Ever since Noah’s birth, Galvin and I have been making decisions that privilege time together over monetary concerns. For example, Galvin resigned a few months earlier to care for Noah full time when I went back to work after maternity leave, and I settled for a ten percent pay cut in return for the flexibility to start work an hour late each day so that I could be there every morning when Noah wakes up. As I told a friend at that time, we reckoned that the drop in income probably wouldn’t have a noticeable impact on our lifestyle, but the relationship gains would last for a lifetime. Looking back, I find this to be true. That ten percent of my salary was well worth the boundaries it helped me create to prevent work from eating into my precious family and rest time. Having Noah at home with Galvin instead of infant care is something I can’t even assign a monetary value to.

In this new year, our family stands on the cusp of a continuing commitment to nurturing Noah and our little family that will incur an even greater monetary cost. Close ones don’t say it aloud, but I know everyone wonders how we can possibly make ends meet.

Sparing the details, all I can say is that I can’t imagine any other scenario in which I would be happier, given the circumstances. My heart sings knowing that I have intentionally carved out two days per week, if not more, for my son. Our current situation allows Galvin and I so much more time and opportunity to really work things through together, instead of using money to solve the problems which come up. We will be forced to think out of the box, in order to make things work. Underlying it all we believe God is faithful to provide what we need, and loves us enough to even provide what we want, and more, on occasion.

Money cannot buy the love and harmony in our home, the way in which our days together begin and end with sleepy smiles and silly giggles, nor the depth of understanding and grace which we strive to extend to one another.

I sometimes worry if we will find we have made the wrong decision when Noah is older and discovers all the things we may not be able to afford to give him, but by God’s grace, that is an empty thought. Because money can’t buy the most precious gifts that God has given us in this life – time together to love one another, love Him, and live life in connection and obedience to His Son Jesus Christ.

Lest this post belittles the sacrifices our extended family and loved ones make in order to support these choices we have made, I can only say that I trust that my God will provide. In the meantime, we will seek to hold on to Him and not to our own ideals, and to walk in obedience to His guidance rather than our own inclinations and preferences. The road ahead is uncharted and uncertain, but we follow the One who holds our best future.

4 Comments

  1. catharine

    Wonderful post, Charmaine! I applaud the sacrifices you and Galvin chose to make in order to focus on what is really important. Though my husband and I have no children yet, we too look forward to a future where our children (if any) will be brought up by us instead of third party help! 🙂

    Reply
    • Charmaine

      Hi Catharine 🙂 It’s really difficult to go on without third party help, especially if we have more children, but for now we seem to have found a happy balance. My parents do help out a lot here and there, so we are not entirely without family support. We are also looking at possibly placing Noah in a daycare for some parts of the week due to practical changes in our circumstances, so it’s important for us to remember to be flexible, and keep trusting that God has got us covered in every possible situation.

      Reply
  2. Darren

    I cannot agree more. Thank you for this post. My wife and I made decisions very similar as both you and your husband did, and what you have wrote simply put into words how I have felt. My wife and I have always believed that the Lord will provide, and reading about your testimony is greatly encouraging. May the Lord bless your abundantly so that you may bless others.

    Reply
    • Charmaine

      Thanks, Darren. It helps to know we are not alone in these counter-cultural choices. 🙂 We are just starting out on this journey, so it’s encouraging to know people like you have gone ahead and thrived!

      Reply

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