White-Knuckle Grip + Printable

Since we got back from vacation, the thing that has been weighing on my mind is that I don't have much time before Derek starts traveling for his work again.

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It's been a year sine he got this job.  I feel like going into it I was so naive - I thought it wouldn't be too bad when he was traveling, that we'd have plenty of time to talk in the evenings and when he was home on the weekends, and then his months of working from home would be this great time of getting to spend more time together than we would get to in any other job.

In reality it's a lot different.  I miss him like crazy when he's not here, and by the time we get to talk on the phone in the evening I'm usually in the middle of getting the kids ready for bed and I'm exhausted.  He usually has extra work or studying to do in the evenings when he's on the road, so we simply can't spend as much time talking and catching up on our days as I would like.  Then when he comes home on the weekend it's this mad dash to squeeze as much quality time together as we can in between all our other obligations, and it's hard to really feel connected when you are rushed.

The months when he's been home have not been how I expected at all.  I don't think I thought about the fact that even though he's working from home, I have to still act like he's not here for eight hours during the day.  It's been a struggle for me to learn that I need to let him get work done, and any interruptions are just going to cause him to have to work later in the evening.

Complicating matters is that just when I think I'm getting it down, it switches on me.  He spends three months on the road, three months at home.  I don't have enough time to really get good at learning how to handle everything when he's gone.  I don't have enough time to learn how to balance the day when he's working from home.

I'm not saying all this to complain so much as just to explain that this year has been hard for me.  Before Derek got this job we both prayed about it, and it seemed like this is where the Lord wanted us to be.  But then it was so different from what I thought. I'd be lying if I said that I don't wonder sometimes if we misunderstood God's will, because why would He put us through this season of demanding work schedules and time apart when He knew it was going to be so hard on me?

But then, nowhere does it say that if you follow God's will everything will be easy.  In fact, the Bible says just the opposite.   We are guaranteed trouble in life, which is why I'm glad this isn't all there is.


(Click to open full 8x10 print and then right click to save to your computer.)

I've been studying James lately, and James talks a lot about trials.  As I was reading I realized this situation, with Derek being away so much, is a small trial in my life right now.  It's also a trial I would much prefer to the alternative trial of having him be out of a job, so in reality I should be thankful!  

It has been a struggle, but I can choose to complain and gripe about how rotten it is and how much I hate having him gone, or I can take this as a chance to let God grow me.  I can practice being supportive, find ways to show Derek I'm proud of him and the work he does, think of special things that kids and I can do for him when he gets home.  I can practice encouraging him, I can pray for him while we're apart. I can use the extra time I have when he's away to think of ways I can be a better wife and mother, and I can do them.  I can be a blessing to my family through this time, or I can make everything harder with my attitude.  

I so want to choose the better path and be a blessing.  But I'm definitely not there yet.  I feel like I'm constantly failing in my attitudes and actions in this season.  But with every failing I think I've been recognizing it more and more for what it is, and I have more of a desire to change, to do better.  And change only comes through God's help.

For the first time I think I can see a glimpse of what God is trying to do.  I think He's trying to refine me.  Now that I can see it, it's becoming easier for me to let go of my white-knuckle hold on how I want my life to be and let Him do His work.
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MSDeyle said...

So tough, and I can completely relate. My hubby works 10-12 hour days almost every day and while I'm so thankful to have the opportunity to stay home with the kiddos, it is extra challenging for us to have husband and daddy time that is good quality. When you are used to having your partner right by your side, it can feel so lonely to be parenting alone. I hear you! I have no words of wisdom, just camaraderie. I do hope that you can have more peace about it or that things will get easier, but like you said, we are not promised an easy life.

LeAnna said...

When we were first married my hubby worked out of town a lot, because that's where the jobs where. It was hard. We didn't even have kids then and it was hard. So, I know it's got to be tough for you.

I get the work from home scenario, too. That's been our situation for the past 5 years or so. It's really hard once the kids are bigger. They don't understand that just because Dad is upstairs in his office, they can't be also. But I have to say, it's nice to just know he's up there. We can hear him come down the stairs in the garage and the kid's have trained their little ears to pick up on that sound. It definitely has its perks.

Hang in there. Maybe this next three month shift will contain some great things! God has you where He wants you, and that's a great place to be.

Melanie said...

You know Callie..it is a trial..we went thru the same situation (sort of) when I was little w/my dad. Work was sparse (like you said..Praise God he's got a job..being w/o one is MUCH worse!!!) and he got a job..but it was out of state. The situation didnt last as long as yours did..but for a few months I'd only see my dad on the weekends. I remember me and my mom watching him leave out the window and both crying. It was hard..but we all look back now and realize how blessed we were (even though it was hard) and how much more we were thankful for one another after that season had passed. :-)

Hannah said...

I really appreciated this post Callie. I have been struggling with similar issues since having our son last year. I always find your posts about marriage so helpful and would love to read more about how you are working on being supportive and encouraging to your husband. I confess that I always seem to fail in that area and get overwhelmed by my own needs and anxieties.

Whitney said...

Love this post. I'm right there with you trying to cling to how I want my life to be, but it's just not right now. My husband is working 7 days a week and I feel like a single mom...SO not how I thought things would be when we started our little family! But, you are right...it's just a trial and I need to just chill out and go with what I'm being handed.

Allison said...

wow-this is exactly what I needed to read after the rough day I've had juggling everything during this transition time. Thanks for being bold enough to share-).

Erica {let why lead} said...

Oh Callie, I'm so sorry! Ryan used to travel a lot (although probably not quite as much), so I can relate. It's draining. And my girlfriends and I often have the "would you want your husband to work from home conversation," and most of us agree that it would be really hard! So, yeah, what a tough combo!

Your perspective is beautiful, though. I often find myself thinking similarly - Why did God let me go through with this? When you're in the middle of something, it can be hard to remember and accept that this is what this life is all about. I'm sure God would much rather see us happy, but trials are a huge part of life on earth. Best to you as you grapple with this difficult season. Your faith will make the difference.

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