Wow, if you have read all of these, you deserve some sort of award! I hereby declare you to be the Bloomin' Reader of the Year!! :)
If, on the other hand, you've missed a few installments along the way, don't tell me. Just click 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6.
The long-awaited Official Offer Letter from Kentucky finally arrived! Hurray!
But right before that happened, I started doing some more calculations thanks to this website that determines your take-home pay based on a number of factors, most importantly State of Residence. (You might be amazed how different the tax rates are from one state to the next.) Short answer: after paying more for insurance and changes in tax rates, a pretty good raise amounted to very little extra in the actual paycheck. On top of that, we were going to get no moving assistance, we were looking at having to borrow money to be able to sell our house, etc. And would you believe that houses in Paducah, KY cost quite a bit more than in Fort Smith, AR? (I expected them to be about the same.)
So here's where we were:
1. We had a job offer in hand.
2. David's boss had told him back in June that he was going to close the Fort Smith office if business didn't improve. Things were just the same.
3. We didn't really want to leave Fort Smith.
4. We really wanted to know and follow God's plan for us in this decision.
We had been praying all along for God to please show us where He wanted us to be. We had genuinely been trying to not push open doors that the Lord had closed. We really weren't sure what the answer was.
So with the assurance of a job waiting in Paducah if everything fell apart, David called his boss to talk about the State of the Office. If Gary was about to close the office in the near future, David would put in his notice. If Gary was not planning to close the office, and if he was willing to help David in making some much-needed changes to the office and supportive of David's efforts to build the business back up (which he had been working on for the last couple of months), we would stay here.
They had a long and honest talk. Gary assured David that he did not plan to close the office right now, that he wanted it to stay open, that he was on board with David's requests, and that - if all else fails and it still falls apart - he could work in Little Rock until he found another job. So we're staying in Fort Smith. David called Paducah to say "thanks, but no thanks" and we pulled the For Sale sign out of our yard.
Now, before you throw virtual tomatoes at your computer screen and comment in all caps about how I led you on for a whole week, I'd like to share some of the lessons that I learned from this Summer.
1. God is faithful to lead. It's my willingness to follow that sometimes falters. I am a problem-solver by nature, so learning to wait on the Lord has been a great, but sometimes painful, lesson.
2. David and I have grown in our understanding of spiritual leadership and Godly submission. The marriage conference we attended was awesome! But this process has been real on-the-job training. (All of that probably needs a post all its own.) Our marriage is even stronger now than it was 6 months ago.
3. I have a wonderful husband! I already knew that, but I've seen him grow in amazing ways. This process began because he is determined to do what is best for our family, and it has ultimately ended in Fort Smith because he believes this is the best place for our family right now.
4. David and I now have a shared vision of where we want our family to go. (I'm always hesitant to say "God gave him a vision" because I don't know for certain that it came from God, but I do believe it is a God-honoring vision, and it is up to God entirely whether this ever comes to fruition.) We came to Fort Smith 3 years ago because the plan was for David to buy this office in a few years. That is still what we would like to see happen. The goal/vision is for the business to grow to the point where we have the freedom - financial and otherwise - to go on longer-term mission trips overseas where David could do prosthetics. Several times this past year, David has seen opportunities like this come up where people are wanted for a month up to a year. We would love to be able to do something like that as a family. Working for someone else, that is virtually impossible.
Will that all ever come to pass? Only God knows. But we are doing all that we can do, and we are asking God to do all that He is willing to do, to make it happen.
Believe me, we are shocked to not be moving after all that has happened, especially in light of our history of moving so many times. Only one other time have we had a genuine opportunity to move and turned it down. (Ironically, it was a job in Chattanooga many years ago.) But David believes, and I agree, that God's will is for us to stay in Fort Smith for now, and we will be here until He moves us on - whenever and wherever that may be.
So we're not moving. And we've never been happier about it!
This post is linked up to one or more of the following blog parties. Check them out! Monday: Menu Plan Monday on I'm an Organizing Junkie Wednesday: Works for Me Wednesday at We are THAT Family Friday: 5 Minute Friday at The Gypsy Mama, Company Girl Coffee at Home Sanctuary, Pieces of Amy Other days: A Wise Woman Builds Her Home