Thursday, October 17, 2013

Meanwhile, Back at the Davises...

Well, sort of anyway...
The other day on FB my friend, Cheryle, shared a blog post written by a recent widow, and it was some of  the best inspiration I've ever read for improving my "wife life."  must read!  Eloquently and succinctly, the writer, a mother of ten and wife of thirty-five years, lists all the things she wished she'd understood about her husband while he was alive. It's an enlightening, humbling read. (Seriously. If you have a husband, go read it!)
Dan and me,
so long ago, the photo is pixilated.

In a nutshell, though, this wise woman points out how easy it is as women to get so wrapped up in our own needs and wants, frustrations and wishes that we forget to consider our husband's challenges and feelings.

Just between you and me: I know I've been guilty of this. I haven't realized how much so until recently but reading the list really struck home ... 

We've had a difficult couple of years in our family.  Dan lost his job in eastern Colorado a little over three years ago then used his severance package to try to start a small business with a friend.  The small business didn't work out, but, thank Divine Providence and Dan's good sense and skill, the investments that he'd also made with some of the money paid good dividends and we were able to make ends meet comfortably until about a year ago when the writing was on the wall that he really had to get back into the general labor force.  Many can attest that this is a proposition easier said than done these days.

And just between you and me: We've tried to shield the kids from the bulk of the stress, but none of this crazy ride has been easy for any of us.  Through all our employment woes these last few years, I think I had an idea of how hard it was on Dan to lose his job then suffer the failure of his start-up, but, if I'm going to be perfectly honest I have to admit I've been more consumed with worry over how each of the dips and turns affected me -- and the lifestyle I wanted for us -- than how the responsibility of everything weighed on Dan, specifically. 

But we thought everything would get easier when Dan got a regular job again, "working for the man."  So, he diligently searched.  He looked here in the valley where we live; he looked in the Denver area; he looked everywhere there was a church to attend.  And out of the bazillion lines he cast into the job market, he eventually got a couple of 'bites,' but go figure, the job he ended up landing was in the last place on earth I have ever wanted to live.  I've said it many times over the years how I would never live in this place, and, it seems I jinxed myself by so doing... or, more likely, gave God the perfect place to challenge me to win grace.

But, really, just between you and me: What better antidote for a "scenic-view-addiction" could He possibly have found for me?  And what better therapy for my self-centered inclinations in the long run....   

You know where Dan got the job, right? Las Vegas.

Yeah. Just between you and me: 'Not-so-fabulous Las Vegas.'  Sin City.  The ugliest place on earth.  The place where I've always joked that God would likely put me to spend my Purgatory: Nevada...  in the desert... in a single-wide trailer... with no air conditioning... sports radio droning incessantly in the background.  But I digress...

We decided not to move the whole family there in the hopes that something better would come up on the job front, but it's been a year now with no new leads and Dan's been making the nine hour commute from Vegas, home, and back every weekend.  Thank the good Lord he has a four day work week at least, so we see him a good two and half days instead of only one and a half!

Just between you and me: Woohoo, huh?

But, honestly, it's been a good job in a lot of ways. Some weekends he's able to catch the cheap commuter flight home, saving wear and tear on him and his car. He likes the people he works with and he's good at the work he's doing (though he finds it pretty unchallenging). And, yeah, it pays the bills.  Or, it would...  if my poor husband didn't have to pay to live in a hotel four days a week (the cheapest hotel that's still safe in Vegas), and if he didn't have to fork it over for the gas to commute (which has been a killer).  So, yeah, the job obviously doesn't work for us on a lot of levels.  Needless to say, we've hated the separation most of all, and Dan doesn't like Vegas any more than I do... so we've continued searching all this time for a better job in a better place -- preferably here in the valley.  But with no luck.

Just between you and me: All this time I've been hoping and praying, and praying and hoping, and wrapping all my plans around the family staying right here, where it's pretty, where we're comfortable, where we feel safe -- where I personally like to be...  Regardless of the stress it's putting on my husband. For a long time, I didn't even consider anything else.

But, you know how sometimes God sends a postcard?  Sometimes it's a passive exclamation instead of a subtle signal grace.  Sometimes He just keeps saying "No" until we change our question.

So, we've decided it's time to do just that; we're going to make a stab at changing our approach.  Instead of Mohammed getting to come back to the Mountain.  We're moving the Mountain to Mohammed.  We're pulling up stakes, striking camp here in Western Colorado, and unless something dramatic happens soon to change our forward momentum, we're moving the family to Las Vegas to be with Dan.

Just between you and me: Wow. Can't believe I just wrote that out loud.

No worries if it's a misstep. We know from experience that if this move isn't part of His plan, God will throw a monkey wrench into the works and stop us, and we'll just try putting our collective foot out in another direction.

Just between you and me:  I can't say I'm not scanning the horizon for a flying monkey wrench.

(What is that: the third or fourth metaphor I've mixed into the pot?  And are you getting sick of the "just between you and me" bit yet?)
But, it's all good. If it's God's will that we be in Las Vegas (of all places!), then we'll go to LasVegas -- and doggoned if we won't make something good out of it.  We will learn to love the desert.  Or, um...  maybe just not hate it, anyway.  (Likely we'll be taking lots of drives to California to hang out at the beach in order to tolerate Nevada.)

But, really, just between us:  hopefully I'll finally learn not to be so hung up about what I want that I miss what God wants. And what my husband needs.

This past year while the family's been in our comfortable house enjoying one another's company in beautiful Colorado, Dan's been stuck working in an ugly city, staying most of the week in a dusty hotel with nobody he loves near him.  Not fair; not right.  He needs us and we need him.  And the kids and I are determined to fix it.  Even if it has to be in Las Vegas (of all places!)  Because we love him that much.  And he's worth it.

Just watch: 
We'll make lemonade out of sand and neon lights. 

And we do continue to pray that this is not our last move!  Hope springs eternal!  There's got to be a good job for Dan someplace out there close to Mass that's also pretty, right?  (If not Colorado, I'm personally voting for Idaho...  We'll see what God's thinking.)

Check this out.  An oldy but a goody.
 The first song  sort of sums it all up...

Video made by (now 26 year old) Paul for our
twentieth wedding anniversary, six years ago.
(The children all look so little in this! Holy cow!
How things have changed -- and yet stayed the same!)


Natalie said...

I'll keep you in my prayers sweetie. Are you absolutely determined to stay in the west or would moving east be an option? I would hate to leave those beautiful mountains too, but I know a few people in Vegas and they just love it. Perhaps you can find a place to live outside the city where you can at least see the stars. Good luck!!!

Lisa said...

Hey, Natalie! Thank-you! No, we're not really determined about anything. :0) We're learning that's not a good idea. We've thrown our hook out pretty far, though, looking just about anywhere that's got a Tridentine Mass nearby. But, yeah, for the meantime, I'm hoping to get a place sort of "countryish" -- or at least in a *green* area of the city that doesn't look so deserty. And we're finding that a lot of rentals have in-ground swimming pools! (The kids are pretty excited about that!)

Kim F said...

<< I didn't even consider anything else.>>

Rewind my life to 2009 and you have my words exactly. I have drawn one line in the sand after another and God just follows behind me with a Divine whisk broom smoothing them all out again. ; )

God bless you Lisa! I know there are good things coming!

Natalie said...

The desert isn't so bad. I love Albuquerque. The weather is always sunny so you can do lots of stuff outside. I'm sure there are lots of hiking trails. Plus there is a ton of history about the American Indians that lived in the area (and some still do!). Be sure to stock up on sunscreen. =)

Lisa said...

:0) Will do, Natalie! I've been thinking about the greater need for sunscreen, and the little need for sweaters, boots, coats, and mittens! I'll be packing all that stuff in deep storage for a while!

We've been researching things for kids to do in Nevada, too, and have been really pleasantly surprised. There are a TON of museums, water parks, indoor and outdoor amusement parks -- and just a lot of things I think the casinos add to their venues to lure folks with kids. A lot of it's pretty inexpensive or free, too! Lots of makings for lemonade! :)

Lisa said...

Kim, I love the idea of the Divine whisk broom! :) That really is how it seems sometimes. I think sometimes the Heavenly Father is just really determined to teach me a thing or two about trust and abandonment. And He doesn't give up no matter how badly I seem to miss His point... (or pretend I don't see it...)

Maria (also Bia) said...

Oh, this is hard. But it sounds as if you're making the right decision ... a family needs to be together.

Besides, the sight of your lovely family will probably convert Sin City in less than a week ;-)