Those of you who have known me for a year or more will remember that this time last year I wrote about our potential move north, and the fact that we were putting our house on the market.
A brief background for those who didn't know me then, and just to refresh those who did, is that my husband took up a new post last September. He works for a Christian charity for the homeless that is based here in Edinburgh. They have various levels of care for the homeless, ranging from a Care Van that goes out every night with soup and blankets, to a hostel, to a team that support service users when they eventually make the step up to their own flat/house. Up until last September my husband was the manager of the Supported Housing team.
He had, however, felt led to a new post that had come up as the North of Scotland Development Manager, based in Aberdeen. Like I mentioned before, the post first came up in Autumn 2009. Although he felt really called to the job, I didn't! Alasdair was only a few months old and suffering the worst of his eczema. I really needed our support of family and friends nearby at a time like that, not a fresh start in a place where I knew nobody!
So, he accepted that it wasn't for him.
But a year later and the post had never been filled. He still felt like he was being led in this direction.
I decided that there was no harm in him applying. If it was meant for him then everything else would fall into place.
The post was his, and last September we put our house on the market. Monday to Friday he stayed up north while I stayed home here with the boys and we waited for the house to sell.
And we waited.
And waited a bit more.
There were plenty people interested in the house. They would come round and say how nice it was etc, but, and everyone had the same BUT....they couldn't sell their own house, which meant that they couldn't buy.
The property market has been affected everywhere except for Aberdeen, where they oil business has kept things booming. We didn't want to drop our asking price as that would have meant that we would never have been able to afford anything up there.
As the months passed we began to see a reason for the house not shifting.
Yes, having a husband working away through the week, and being 'home-alone' with 4 children is hard work. But it's not impossible. Actually, it's really not half as bad as you would imagine. It forces you to be that little bit more organised.
I'm sure I've mentioned before how my brother, his wife and boys live only a few miles away from us. It's great having them so close and able to call on, and vice versa. We would really have missed them so much if we had moved away. I know the boys weren't looking forward to not having their cousins down the road.
The older boys also have really good friends at school. David (5), in fact, already knows who he is going to marry, and has done since he was about 18 months old. To be fair, I think she is slightly more enthusiastic than him, but she is still his best friend!
When my husband was working in Edinburgh, there were often two or three nights a week when he would be working late or have something else on in the evenings so they boys didn't see an awful lot of him during the week anyway.
Now that he works away, he is much more focused on spending all his time with us when he is home.
After months of prayer we decided that if the house hadn't sold by the end of May we would take it off the market.
It didn't, and so we did.
I have to confess to almost sighing a big sigh of relief!
My husband's job is going really well up north. He has been networking with different churches and the local authority, raising awareness of the charity and the work that they do. In the winter time they hold a night shelter for those who would otherwise be sleeping rough on the streets. It is held in church halls and a team of volunteers provide a hot meal every night. Just this week he got confirmation from the council that they would fund this again this coming winter.
I can see that he has the gifts for this post. I can also see that he made the right decision in going for it. I can also see, once again, that God had everything planned out for our good.
Of course I miss my husband when he is away. Since the summer though, he has started working away Monday to Thursday only, and once every 3 or 4 weeks it is only Monday to Wednesday. So now he is always home more nights of the week than he is away.
The way I look at it is, there are families where the husband is in the army, away for months at a time in a battle zone. Mine is 2 and a half hours up the road. It's hardly comparable is it?
You can read more about the charity my husband works for here.
And if you do have a wee look, you will see that they are having a sponsored walk to raise funds. We have signed up to take part as a family. The full walk is 11 miles along the Water of Leith, the wee river that flows through Edinburgh, but since we are all taking part we are hoping to reach the half way point, where there is the all important coffee shop!
If you were able to sponsor us, no matter how small, we have set up a webpage for accepting sponsors. You can find that here.