I could not be more proud of my husband. Not possible.
He is finishing up his last 4 days of work at this job....this job that has been back and forth between joy and torture for way too long.
He finally made the decision that he doesn't want to put his family through the stress of this job anymore, so he put in his notice at the beginning of May.
We've been praying about this decision for a while now, and we've gotten a lot of "you're crazy" looks from people who can't understand why he would quit his job right when we're about to have a baby. Well here's why:
Since we've been married, his average work day has been from about 7am till 7-8pm, usually 6 days a week. He has a boss who is, shall we say, less than respectful of anything associated with personal/family time, and has proven this on many occasions when he calls Nathan at home to chastise him for not being at work (usually these calls occur between the hours of 8pm and 6am. He has three different bosses to please, the district manager of his own company, the hotel he works for, and the management company that is in charge of the garage he runs. These three bosses usually do not get along, therefore, putting Nathan in the middle of a big mess and typically getting him in trouble for things he didn't do (or sometimes did do because one boss told him to and another boss just didn't like what he did). We have put up with all of these things until now, because we thought we "needed" this job. But when the hotel came to Nathan a few weeks ago and told him that he would now have to start being there every single Sunday, that's where we drew the line. They told him to take a weekday off instead of Sundays (which is impossible, because between his other two bosses, he has daily meetings he is required to attend).
So we began to re-evaluate our situation. Nathan realized that he isn't so attached to this job that he wants it to come before his family. In fact, he wants his family to be his first attachment. He wants his family to be his "goal", his "focus", and the thing he is most proud of. He wants his job to just be his job, and the family he comes home to at night to be what he cares most about. So we reconfigured our budget, cut back on several things, prayed a lot, and then he put in his notice.
The next day, God provided a part-time, summer job that he can do completely from home, and that will also cover the remainder of our bills. This gives him time to be home with me more before the baby gets here, help me get the house ready, go to the remainder of my appointments, and look for a job that will actually be family conducive.
I am so proud of the decision he's made. Yes, we still get looks from people, and "advice" on how to be goal-oriented and make smart career choices, but he and I both know that a career is only going to last 20-30 years. The time he invests in his family is an eternal investment, something our children and grandchildren will be extremely grateful for, an accomplishment that he and I can be proud of together. We can live without High Definition cable. We can drive more carefully and reduce our insurance to liability. We can eat smarter, eat out less, and frankly, eat healthier. (He even traded in his car for an older model with more miles, so our payment is MUCH less and the loan is MUCH shorter.) We can live without fancy, frilly and frivolous things, but we can't live with ourselves knowing that we could have raised a better family...that we could have done things differently.
Obviously, we'll still have things to regret and things to change, but we knew that if we started our family the way we have been living for the past couple of years, it would lead to automatic regrets. We want to teach our children by example, and in order to do that, we need to have our priorities straight.
So for us, this is the right choice. I haven't seen my husband this happy since the day we got married. He's relaxed again. He's smiling. He's excited about having a family. It's marvelous. I love seeing him like this...no stress, minimal worries, enjoying his life and knowing he'll only have more time to enjoy it now.
In the words of Paul: "Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth...but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven...for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ... For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life...And who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? ... But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself." - Jesus
If anyone asks what our future is going to look like, or wants to understand why we are making such "foolish" decisions regarding the care of our family, I intend to point them straight to Philippians 3. Our objective is to be like Christ in a world where status is the most important thing. Our prayer, our hope and our faith lie in the knowledge that God will provide, if we only trust. Call us crazy. We'll just smile and say "thank you".