Saturday, March 30, 2013

Great plans gone wrong....or not

Hubs and I had great plans this weekend. His parents were coming to town and we were going to finally build a shelf in our basement closet. The shelf that was there, broke the week we moved into the house and since then, the closet has been a wasted space. I've been looking forward to utilizing this closet since closets are pretty non-existent in our 1955 house.

On Thursday, however, we found out that our niece was going to be born early and so his parents were staying home to welcome the arrival of their first grandchild. When I got home from work, Hubs said, "What do you think about going to Nebraska instead." I quickly thought about our plans for the weekend - we were planning to hang out with his parents on Friday & Saturday and then had responsibilities and plans for Sunday. Going to Nebraska would accomplish our original plans - hanging out with his parents, plus we would get to see our niece and be back to St. Louis for Sunday. It  seemed clear to me that this was God's providence at work. We had two free days in our schedule which never happens and we would get to see our niece, and we had no idea when we would be able to make a trip to see her otherwise.

Within an hour, we were out the door, which is great time for us. We were on track to get to KC before midnight! We had a few stops to make before we left town and at one of those spots I realized I was missing my wallet. I had used it at work that day, so I thought I must have put it back into my work bag instead of my purse. We went home. It wasn't there. I hoped it was sitting on my desk at work, but we didn't want to leave town not knowing where it was. So, we drove all the way out to church [35 minutes away, not necessarily in the right direction]. It was a silent trip because I was quite put out with myself that I did this. I walked into my office and my wallet wasn't on my desk. Before I freaked, I looked under my desk where I keep my purse and my wallet was there. This annoying side trip was not in our plans and it made us late. We got into KC right at midnight, Pups in tow.

The next day, we set off for the rest of our trip and met our newest niece when she was only 7 hours old. Hubs and I both held her and marveled over her tiny fingernails. We hung out with Richard's dad and went to a worship-filled Good Friday service. Then, we live-streamed my brother's baptism while eating dinner from our favorite Chinese place.

It was a great day. These plans were going just as expected.

Then, we woke up this morning [Saturday} and Hubs is sick. Not just sick, really sick. Food poisoning perhaps? He is still not doing well. My selfish mind immediately goes to our plans - are they ruined? Will we still get home in time to fulfill my responsibilities on Sunday? Will we still get to have Easter lunch with our bestest friends? Yesterday, God's providence seemed so perfect. Today, I struggle to understand why my plans are being ruined.

I'm like that in so many areas - the big and the small. I love God's providence when it works out how I planned, but I fail to see it when my plans gets changed. It just so happens that I have been reading through "Trusting God" by Jerry Bridges. As I was reading this morning, I was reminding myself that even when my plans get thwarted, God's are not. Even in the seemingly smallest decisions, God is working out all things to His glory and the good of His people. So, even though I might not get home today, I can trust in God and his sovereign rule.

So, instead of bugging my sick husband about what is going to happen to our plans, I am going to work on taking care of him and making him comfortable. And instead of constantly fretting over what is going to happen, I am going to rest in my Sovereign Lord's plan.


Hubs is feeling much better, but not 100% yet. We stayed another night in Nebraska, but we got up early and drove to Kansas City to go to Easter service at Mission Road Bible Church. It was a great morning filled with praise and worship for our RISEN Savior. We left right after church to get home at a decent time. There is much to do at my house to get ready for another week of living, but while I am thinking about cleaning, I am thinking on our sermon this morning and praising God that Jesus is alive.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Residency Life - Part 2

So, what I have I done in the last 21 months while Hubs has been a resident?

Unfortunately, I have to admit that I spent the first 9-12 months pouting. I was not satisfied in my job or our church or our life. I was lonely because I spent all week working and we didn't know that many people and the people we did know were much busier than we were, so we didn't see them very often. After some attitude adjustments and other changes, I stopped pouting and realized how blessed we are.

We had decided that I needed to find a job while Hubs was in school. We have a mortgage and cell phones and we need to eat - all of that requires money. [Remember, we shell out the money each semester so that Hubs can work hard to be an Orthodontist.]

Job searching is not my favorite thing to do, but I spent my first weeks in St. Louis applying to lots of jobs. I am so thankful that most jobs allow you to apply online. There seemed to be a good number of job openings, however, there are also a lot of people looking for jobs. So, I applied for anything. By July 11, I started a job as a Receptionist at a large CPA firm. I knew I was going to be bored at the job and it didn't make what we were hoping to bring in, but I needed something. After I was hired, I got offered another position I had interview for and got calls for interviews at other places I had applied. Even though I wanted to, I didn't take those opportunities and stayed where I was. Although I was thankful for the job, it was a lonely job and I was so incredibly bored that I didn't like it at all. I won't lie - I cried often and even kept applying for a different job. I also worked from home in the evenings and on the weekends and it kept me very busy. I was stressing over the work, and the house was not the welcoming environment that Hubs needed.

After six months, my boss noticed I was bored and started giving me more ownership of projects. I didn't necessarily love what I was doing, but it was getting better. After a year, I was offered a new position in the company and I really enjoyed it. I had a fantastic boss and I was able to work closely with her and learn from her excellent project management skills. I was very happy with my work situation and I found that I didn't dread going to work on Mondays quite as much as I had.

I realized that, in a way, I was getting to live one my dreams. I was working in the tallest building in downtown St. Louis, riding the train to work and getting to read for an hour a day, and although I didn't have a corner office with a view, I was able to see a parking garage and a tiny bit of sky if I looked through the office closest to my cube. The days were long, but I was able to quit working from home as much and I enjoyed that extra time.

Then, another opportunity came to me. It was doing what I love to do - serve the church. And so, that is where I am at now and I have a great schedule and enjoy the work. I am able to keep our house cleaner and happier. It was a hard transition, since I had come to enjoy my corporate job in the big city, but I'm glad I made the switch.

Being a resident's wife is the same as being a regular wife. You adjust to the situation you are in and you learn how to serve your husband in the way he needs. For me, it is occupying myself in the evenings and on the weekends, but Hubs spends so much time with me, I could never complain about him needing to study. He has definitely made that a change from when we were in Dental School. Unfortunately, I think I have completely failed in serving him during this stage of life. I have been super selfish and thought mainly about my needs, dreams and desires. I still have 9 months to do a better job.

The final edition of Residency Life will cover our life together and how we have tried to view this 30 months in our life.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Residency Life - Part 1

I haven't written about our day to day life in Orthodontic Residency at all. Mainly because I don't think it is that much different than anyone else's life. You get up and do what you need to do, then you try to get enough sleep to do it again the next day. But, let me see if I can give you a glimpse of the different things we face.

Hubs' school is 8-5, just like a regular job. He sees patients the majority of the week. When he is not seeing patients, he is in class or presenting a case or studying. His time is dictated by a schedule and his professors. Unlike a regular job, he doesn't get paid a dime. Actually he pays millions of dimes just to be there each day and work.

Currently, Hubs is in a cleft palette fellowship. Not everyone has this opportunity, so it is super cool that he does. Also, Hubs will take the written part of his board exam in April. Those of you who know my Hubs at all, know that he is diligently preparing. The clinical part of his board exam will be close to or following graduation.

Hubs is also preparing for his thesis. There is lots of research that he needs to do, then he will conduct the testing this summer, then write the paper and then defend his thesis in front of the faculty this fall. So, Hubs has a lot on his plate, not even mentioning the part where he figures out where we should go after this is all over.

When Hubs decided to go back to school, we knew we wanted it to be different than Dental School. He wanted to be less consumed with school life, make more time for us, for friends and for our spiritual growth. During the weeknights and Saturdays, Hubs studies and uses his time to get school stuff done. We try to do something fun with friends or just us on the weekend. We enjoy our small group each week and are pretty involved in the life of our church.

Hubs and I have stopped telling people we are busy. Don't you sometimes get annoyed with people that, every time you ask how they are, they say, "Busy." I feel like they want you to feel bad for them or something. We have come to realize that life is busy, and we like it busy. So, busy = normal in our life and we aren't going to use that as our excuse for anything. If we need to be less busy, we are the ones to make it that way.

One of the biggest adjustments for Hubs was going from "Doctor" to student. We didn't expect this, but  while practicing dentistry, Hubs was the decision maker, the person with the answers, the person whom the staff helped. In residency, Hubs is the student, the one who does what he is told, the one who asks the questions, the one who has to do every aspect of the job without help. Quite the dynamic change.

So, that is a review of what Hubs's life in residency is like, from my perspective. In my next post, I will describe residency life for me.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Less than 9 months to go

Here it is, a whole month has passed by without a post. Doesn't surprise anyone I am sure.

Two years ago [which seems like a lifetime ago], Hubs and I were on a vacation of a lifetime. I still have not completed that photo book.

The other day, I asked Hubs if he thought I might graduate college in a shorter time period than my mother did. Because of moving and having to take care of us [my brothers and I], she graduated with her degree 18 years after she began. But she did it. He said, "Well, it's already been 10 years. You only have 8 to go." My age shocks me at those moments. But, I still have plenty of time.

My ideal qualifications for our future hometown: within 1 hour of an airport so that traveling to Hawai'i is always a reasonable option. And that we open a Trader Joe's.

This is the time of the year when I seriously regret spending all of my Christmas money. The spring clothes are so tempting and my allotted $20 a month usually gets spent at Starbucks.

Hubs has less than 9 months left of residency. I told him, "I think I am ready for you to be done and for the next stage." He says, "Is that a new thing? I've been ready for the past 20 months."