Though I have no concrete information, I have a hunch I will be working outside the home again fairly soon, and likely in a full-time role. I haven't worked full-time in 2 years. I'm not sure why this feels imminent, but my work history has something to do with it. Since graduating from seminary in 1998, the time between congregations I served was approximately 3 months, give or take a few weeks. I can't point exactly what God is up to with this time gap, but there also seems to be some wisdom in this time. The three months will pass this week. I think the stress of not yet selling our home and the expenses of moving and getting settled have weighed heavily on my life, and the need to establish an income acute. This is also one of the first times I did negotiate a severance/bonus in my last contract. I wouldn't have had a job if I requested one in my last assignment. I would also hypothesize that a lot of people would love to have the opportunity for work with a fairly flexible schedule and around three months at home every 12-30 months. I'm certainly not complaining, but merely wondering about my anxiety.
The realization that I will be working soon (I don't REALLY know this) hit me yesterday, and for the first time I felt a sense of loss at the thought of not having a child on my hip while I go through my daily routine. Every day has been take my daughter to work day. That routine has already shifted with summer break--I miss the one on one interaction with the youngest child. Though I am not rigid about stay at home parenting, I have to say I take special joy in the quantity of time I have spent with my children in the past two years. Though I feel significantly behind the curve professionally where I was once "ahead (and foolishly so to a certain extent)," this 2 years away from full-time work has been a living prayer and pure grace. Even grace is not easy--I remember the frustration and near rage I felt watching my girls sitting on a bed, breaking their crayons intentionally in half and throwing them across the room. Thank goodness they know how to clean up a mess, but I was alarmed (though not surprised) by their thoughtless destruction. I also lament that this was not a teaching moment, but became hot anger. Anger, but still grace. How is this possible? I am able to more deeply reflect upon the effect I have on my children and see who they are, while they also see more of who I am.
After the crayon episode of the other day, I was so ready to go back to work, but I am also thankful that rather than look at this as a mere episode, it becomes part of a quilted series of joys. Though I will not see them for 12-15 hours per day any longer--with God's grace I will get to do this again in a year or so for another 2-4 months.