Taking a breath

If there's one thing that I learned from my working days since college, it is that taking a breath every once in awhile is so important. In fact it is crucial- to both remaining sane, and giving ourselves the time to think, to reflect, to lament if need be, about where we are in life and what we have to be thankful for. 

Almost a month has gone by since I started my new job at the little boutique- and I feel like now is the first time I have had to just be on my own, have some Mindy time, and breathe. So that is what I am doing today. Yes, I have a list of things that need to get done, and an engagement this evening- but for the next 5 hours I am going to unwind, and think about where my heart's at.

I am definitely a person who highly values balance. Although I don't mind being constantly busy, having lots of fun things to do, with many plans - if I don't have a "down" day or a day to relax in between, then I will go a bit crazy. I feel like life has been like that lately. Just a bit all over the place, especially with me and my husband starting new jobs this month.

Maybe I should start there by saying that we could not be happier that my husband made the move to this new company. I feel like I have not meditated or given God the praise that He so deserves for providing this huge blessing for us. As you may remember, I've posted quite a few laments about his last position. He wasn't getting home until 3 in the morning, we never ate dinner together, he was working weekends, and the list goes on and on. But now it is like a complete turn around. My husband is home by 6:30 or 7:00, they do not email in the evenings, they don't email on the weekends, we have eaten many dinners together, and they even organize fun things like happy hours for their employees. It is in the world of Chris and Mindy- a dream come true.

With that said, I am still adjusting to this new place we are in. I have no complaints, because it is a good place, a wonderful place, a more normal, married couple place. But I am still adjusting.

Part of that adjustment is that I have re-joined the working world as well. To be honest, that is probably more of the adjustment for me. Not that I am having trouble having a desire to work, but I am having trouble balancing it all. Before, I was not working- I did all the housework, cleaned, laundry, dishes, etc. I made dinner here and there but he was hardly home. Now its a completely different picture. I am not home all the time, and he is home a lot more often. So we have started to share the responsibilities. This sounds great doesn't it?! Well for some reason I am having a hard time adjusting to this. I want to be able to cook him meals, to have him come home and smell the delicious concoction I am making in the kitchen. Overall I want to be a good wife. Call me traditionalist, which surprises me actually- but maybe I want to be a bit more of the traditional wife than I realized? That thought is weird for me. (I think I'll come back to that thought in a future post.)

This post is a bit all over the place, perhaps because that is where my mind is today- all over the place. I have a slight problem with over-analyzing everything. I have a hard time not over-thinking things. I think that's why for me, these days of "taking a breather" attempting to not think so much, are SO important to my sanity. With that said, I am having a hard time not over-thinking my new adventure at the boutique. Coming from a job where I worked at a church, in a position where I could really each day connect with my purpose, where I could walk away knowing, okay this is why I am doing this- to care for God's people and to better reach more people.... and now in a position where the purpose is to sell, to make the store look pretty, to encourage people to buy things, to tell customers how fabulous they look in the beautiful coat they are trying on, I am having a harder time connecting with my purpose in life. I know that my role as a follower of Christ, and my purpose in life does not change with me being in a "secular" job now. But it does mean that I have to be a bit more creative in connecting with that purpose each and every day, with being loving when my boss is being oh so critical of the way that I decided to arrange the display or the folded sweaters on the shelf.

This place in life is definitely a new one, and I am intrigued to see what God has in store. So for now, I think my challenge is to continue to trust Him, to continue to lean into Him as the one who knows All- especially when my little brain is trying so hard to figure it all out. So for today, I've done my thinking (as this blog often helps me do) and it is time to unwind, to relax, to breathe- and just simply be thankful for what God has provided for me.

A New Adventure

It has been about two weeks since my last post- and I can't believe how fast that time has gone by. If you recall, my last post was an exciting, joy-filled post about my husband finally being able to relax and enjoy himself because he decided to leave his last crazy job to move onto what we hope will be a better fit for us. These last two weeks have been SO GREAT. My sweet hubby finally had a chance to just RELAX!!! He was able to go shopping for the pants and socks that he really needed. We were able to go on a little trip to Florida (for a friend's wedding) with no concern of being interrupted by his work Blackberry. We made meals together; we made cookies together. He napped during the day! We really got a chance to re-connect and just BE together. It was seriously such a blessing.

As I sit here today in the quiet of our apartment, I must admit that it is quite lonely. Last night as my husband and I wrapped up our Sunday evening in our traditional way- watching Iron Chef on the Food Network, I started to feel a bit teary. Knowing that our special time together was coming to an end, I was reminded of the many times when he would have to leave on a Sunday night. For those of you who don't know- my husband and I endured much of our relationship as a long distance one. (Not just a couple hours, talking mid-west and east coast sort of distance). It felt like one of those sad days where he had to leave me again and it wouldn't be quite awhile until the next time I saw him.

I know that this obviously is not the case. Thanks to getting married, I now live with him and have the pleasure of seeing him everyday. But- with his old job, we were so robbed of the everyday pleasure of spending time together. Although we have hopes that this new position will be 60-70 hours a week versus the 90 he was doing, the fear still creeps in a little bit as I send him off to his new job today. It is hard not to be afraid that what happened in his last position is going to happen again here. But then I need to be reminded of how faithful God has been to us.

I feel a little out of whack as I write this post, as if its been so long since I've found my "blogging voice"- but the point of this post is just to reflect on and be thankful for the blessing of this new adventure that we have been given. The crazy thing, that I have yet to share in this venue, is that I too am starting a new adventure. A short two days after my husband left his previous position to accept a new one, I found myself a fabulous little part time job. I am sure there will be many posts to share about this one. But for now, the basics. I started last working last week at a little boutique only a few minutes away from where we live. I will have the pleasure of tapping into my love for fashion as I basically act as a personal shopper to any customer who comes in, helping her find some pieces that look great on her. This is SO completely different from my last position working in a church, but I am excited for this change- and I look forward to the fun (and I'm sure some frustrations) that will happen.

Well I must end this post, in a rather unpolished fashion (ick), as I need to go find myself some comfy flats or boots to wear for standing on my feet all day at the new job. Any recommendations for places to find these great shoes, send them my way.

Overall- I am so thankful. So blessed, to the point that I haven't even wrapped my mind around it yet. God is good. If you're in place where you don't feel thankful and blessed, hang in there. Choose to be thankful (even for the little things) - it changes your attitude helping you focus on the things that are good. God is faithful and will bless you in the best way He knows how, in His timing.

A Happy Husband

I cannot begin to grasp how different the scene at the Larsen home is tonight. I have been lamenting for months about how my husband works a ridiculous job that requires him to be on the job 90-100 hours a week. It has made for a very interesting first year of marriage. After getting seriously screwed by the year end bonus in July, (he basically worked 2 years in a the span of a year and only got paid for a year and a half- yeah... try that out for size) and this past month hours continuing to grow without an end in sight- it was getting to be too much to keep tolerating. As a move of desperation and hopes of a better future and a happier today, my husband decided that it was about time to put his "feelers out" (what a weird phrase) and open his mind to a career change.

Without dragging this story out and telling every detail, I'm going to jump to the exciting conclusion. I can officially say that today my husband accepted a new job!!! We are SO BLESSED... so so Blessed. It's too difficult to even explain the pieces, to tell you the story of how my husband landed this new position. Or maybe it's for another time. But what I can tell you, is that we could not be more excited about this change. Being promised not only an increase in salary, less hours, the same job that he loves- and most importantly being treated with respect are just a few of the aspects that I look forward to for my sweet hubby in this new position. I realize it is still in the crazy field of Investment Banking, and for that reason this will by no means be a 40 hour work week. I understand that he will still work 60-70 hours a week and I am sure that I will again find myself on this page lamenting about feeling lonely or whatever- but of one thing I am most certain... Anything will be better than where he was. I hesitated for a moment there as I typed that last sentence almost in fear that if I say that then all of a sudden we'll find out this new job is worse than the old one. But not only is that just being silly and superstitious, I seriously don't think it's humanly possible. With all that said, I am beyond THRILLED to be able to say Farewell and Good Riddance to my husband's last position.

There are so many things I could say that I look forward to about this new position. But let me take you back to how I started my post and describe to you why tonight has felt so different. Tonight is the first time in months and months and months that my husband seems truly happy. I mean REALLY happy. I'm not saying he hasn't found happiness outside of his position but I'm saying there was always a catch. The buzzing cell phone sitting on the coffee table rudely jousting him out of his relaxed pose on the couch. Another email coming in, needing to be tended to. But tonight- it's just different. Tonight, the cell phone continues to buzz, issues continue to come up in emails, but instead of jumping, he sits relieved. Knowing that it is no longer him who is responsible to manage the page that needs to be adjusted, he sounds happier, he looks happier and he's RELAXING!!!!

I am filled with joy and so so thankful for this next journey we are about to take. I am so thankful for the breath that my husband has been given in between jobs. I am thankful for the smile on my husband's face as he says, "man are we blessed" and "I'm excited about this change babe!" And I am excited that I am able to now look forward to more nights like this; where I get to sit on the couch and write, he can sit on the floor playing his video game and we can just BE together. This is indeed a different scene at the Larsen home on a weeknight, but it is definitely one that I look forward to getting used to.

God is good. He is faithful. He blesses us even when we don't ask for it. He SHOWS US that WE ARE LOVED. All the glory goes to Him.