Big Life Changes

*UPDATE* This opportunity didn’t work out for many reasons and Mark decided to move on to a different job. He is happily employed at a large, widely known company whose main operations are local. Thank you for continued prayers and support as we journey through life! 

I have been holding on to a piece of information for over 2 weeks. While some suspect the secret, or even sort of know what it is, only some people are in on the details of this secret. These people are so close to me. They have been a constant support during both good and bad times. These people are not fair weather friends. These people are hard core “walk through the hurricane holding our hands” kind of friends. They have our trust and know our secret. The time has come for me to let the rest of the world in on this news.

So what is this information that I hold? It involves my entire family but mostly it is about my husband.
**Drum roll**

Mark accepted a new position with a different company! I will not give details about who he will be working for because I feel that would not be beneficial to him. I will say that it is a better job. It doesn’t bring us back to where we were, not really even close, but it is a very positive step forward and upward with potential for growth and a future. It is a new career path that will use past skills in a new way. He will be challenged; something he is very excited about. He is a very smart guy so the challenge is welcome.

A tid bit from his letter accepting his new job.

A tid bit from his letter accepting his new job.

I am very excited. I am also cautiously optimistic. I have been burned too many times over the past year and a half to be full fledged optimistic. What makes me most excited is this run down:

~In all the years I have known Mark he has always worked an unusual schedule. It was unpredictable and ever changing.
This job is a 5 day a week job without constant changes. I know what to expect.
~In all the years I have known Mark 40 hours a week was a pipe dream. 60 was the norm and often more than that. Even now he works 45 so that we can pay bills (minimum wage is NOT livable income for a family).
This is a 40 hour a week job. Period.
~He has never had weekends off.
He will have weekends off, except every other Saturday will be a half day, but those weeks he gets a half day during the week. This is huge for us and really exciting as we have swim meets, martial arts tournaments, boy scout events, volunteer hours, and church on the weekends. He can finally be a part of it all.
~He has always had to sacrifice family time for his job.
He no longer has to sacrifice family time for his job.

We are so excited but I would be lying if I said there wasn’t some fear. I so desperately want this to be everything we are hoping for it to be. On paper it sounds and looks perfect. Will the reality be the same? I sure hope so. I really feel like Mark deserves it. He is a hard worker. He is a fast learner. He is a likable guy. He is loyal. If hard work alone indicated wealth he would be a millionaire easily. Too bad that isn’t always the case.

So we are embarking on a new journey. Pray and hope for us please, especially for Mark! Thank you to everyone who has been there for us. Most of you don’t know us, but you have helped us. Kind words, support, love, and friendships. You have let me see glimmers of who you are. One kind word has meant a thousand to us. You are not forgotten to us. We pray for all of you and value your lives. Thank you for sticking by us. We are not out of the woods but we can see the sun. The darkest depths seem to be behind us. I hope you stick around and watch all of this unfold.

IMG_20150219_111856

Peace and love
~Andrea

**Mark is into his first week. He is learning a lot and very busy. YAY!

At the Breaking Point

Everyone says “You are never given more than you can handle.” They think it is a comfort but it really isn’t because I honestly do not feel like I can handle anymore. I feel like I will explode. When you are in the thick of a very difficult time you need something more. I do not think there is a “one size fits all” for this situation. I think everyone needs something different. For me it helps to hear success stories; people in a similar situation who then experienced a turn around. A hug also does wonders for me. It feels reassuring.

I am very blessed that many people have found this blog and have shared their stories. The words provide so much encouragement and hope. Strangers have made a complete difference in my life. My husband (and the kids) gives the hugs. He is great at that. ❤

This past month has been a major trial. Between having hurt kids and getting some scary news regarding Zen when we went to his 1 year well child check I was left feeling hopeless. This is on top of the “normal stuff”; Mark looking for work back home, looking for a permanent place to live, friends who are hurting, an uncle with cancer, the health of my wonderful in-laws…. I can’t handle anymore of this. I hit the breaking point.

After a particularly stress-filled and overall “feeling sorry for me” kind of day I got some  amazing news from my husband. The timing was really quite insane and quite perfect.

<drum roll>

Mark will be starting a new full time job back home the beginning of May!

I hit the breaking point and now I am granted access to relief. I can’t even adequately describe the relief I am feeling. It is all consuming and wonderful.

The job doesn’t come with health insurance but it pays more than minimum wage and offers a decent commission. It is full time! Best of all it gets us back to our church, homeschool community, and friends who are family to us.

Mark will go ahead of us because he will need to find us a place to live. He will stay with some friends who are seriously some of the best people we know.

I have last minute doctor appointments to finish up with the kids. We will also finish up our school year and fit in some last minute “stuff.” It is all fitting together quite nicely. Things will never be what they used to be and that is OK. It is a beginning of something new and wonderful.

Thank you all for the help, kind words, encouragement, and mostly the prayers.
The support I am surrounded with is seriously amazing and I really am blessed to have you all as a part of my journey!

I hope you are as excited as I am to find out what is in store for the future! I think I will include smaller posts with updates as we transition into our new journey.

10153426_10201797844767056_558306853_n