I am thinking today about the way life twists you around. One day you are certain you are going one direction and then life happens and all of a sudden you are going somewhere completely different. Daniel and I will be married 7 years in April. We met in June of 2003. I was 14, he was 17. I wanted to be "the first honest journalist" and he wanted to be an actor. Those who actually know us now might find that a little surprising.
In the beginning, of course, we didn't talk too much about where we wanted to be in the future, how many children we wanted, etc. We were certainly too young to be discussing things like that. In March (I think) of 2004, Daniel wrote me a letter telling me about a vision he had for the future. "A big brick house on a hill, with a barn, and a pond, and a white picket fence, and a yard full of kids." I still didn't want any children...wouldn't they get in the way of a career? Life happened and love happened.
Daniel graduated at the beginning of June and made plans to move to Florida to pursue an acting career. I was devastated. Then at the same time I found out I was pregnant. Daniel still left. For over 2 months, I split my time between throwing up and trying to figure out what to make of our relationship. Then hurricane Charlie hit the area where Daniel was staying with a vengeance. He still says that God had to use something really big to get his attention. Soon afterward, he was helping with the clean-up efforts and ended up at a church being held in a movie theater. He was talking with someone when they mentioned what a blessing children are. A few days later, he was home.
Life was still very difficult for us. I didn't know if I could ever trust him again and neither of us were sure we were ready to grow up. My mom owned a house in Oldtown, Maryland and we could live there, so Daniel started looking for work in Cumberland. I started making wedding plans and worked on completing high school through a correspondence homeschool program. Daniel got a job at Lowe's making a little over $6 an hour.
Alexander was born on March 4, almost exactly a year after that letter had been written, and we were married 6 weeks later. I am still so thankful for the "real" wedding my parents gave me even though nothing in our situation was real. Everyone knows that marriage is hard and that was definitely the case for us. I was 16 and Daniel was 19, he worked crazy hours, I didn't have a driver's license, and we had a newborn. I am so in awe of the fact that we are still together today. Slowly, life happened.
We shared our hearts and argued like crazy over the future. I was the one now who wanted a yard full of kids....Daniel said we were done. I wanted to homeschool....he worried about socialization and sports. But God had begun to get a hold of our hearts right before we were married and the longer we were married, the more we fell in love with God and each other and things fell in to place. We made the decision to do things God's way. We diligently studied the Bible and even though we knew we were going to be viewed as extremists, we knew we had to change some things. We decided to let the Lord fill our quiver in His time with as many arrows as he desired to give us and that we would truly be the ones training up our children by homeschooling them. A host of other decision followed.
That job at Lowe's only lasted a year because we hadn't yet learned the importance of diligence and Daniel missed days on a whim frequently. Next he worked at Fibred (a soy fiber processing plant) for a year until he was laid off. During that lay-off, he was a camp counselor and worked for UPS. Soon, I was pregnant with Elizabeth, and he found a temporary to full time job at a factory that made hydraulic oil filters. That job lasted a year (until right before I got pregnant with Aaron) and then he was back at Fibred. Since then he has gotten laid off several times, the longest time being this past summer (right before Emma was born). During that lay-off a dear friend of ours let Daniel work for him cutting firewood for his business and offered to train Daniel to do his dream job...drive a truck. In this case it is a tri-axle dump truck. But for now the work isn't steady because of the time of year. So he has been working at Fibred and driving dump truck on his days off.
Today Daniel called home to tell me that he is getting laid off again, starting next Friday.
So, life twists around yet again. Now we are the parents of 4 children and pray that the Lord will see fit to bless us again and trusting that He will supply all that we need. It isn't easy but the rewards are so very worth it. The fact that even though Daniel will be laid off he will still have another job to go to is evidence of that very thing.