My name is Jessica. I am a stay-at-home mom, an in-home child-care provider, a music teacher, a daughter, a sister, and a wife. Being a stay-at-home mom and a child-care provider I often feel a bit of isolation from the rest of the world. Not to mention, I feel I am loosing touch with myself. I have Facebook, and that helps with the social side a little. But I've been looking for something more. A means to talk about my crazy thoughts, my faith, my fears, the funny parts of keeping kids, the difficult moments, being a wife, and everything else that happens or is a part of my life. It's an opportunity to look at my life and revisit the moments that otherwise might be quickly forgotten and a lesson go unlearned. Time for me to S L O W D O W N and meditate on God's gift to me. My life.
I have no idea what may come of this. I have no idea if I have anything to say that would matter to anyone but me. But, right now, I feel God is wanting me to express myself and this is how I am going to do it.
The title of my Blog is "Walking the Land". I first heard that term from our pastor. After our daughter, Ruby was born, we went to our Pastor for council. I had not been happy in my elementary music teaching job for quite some time. When Ruby was born, it made everything that much worse.
The first day I had to go back to work was terrible. I had an amazing babysitter set up. I trusted her fully and knew Ruby was in good hands. But, I was going to be missing out on so much and I knew it. Not to mention, that year we had gotten a new Principal and she was not easy to adjust to. So, the whole 40 minute drive to school, I was in complete hysterics crying (probably not very safe!)and got to school looking a mess. Luckily it was a teacher work day, so I didn't have to explain anything to my students.
After months of throwing up in the morning before I left for work, my husband, Ben and I decided that I needed to get some peace about my job and about missing Ruby. I had wanted to stay home, but the money just wouldn't work out. Several people suggested maybe doing in-home childcare.We knew we wanted to do God's calling for our family. So, we called our pastor and set up a time to meet.
We told our pastor that we were considering for me to stay home and maybe keep kids out of the house. We shared that wanted to make sure we were doing what God had called us to do and not just what we wanted to do. We told him how emotionally unhappy I had been with leaving Ruby and how unhappy I had been at work. He told us that God says in the Bible that we need to "Walk the Land". If God wanted me to stop working in the schools and work from home, and we were praying for an answer and willing to listen to whatever it was, then we would need to put my name out there and see what happened. If it was God's will then "The Land" would provide the opportunity for it to happen. In other words, If God wanted me to be home, then things would fall into place.
And they did. We figured out what we needed financially to make it work. We talked to a friend who already kept children for a living. We told our pastor we were ready to see what happened when I put my name out there, and with in a few days, I had already found a family who needed childcare. By the end of Summer I had all of the slots filled that we needed to pay our bills and survive. There would be no extra's, but I could be home with our daughter and be a help to other families.
This is my second year of working from home. It has been wonderful and it has been hard. I still find myself dreaming of being a true stay-at-home mom. Where I could focus on just my Ruby and any future children we have. Especially on the hard days when the kids are whining or being too rough with each other and time out has been a revolving door. But if you were to ask me if Iwanted to go back to teaching instead of dealing with the chaos...right now, I would still say no. I am exactly where God wants me to be.
Now, things are starting to change. I lost one of my kids because her parents are going off to be missionaries. My numbers are lower and things are a little less stressful during the day. But this is not working for our budget. We have some money saved for things like this and we have been praying for just the right child to come along and fill the slot. I know that I can't pick up an infant right now because all of the other kids are almost 2 or already 2 and the little baby wouldn't fit in the mix. So, I keep posting my opening on FB and telling people I meet that I have an opening. But nothing yet!
And so... here I am walking the land again. Seeing what is out there for me to do to bring in the extra money we need. I already teach a small music class one night a week, but it looks like the numbers might not be high enough this semester for me to do that. I'm looking around the house to see what we really don't need that I could post on Craigslist. I'm putting change away every time I find it. I've considered posting an add on Craigslist for my slot, but I would prefer for my referral to come from people I know. But, I still have this feeling like something is coming my way. I'm walking the land. I'm digging into God's word for answers. What is He saying? What is next for my family? I'm walking the land.