The Grass Is Always Greener

It’s no secret that the hubs has been a stay at home dad for the past five years. He had a very good job on an assembly line making vehicle engines. The pay was great, the benefits were awesome, and employee vehicle purchase program – I won’t lie – spectacular. But he drove an hour one way to work, while I drove 40 minutes the opposite. At that time, the kids were in daycare, and we were in the midst of a gas crisis (not good news when you drive 120 miles a day in a 15 mpg “man-truck”). After the two of those were paid, there wasn’t much left. We decided that it made more sense for him to come home, and be a stay at home dad. Voila, like magic, it was so.

Now that the kids are no longer full-time daycare age, we’ve wondered if it was time for him to go back to work. Here’s the part where I also admit that if we didn’t want to be homeless, it didn’t matter who went back to work, as long as one of us did. So he started looking. and looking. Annnnnnd
looking. Finding something local for him that paid well wasn’t easy. No, I’d say it was near impossible! After a few months, we decided if he was really to go back to work, we needed to move to find that position for him. So we looked. We settled on Houston, because the job market for his former line of work was good, schools were high-ranking, and the weather is nice. We felt it would be a good place to plant my home business, and it’s also home to many different cultural and historical locales. Go figure, it’s also almost halfway between BOTH Disneyland and Disney World. Oh yeah baby, it’s on like Donkey Kong!

In the meantime, we both knew it was coming. I stomped. I begged, I reasoned. I pleaded with the hubs. Please don’t make me go back to manufacturing. I hated steel toed shoes. I hated safety glasses. I hated smelling like whatever fuel, chemical compound, degreaser or lubricant they were using out on the manufacturing floor. Mind you, I loved the people I worked with. And I liked my field. but I hated those other things.

Begging and pleading works when you’re four. But not when you’re mid-30-ish with a car payment and a mortgage, neither of which care how much you love working from home, even if it doesn’t yet pay all the bills. So then we agreed; we would look for jobs for both of us, and the door that was opened was the one we would go through. We would be thankful, and grateful, and we would praise God no matter where we lived.

Lo and behold, I had an interview in Houston, in the area we were looking, and about 30 minutes from my life-long friend who was pregnant with her first baby. How sweet was this? We would move just in time for the baby, and I could stop by all the time! I was stoked, because I miss her all the way out in Houston. Back to the interview. In fact, I made it through three interviews. We found a neighborhood we liked, and the homes… well let’s just say they’re big, they’re tall, and cost about 1/2-1/3 less than what we’d pay here.

You gotta be kidding me. Where do I sign?

But as the interview process unfolded week by week, I found myself looking at the bigger picture.

As I drove past the churches in the area, I kept thinking about the church we’d just joined. I loved it! And there were friends from school! We’d – I’d – prayed for that for so long. As I drove past the downtown area, I found myself thinking about how I loved our rolling hills, winding roads, and trees in our town. But I was still openminded. If this was where God wanted us, we were ALL IN.

The hubs has a friend in law enforcement. I found it quite endearing that he was now sending us crime reports for Houston. It didn’t matter if someone stole someone else’s sandwich on the playground, WE needed to know. He says he was just trying to inform us, but I’m quite sure it was his little way of asking us not to leave. After all, with the four hour transit time, we see him a few times a year now. Houston would be… Well, I guess he just didn’t want to think about it.

I’d taken stock of all the blessings I’d been given… the great church, good schools… my friends… for so many years I’d been looking for a replacement for my lunchtime stints at Davey Crockett park where I’d spend my quiet time and come “back to center”. Wouldn’t you know, I’d just found it the other day, 15 minutes from home! I have to look at God and wonder why does it look like just when I have everything, we would pick up and go somewhere else? There’s so much here if only we could work out that pesky job situation… You know, not be homeless and all. But I knew deep in my heart that because God had provided in answering my prayers for all of these things here, He would be faithful in providing them there too.

But even knowing He would provide down the road still made me wish for things to work out now. Some say the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Others say the grass is green where you water it. In my case, I wasn’t searching for greener grass. I LIKED MY GRASS. My friends, the area, I like raising my kids here. I love that most of my friends are more family than friend. But if I don’t have the things that I need, if I have everything I could ever want except an income which one is more important?

Well, it’s funny how God works. We sat down and had a long talk. Sometimes I think he’s just sitting up there thinking “Good gravy woman, what took you so long?!”

I told him about my grass, how I loved it just the way it was, no envy or jealousy over anyone else’s grass. I was thankful for this grass, and at the same time, thankful for any new grass He would rather we have. I told Him I would move to Houston and love all over my friend and her new baby. I told Him about my new quiet place, and let Him know that yes, I would be okay with moving to a new home with a new church because I trusted Him to provide those things for us.

And then you’ll never guess what happened. I got a call. About a position here. It’s in my career field. It had flexible hours, no chemical smell and I could wear any shoes I wanted. It’s contract, which comes with an entire new set of fears I’ll have to talk with God about, but still. Glory be. And then I got another call. About a house we’d been looking at, here in town. It’s five minutes from the new job. And 1/2 mile from my new quiet place. The kids could play in their own yard again. It’s quiet. The neighbors are sweet. And it has grass. Beautiful emerald green grass, just as God had probably planned for me all along.


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