"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. ~ Isaiah 55:8
Been wondering where I've been? And what I've been up to?
Well, my world has been quite busy, to say the least. I'm sure yours has, too.
Here is a little recap of my past year for you:
- I quit my travel job to finally work at a job only 15-20 minutes from my house... a job I had wanted and tried to get off and on for several years. I fit in from the beginning and consider my co-workers to be extended family.
- I found out I was pregnant just prior to transitioning from one job to the next. Our only other child is our 9-year-old son. I am not young. 38 to be exact. We also soon found out our new blessing was/is a baby girl!
- During the brief time off I took to transition from one job to the next, we were unexpectedly and suddenly presented with a tremendous opportunity for my husband to go overseas to work in the Middle East for a one-year contract. We had to decide in less than a week and he would have to leave in less than a month.
- (Reminder...I was newly pregnant, and about to start a new job. It was also June, so, mid-Summer and looking ahead to a new school year for our son as well as juggling working full-time and getting our son to summer camps and such prior to school starting.)
- My very second week on my new job...on a Wednesday, specifically...our son broke his forearm (on his WRITING hand/arm...just before school was starting).
- Mind you, I carry insurance for us, so we had NO insurance yet with my new job and could not afford COBRA with the previous one.
- And ALSO, remember I said it was on a Wednesday?! Well, my husband was leaving for the Middle East on that following Saturday...less than 4 days later!
- Did I remind you that I was pregnant?! And had a new job?! Oh, and Summer Camp was out of the question now!
- I got diagnosed with Gestational (pregnancy-related) Diabetes a few months into the pregnancy. (Baby & I did just fine, though.)
All that said, thanks to the wonderful love and tangible support of so many family and friends...here we are nearly a year later and all is well.
I specifically must mention and thank my sweet mother and my sweet mother-in-law for their selfless assistance and love-in-action during these several months. They dropped everything and have taken turns coming several hours south of where they live to come stay with us and help us through these months. There were only a couple of months after the arm healed and prior to me giving birth that my son and I were here alone. (and, boy, were those a couple of rough ones...but we both survived!) Additionally, so many of our precious church friends (or family-away-from-family) helped us in tangible as well as prayerful ways.
My husband did get to come back to stay with us for a month for the birth of our daughter and arrived only a couple of days before her birth. Those were some precious weeks that we all are missing these days. Skype has become a great friend to us. My husband and our son even play Battleship over Skype on occasion. Don't ask me who the better player is...I'll never tell!
So...with that recap in mind, you're probably wondering how in the world (literally) we manage as a family like this. Well, only through God-given strength and only through knowing He is in control, guiding and protecting us every step of the way. Only through knowing His ways are higher than ours and His plan is for our good and His glory.
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." ~ Jeremiah 29:11
Never say "Never!"
- I said all my life I would NEVER want to live in New York...and NEVER thought I would live anywhere near it.
- God's plan was for us to live in New Jersey for 2 years of our newlywed, newly parenting lives...when we both had only lived in our hometown area of Shreveport/Bossier City/Stonewall/Gloster, Louisiana our whole lives.
- I said all my life I would NEVER, EVER live in New Orleans, much less raise a family there.
- God's plan was for us to live and work in various parts of the Greater New Orleans area for nearly 7 years (5 years longer than we lived anywhere else as a couple, including our hometown area). AND we fell in LOVE with the area and the people who make it the gem that it is. AND we gladly have been raising children in the area. We consider it our home even more than our hometown.
- I said all my life (especially in recent years) I would NEVER, EVER, EVER live in the Middle East, much less raise a family there...(do you see where this is going?!)...
- God's plan is currently clearly for me and our 2 precious children to move overseas to the Middle East to join my husband/their father for the remainder of his work contract as well as any additional contract he may get after this one is over in January.
- Yep, you heard me correctly.
So...needless to say...like I said before...I have been quite busy lately.
Lots of planning & packing & purging & selling & giving & storing.
I have resigned from my once dream job (which I will be finishing in *gasp* TWO WEEKS...yikes!) and am preparing to embark on another dream job which I never thought would be possible for me and my family. I am going to be a stay-at-home mom and will be homeschooling our son (& daughter, even though she will not technically be in school for a few years). Just never envisioned this opportunity being presented in a way that would be packaged with a MOVE TO THE MIDDLE EAST. Oh my.
In preparation for not knowing how long we will be there, I and our children will be spending a couple of months in North Louisiana and surrounding areas visiting family and friends and celebrating birthdays and all prior to FLYING ACROSS THE WORLD. Oh my.
Thankfully, we do have some precious friends we spent a lot of time with here in our area who moved over there prior to my husband and had lived there (in the Middle East) for a few years prior to us meeting them here in Louisiana. They have 3 young children and homeschool there, so we are blessed to have them take us under their wing and welcome our family into the ExPat life of Doha, Qatar. (Have you ever gotten a passport for a baby?! I HAVE. Oh my.)
So, as you are watching the Summer Olympics in 2016 (in person or on TV), be looking for my husband, the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Qatar National Olympic (Men's) Beach Volleyball Team. And, who knows, you may also see me and our 2 precious children in the stands as well. Yep, that's the tremendous, unexpected opportunity my husband (& I) accepted by faith.
As you can imagine, there are likely many more posts to come of this...so be on the lookout!
Please do keep us in your prayers.
And remember...Never say "Never!"