Tuesday, February 9, 2010

2 hours & 40 minutes

Our family has been on a journey for the past few years. That journey hasn't always been pleasant or easy, but we have seen the Lord's hand on us throughout. Four years ago my husband accepted a position that caused our family to move across the country. Sixteen months after that, he was suddenly, unexpectedly let go. After a year of living off of and depleting all our resources, Gil started working in a new field, not at his previous executive level, but pretty much starting at the bottom, and at one-third of the pay.

I am proud for the lessons my husband has learned through this journey. His faith has become part of his heart, rather than just head knowledge. He has learned humility, patience, and perseverance. And he learned that his former workaholic lifestyle was causing him to miss a lot of what was most important: time with his family. We both have learned to walk by faith and trust in the Lord day by day and minute by minute. We couldn't have survived this journey without the Lord, that's for sure!

At the end of February last year, my husband started a new job. While we were glad that he had this job, it came with a tough schedule: noon-9pm. You see, by working that schedule, Gil would get paid an extra $1.80 an hour, a "shift differential". As a man who was striving to provide for his family, Gil felt he was doing what he needed to do to take care of us. That $1.80 an hour added up $300 a month --$300 that brought our not-meeting-ends a little closer together.

The new schedule cost our family dearly. For a year, the only time Gil saw the kids during the week was through sleepy eyes in the midst the morning rush to school. They go to bed by 8:30, so he never saw them in the evening. Even Zac, who has a later bedtime, was in bed by the time Gil got home. We are a family that is used to sitting down to the dinner table together; but since that job started, we never had Gil with us for dinner. It has been really hard for us all.

Well, several weeks back, Gil had a revelation. God caused him to look at his situation from a completely new perspective. While the enemy would like to have Gil feel trapped and bound by the fear of losing that $1.80 per hour... God showed Gil something new. He showed Gil that a mere 2 hours & 40 minutes each week of overtime would provide the same $300 per month that the shift differential provided. Since Gil has the opportunity to work a couple half-days on Saturdays each month, or can be at work early after dropping the kids at school each day, getting that 2 hours & 40 minutes of overtime is more than possible.

Two hours & 40 minutes was the key to freedom for our family! A month ago, my husband got to switch his shift to days!!! And now...

...Gil gets to be greeted in the evening when he comes home by excited, happy children who are thrilled to have their daddy around

...I look forward to having Gil home before dinner so we can enjoy a few minutes together to share our days

...Our family gets to have dinner together each night

...I have more incentive to make special meals since it is not just me and the kids

...Gil & I now have a date to pray as a couple each night at 7:30 {sadly, fitting in a consistent prayer time wasn't happening before}

...Rather than staying up each night until 10 or 11 because that was the only time I got to spend with Gil, I can go to bed early when I need to

...We can now make plans on weekday evenings and open our home to friends again

...Gil can attend the kids' school events that come along in the evenings

...The small group we have hosted in the past can now be restarted

...Gil can coach soccer again, and the kids can play

...Abbie & Jacob have their daddy here to tuck them in and say prayers with them each night

...Zac has the opportunity to hang out with his dad in the evening & bond over "Survivor"

...Gil seems to have more energy on the weekends now that he is not working nights, so that means more family time then, too!

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
~ Phillipians 4:4-7

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
~ Phillipians 4:19

Two hours and forty minutes. Such a small sacrifice. Because of 2 hours & 40 minutes, my family can now have dinner together again. I am so thankful for this gift!

I am unwrapping this gift today with Emily at Chatting at the Sky. Head over there to find links to other gifts of the everyday.


Kathleen@so much to say, so little time said...

Beautiful. And wonderful, to find a better solution.

Celia Jimenez said...

Terri...this was so sweet. I am so glad that God provided a way for your family to be together! I know it can be so hard!! How much more precious it is now since you haven't had it for the last year!

amanda said...

what a beautiful post! and kudos to your husband and to you as well for dealing with what must have been a frustrating situation. i love how your faith paid off and how that 2h40m was revealed -- may your hearts be lighter now! enjoy that time with your husband and children!

Dayle ~ A Collection of Days said...

Great post. May you have a richly blessed week.

Kari said...

You really express the freedom you feel in this post. I am happy it has worked out for your family to find another solution!

Melanie said...

Terri, what a beautiful post that just made me smile! I am so happy for your family & your joy is evident, though I know you did not grumble & complain even when Gil was working the evening hours! Praise God for His faithfulness--thanks for sharing such a great testimony!

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