The Sign

The Sign

If you are a coach's wife, I am sure you've heard of the Bluey episode by now. In the slight chance you haven't, let me just give you the gist of it, so you don't have to watch it- unless you want your emotional and mental stability undone by an Australian dog family. 

It's called "the Sign," as in the For Sale sign. The dad has taken a new job in a different city, and the family is preparing to move.  

Sounds all too familiar, right? Well, it gets even more relatable.

The mom isn't sure she wants to go but is supporting her husband's career choices. Bluey understands what is happening and definitely doesn't want to go.

Bluey gets the idea that if she can remove the sign from the yard, then they won't have to sell their house. So, she sets out on this adventure with her mom, sister and cousins to find her aunt. (Bluey is only looking for her because she thinks she's the one adult who would help her remove this sign she's so focused on.) 

It's been almost five years since our last move, and I know that's a lifetime in this industry. But I can still remember the moment "the sign" went up in our yard. I was on the phone with my mom, listing everything I had already done and everything I still needed to do to get us ready to move. I was straightening up the playroom, bent down to pick up some toys, and when I stood up, there it was. 

I wish I were being dramatic, but seeing it in my yard almost broke me. I was only doing it to support my husband's career. And up until that moment, I was just checking off a to-do list. 

But that sign made it real.  

Part of me reacted like this cartoon 6-year-old dog. I channeled a lot of my sadness and frustration toward that sign. I spent a lot of energy wishing it would disappear. 

Here's the thing: it's also called "the Sign" because there were multiple points along the chaotic journey where other signs helped them figure out what to do next.

Because Bluey was only concentrating on the For Sale sign and its removal, she wasn't open to seeing anything else. Luckily, I had been in this lifestyle long enough and built my faith strong enough to know that there would be other signs to look for.

It's easy to focus on the ending. Spoiler alert: the dad takes down the sign, and the family goes back into the house, indicating that they are staying and essentially getting their happily ever after. 

But if you do that, then you miss the very important middle. It wasn't as simple as "Dad changed his mind." He gets "the call" and is told that the buyers pulled out because they found something that better fits their needs. 

We know better than most that someone else's decision has a ripple effect that can create change for multiple families.

When we get "the call," we usually don't know the best decision to make. Do we stay? Do we go? Do we take this or that job?

We can get overwhelmed or focused on just one "sign" (which tends to be the one we have the least control over), and we miss all the other signs trying to guide us, remind us, and help us figure out what to do about what we can control. 

"Are we making a mistake?" comes up several times, and towards the end, the mom replies, "I don't know. But I am done trying to figure it out."

After 20 years in this lifestyle, I have realized that we don't have to figure it out on our own. The One who is truly in control wants to guide you down the best possible path. He wants better things for you than you could even dream up. 

It doesn't make it any less difficult to move (or to be rejected for a job). It doesn't make the route much less chaotic. But when you look for His signs, it's easier to enjoy the journey on the way to your "happily ever after." 

I can promise that God is trying to send you signs, but you have to open your eyes to Him. Search for the signs that guide or remind you instead of being so focused on the one that overwhelms you. 

Otherwise, you might think Flappy is just a butterfly and miss the blatant road sign he’s pointing you to…

Jess Gilardi is a lacrosse coach’s wife living on the East Coast. They have three young kids and have been living this life since 2004. She was a mental health therapist in the school system before becoming the full time chaos coordinator for the family (a.k.a. stay-at-home mom). Jess started writing, hoping that by sharing her stories and lessons learned, she might help others learn “the easy way.”
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