Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Directions

... Warning: this is a very long post. A few very important updates in the midst of lots of personal reflection ...

No, I am not talking about the high school show choir on "Glee," the great show on FOX that is starting its third season this fall.

I'm talking about our continual wait for directions from above. The moments when Adam and I feel a little lost, a little unsure, and we're waiting for directions. Waiting to know what is right and when it is right.

And now we've heard.

Heard that our next adventure is to move again. Three more times, to be exact!

Now you might be thinking, "Aren't you sick of moving? Don't you just want to stay in one place?" Absolutely!

But we have come to learn in our young lives that what we want and what God wants for us is not always the same. Ultimately, what He wants for us is immensely greater than what we could have ever wished for ourselves. At the time, it doesn't always feel as though this is true, but as we look back over our lives, we can't help but agree with Him.

So as not to lose you, I'll be a little less vague about our upcoming moves.

This past winter (well, probably before then) Adam began to feel pulled towards a career that can provide a better lifestyle for our family (not that it's better than others, just better for us). He has never loved the "feast or famine" workload of a country elevator. He'd much rather be in "feast" mode all of the time. Personally, I think he's crazy, but the man loves work. He also wants to eventually get beyond the actual grain handling facilities; more logistics/training/?? at the home office of a larger company. This would allow Adam to use his brain more and his hands less as he gets older, but more importantly he could then coach high school sports and be around for family time.

After months of applications, interviews, and traveling, Adam received an offer late last week from CHS. He will be in the Assistant Superintendent Trainee program. Short explanation is Adam will be in three different locations over the next 18 mos learning, and then be placed full time at a terminal. We'll spend 6 mos in Davenport, IA, and then 6 mos each in New Orleans, LA and Superior, WI (or maybe Portland, OR). Oh, and did I mention that he starts Sept 1?

Let me be completely clear now, before I confuse you later. This is an amazing opportunity for Adam and our family. I am so happy that someone has recognized that his skills, knowledge and abilities and are going to put them to better use. This is a great "return on investment." In a year and a half, he'll be so much farther ahead than if he had just tried to get a permanent position somewhere.

This. Is. A. GOOD. Thing.

But it is a bittersweet transition. We've been here for two years, the longest that either of us have lived in one place since high school, almost 10 years ago. We've put down a few roots; not as many as we thought we would, but roots.

Our little house. I love it. I never thought I would want to live in the middle of a cornfield, but I LOVE it. It's quiet, peaceful and pretty. I've learned about gardening, including rosebushes. I've painted my own rooms for the first time. We survived our first major remodeling project with our bathroom last winter. (oh! my new bathroom, how you'll be missed) The bonfires, dinners with friends and family, canning, oh so many GOOD memories.

My job. This is my first "real" job that has felt like a "real" job. I feel like I matter, that what I do counts. That I have made some sort of contribution to the organization for the better. That I might truly be missed. Part of me worries that the skills and experience I have gained at Prairie Lakes Church will not be transferable. Finding a job for only 6 mos, 3 times, doesn't really lend itself to meaningful jobs. Then 18 mos down the road, will my two years at PLC even matter to any prospective employers? I don't have any training. No one will really know PLC and therefore won't understand that I didn't "just work for a church." But then I think, does it really matter?

Working for our church has been absolutely the right thing at the right time. Something that I never would have pictured for myself. Something that still kind of "doesn't fit" into the rest of my life experiences. But it works. and it works well. But is it what I really want to do for the rest of my life? No.

I want to be a stay at home mom. I've wanted to be one since I was pregnant with Aaron three years ago. But I haven't been able to. So in the meantime, I have to work. And God was so gracious to give me such a wonderful job for the past two years. Thank you Ron Phares for taking a chance on me. The girl you had never met but just had a feeling was the right person for the job. The opportunities and experiences I have been blessed to have are all because you saw more than my resume could tell.

And the people. Never before have we lived somewhere long enough to build any sort of community. Never before have there been so many people that I will truly miss. I don't need to name names. You know who you are. Some of people I see often, others only every once in awhile. Some people I will stay close to for the rest of my life, others I may never talk to again. But you all have become a part of who I am. I am thankful for every person that God has placed in my life during our time in Iowa. I will miss you all.

The next 18 mos will be crazy. And wonderful. And scary. And fun. And tiring. And one of our most exciting adventures. Do I want to live in New Orleans for the rest of my life? Absolutely not. But it sure will be fun for 6 mos. Melody will lose her big yard, but we hope that in two years, she'll have one just as nice. Do I relish the thought of packing up all of my belongings only to do it again twice more in a short period of time? Nope. (Um, have I told you how much I HATE packing??) But at least this time we'll have *some* professional help.

But I know this is good.

I know that this is the next step God has placed in our lives.

I know that God is good.

I know that God is always right.

I know that He has planned this next adventure just for us.

He's written the directions.

We waited, not always patiently, and now hope to follow well.

And continue to wait for further directions.


stevensabby said...

Patti-girl . . . such bittersweet news! Perhaps we can pray the end of your 2 year journey will bring you full-circle and back to us!

Anonymous said...

i'm going to miss you more than you know, pattikins. so happy for you...but definitely bittersweet in my heart. i'm going to miss you, left brain.

DanO said...

I am grateful that you are following God. I can say that I know what it's like to move so much. And also that I'm so glad that there is an excellent opportunity for Adam. You both will be missed. I hope we will be able to keep the high level of excellence that you have put into practice here at PLC. I will stay in touch because I'm hooked on social networking and know that you will be checking in often. Thank you for all you have done, and for being a friend.

Chris Rygh said...

Congrats! Proud of you two. Big shoes to fill at PLC. Prayers for a healthy and smooth transition! The Ryghs