Turning Point?

Our time in the George’s home, here in Tumwater, seems to be going a little too quickly. We’re at the 2 1/2 month mark already — nearly a quarter of our way through the year that we can stay here.

I’ve already had someone ask me “what’s next?” and indeed it is time already to be giving serious thought to the future.

The opportunity to live here has indeed been a very timely blessing, but it’s far from being a permanent solution. This home, as well as the last one in Albuquerque have both allowed us to delay the inevitable crisis that’s been hanging over us for some time. I would also have include the sale of my portion of the farm as one of the blessings that’s helped us hang on.

The truth is we haven’t been living within our means since we left Ohio 3 1/2 years ago, but it’s gotten worse since moving to Washington. Susan has no desire to get a job at this point and I’m not justified in pushing her to get one. Her last job was very stressful and her health hasn’t been very good.

I’m healthy enough to work, but don’t see employment as a good long-term solution. If it becomes absolutely necessary, I will do it, but I’ve felt for a very long time that self-employment offers the best hope. But not just any self-employment. It has to be something that can support us with little direct involvement on my part (after a startup phase anyway).

Of course, I’ve been trying to get something going now ever since I sold the phone business nearly 15 years ago. It’s gotten to be kind of a joke, unfortunately.

But the day of reckoning is coming.

Fortunately there is some good news. For one, Roger George told me they will likely extend their mission another 3 to 6 months. That helps a little. We might have until April 2021 to figure out what our next move is.

Another bright spot is that I’m convinced I’ve finally found a business opportunity that can support us long-term and won’t devour all of my time. I don’t want to say much about it here except that if if works out, it will indeed be a tender mercy from the Lord, and proof that he will step in when there’s not much hope left.

I need this business to work for a couple of reasons – one being simply monetary, and the other so that I can get on with my life. It’s been an obsession for so long that in some ways it’s taken over, and I’ve neglected or missed out on things that are equally important or more important.

I feel confident enough that I’ve thinking about our next move. Susan and I have long thought about serving a mission together. At the moment, it doesn’t seem like a reasonable thing to do, given our financial situation, and up until now, I doubted it would ever happen.

But I can now visualize how it might work out. It will require not only getting the business off the ground and supporting us, but also finding someone to take it over – at least partially.

I find a mission in Utah to be attractive. There are lot of opportunities there – perhaps working in a temple, or in the family history dept, in a visitor center, or on Welfare Square.

I still have a warm feeling for the place since living there in the late ’70s and early ’80s. I also like the idea of having some family and friends nearby. This is taboo for younger missionaries because it can distract from the work, but senior missionaries are under a different set of rules.

Since Michael lives there, I’m hopeful that I might have opportunities to see him and improve our relationship. It would also be nice to have Kirk and Jason nearby. Plus Susan’s sister Shavonne is there with her family.

Susan isn’t so thrilled with the idea of serving a mission in Utah yet. I’m not entirely certain why, but can think of a few reasons: 1) she’s concerned about Elmo, our dog, 2) she’s long had a desire to go to Spain, 3) health concerns, and 4) money. Maybe one more thing – getting a more permanent home has always been her number 1 goal and she may see a mission as getting in the way of that.

Like I said, she hasn’t articulated her concerns like this, but I believe they do all need to be addressed.

One way or the other, this coming year is looking like it will be a turning point in our lives. This has been a matter of much prayer. The answers have not all come yet, but I believe they will come – perhaps just in the nick of time. That’s the way the Lord often works.

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