Huh, that title is more depressing that I meant it to be, but this is actually a good thing, just scary. Things keep getting weirder around here.
Several of you have been following my adventure from St. Louis to Denver on the whim of God, and first off I thank you for your compassion and patience. However, my irregular reports will probably end here. This blog was never meant to be a diary, and things are looking up.
But, as in God’s fashion, it takes some adjustment.
My wife got a full-time job making more money than I ever have. It’s a bit funny. I have a BA and I have hard time finding work while my wife, with only a GED, has always found work, even for a short time. This time, though, she’s outdone herself. It’s a trial period at first, but I have no doubts she’ll be kept on. She’s good at her work.
It seemed likely she’d get the job early on, so we’ve been talking about making a rather dramatic gender-role swap. She’ll be making alone what she and I made together last year. Looking at our expenses, we’ll be far from rich, but living in some comfort.
So what does that mean for me, the husband? Well, God didn’t give me the same gift for finding work she has. I’m in the running for a certain position and if I get it, I’ll be making more money than ever. Combine that with my wife and we’ll really be rich.
But we’ve been talking. She’s able to keep bread on the table by herself. This frees me up to do what I’ve always wanted to do: freelance work. Of course, that also means becoming something I never thought I’d be: a stay-at-home dad.
Is this wrong?
I just watched an episode of Downton Abbey, set in the 1920s, where many are shocked that a woman is working. Ninety years after that setting, some instinct still runs in me saying the man is the provider, not the woman.
Some of that comes from the Bible, originally written in a society where a man’s body was more capable of most of that day’s work. Still, the Biblical pattern is that a man provides for his home. Heck, in 1 Timothy 5:8, it says anyone who does not provide for his own, particularly his household, has denied the faith.
But then…there was Peter. Apparently, he had a wife, and Matthew 8:14 says that his mother-in-law was living in his house. But did he provide for either of them? Nope! He went about with Jesus in what we call an unpaid internship. And Jesus himself said in Luke 14:26-27 that following him is more important than family–and he said it in some darn harsh language!
And what of the other disciples? Were they all single? And Jesus, as the oldest son, was supposed to look after his mother, Mary. But he left her and went about the world.
So clearly, there are greater commandments than provision.
Dreams and Callings
I came to Colorado at the word of God. He told me to go and be the man he made me to be. This whole move is in part a step of faith that God will provide, that he’ll actually help me be who I want to be.
And what I want to be is a freelancer. I like to write and I like to edit and I’m pretty good at both, I think. But these things don’t guarantee money. Of course, if my wife is paying all the bills, I can follow this dream. God, even writing that feels wrong. I feel lazy, like I’m shrugging my responsibilities off on her.
But I’m not. I’m following God. To the best of my ability, at least. I want to support my family, but I also want to be a freelance writer/editor. And since my wife is willing, I can build up a career as both until I’m making enough money to support the family myself. Our mutual dream is for me to make money doing work I love while she raises the kids, gardens, homeschools, and/or does whatever work God puts in her heart.
This is an opportunity. I can stick to tradition and find a reliable job to pay for my family, but that just reeks of foolishness. “Reliable” job, I say, but what is more reliable than God? And what am I teaching my son? That he is to be a provider and nothing else?
I absolutely despise tradition for the sake of tradition. Jesus certainly didn’t give two cents for tradition and neither will I. I’m going to do something new, something radical to me and many Christians.
I’m going to be me.
I know this won’t be easy. I have to stay home with my son. I’ll have to cook and clean and all that good domestic stuff. It’s not that natural for me, but I’ll have to learn if I want to follow my dream. And it will be hard to balance these things with my work, but again, that’s part of the cost.
So from here on out, I will be searching for freelance work. First of all, I will write. Not journalism or copywriting; I write novels and I’ve published a few things, but I’m going to keep trying to earn some money through books and such. And hey, if enough of you hit that Follow button, there’s a chance I could earn a little revenue from blogging, too! C’mon, c’moooonn!
Also, I will be a freelance editor. I’ve been editing for a while, but now I aim for regular-ish work. Primarily, I want to work with fiction writers, especially those who can’t afford much. My rates are a bit lower than standard for that reason, but once I’ve gotten more experience, the rates will go up. Neither I nor my wife want her to be the breadwinner forever. She has dreams, too. More about my editing services on this page.
For some of you, this may not be revolutionary, but for me it’s new ground. I’ll be doing new things, not doing others, and continuing the adventure God has for me. However, things are getting somewhat settled, so I won’t bore you with the day-to-day anymore. I’ll still blog about my life now and then–this is my site, after all–but I’ll return to topics of art, freedom, and most holy irreverence.
Thank you for you indulgence and God bless whatever dream he’s put in your heart, too.