When we got married, we thought we knew what we were doing. Boy, were we wrong! Bobby and I have had to switch gears more times than a guy driving a stick through the Rockies.
We married after two years of college at the ripe old ages of nineteen and twenty. Bobby had always wanted to be a church organist/pianist like they had in the Baptist church, but in the late 70s, the Lutheran church didn’t have such a thing. Well, we had organists but they were either members of the congregation who did it as a volunteer or they received a small stipend or one of the school teachers from the church’s school did it, if they had one. There were no full-time music people. So, he went to work at my daddy’s golf course, and Bobby became the part-time organist at our congregation. We thought we would be there forever.
A few years and two kids later, Bobby felt a strong desire to do something else, and for a year or so, we thought about different things, including buying a clothing store back in his hometown. (Thank the Lord we didn’t do that!) After not coming up with anything, we decided we would be staying put, yet the itch remained.
Fast forward a year or so and leaving out a lot of details, things had changed, and a couple of our denomination’s colleges were offering a church music major. We sold our house, packed up the kids (now three of them), and moved back to Austin, so Bobby could go back to Concordia Lutheran College two more years and get his church music degree. While there, we realized two things: Bobby would have to get a teaching degree, so he could teach at a church school in order to be a full-time music guy, and I would have to go work to help support the family because his income would be taking a big hit.
Four years later, Bobby had two degrees, one in church music and one in education, and I had one in education. We got our first call to Grace Lutheran in Brenham, Texas. It was only forty-five minutes from his home and three hours from mine. We loved it more than we can say. Small town Texas at its best. Small town Texas IS the best. Bobby taught fourth grade and was the church music guy, playing the organ and directing the choir, andI taught second and then fifth grade. We thought we would never leave.
Two years later, in a heartbreaking, gut-wrenching move, God moved us to a St. Louis suburb where Bobby became full-time music director at a church and I taught at the church’s school. During the following twenty-five years, our children grew from 2nd, 6th, and 8th graders into adults, got married, and blessed us with six grandkids. We thought we would retire from there.
But things changed. Again. Six years ago, I quit teaching. Five years ago, Bobby moved to another congregation, thirty minutes in the opposite direction. We absolutely love it there, and we expect to retire from there. Should be a safe bet since it’s not that many years away, but you never know.
We started out thinking we would live back home with Bobby working for Daddy at the golf course and me staying home with the kids. As you have seen, we didn’t. Though life didn’t go as planned, including many unmentioned things and a few times of trial that came our way, we have been blessed beyond all reason or measure.
I guess the moral of the story is, life is full of unexpected changes, some you make and some you’re given, and you get to choose how you deal with them. Life hasn’t always been easy; we’ve had our difficulties. But I choose to look back at the good things which far outnumber the bad. And I look to the future which I know will be a happy place. God has been with us in the past, and He will be with us in the future.