Yes… nine short months later, the boy and I were blessed with a beautiful, happy, healthy baby girl. Thanks to the help of my diligent and devoted parents, the remodel on our house was finished just in time to become parents ourselves! And it was so well crafted by my father’s handy work… that two and a half years later we were able to sell our home and make quite a decent profit. Why sell? Well…
I guess having a baby does change your life!? Once our little Lucie entered the world, careers, routines, ambitions and life in general seemed to look different than before. It was no longer desirable for us to ship her off to daycare; work 50 hours a week; commute 2 hours a day; and rush home, completely exhausted to throw together a dinner, bathe a baby, read her a bedtime story and say goodnight – only to repeat the same agenda the following day. We tried having Eddie stay home for a while… but my commute and job were still too demanding to have much of a family life. Our wheels started turning and we began plans to move from the heart of Minneapolis to our “little house on the [South Dakota] prairie” where a business opportunity had come up for Eddie.
Leaving behind a secure, rigorous, and blossoming career was difficult for me… and my usual train of thought. But staring at a darling redhead and not being up for the task of “mom” by the end of each day began to supersede my typical pattern of type-A tug of war. We risked a lot, trusted the Lord, and we moved. At first the road was rocky… our marriage began to crumble – we rebuilt – we faltered – we regained our footing – and finally we humbled ourselves enough to submit our relationship back into Christ’s hands. Healing began, our friendship and our love for each other grew beyond anything we had yet known, and baby #2 came along, little Lydia.
Being a stay-at-home mom most definitely had its ‘guilt factors’ – not ever doing enough for the cause of the family, financially, globally, etc. However, the Lord subtly showed me the beauty in
the career of raising kids… and what an important career that is! Having the time to play with them; teach them; share God’s word with them; ponder their daily discoveries alongside them – I had time with them! It was an opportunity I’d never had before – an opportunity that many never have. It was a gift from God that I hadn’t even known to ask for. Our lives slowed to a near stop out there on that beautiful prairie, and we learned to live a rich life outside the hum of the city.
For this brief pause in my life, I was able to enjoy both Lucie and Lydia to the fullest and let go of my inner drive. Sort of. I did find time to refurbish a piano; build a fence around the first garden I had ever planted (at 7 months pregnant); teach aerobics up to the 9th month of pregnancy; learn to cook meals rather than just throw together salads; raise my girls bilingually; train two cats and a dog – or two, and a few other things. For the most part, though, this pace was calmer than I was used to. A calmer pace led to a calmer me. And a calmer me led to a better, closer relationship with my Creator.
“Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God,” 2 Corinthians 3:5
As the girls grew, we longed for them to be closer to their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. We felt a desire to return to the place of our childhoods – Up North, Minnesota. The prairie was beautiful, but the clean, crisp, 10,000 lakes and the endless forests of trees – always felt like home.
With our marriage rejuvenated and our little family established – by the grace of God (the housing recession was coming) – we sold our house in the South Dakota countryside and moved back “home.”
Eddie got a job at my dad’s company (thanks again, Dad) and I jumped back into my
former career of teaching. We bought a cookie-cutter house (a temporary place – we planned on flipping when we found our dream home). We found a church family that helped all four of us to grow in our faith and
knowledge of Christ. We had one kid who was in school and the other in a very nice daycare situation shared between grandparents and a friend. We were home and loving it!
For the first time ever, we could see our “happily ever after.”
We thought it was a done deal.