Monday, February 24, 2014

Part 5 - Events Leading Up to Our Move - The Turning Point

This is Part 5 of a series telling about how we came to the point in our lives where we were willing to sell half of our belongings, give up our lifestyle, and move away from family and friends, including our 3 teenage daughters, and move to the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia so my husband, Chad, could go to seminary. For earlier posts see:

Part 1 How we reconciled our marriage.
Part 2 How we found Dave Ramsey.
Part 3 How we got out of debt.
Part 4 How we desired to live a more simple life. 

In August of 2012 Chad started online classes working towards his masters in Biblical Studies.  3 months into classes for Chad and a turning point came.  The classes were not exactly what he had been wanting.  The time spent, the cost, and the quality of the learning materials were not what he had hoped they would be. Since he was not in a classroom setting there were no lectures and no other classmates to interact with, leaving the learning experience something to be desired.  At about this same time, he was offered a fairly significant promotion at the bank.  With this promotion came a pay raise, and also many, many hours on the road.  With school not being what he had hoped, he finished the class and did not enroll for the next semester and took the promotion with the bank.  Chad was still able to teach his Sunday school class and decided maybe God wanted him to stay with the bank so he could support others who worked in the ministry.

We continued this way for 6 months, putting the extra money he was making in our savings.  We were also able to help support more ministries.  But I could tell things were not going well for Chad.  While he enjoyed his job and the people he worked with, the time spent on the road was wearying him.  He had very little time in Bible study and our evening family time was cut greatly by him coming home late or working from his home office.  I knew things were not ok, and I kept asking him what we could do differently.  He didn’t know.  Should he find another job? Should we downsize?  Should we move back to our old community so he could be more involved with church programs there?  None of these options seemed like the right one.

Finally, one day he told me something had to change.  The desire to learn more about the Bible to be better equipped in sharing it with others was still something he wanted to do.  If I had learned anything over the previous 10 years of our marriage, it’s that if I let my husband do the ministries he loves, and by encouraging him, he is so much better equipped as a husband and a father.  This is something he desperately needs in order to be a balanced person. Chad is one who loves to interact with other like-minded men and is a person who learns better in a classroom setting.  I asked him if it would help if we moved so he could do schooling on-site. He thought possibly, but that was a big step to take – to sell everything and move halfway across the country.  But I knew something had to change. Perhaps this was it?  

Our 2 middle daughters were graduating at that time and already planning to move to Tennessee that fall for college and careers. That would leave only our son, Chad, and me as our oldest daughter had moved out in 2012.  With only the three of us, our expenses would be lower; but we would still have to be really frugal if he was going to be a full-time college student for 3 ½ years.  I wanted Chad to be able to devote himself to schooling and not have to worry about working; in order to do that we would have to have enough in savings to live on for that amount time.  We crunched numbers, and crunched them again, and came up with a number of how much we would need to live simply for the next 3 ½ years.  We calculated how much we would need to sell our house for and shook our heads.  We would never get that much for our house, even with the improvements we had recently made. Regardless of this, we decided to talk to a realtor. Interestingly, when he came to inspect our house he suggested we list it for $5,000 more than what we thought we would need.  Although we still did not have hopes of it selling for that price, we took his advice and put our house on the market the week after our twin daughters' graduation party.   

It sold in 22 hours for full asking price.  We had got our answer.

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