Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Change of Plans: A Lesson in Priorities

My generation of women is experiencing unprecedented freedom for our gender. But, as Uncle Ben tells Peter Parker of Spiderman fame, "With great power comes great responsibility." One of the tremendous responsibilities laying on the shoulders of women today is the responsibility to prioritize.


At the banquet table of seemingly endless possibilities, how do we keep from overindulging? How do we ensure that we do not leave the table hungry or in some other way unsatisfied? How do we know what to choose?


In Matthew 11:29-30, Jesus tells us, "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." This is how I have come to undertake my responsibility to pick and choose what the world has to offer me. The more I read the Bible, the more I learn of Jesus, and the more I come to submit to God's Will with a "gentle and humble heart," the easier I find it to prioritize, and the more at peace I am with the decisions that I make.


The first part of Jesus' yoke that I had to take on was the knowledge that "'Everything is permissible'—but not everything is beneficial. 'Everything is permissible'—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others" (1 Corinthians 10:23-24). For today's modern woman, everything is permissable. We may strut about in the frilliest dresses or the most masculine pantsuits...or almost nothing at all. We can choose a life of virginity dedicated to the Lord or we may marry--perhaps more than once--or we may opt for "free love" or an "alternative relationship." We can be single working mothers, married working mothers, homemakers, work-from-home-moms, soccer moms, childless-by-choice, anything we choose. That is what the world tells us: we can have everything or nothing. We can have whatever we choose. Choice is the religion of the day, and we are worshippers at its altar.


However, there is one caveat that the world has conveniently forgotten to tell us young, ambitious, starry-eyed women: All this choice comes at a price.


In her wonderful book, which I have quoted from before, Lilian Calles Barger poignantly observes, "Today, with much more freedom to choose our own way in the world, we are more likely to lose ourselves in the process. Industrialization and radical individualism have aided in this uprooting" (emphasis my own). Expounding on what she refers to as the "cult of individualism" predominant in our modern culture, Barger continues, "Instead of kinship and place, our identity is based on ‘lifestyle’ choices, from soccer moms to childfree. The move toward identities of choice, instead of those based on relationship and place, is threatening to turn even previously unthinkable practices into a lifestyle."


As a woman navigating a world structure largely designed by and for men, I am discovering that the key to survival is compromise. Not only is compromise key, it is unavoidable. The shoe will drop somewhere; our only real choice is to pick the spot where it falls.

Contrary to the feminist feel-good messages that abound in the media, we have not traded the "prison" of domesticity for freedom and a truer identity. We have simply traded one kind of cookie-cutter image for another. Where once women had to deny that they found any pleasure in activities outside the home lest they be thought "abnormal," modern women are pressured to deny that they find any pleasure in the home, for the same reason.

We may have cut the apron strings and donned a power suit, but was it worth it to cut the ties to our young children for a window office and a title, or more realistically, a meager paycheck that barely covers childcare expenses? More and more women are finding that corporate America is not conducive to being the "fuller" selves that they were seeking by entering the public sphere. The glass ceiling may have some serious cracks, but those left with the splinters are discovering that the typical work-a-day world is not the panacea they once imagined it to be.


Meanwhile, those women who choose to opt out of pursuing paid employment continue to be viewed by many as second-class citizens, victims of male domination, or simply unitelligent women who don't know any better. All of this, whether the workforce hostile to women's needs or the destructive negativity aimed at stay-at-home wives and mothers, furthers the age-old attitude that "women's work" is inferior to "men's." To quote Barger again, more at length this time:

"Second-wave feminism encouraged women to leave the private sphere and enter the more significant and productive public sphere…But this reinforced the belief that the work occurring in the public sphere and associated with men was ultimately more important and took priority. By entering the public sphere at the expense of the private, woman legitimated the male world and rejected her own. The ‘elite’ women soon found out that the public world of work, as currently arranged, marginalizes human emotion and vulnerability, especially female reproductive life."


So, everything is permissable. In particular, virtually the entire public sector is open to me as a college-educated woman in the twenty-first century. The world is my oyster. But not everything is beneficial. Yes, I can have a job. Yes, I can even have a job and a family, but at what cost? There are only so many hours in a day, and I am only capable of so much in each twenty-four hour period. Where will the shoe drop? What will my prioritizing reveal about what I value? Fifty years from now, will the way that I prioritized have helped me or hindered me in achieving the life that I desire--the life that God has called me to live?

This is where 1 Corinthians 10:24 comes in: "Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others." This is not something we want to hear in our modern me-centric, hyper-individualistic culture. We'd rather hear "Be all that you can be" and "You've got to take control of your own destiny." This self-empowerment sort of thinking may be the Band-aid many of us would like to slap on the cultural wounds of low self-esteem and isolation from true community, but it's not going to solve what really ails us. The true healing we need can only come from the redemptive power and love of Jesus Christ (Matthew 13:15). Jesus never advised anyone to "live it up" or to live in pursuit of their every desire. No, quite the opposite. He said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?" (Luke 9:23-25). As a daughter of God, I am not called to pursue my own "destiny," my every desire, but rather to lay down my life in pursuit of Him who died for me and to seek "the good of others."

Not long ago, I felt I was being crushed by the burden of choice. Should I go to graduate school to teach? Should I demand that my husband uproot our family and leave his stable and much beloved job so that I could have a chance at success as an actress, the dream I had worked toward since childhood? Where would my children end in the fall-out of my pursuit of my own desires? What would the reprecussions to my marriage in a busy two-career household be? Would I lose myself remaining at home, wasting my life as the contemporary culture so graciously insinuated on a regular basis? Or, would I lose myself by abandoning my joyful domesticity, relinquishing my precious children to the daycare system, and sacrificing the complementary union of marital life I currently shared with my husband for a life lived in parallel, each of us pursuing our own separate paths?

After wrestling with these questions on my own for several weeks, I humbled myself and decided to ask my husband for advice. Flummoxed (his own words) as to how to advise me, he instead suggested that I look back in my diaries to see if I could discover what my frame of mind was when I decided I wanted to leave the domestic sphere and what might have caused me to question that decision. Thank goodness I keep very thorough journals. I highly recommend the practice to anyone, but particularly to those who, like me, are often driven by emotion and are prone to change.

 
I am going to make a very personal and humble confession to you all: What I found in the pages of my diary was not pretty. It all began last April with some rather vehement comments I received on this very blog about an article I had written on marriage. The biting remarks and patronizing insinuations should have rolled off my back, but they didn't. In fact, I shut the blog down and ran as fast and as far as I could from all the principles and convictions that had led me to start it in the first place. Satan knew how vulnerable I was to criticism such as I had received. He saw his chance, and he latched on quickly and cleverly. Within days of receiving those comments, my journal showed that I was suddenly dissatisfied with the life I had chosen.
I am not proud of what followed, but I'm going to share it because I doubt that I am the only woman who has gone through this journey, and I want to say to those of you out there who can relate: you are not alone!


I became jealous of my husband and resented him his career, even while I benefitted from it. I grew to nearly hate the place that I live, becoming disatisified with everything from my church community to my home to the state of Washington! I became frantic--yes, frantic--to move someplace else. I was desperate to start acting again. I started going for auditions that I knew I wouldn't be able to take due to the distance from my home and the insufficient salary which would not provide enough for decent childcare.

Before long I realized that being a self-sustaining full-time actress in the Seattle area was next to impossible (I checked with many local artists to discover that this was so), and none of my schemes to move to another more "actor-friendly" city panned out. Almost overnight, I turned to the idea of teaching. It was something else I had always considered. After all, only a few short months before, I was eager to homeschool my own children. I knew plenty of teachers who were also wives and mothers--my own mother among them. But, what I refused to see is that the time and energy it would take to obtain a Masters degree and then to spend many hours every day in a classroom and grading papers were in direct contrast with my vision of home and family. Another way to put it is that what I was pursuing was in conflict with the vision God had given me for my life.

 
Sadly, shamefully, I foolishly abandoned all the ideals I once held for being a sacrificially loving wife and mother. I still loved my daughter, but I decided that I didn't want any more children: they would hold me back and ruin my life. I grew terrified that I might become pregnant. I still loved my husband, but I was willing to stop investing so much in our relationship. After all, I told myself, what if something were to happen years from now? I don't want to be left without some resources of my own. I let my vanity get out of control and became obsessed with my body image, though I was perfectly healthy. I became lax in my pursuit of modesty. I spent money foolishly on new clothes and make-up, at times purposely trying to hide such transactions from my husband, something I had never done in our years of marriage. This period of months when I was single-mindedly pursuing my own "destiny" can be characterized by a lot of rather unpleasant terms: selfishness, desperation, anxiety, hard-heartedness, jealousy, discontent, ingratitude... It should have been a wake-up call, but it wasn't.


Worst of all, I had ceased actively pursuing God with my whole heart (Jeremiah 29:13). In the spirit of full disclosure, I am bound to admit that I stopped reading my Bible almost completely. Instead, I turned to theological literature that I chose on purpose (though not consciously) because it was targetted toward validating the rebellion I found myself in. I wallowed in this literary self-help mire, abandoning the life-giving words of Scripture for shadows and lies. I found four-letter words that I had not uttered in years popping up on my uncontrolled tongue. My infamous short temper, kept in check for many years by the power of the Spirit working in me, began to flare up more frequently as I grew lax in self-discipline and rejected accountability. I gossipped unrepentantly. My prayer life became cursory and shallow because I didn't really want to hear what God had to say. I was like a horse with blinders on: it was my way or the highway. The trouble was, I had already turned the wheel of my ship over to Jesus six years ago. Now I was grappling to get it back. But, the waters I was leading myself into were not life-sustaining (Jeremiah 17:8; John 4:14); they were poisonous (Jeremiah 23:15). Myopic in my pursuit of self, I couldn't even see what was right before my eyes.


Thank God that He did not let me wander too long in my own folly, but returned me to the paths He laid just for me, with His Word to guide me along the way. I am convinced now, more than ever, "that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39). I may have gone astray for a time, but He is my shepherd, and when He called--praise God!--I knew His voice, and I followed (John 10:27).


Long story short, it is with great joy and peace of mind and heart and soul that I can announce I will be forgoing the rigors of graduate school and a career in teaching for the present time. Instead, I will continue to remain at home, pursuing my Savior in the "realm of the mundane" as Simone de Beauvoir once sneeringly referred to domestic and family life. Thankfully, others have seen things somewhat differently throughout the ages:


"What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow." —Martin Luther


“The ordinary has been blessed. It is good. Faithfulness ‘in my small corner’ helps to redeem life. Thus we find ‘the glory of the usual.’ Here is true greatness.” ~Susan Schaeffer Macaulay, For the Family’s Sake
I do not wish to be a product of my times but the work of my Lord. I do not wish to seek self-fulfillment but rather to die to self that I might live more fully in Him. I do not seek this in pursuit of asceticism (self denial for its own sake), rather I do so because I believe I am relinquishing a yoke of my own fashioning, which is burdensome, in order to put on the yoke of Christ, which is light and which brings peace.


I do not wish to condemn anyone else's life decisions. We must all act as we feel called by God. As Thomas Aquinas once said, "Every judgment of conscience, be it right or wrong, be it about things evil in themselves or morally indifferent, is obligatory, in such wise that he who acts against his conscience always sins." Each person must determine between herself and God what path to take. I feel blessed that I can say my Savior has set me on a path that led me home again.

24 comments:

  1. OUCH.

    ouch.

    This working mother of 22 years was exceedingly convicted by this post. I believe my Savior is leading me home as well. How I wish I would have been a Christian earlier in my life that I might have begun like you.

    God bless you.

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  2. Wow, I just re-read this again...would you mind if I linked to it on my blog at http://femininityrevisited.blogspot.com ?

    Thank you.

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  3. This was precisely what I needed to hear as I am praying over returning to full-time education this spring. I will be pondering these wise and vulnerable words as I come to God in prayer in the next few weeks. Thank you for sharing your heart. Peace of Christ to you, Mrs. Hudson.

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  4. Bethany, what powerful, touching words. I feel so blessed by reading this post today. Some time ago, as I began seeing those who graduated from college with me start blooming new careers, I wondered whether I'm truly not missing out on something. I, on the other hand, felt vulnerable as I'm about to have our child any day now. What if something happens?.. What if..? The poisonous "what if" can really drop venom into our hearts if we let it, preventing us from following a straight path with God, with our marriages, our wonderful husbands, dear children and lovely homes, all of which is such a beautiful, precious gift.

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  5. I have had a similar revelation in the past few months. I spent a year and a half forcing myself onto a path that wasn't only not making me happy, but was making me unhappy. I only just admitted it to myself on Rosh Hashannah of 2008 and I've been taking slow steps to rectify my mistakes. I feel much more at peace, content, and happy now than I have in a while.

    I'm glad you found what it is that makes you feel peaceful, happy, and light. I can empathize, at least in some way. :)

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  6. Beautifully written as always, Bethany. Know that all of your experiences as a wife and mother mother are relevant and valuable first to your husband and children, and then--should you ever choose to enter the field, as a teacher. In the meantime, enjoy this season and your little ones.

    Blessings,
    L

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  7. Each time I read this anew, it blesses me.

    Thank you for such a beautiful post, once again.

    (Last comment I'll leave on this post - I promise! LOL!)

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  8. Thank you so much for this transparent, heartfelt post, Bethany -- and for submitting the link over at LAF. I've just posted this. God bless you.

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  9. Hello,

    Thanks for reading this. You know, I just wanted to say that I always see homemaking and conservative blogs arguing against this straw man of the soul-sucking corporate job -- the kind of job that almost no one likes, men included.

    This is the fallacy of the excluded middle.

    There is a huge swath of women in between the self-deniers and corporate drones. Like women who are, say, yoga teachers, or own their own yoga studios. And authors and journalists and personal trainers and a million other things. And me.

    I mean, I was super-ambitious as a young person, went to a big-name school, moved to the big city, and now set my own hours in my chosen profession, billing at $100 (US) per hour. I feel smart every day that I use my intelligence to pay the bills (and invest!) Sometimes I only work 15 hours or so per week. What do I do with the rest of my time? Well, I read books in cafes, I improve my skills so I can make even more money in even less time later, and I date guys, to make sure I've decided on the one I like. And now I've met him, and he loves kids, and we plan to have some. And I'm not even 30.

    So, um ... sorry for bragging (hence the anonymity). But self-denial wouldn't have gotten me into an ideal situation in which to satisfy my own needs as well as those of children. This is not a wise life plan.

    The ages from 16-25 are extremely important for pursuing ambition (for both men and women) -- once you've mastered calculus, college-level French, etc., I think a person can handle a couple of classes at a culinary institute (as I did -- now I can make my own osso buco!) You can learn to cook and clean at any time. It's not that hard. My house is spotless. That didn't keep me from going to college.

    As told in this post, you sounded like you were about to explode, and you had gotten yourself into a situation in which it seemed as if the only responsible solution was to push that all back down again. You have my sympathy! Continued repression may be the ethical choice for you, but I this is not a good argument in favor of self-denial for all women. To wit: If a man were working in a coal mine and it were giving him black lung disease, but he were a single dad of 10 kids and that were the only way to feed them, then yes, maybe the only ethical choice for that guy is to keep going to work in the coal mine. But that's not an ideal towards which we should strive, nor does it mean that that man shouldn't keep working towards a clever solution that might take his own needs into account as well. And by all means, he should try to guide his kids against falling into that situation!

    So, just to say:

    Most women's jobs are not 9-5 office jobs with suits and pantyhose. Many ambitious women want other things. Such as being actresses. With good planning, moms can have their dreams. And, under normal circumstances (no family members are hit by a truck, etc.), a good husband doesn't ask his wife to give up her dreams. Or, at least, the compatibility of both partners' dreams is wisely assessed before the two enter into marriage.

    I think your daughter would enjoy and benefit from seeing you act in theater productions. I think toddlers, of course, enjoy your 100% attention, but from my perspective -- well, my stay-at-home-mom (and I love her dearly!) seemed a bit of a wet blanket to the kids once we became advanced in school and she had little to talk about but household upkeep and things she had already told us, many times over. Wait til your daughter hits fifth or sixth grade -- she's learning new things every day, and at some point, she's just taking in way more new stimuli per day than you are. Wouldn't it be nice if you were out in the world, doing something that made for good conversation, pursuing adult ambitions, where she could root for you and compare those to the path she is following in her own dreams?

    This has been long, but my point:

    Next time you write a post about how you don't want a horrible office job that takes you away from your child 10 hours a day, be it known that very few people want that. Instead, argue against acting in community theater, or starting a company, or being a celebrity chef, or any of a million other awesome, non-office, non-cubicle ways to interact with people, ideas, and the world.

    God bless,
    J.T.

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  10. J.T. - Perhaps you should reread this post again. I never once referred to myself as taking on a 9-5 office job. I have worked as an actress and was seeking pursuing a degree in teaching (which is neither 9-5 nor conducted in an office). I also never said that other women should not pursue careers outside the home. Reread my final paragraph if you are confused on this point. Moreover, I find it somewhat insulting that you think I that because I stay at home I am not "doing something that makes for good conversation" or pursuing "adult ambitions." My care of family and home is an adult ambition--and an honorable one at that. I have been to university (and graduated). I have worked as a professional actress, and plan to continue to take on shows from time to time when it is possible and desirable for me and my family. So, it is not without experience that I have come to the decisions I have. Perhaps before you knock homemaking as a life choice, you should give it a try. Trust me, there is much more to it than cooking and cleaning.

    I have had a passion for acting since I was three years old, but guess what? My passion for my husband, children, and home trumps even that artist's drive. I appreciate that you have pointed out that there are career options besides being in an office 40+ hours a week. If I chose a career outside the home, it would certainly be one of these non-traditional ones. But, that is not the choice I am making, and it is not due to repression but due to leveled reflection and thoughtful decision-making.

    ~Bethany

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  11. Dear Bethany,

    I have only been a SAHM for 5 years now. I was a woman who was 'successful' in the sense that J.T. implies in the anonymous response. Now I take great joy in pouring my life into my husband and daughter - with NO outside distractions. I take great satisfaction in telling people that I used to be 'somebody' and it was a waste of my life.

    Your ability to see where true satisfaction and contentment is found is a blessing. Don't allow anyone to tell you differently! There will always be those who miss the point.

    Thank you for sharing your testimony.

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  12. Bethany-

    Wonderful post. I believe many women who love the Lord and study the Word have these same feelings.

    I just posted on this same subject on my blog. Take a look and let me know what you think. I will say this, it is not written with the same wonderful skill you have.

    May God use your love for your family and home to encourage younger woman in the faith. Titus 2:2-4

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  13. Bethany, thank you for the beautiful post! Your words have confirmed a lesson the Lord has been impressing on my heart lately.

    Allow me to explain. My mother is a 'self-made' woman who was a pioneer in the computer world and was one of the first female managers of a well known company in the industry at the time (which shall remain nameless - it was a job she lost when she decided to carry me to term). And she never worked a 'typical' 9-5 job. Needless to say, the drive to succeed and 'chart my own course' was ingrained in me from the very beginning. I was successful in several different sports, an avid writer, singer and very much an academic: I had three college degrees by the time I was 25. So I understand very well where T.J. is coming from.

    As I graduated from nursing school (last year) I had finally come to the point where I had firmly decided that if I should marry, I would choose to become a full time wife and mother (you better believe the grief I got over that among my classmates). But, as there is no prospective husband as of yet, I entered the work place as an RN.

    This was one dream accomplished; a ministry and a well paying job all in one! But I have had other dreams and one of them was to build on another legacy handed down from my mother: that of becoming an accomplished equestrian. That is perhaps the only 'dream' I have had since I was a little girl that I still hold to.

    In reading your post, Bethany, I had to face what my mother and my conscience have been trying to tell me for nearly a month: I had allowed my dream to become an idol in my life. It is not a 'bad' thing to dream about in itself, but it was stealing my contentment and my focus from the Lord, just like you wrote about. So I thank you for your willingness to be so transparent and your boldness in sharing the wonderful beauty of God's working in your life.

    May the Lord bless you!
    Tracy

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  14. What a beautiful, heartfelt and brutally honest post. Thanks for sharing :)

    I've gone through my own little period of self-exploration and adjusting priorities, not with a job, but with my home business, and am finally getting somewhere close to finding a balance. I haven't let it go, but I have certainly cut back. With small kids and a large home, even a part-time home business can be too much at times!!

    Nice to "meet" you - it's incredibly encouraging reading posts by other moms with similar convictions. :)

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  15. I was so blessed by your openness and your vulnerability, Bethany. I wanted to encourage you that over 27 years ago, I was in a similar position, deciding what to do with my dreams, desires, and skills. I was a newly married bride and trying to decide whether to continue to pursue my college education. To make a long story short, the Lord pressed so heavily on my heart and in submitting to Him, I laid the desire of becoming a Christian counselor down. I was flooded with peace, even though my father was very disappointed in my decision not to continue in college and pursue a "real" career. Though I didn't know it at the time, the Lord had already blessed my husband and I with our first child (hidden in the womb). That little girl is now 26 years old and now has 10 siblings! When I laid down that "dream" 27 years ago, God met me in ways I could not have known had I continued to go my own way. I finally understood the verse, "Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart." Pr. 37:4 Truly the Lord gave me NEW desires and fulfilled me in ways I could not have imagined at the time. At that time I could only see the things I was letting go of.

    Now as I look back I can recount the myriad of ways that the Lord has filled my cup to overflowing. Was it my plan to "give it all up" to raise 11 children? No, but I am ever so grateful now that it was HIS plan! Pr. 3:5 again! And Isaiah 55:8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord."

    Have I been shortchanged in not having a "professional" career and becoming self-fulfilled? Not in the least! My career has been a delight and I couldn't be more fulfilled because my joy is in HIM, who has taught me (and continues to teach me) how to find my life in laying it down. Have I been robbed of my dream, or been unable to use my gifts? Quite the opposite! He gave me a better dream, more fitting to my design as a woman. And besides, no one does more Christian counseling than a Christian mother! (And talk about opportunities to "act" - ever try reading a history story complete with re-enactments? And I could tell you about the opportunities to bless large groups of people with our family Christmas or Easter presentations, complete with "plays" and singing and live music.) Has my brain rotted on a shelf or have my skills been neglected? No, actually my brain has been stretched as I have invested my life to educate our children (and have gotten a better education than my first to boot!) My skills have been sharpened as I have given my life in useful service to the most deserving benefactors of my gifts and skills ~ my own flesh and blood ~ my children (and my dear husband.) My children's interests have enriched and challenged my own, rather than limited me.

    I have never regretted yielding my plans for God's plans. Does that mean it has always been easy? Of course not. But I would never trade a big paycheck for the sweet warm embrace of one of my preschoolers in the middle of the day as I fold his clothes. I would never trade the closeness I share with my husband and children for a PhD or a lucrative career. I would never trade the applause of men for the numerous "thank yous" I have received from my grown children. Bethany, don't look back, but plow ahead, confident that the God who leads you will strike a path that leads to blessing.

    Trusting in the Lord,
    Mary

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  16. Thank you for such an honest post! I have kept a faithful diary for the last 10 years because I also I am also prone to being driven by my emotions. It's hard to remember how bad things really were sometimes when I've made wrong decisions, and my diaries help keep me focused.

    It was extremely encouraging to know that I'm not the only one who does this. Re-reading my diaries can be pretty intense, but it's the chief way that I keep steady in becoming a woman of Christ instead of being dominated by my feelings.

    In Christ,

    Charity F.

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  17. During those early adult years, I had a physics degree, a good engineering job with travel to all kinds of interesting places, lots of freedom to do whatever I wanted, and I still so very much wish I could have been "tied down" with small children at the time. Now in my early 40s, I have two wonderful little boys, but I am very aware I can't "pull all-nighters" the way I did when I was 20. A baby is so much better a reward for staying up all night than a physics textbook! I wish I hadn't wasted the most physically able years of my life on a career when children are so much more physically demanding and also so much more fun!

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  18. Another Karen: This is an important bit of perspective. So many times, young women are told that they need to use their 20s and 30s to establish a career. But, as you said, this is actually the best time biologically to establish a family. Certainly, a 50-year-old women returning to the workforce will not have the same career standing that a 50-year-old woman who has been working since she graduated will. But, the first woman is no less capable of learning at 50 than she was at 25. Perhaps she may even have a better sense of what she wants, now that she has life experience behind her.
    ~Bethany

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  19. How beautifully you have described my own inner struggle as of late! I have been home for 15 years and love being in my home. However, my oldest daughter is graduating from college, and the younger two are entering the last few years of our homeschool. I feel as though I have worked my way out of my career and struggle with what on earth I will do all day when everyone is gone! I need to remember that my ministry from home also includes my husband. Thank you!

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  20. Thank you for a beautiful post. I too am reconsidering past ambitions and trying to find what the next step in my life is. I think I am blessed that I was able to fulfill so many of my goals in my early 20's that now, as a newly married-trying for children-woman, I can look forward to new options with out any guilt or remorse of things that may have passed me buy. I have fulfilled many modern women's goals - career, education, travel and look forward to where I will be lead next.

    Thank you for admitting to your own struggles, so many women can benefit from this kind of honesty.

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  21. Beautiful and elegantly written. I'm sad to say I understand fully your words, but thankfully God holds us closer then we sometimes hold Him. :)

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  22. Well put. Thanks for your honesty.

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  23. It is hard to be an old fashioned Christian lady in America. I hate to say it but it would be easier to be Christian in Egypt than in America. I get attacked on a regular basis for dressing modest, taking care of my son and family, not hating men, for wearing dresses and skirts, etc, etc, etc. I just take all the nasty stuff people say and see it in my mind being packaged up and given to Jesus. You know I left this country a long time ago and came back and was surprized at how nasty most women were about other women having choices. I don't know what happened. When I was a young woman there was choice and no one looked down on a woman that wanted to be an old fashioned Christian woman. Now one has to constantly justify themselves to the other women. God bless you

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  24. It is hard to be an old fashioned Christian lady in America. I hate to say it but it would be easier to be Christian in Egypt than in America. I get attacked on a regular basis for dressing modest, taking care of my son and family, not hating men, for wearing dresses and skirts, etc, etc, etc. I just take all the nasty stuff people say and see it in my mind being packaged up and given to Jesus. You know I left this country a long time ago and came back and was surprized at how nasty most women were about other women having choices. I don't know what happened. When I was a young woman there was choice and no one looked down on a woman that wanted to be an old fashioned Christian woman. Now one has to constantly justify themselves to the other women. God bless you

    ReplyDelete

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