At the beginning of 2009, we were staring down the barrel of unemployment. Going from DINKS (Dual Income No Kids) to SINKS (Single Income) to NINKS (No Income), is not the progression we had in mind. With no idea what was going to come next, we jumped in the car and drove to Oklahoma with no idea how long we would be away from Memphis. By the time we made it back to Memphis, Monica had an interview for a job, I had a couple of part-time jobs lined up, and we thought it would be healthy to go back to the home we owned.
Ten months later, Ben finally found full-time employment and Monica survived her new job, and there you have it—2009 in a nutshell!
That’s the nutshell version, but here is the nuthouse version:
This was the craziest, most unstable, depressing, exciting, stagnant, fast-paced, no growth, unfathomable growth year of our lives yet! Nothing worked out and everything worked out at the same time.
The year was marked by taking a 10-day survey trip in March to Ireland (both of our first times to experience Europe) and training with an amazing team ready to make an impact for Christ in Dublin. Through this process we experienced spiritual growth at deeper levels than ever before in our lives; however, ultimately we felt led in a different direction and the difficult decision was made to resign from the team.
Ben worked at 5 different jobs this year before experiencing the irony of landing back at his old place of employment that let him go in January. He’s working in a different capacity, but has fit back in well. He’s trying to learn how to work 40 hours a week like the rest of the world. Monica was the face of stability by staying at her job and is a Jane-of-all-trades.
Our marriage has grown by leaps and bounds! Through all the frustrations, joys, awesome concerts, different wake up times, Monica’s sassing and Ben’s moping, we decided to stick it out. What an awesome year for our marriage, and we look forward to many more, as long as Monica quits trying to shove her cold feet under Ben when they go to bed at night!
We look forward to the new year and what we have in the works. Monica is going to pursue a career in professional home staging through further training (although she is already pretty incredible at it). Ben is excited about being involved in bringing positive change to Memphis with his involvement in ScreamFree and partnering with people and organizations throughout the city. These are the things that keep us up at night with excitement.
Life looks full of possibilities for 2010. May our paths cross in ways that benefit us all! We love you all - Merry Christmas!
Ben and Monica are superheroes living in Memphis. They have the most adorable puppy on earth and live in a house with a red door. Together they are unstoppable, and apart they are still pretty awesome.