In case you’re not up to speed on all things “Tebow”, I can’t help you. He’s a quarterback for the Denver Broncos of the NFL, a born-again Christian who is bold about his faith and an all round great guy. He’s also the most criticized athlete around right now because he defers all glory to God and not himself. And he’s also been rated as a not-so-great player. And yet, he wins. You’ll have to Google him and find out the rest. The reason I mention him is because to my shock and horror, my husband didn’t know who or what I was referring to when I asked him if he was watching Tebow. Shock because my husband is an NFL fanatic and knows more about the teams and players than anyone I know and Horror because the fact that he doesn’t know *Tebow* made me concerned for his mental and physical health. This, my friends is our life. Missing out on things we love.
And before anyone gets the braniac idea to chastise for “liking” football or feeling like we’re missing out, please do me a favor and consider all the things you do “just because”. There are many. A hot bath. Reading the morning paper by an eastern sunny window. A game of Wii tennis. Hockey Night in Canada. Your favorite TV show on Wednesday nights. There’s TONS of little things each of us do every day just because we can~ just because we want to. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
But consider this:
My husband has not slept in his own bed for more than 2 nights in a row in the past 5 months. In fact, he has only slept in his own bed with me for less than 20 nights in the past 5 months. Add to that that he has not watched one entire NFL game at all this season. Not one. He has missed 95% of the Flames games and the ones he has managed to watch have not been seen from start to finish. He hasn’t gone out to coffee with any friends except for 2 or 3 times since moving to Regina. He hasn’t been invited to any of his “friends” house to watch football, hockey or just hang out. He’s been attending the same church for the past several months but hasn’t really connected with any group there.
I tell you all of this so that you understand. Understand that this is not easy for any of us, especially him. He loves his job~ he is finally able to put into practice all of the things he has learned over the past 20 years on the job. His boss is amazingly generous and supportive. However, at the end of the day, when all he wants to do is head home to his wife’s home cooking and family time, he is instead running kids to various sports and other commitments. On at least 3 nights of the week it is 10 p.m. before he gets to kick back and relax. But hang on, he isn’t living in his own house so he can’t just pull on his PJs and watch some TV. He is in someone else’s home and therefore, TV watching is limited to what is already on.
Some have asked why he isn’t renting. This is a loaded question. In August, our house had already been on the market for 6 weeks so we figured it was only a matter of time before it would sell. Financially, we were in no position to pay for rent on top of our mortgage payment, utility bills plus all the extra travel expenses of him driving home weekends(have I mentioned it’s a 5 hour drive one direction?). With our son starting grade 12, we wanted him to begin school where he would graduate. For as many times as people have questioned the wisdom of this decision, let me say, it’s been the best thing for him. My husband has company but my son also is involved in things he loves at his school . However, it’s still a hardship without a mom around. But this brings back the question of renting. Sure, there may be advantages but there are so many variables: furniture for a rental(if they take their beds then they have none here for when they come home), space for the 3 of them(my daughter is there too in grade 11)~ can’t really have the guys sharing a room as my husband is a light sleeper and goes to bed early and has to be up for work early. Can’t really have son and daughter share a room for obvious reasons. So, finding a 3 bedroom is more challenging, more expensive, more complicated.
Others have asked why we don’t rent out our acreage and then move to the city to rent a house. The location of our acreage is not desirable for renters. Plus we would need to charge a significant amount to cover the costs. Where would all of our stuff go? To rent a house in Regina for the 6 of us is well over $2000 plus utilities. What about our animals? I haven’t found any houses that will allow dogs or cats. So, we shoot the dogs, let the cats fend for themselves, pack everything up, try to find a place to accommodate us and then what? Our house is either not being looked at or not being cared for in a way that we would do it in order to sell and therefore we lose money in the end. Trust me, I’ve thought this through and we’ve been through it already with our Alberta place taking 16 months to sell. There are no easy answers. Financially, we are backed into a corner and the only thing we can do is wait. The kids are all fairing pretty well in their respective schools and house situations but I can see the cracks forming. Their involvement in their sports and extracurricular activities is something that keeps them grounded and focused but it is also restricting our flexibility to see each other regularly. Commitments to clubs and organizations has meant that there are many weekends where it does not work for us to meet up. That and travel time have us all exhausted.
The mental and emotional toll alone on me and my husband have reduced us both to tears on many occasions. We don’t have a family of little kids anymore. When they are all under 12 you can very easily control where everyone is going and what activities to be involved in. Very often , the fact that you have little ones means you’re meeting up with other moms in the nursery at church, parents groups at school, playdates, etc. But when your kids are teens , that all changes. They have different interests and obligations. Their homework load alone is very restricting especially during term and semester finals. I can’t just pull my kids out of school for 3 or 4 days. We’ve done it a couple of times and the back log of homework and catching up is ridiculous.
So, we(the parents) are not meeting people because we’re just trying to keep our kids’ lives afloat.
We’re not spending time together(although a lot of texting and phoning in the evenings is happening).
We don’t have routine~ you should see my house! It’s a chaotic mess.
We don’t have an agenda~ all we do is wait each day for someone to buy our house. We can’t even look for a new one because all the ones we’ve looked at have sold.
We weren’t prepared for this journey to take so long otherwise the kids would all be with me(and my two oldest are SO thankful we didn’t know because they were miserable in their school here).
We say “if only”….and “we should have” and “maybe” and “what next” a lot. We have no answers.
But Jesus does and this is what HE says:
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 1 Corinthians 12:9-10
So, I’m going to boast about my weaknesses. I’m boasting that we were ill prepared, irresponsible, ill-equipped and uneducated. I will boast that all of our screw ups are the perfect, most holy, annointed place for Jesus to show up and show all of us how great He is and how He can take this tangled mess of our lives and do something awesome with it!(kind of like how the rest of the world looks at Tim Tebow)