Friday, October 05, 2007

how my heart behaves

big things are a' brewing at the sigler house.

last week david expressed interest in going back to school to pursue mechanical engineering. this degree would suit him incredibly well and in general i feel it would fulfill him more on a professional level. it's one of those things where he feels that if only he could go back in time, he wouldn't have gotten his photography degree and would from the get-go gotten one in engineering. but until they come up with a time machine this is what he is stuck with. we crunched numbers and if i got a part time job ($200/wk) we still couldn't afford to send him there full time with all of the hours he would no doubt have to miss while attending class. we live very frugally and outside of bills-we-must-pay-to-maintain-our-electricity, etc. our living expenses are only $400.

david is the type who, when he wants to do something, wants to and will do it to the fullest of his ability. (graduated top in his class while pursuing his commercial photography degree) he is the least impulsive, least emotional, and therefore most logical person i know. in no way do i feel he would disrespect our family, himself, or me by suggesting something selfish - he just isn't that type of man. in fact he is the opposite of that and would probably give and give and give (almost in a typical woman/mother fashion) i say all of that to lead into the big suggestion and big news - we are selling our home and moving in with my parents to pave the way for a less financially stressful path for david to go attend school. when this was first brought up internally i freaked and thought there's NO way i am giving up my house! there's no way i am living with my parents!! but then i read something that hit me right between the eyes a la my friend kristin. she was talking about eve and how in the Garden, God called her a "help meet" (genesis 2:18). meaning one who helps her husband. my jaw hung slack, my eyes bugged. by no means do i feel that this isn't meant to be a reciprocal relationship in that way within christian marriage (all marriage.) but it is specifically spelled out that a woman is to "help meet" her husband's dreams. do i do that? probably, but on the more meager matters. i couldn't have felt more divinely inspired. i knew what i had to do and no matter what my head said, my heart had been spoken to. so i had a good cry about it but now i'm okay. a house is just a frame, a home is in your heart and we can set that up anywhere we go.

we are going to sit down with my parents and have a serrrrious discussion, wherein we shall address all of the things that would potentially sour this situation, define the expectations of everyone, and just get more specific about the details. im pretty sure we would live there at least 2 1/2 years until david graduated and im also sure they wouldn't charge us any rent. (sidebar: we are thinking david should probably get a job at wild oats, whole foods, or some equivalent because my parents eat very differently from us) this move will absolutely stretch us (!) but david has the right to pursue dreams. heaven knows that man has seen me through such intense darkness with my agoraphobia over the years. it will also improve our financial situation and boost his earning potential probably 15-20k which he could never get in his current field.

And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life.
Matthew 19:29

and not that i am doing this tit for tat but someday i hope he will support me in opening a bakery or something when we're old farts. (i secretly already have a name picked out. yup, dork)

im standing on the cliff of change, dangling my toes over the edge. i can't help but still be sad about all of this. i LOVE this house, i birthed my daughter in it! and coupled with my tendency for being incredibly sentimental i'm rather a mess inside. it's very hard to begin to carve out a place in the world and give it up. really what i have carved out is on the inside but it is so strongly connected to where i am at physically that i'm having problems separating fact from emotion. all i can do it try. this song is helping and hurting -

feist - how my heart behaves

i love my parents and we get along great but when i sit down and think i am going to live with them (with two children!) until i am 29 years old i want to burst into tears... again. God laid something on my heart last night and i really hope i can continue to revisit it during the trials that will no doubt come throughout this perspective living arrangement. i was impressed upon to consider the garden. you plant a seed and nurture it and when it comes up then it's time to show some tough love and thin the seedlings. something must die for other things to live more strongly. my fears are that i will (as the song says) become "like water lost in the sea" by living with my parents. the small cultivation of my personality over the last 2-3 years has been HUGE and was it all for nothing? will i lose those things? will they become absorbed or diluted by outside influences? here i have a sense of dominion over things and i fear losing that to be frank.

david scolds me for being so emotional and attached, for not taking on his logical thinking patterns and looking full force at the end result. that is not how my heart is designed and i can't be any other way than how i am made. my heart feels sort of smooshy.


Maria. said...

Oh Jenny-I will be praying for you two! I know how hard it can be during this time in your life. Duane and I did the same thing when he was in school with 2 kids. It does take a lot of sacrifice but the Lord will get you through it. I am so proud of you two and so excited that David is thinking of this. He will do so well in that field. It comes from such good genes: Syferts and Siglers are wired that way, it is natural for him to desire this! We will be praying for you both, we love you all so much. (I am really missing you all today, wish it wasn't going to be so long before we come out again!)

jenny mae. said...

i think it's about time we came out to see you guys! next spring? summer? we'll see what's going on at our end with the above mentioned situation but we loosely tossed around the idea.

Alia said...

WHOA, do I understand!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And you already know all those details.

Some perspectives to think of...

At least it is your parents and not HIS. Talk about a loss of identity...

Imagine how your parents will be able to scritinize David's every last behavior as husband and father... and critique it (even if silently). Having your life on display for you parents is hard enough... but they love you, they always have. Having your life on display for your SPOUSE'S parents is... challenging.

Before the end, David may have a rougher time of this than you (even if it hasn't occurred to him yet).

That being said, it's wonderful that my kids have developmed such a close relationship with their grandparents. Its an intmacy that just can't be fostered by mere visits. All too soon, your kids will grow up and do their own thing. Right now, they are still at an age where hanging with grandma is all about good memories and fun. It's a good age to go ahead and do this.

It's temporary. David will make a decent income, you'll be able to afford to purchase a home again.

I'm all about increasing education (but then it my job, soo....)

But just to make sure... have you checked federal aid, student loans? The interests rates on those are some of the friendliest out there. it's how I paid for my education. you really may not need to sell the house...unless you really wont be able to afford the mortgage, that is. Check out to see how much aid your family will be available for BEFORE selling--OK? living expenses, including housing, are factored into the cost of education.

Would he be getting a second bachelors? did he use federal aid for his first degree?

jenny mae. said...

the issue isn't paying for student loans - it's how to find time to work enough to pay our present bills. so much of his time will be diverted while going to school (he anticipates about 20 hrs/wk?) that he won't be able to bring in enough money to pay bills - unless he wants to stop being the involved dad that he is.

this would be his first BA, he has an associates in commercial photography.

also i think we would be find living with either set of parents. i get along very well with my in laws!

Alia said...

But that's just it!! The loans are for those expenses. Students gotta eat too. Financial aid is considered for ALL of your expenses, not just tuition--rent, food, books, even dependant care--if you are going full-time. You don't pay back the loans until you are OUT of school. Back when I went to school (95-99) I received a 10K package of aid each year (for just myself), and covered the other 3k with a part time job (so all expenses at the time cost me about 13K per year). Yearly tuition was around 5K at the time. I paid rent, the lights, ate (not too well) and even had such luxuries as cable (I split the cost with roommates). I even scraped together enough money to go to Spain for a week. Point being should not have to sell your house to go to college ...and the government acknowledges that. Make your decision to sell AFTER finding out what kind of aid David is eligible for (up to 4 years of federal aid for a bachelors degree, usually, as long as it is an accredited program). it costs NOTHING to apply, just submit the application and see what they say...then see if you can make up the difference. Amount of aid is based on the cost of the program, and your assets/savings.

If not for federal aid, I could have never gone to college. That is why I actually SMILE when I pay taxes.

Noelita Roger said...

Jenny mae: this is the first time i write to you, and i know you don't have any idea of who am i, but after reading your last post I felt that i need it to comfort you, just try to see things positive, your kids (who are incredibly beatiful) will get closer with your parents and have wonderful memories of their childhood in the future, and most of all david's desires of selfimprovement as a professional are admirable, that means he wants the best future for your family.
Please don't think i'm some kind of crazy people in the internet, i have seen olive's video and since then started watching the other ones because i have fallen in love with your family I think you are so blessed... and that you deserve it.maybe you wont believe me but i feel so simliar to you, i'm having some symptoms of agarophobia, just recently married and studying to be a lawyer, but never had the courage to write to since today, i just needed to tell you that i understand what you're going through... the way you express your feelings and emotions makes anyones who reads your posts believe that really know you in person, although it may seem crazy i feel like that. well get better, cry everything you have to cry and listen to a song called "HOME" from michael bubble, i think you'll like it and realize that home is wherever our beloved ones are. Kisses and I hope you like my words... NOELIA

rayray said...

i just read this post to my husband. he said "dude you should talk to her more often!" ...cause we're moving to dayton for my husbands dreams, and it's taken me the past 6 months to be okay with that. :p we're probably going to be living with my parents for a month or two. with a newborn. if things go according to our super loose and flowy plan (ha) we'll have ryan here in mid december, homebirth, have all our friends to help us move and load the truck (and eat and drink) then head to my parents by jan 1st. aaahhhh! it freaks me out to think about it! but i really do feel like i want britt to be able to achieve his dreams which isn't happening here in rochester (this town i LOVE). i want him to be happy and to do what he feels called to do, and i know that if we're following God's will i'll end up being happy too, eventually. :p

anyhoo, you rock!!!! it's good to hear that i'm not the only one in a situation of this kind. OH and we paid off our car yesterday! so at least if we live with my parents our bills will just be food, phone bill, car insurance, gas. we can live so cheaply! :D

jenny mae. said...

alia - the issue then becomes the insane repayment of those loans. david doesnt want to leave school with $100,000 in student loans when a more financially sensible option was available. i guess i just think - um well what about all of the other life repercussions of living with someone else for 3 years? we're sort of on opposite sides on the subject. i'd be willing to have more debt and still retain a measure of independence as a family but then again im not the one who is going to be providing the money. he is certainly going to speak with the financial folks before we make any moves. (even though our realtor already came over...)

noelia - thank you so much for the encouragement! it was much needed!!

ray ray- im putting on a happy face, i mean "why not?" is my logic i suppose. sometimes even when things are the right thing to do, it's still very hard!

rayray said...

i know! i don't want to leave this town but i've got to do what i've got to do. fighting the idea of returning to ohio was really making britt upset for a while, so i've finally stopped. :/ but i'll miss our life here. :/

Anonymous said...

can you rent out your house for the next 3 years and move back in when he is finished?

jenny mae. said...

i discussed this but david wasnt comfortable with it. i think the idea of being someone's landlord just doesnt suit him

Sarah from Dayton said...

Oh, I am thinking hard about you and wishing you the absolute best. My husband returned to school full-time to pursue an engineering degree as well. I do think it was harder for him than it was for me. Diving in headfirst with a bunch of well-to-do 18 year olds took a lot of guts. The math alone was/is enough to drive a man insane.
Hopefully a lot of his credits will transfer. I know another close friend of mine attended OIPT and NONE of his credits would transfer to a four year college.
So - bravo for supporting your husband. Marriage is definitely work. I think sacrifice brings reward in the end. That is all we can hope for when the times are especially tough, emotionally and physically.
Best wishes.

Alia said...

Darn--I was going to suggest the rent idea myself. You could really end up on the PLUS side financially! :(

As for my undergrad debt: If you are determined to have need, grants, not just loans, can be part of the aid package. (But note --They will be looking at your house as a potential asset to offset your aid package, but more in the line of mortgaging it or an equity line, not outright selling it.) I graduated with a $40,000 debt. Not 100K. And it's only earning 4% interest. and I have 30 year repayment period, but I can pay it off any time I want to without penalty. I can request deferrments and forebarences when I can't pay (I am just finishing up a 1-year forebearance after Jonah's birth). That is a heck of a lot better than whatever loan terms you are going end up with on the brand new mortagage once you buy another home, and this isn't the best real estate market right now anyway for selling.

Regardless... I *highly* recommend that whatever you decide--make sure your arrangement does a little more than JUST make ends meet. Even a small loan debt is worth it for what i call a "peace of mind" financial cushion (even if you just end up sticking it in the bank and not touching it. You could pay it right back once you get out of school. While you are in school, need-based loans don't earn interest). School is SOO stressful, that if managing finances becomes part of the stress effects everything. School, work... and certainly family. I see this DAILY. It's--quite simply--part of my job. So if you can act preventatively, by giving yourself just a little breathing room finacially (and if that means selling your house AND accepting a small loan, so be it) it will be worth every penny.

Anyways, prayers and thoughts are with you. I loved college (hence the reason I'm still working here) and actually am totally excited for you and David!