Our lives are so "up in the air" right now. We know we are selling our house, but after that we have no idea where we are going. I have NEVER been good at being flexible. I ALWAYS had a plan and that plan was always neatly written in my planner. I knew what was going to happen every day and how it was going to happen. Then I met Josh's family. Every time we visit we have no idea what to expect. Literally...watch us pack our bags for a weekend trip up there...you'll see shorts, pants, workout clothes, ski jackets, swimsuits...honestly, anything can happen while we are there. That stretched me beyond belief. I had to learn to be flexible. His family is now my family and I needed to respect the way that they were. This was so very hard for me, but you know what? It was the best thing that ever happened.
If you asked me 5 years ago while Josh and I were nearing our wedding day what I thought life would be like, here would be my answer.
"Josh will have a great job. He will make lots of money to be able to take care of our family. We will own a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house in a cute little suburb in Salem, Oregon. We will have two kids, a boy and a girl. Of course we will have a little dog too! I'm driving the kids around in an Acura MDX (my dream SUV) and Josh will have his BMW. I'll be a stay at home mom. We will be in the process of adopting a little girl from China. Josh is playing soccer for his hobby. We are involved in our church (we were at a different one when we were first married). Everything will be picture perfect."
I laugh at my naive self. I don't think it was wrong to dream and have plans, but would I be happy if life had happened that way? ABSOLUTELY NOT. At this moment we can't pay our bills. We have a 2 bedroom, 1 bath house that we are currently giving up. I'm driving a car that was made the year I was in 3rd grade, it's missing a headlight from its third accident. Josh is driving a minivan that was made the year he was in 2nd grade. It's missing pretty much everything. I am a stay at home mom, but many times feel like I'm being guilt tripped for it...as if I am not working hard enough for my family. Josh is working two jobs that are both wonderful, but neither are able to give us a stable income at the moment. We realized adopting from China was out of reach (for now!), but are feeling so pulled to Ethiopia. Sadly, we are unable to adopt with our financial issues so adopting is totally out of reach at this time. We are involved in a new church that we absolutely LOVE and can't get enough of. And we have NO IDEA where we are going to live or how often we will have to move over the next couple of years. I have renamed us the Gypsies. I have the feeling it's going to be fitting.
Can I tell you something though? I'm the happiest I've ever been. The things of this Earth are so unsatisfying to me. I love beautiful houses, but will a beautiful house make me happy? Not really. The thing is there are people that are hurting so much more than we are. They live under bridges, they don't have clean water to drink, they don't have shoes on their feet. Lately, our hearts have been breaking for the people of Ethiopia. We are starting to realize that while adoption is not a possibility for us at this time, helping the people of Ethiopia is. We aren't sure what that means, but we know we are ready for whatever it is God is going to throw our way.
I know this became a novel simply from a Project 52 post, but this is real and it is raw and it is what needed to be written. Project 52 has become so much more than just a chance to challenge my photography...it is challenging me as a person, a wife, a mom, a friend, a daughter...this is not what I signed up for and yet it's the best thing for me right now.
Thanks for coming along on this adventure. As God gives us direction, we'll fill you in, but for now we are just standing at the ready, waiting for our next adventure!
For more Project 52 goodness, check out these fine blogs:
Let me know if you want to join in on the fun! It's never too late to start your Project 52 :)