I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville writer with a passion for family travel, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark. Want to get in touch? Use the CONTACT form at the top of the page.
December 27, 2016
Each year right after Thanksgiving, Dennis brings down all the boxes of Christmas decorations from the attic so that I can decorate the house for the holiday season. I open them up and immediately get a good look at the state of my mind when I was putting everything away 11 months earlier.
Sometimes, all the decorations are carefully stowed away, with an obvious effort to preserve our keepsakes and make things easier on myself the next time I take them out. This tells me that I was feeling calm and in control of things at the tail end of the previous year.
Other years, the decorations look like they’ve been tossed into their boxes from across the room. The Christmas tree lights are hopelessly tangled. The Santa hand towels have food stains on them. The snow globes are rolling around the bottom of the box, begging to be shattered. This indicates I was at the end of my damn rope. Care to guess what the decorations looked like when I opened the boxes this year? Let’s just say it’s a miracle any of them are still intact, and leave it at that.
Looking back, I can understand why. This time last year, Dennis’s father in California was quickly going downhill and Dennis was spending hours on the phone with doctors and therapists and hospital administrators and nursing home directors, trying to come up with solutions. On top of that, his new boss had made it very clear from day one that he was not a fan of my husband. In an effort to save his job, Dennis spent much of last year doing everything in his power to win his boss over, but nothing seemed to work. Things had gotten so bad, in fact, that every time Dennis called me from the newsroom, I’d get a knot of anxiety in my stomach, wondering if he was calling to tell me he’d been fired.
As worried as I was about Dennis losing his job, I was even more concerned about his health — The stress of fighting what felt like a losing battle and worrying about his father at the same time was taking its toll. His blood pressure had skyrocketed, and even prescription medication wasn’t helping.
At night, I prayed for Dennis’s health and for his father’s health — but I couldn’t make myself ask God to save Dennis’s job. As much as I appreciated the security of a steady paycheck, I wasn’t convinced it was worth enduring a toxic work environment and potentially serious health issues. Several times, I urged Dennis to quit, but he felt too much of a responsibility to our family to give up. And so I prayed simply that our family would be able to trust God, no matter what happened.
As most of you know, that trust was soon put to the test (and if you don’t, this will catch you up). But many have asked what’s happened since that time. Like every other reporter and anchor in town, Dennis had signed a ‘non-compete’ as part of his contract, which meant that even though he was fired, he’s had to wait six months before he could even consider taking another on-air job here in Nashville. That non-compete will expire in January. In the meantime, he’s been making videos for Rackley Roofing, a commercial roofing company with such a stellar reputation, they’ve literally never lost a customer. It has been a perfect fit for Dennis and we feel very fortunate that Curtis Sutton at Rackley Roofing reached out to Dennis after he lost his job.
I’m choosing not to focus on the uncertainties of our situation, because, after all, nothing is certain for any of us. Instead, I’m focusing on something we didn’t have much of last year and now have in abundance:
This Christmas, our home is filled to overflowing with hope, and hope makes all the difference. I have hope now for our future, hope that we’ll have even more adventures and that Dennis will find fulfillment in whatever new career he chooses. I have hope that our children will flourish and our family will grow even closer. I even have hope for our country — hope that we as a nation will grow tired of all the hate and divisiveness and collectively choose to show love and compassion to one another in a way that we never have before.
Fueled by this hope, I am putting away our Christmas decorations with care this year. The Santa towels are clean and folded, the snowglobes are snugly wrapped in tissue paper. I can’t know what 2017 will bring, but I do know it will feel good to open these boxes next December and see evidence of my state of mind at the end of one of the most turbulent years of our lives.
Here’s to a hope-filled New Year for you, too. We are so grateful to have each one of you in our lives.