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Juggling and Waiting

Updated: Jun 10

This is part of our Faith Journey Series. If you want the full context, click on this link to read the earlier posts:

Ralph writing

Courtney writing

After attending the Flipped Lifestyle event and joining their community in September of 2022, I was ready for Ralph to quit the next day, but as he mentioned in the last post, he was not. He wanted to give both new ventures a good go first. Remember, I am the gas and Ralph is the brakes.

At my construction job, I felt obligated to stay for two reasons. I was very grateful to our friends for the opportunity they had given me to learn another job and bring us down to Florida (The Journey). Even though they knew what our long term goals were, I still felt somewhat guilty about quitting.

The other reason I felt like I had to wait to quit was because of the particular ongoing project that I had been given. I had compassion for the client who had been dealing with multiple management changes. That project had a lot of hiccups which was constantly delaying its completion. I wanted to be the one to finish it for her. I don’t like leaving things unfinished.

In addition to the stock trading course, we were now both trying to do the Flipped Lifestyle course. It was a lot as I expected. I just kept hanging on and hoping that the project that Ralph was working on at work would be completed.

The project was still not going well and the completion date continued to be pushed out further than I thought it would. My hope was to finish in the beginning of the new year and to potentially leave the construction work to focus on the stock market and online business once the project was completed. It was clear to me that the project would not be ending soon and that I would probably end up covering other projects as well. The thought of trying to do all of this was overwhelming and at times very frustrating . I knew Courtney was growing impatient as I was trying to figure out when the right time to leave was.

In November of 2022, after a couple of months of trying to juggle it all, I reached a point where I couldn’t do it anymore. I was being pulled in so many directions. My mental capacity was exploding. I told Ralph that I had to stop working on the online business venture until he was able to quit. He understood and I was relieved, but frustrated. I wanted nothing more than to devote time to it, but my priority needed to remain with my children. I was not willing to compromise on that.

I hated that we had invested in these two programs, but were not able to devote much (or in my case no) time to them. What was the point? We had countless conversations about Ralph quitting, but nothing was changing. I started to just keep quiet about it, but one night, on November 14, 2022 after tucking the boys in bed, I got it all out of my system and wrote for hours.

I titled it, “Someone Put Me in a Looney Bin,” which I didn't mean literally. It was just my way of saying that my circumstances were crazy. Here is part of what I wrote:

“Nothing is more frustrating than when you can’t do what you feel you have been called to do…

Now we move down to FL so that he can try another career, while I still sit on the sidelines, and he doesn’t feel satisfied or settled in that job either. So we invest in two programs that could replace it…Ralph is 3 months into this stock class and he has barely been able to learn enough to start investing.

We tried starting the online business classes and I started to have major anxiety cuz I couldn’t juggle all of it. He needs to be home in order for me to learn a new program and build another business. I told Ralph almost a month ago that I was not going to work on it again until he quit working. We cannot do both and I knew that we wouldn’t be able to. He knows that he needs to quit in order for us to pursue this effectively.

So at this point we have essentially wasted our money. Taking trips would’ve been better money spent. I was on board with investing in the online course because we both agreed that it was a good next step towards accomplishing our goal of getting Ralph home.

Before we moved to FL, Ralph read this book that talked about having a financial runway in order to quit your 9-5 and pursue something new. He said he wanted to have that before he quit. We have that and he still won’t quit.

Someone please tell me what I am missing. I am literally going to lose my mind. I am having suicidal thoughts at times because this is so illogical and I feel as though I can’t live like this.

Now Ralph feels like he has to complete this project that nobody cares about, including the owner of the building, but him. It’s the most frustrating project for everybody and yet there he stays. They are projecting it not being complete until March (2023). Four more months of this insanity and that’s not even guaranteed.

What is it going to take? What is it holding him back? He says it’s not fear. Once again, I feel so disobedient in not doing what God is calling me to do. I feel like we are just wasting our lives. Why are we still here in this dump, paying $2300/month for broken screens on single pane windows? My kids are stepping on tacks sticking up in the carpet, the siding is falling off of the house, and our stuff is being stored in the hallway and our bedroom. And it’s not that I’m ungrateful. I know God strategically placed us here to lead us to the point we are at. I just can’t sit idle when I know what God has said to do.

We have very little time when Ralph is gone for ten hours a day and five days a week. When he comes home, he’s rightfully spending time with the boys and I until it’s bedtime. Then he is going into the bedroom to watch a webinar on stock trading until eleven at night. Meanwhile, I am trying to muster up the energy and motivation to work on photography jobs that people are paying me for or trying to create content that has the potential to bring in an income. But trying to do this at 8:30, 9, 10, 11pm at night is laughable. I am tired. I have been giving of myself in every way possible for the past fourteen hours and now I have to work?

I have said multiple times to him that we can save money if he was actually home, not running around constantly, and being pulled in a million directions. Simplify life and there will be more time to research, find free items online, and go through our finances.

Ralph wants to make money at doing stocks first. There has to be a fear of failure. I keep reiterating to him that I have a skill that brings in money if I would just be given the chance. We wouldn’t just be draining the savings account. I could help. God would provide. I have no doubt about it.

I told him that for fifteen years we have tried his way. I have respected him when he criticized my photography business in the early years of our marriage and when I had to cut my workload down in order to devote more time to motherhood while he worked 16 hour shifts. I moved down to Florida when he thought he needed to have that financial stability instead of just taking the money from the sale of the house and starting to pursue our own things. Someone, please, put me in a looney bin.

I know that when I am in such an emotional state that I think ending my life would be easier than living this way, doesn’t come from God. It is why I run to my music that’s rooted in truth to ground me. It’s why I sit down and write to get my thoughts out, good, bad, or ugly. It’s why I am in the word every day, twice a day or more. The enemy wants nothing more than for me to be a hot mess, nulling me completely ineffective for the kingdom. I know God is at work. I know that down to my core.

But, I also know my husband. I know that he suffers with this deeply rooted lack of self worth. I know that he is comfortable in dysfunction because it’s what he lived for so many of his childhood years. Inside of this 40 year old man is still a little boy hiding behind the chair and crying before having to go to school.

He needs to know that he is so smart. That he has been given numerate and mechanical skills for a purpose greater than he can comprehend. That there is no way on earth he would allow us to ever go hungry. He deserves to live, too. I tell him these things constantly and it’s like he doesn’t believe me.

Someone needs to fight for this man even if he feels like he isn’t worth fighting for. I’m trying to fight for him. I know that he needs to feel like he is doing something of worth. He would be. He would be investing extra time in our boys lives and having more time to learn how to invest in the stock market.

God, please help him see how much you love him and what a wonderful plan you have for him. I know that you brought us together for a greater purpose than we can accomplish ourselves. You gave us these three boys to not only transform us, but to continue to move us in the direction you want us to go. These boys need their father. Their father wants to be home. Their mother wants him home. I know that you are trying to do something here. Please, help us both to be obedient to it.

I am trying, Lord. I am trying to discern your voice, your calling, your activity for us. Your timing is perfect. Give me patience, God. Give me your peace. I beg of you.”

When Courtney shared what she wrote with me it brought me to tears. I knew she was right and that we couldn't keep going this way. I was afraid of not having money coming in. I wanted the stock trading to start bringing in money before I would quit my job. However that was unrealistic in our current circumstances since we had so little time to devote to it.

I have lacked self worth for years, I have never felt the things I do have value or that I am really of any value to anyone around me. Reading Courtney's writing resurfaced things that I had pushed down for years. For example, I want my family to be happy and I want to be happy, but I don't think I have really ever known how to be happy.

Since my childhood, I learned to exist in my circumstances and to deal with whatever came day to day whether it was good or bad. It never even crosses my mind to try and get out of dysfunctional circumstances like it does in Courtney's mind.

It had been three months since enrolling in Flipped Lifestyle and four months since trade school, More and more things were being uncovered at the construction project and there was no end in sight for completing it. I was growing weary of it.

On December 5, we were discussing having me leave my job again when I had a revelation. We would not be able to qualify for a mortgage without my w-2 job. We needed to buy a house first.

But God had been clearly shutting the door on buying a house. As mentioned in our post, "House Searching" we had looked at over 50 houses and put in seven offers before we felt the clear prompting from the Holy Spirit to stop the search. We hadn't'looked at a single house for sale in six months.

The interest rates were quickly approaching 7%. That was about a 4% increase since we started looking eleven months prior. Would we be able to find something that we could afford? And if we did, would the Lord be for it? There was only one way to find out.

(All photos were taken by Liam, our ten year old.)

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