that means we have to move in December.

Nobody wants to move the weeks before or after Christmas, and we're still hoping that Jon will start the job he's hoping for in December. All that to say, we went ahead and picked a moving date of December 13th. If things work out the way we hope, we will be moving back to Charleston!  If things don't work out the way we'd like, then we will be moving back to the upstate. There are a few variations that could happen, but those are basically the two directions we can go in. Does that make sense?  In the most simple of terms, Job= Charleston, No job= SC upstate. Either way, we're leaving North Carolina on December 13th. 

I'm okay with all this. I have a plan. I have a goal. I have a timeline. I know that I have Thanksgiving next week which means we'll be with our friends and family in Greenville and Laurens. I know that we're focusing on school through December 2nd. I know that I will start packing on December 3rd. Finally, I know that we're loading a truck with all of our belongings on December 13th (that's 3 weeks and 6 days as of right now). That's all I need to know at this point. Since I'm very much a goal-oriented person, I'm perfectly happy without the other details as long as I have a project in front of me to keep me busy.

So there you have it. Our latest developments. I held off on saying anything because I was soooo hoping for more official news. Since I don't have that, I'll have to settle for a moving date. Whether we like it or not, the Dumonts are moving on to....something!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Though he slay me

It's now been 7 weeks of temporary job status. For a few days last week we actually thought things had turned a corner, but no. That Raleigh job was kind of a disaster and not what we were expecting at all. So...Monday we'll be back to the same temporary work as before. I'm beyond thankful for the opportunity, but it does mean that my husband is gone during the week. This past week he was working nights here and sleeping during the day. Do you know what it's like to homeschool in a shoebox while your husband tries to sleep in the next room?  We certainly managed, but it was a long week with no set schedule.

So here's the thing that I've been thinking about for the past few months. I never realized how much the whole health and wealth mentality had made its way into my thinking until the last year. I would have never claimed I held to the belief that if I do what God wants, things go well, and if things go badly, then it must be my fault. But's kind of there underneath. We just couch in more acceptable terms. We say that God will work everything out, but what we mean is that God will eventually provide (fill in the blank) if we're faithful. No matter how bad things get, we just assume that eventually it will get better. That great job really will happen. Whatever stress we have in our lives eventually will get better. And generally, that assumption works out well as long as we're only looking within our American church. But what if I think about the Christians in Iraq and Syria? Does God not care and provide for them? Do they get beheaded and sold into slavery because they're less faithful? Surely not. What does it mean when Christians in China or Sudan are imprisoned or murdered? How can I sit here and just assume that God will grant me all of my wishes when that is obviously not how life works for most of the world? When that's not even the example we see in the Bible. God's plan is large and encompassing. I'm one tiny part of a much bigger, overarching scheme. What if that verse that says "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him"  actually means what it says?

Big questions, I know. And it's not like our lives have been that difficult in many ways over the last year.  We don't have the luxury of being able to plan our life more than a week in advance (which drives me CRAZY), but it's not like I'm worried about feeding my kids or asking how we'll pay our bills. The kids eat well and the bills are paid on time. We'll spend our Saturday getting Halloween costumes together. To compare my situation to the word slay is a bit of a stretch. Still, I can't help but come to the realization that there's a distinct possibility that this won't get better. Stay with me, I know this is depressing.  But really. Things might not get any easier, ever. Does that mean God doesn't love us or that we've screwed up so God is zapping us with some form of cosmic retribution? Nope. Or things might get better. I certainly expect them to. This isn't where I see us staying. Will that mean we've earned our way back up the holy ladder? Nope. God has a reason for the ups and the downs. So I suppose I'm learning to ride the waves, and if we sink, well...I will trust in Him.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Just a boring Dumont weekly update

So we're closing in on two weeks since my husband quit his job. I know some of you will read that and think "How irresponsible! They deserve the struggle of unemployment if he quit."  I can't give a detailed explanation as to why things have worked out they way they have, but I can absolutely without hesitation say that sometimes quitting is actually the best choice. Consider that. Unemployment was preferable. *shudder* I can also say that if I could give all the details, you would absolutely agree we did the only thing we could do. Oh, and one more thing. My husband actually hasn't missed a single day of work since he quit. He's been working at something else that's temporary. That's okay. Temporary is good enough for now. So, that's out of the way.

And how are we? We've had some promising leads. I really don't think this circumstance will last long before we're off and running again. We're still not sure if we'll have to relocate (again). But if we do, it's not like I haven't had enough practice at packing. I'm pretty sure I can handle it again. The kids are well. They of course are kind of oblivious to everything. It's not that they don't know, it's just that it hasn't affected their lives very much yet. As far as they're concerned, the only difference is that I won't take them to eat out. Oh to be an ignorant, oblivious 8yr old.

And that's about it. Nothing new or exciting this week. I appreciate all the messages I've gotten from friends and prayers. We've definitely felt them in the last few weeks. Feel free to continue those prayers as well. =)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

In case you missed the lack of employment announcement...

So...My husband quit his job on Friday. He called me on his way home to let me know. As soon as he got home, we drove to Charleston so he could work there for his Reserves weekend. It was a hectic, exhausting, raw week and weekend for us. Monday morning, he got up and left before the rest of us to work with an old friend/employer for the week. Adrenaline got me through last week and it lasted right up until Monday morning around 8:55am. That would be 15 minutes before our homeschool group started, and I would have to jump into tutor mode for a group of 6 year olds. I managed to get through class well and even made it home before crawling into bed and sleeping for 2 hours.

When given the choice of hiding difficulty and sharing it for prayers and support, I use a sliding scale to determine how open I'll be. Sudden unemployment makes it to the major life problem side of the scale and equals sharing. Sharing leads to two responses: Genuine concern and offers of help and prayer OR sudden lack of eye contact and people needing to suddenly "run and check on that..thing...that I forgot to do...that's...over on the other side of the building..."  You know the response. =) A few of those reactions on Monday morning didn't help, but I don't blame them. I've done that to people too.  Unemployment is scary sounding. It's not like it's contagious, but we still want to be as far away as possible from it. 

So after sharing with a few people the situation we found ourselves/put ourselves into, it finally hit me. We have no job. We have ideas of jobs...possible leads for jobs...even a secure backup job in a few months if nothing else comes up. But for now, we have no job. But I do still have kids. And bills. You know, expensive things. I have no husband. He's still gone for temporary work. That's good. Income is good. Absent husband is not good. *sigh*

 I know we made the right choice, of that I have no doubt. Unfortunately, that doesn't take away the fatigue, the fear that creeps up requiring me to tamp it down (because who has time for fear. Really). To walk around with a big smile on my face would be a lie. We're tired and hurt by the situation, and that takes time to overcome. There's also uncertainty now. No matter how much faith a person has, I'm still human. Knowing in my head that everything will be okay doesn't mean it will be easy, and knowledge sometimes takes its sweet time on its way to my heart.

So...all that to say we are not closing off any options.  Although we'd like to stay here, relocation is absolutely a possibility. We're looking for temporary "this will work until something better comes along" as well as "I could do this for the next 20 years" jobs. That's it then. Friends, let us know if you have any job leads. If we don't live near you and you'd like us to again, you now have incentive to look for jobs for us as well. =)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Ambiguity, we meet again.

Thanks to Timehop, I know that exactly one year ago today I was able to share with everyone our plan to leave Charleston, SC for Raleigh, NC. We were idealistic and hopeful. We'd decided to take a risk on two levels. Because one risk isn't enough, let's do two at the same time. We were moving to help support an organization that hadn't actually launched in Raleigh. We were also moving to take advantage of what we hoped would be a promising, stable opportunity for our family and our future. We were looking to settle down. *Sigh* It was a beautiful dream. Of course we knew things wouldn't work out the way we expected, they never do. And yet the results are always surprising. I'm still standing in amazement at how things have unfolded since last September, and honestly, I'm not sure what our lives are about to look like. I just know that God is doing something. One day I'll be able to look back and say "Ohhhh, so that's the point! I had to go through that to end up here."

And here isn't always a geographical location. Sometimes here is a new place in my heart. A place where I've learned empathy and compassion for people in a way I could never have understood before. A place where I learn that even though anger might be justified, I have to let it go anyway. Hopefully BEFORE I lambast them in person/over the phone/in public. Although I'm still not convinced that shaming isn't sometimes very helpful and useful. But I digress. I still have some lessons to learn obviously.  =)

Of course I have to be ambiguous. Again. I hate ambiguity. HATE. IT. But I can't give life details, and I can't keep this all to myself. Therefore, ambiguity. I can say that although the last year has been hard in so many ways, we've weathered this one better than all the other life changes we've put ourselves through so far. And I think that's saying something. We've done marriage in college, baby in college, military activation in college and after, two more kids, buying a house, selling a house, moving, moving, moving, moving, job change, job change, both working, neither working, homeschooling, etc. You get the picture. We've actually LEARNED something and gotten better at working through life together. For the first time, I'm not stewing in indecision and worry over how things are going to end up. It will end up. That's all I have to know right now. I have a to-do list for today a mile long and stewing is not on it.

So you see? God used all of these things to make us the people we are today. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be the most amazing person on earth in another 50 years.  I obviously haven't learned humility. I'm sure that lesson will be super fun.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I can't schedule my way out of this.

It's lunchtime on Wednesday. School books, papers, clothes, and suitcases and strewn everywhere. My baby kitchen is covered in dishes, half a birthday cake, two crock pots of beans cooking, more papers, but no lunch. I've been called a "bad screen mom" this morning because I wouldn't let the kids turn on the Wii or the Nintendo 3DS. I stayed up too late last night and in bed too late this morning.  At some point during the day, I need to wrap birthday presents and have everything ready for tomorrow including making a TARDIS birthday cake for my oldest's 12th birthday. We've done math. That was fun. Don't you remember 7th grade math being fun? I've cleaned up a spilled cup. That splurge on a Trader Joe's Organic Dark Chocolate Pecan and Raisin candy bar that was supposed to last me a week? Yeah, it's basically gone. I was shoving chocolate in my mouth like my life depended on it. It wasn't pretty, friends. It wasn't pretty.

And yet, as I sit in here trying to collect my thoughts, my kids keep coming in here. They can't stay away from me. I'm their favorite person. They want to talk to me about the guy on America's Funniest Home Videos that had the mohawk mullet, lactose intolerance, and Bubble Buddy from Spongebob. Now they're in another room laughing and making really weird, loud noises. I'm not even exaggerating when I say that it sounds like the monkey section of the zoo on field trip day.

A little while ago as I was standing in the kitchen trying to figure out what to do next, I did the most productive thing I could think of and checked Facebook on my phone. Because avoidance is always an option. That's where I saw this post from A Holy Experience .  And then I read this quote:

"More than needing schedules and productivity, this week will need a Savior and prayer."
Isn't that just the most profound thing you've ever read? Ever?!?!  At least it is for me this week. I can't schedule and organize my way out of this chaos. Chaos is here to stay. Law of Entropy, right? Things will always move towards disorder and chaos. BUT I can pray my way through it. So as I battle my way through a self-inflicted sugar headache, a long list of MUST-DOs, errands, school, cleaning, interruptions that are certainly coming even if I can't see them yet,  I will be praying through it. Asking for grace, eyes to see the lesson and the beauty in all of it, and that things will calm down next week. Because really. This is not a sustainable lifestyle for me. I know most other people live life at 90 mph, but that is NOT my goal. Now to go do those errands...