I've been thinking a lot over the past few months how grateful I am for Evan's job. As he approaches the end of his masters degree, one of his professors required him to search for jobs in instructional design. I'm not going to lie, it was really fun to dream about what we would do if he took one of these jobs and instantly doubled his salary upon graduation! We entertained the thought for a minute or two but the thing is even doubling or tripling our salary, we'd be giving up way more than we would gain. When we got hired everyone told us, "the salary is not great but the benefits make it worth it". I assumed they were referring to the medical insurance, which, by the way, is stellar. I love $15 doctor bills! But turns out that's not even the beginning of what they meant.
I love the fact that Evan spends all day reading scriptures. It brings him closer to God which inspires me to do the same thing. It makes him familiar with quotes and stories I've read once and long forgotten but he is able to pull them out of a hat at the perfect time. It makes him someone I can go to with questions and he does the same for our family and friends. His constant immersion in the gospel has made it significantly easier to create the culture of Christ in our home with our children. It flows in and out of our lives effortlessly because "how was work today?" is by nature a spiritual discussion rather than a dinner time pleasantly.
The kids and I adore the fact that he works 1 mile away and we come visit for lunch just about every week. They play the piano and color on the whiteboard and "call Jesus" on his office phone and- of course- play basketball. I run out of places to take my busy social toddlers each week, especially in the winter, and seeing daddy is always their favorite stop. Someday I hope to add to this list the fact that he gets home from work by 3 in the afternoon, but until grad school is over we take our play time out of the middle of his day.
A huge benefit has been the emphasis his employers put on continuing education. I've seen his masters degree transform him and it's such a blessing to have their financial aid and encouragement through the whole thing- and hopefully a PhD real soon! I don't know that we ever would have thought to do it on our own, but it's something Evan really has a passion for and opens up so many doors for us.
Another perk is the chance we have to go to special firesides by prophets and apostles, just last week we got to see Elder Ballard speak in the old tabernacle. We love our leaders dearly and feeling their presence in person is such a testimony builder.
It's true, the salary is smaller than some, but I honestly love that it's forced us to learn how to budget, to clearly see our priorities, and to value and appreciate things so much more than we did before. Plus honestly we've always had everything we need and most of what we want too.
And maybe the biggest perk is just having a job with eternal consequence . Everyone wants to feel like they are making a difference in the world, like what they do for eight hours every day actually matters. Evan's got a guarantee of that which makes it a lot easier to push through hard days. He occasionally gets a letter from a student telling him how he changed their life, how his lessons helped them fin Christ, and in the end that's all that even matters.
So to my younger self who was apprehensive about this career path and to anyone considering it for your own family, it's true what they said, the benefits not only make it worth it, but, at least for now, they've convinced me it's the only place we want to be.