Family · Giving Thanks · Marriage · Teaching

When I Grow Up…: (Re-)Making Life Plans

…yes, Hudson feels our pain…

Happy beginning of March, friends!

For those of you who have been reading (becoming fewer and farther between, it seems), you will notice that my monthly updates on our lives that I used to do have been slowly disappearing.  Hope you aren’t too disappointed.  Ultimately, there hasn’t been anything new to report on the “An Family Front” recently.  Cold weather in Michigan leaves us wanting to stay indoors where the temperatures are much more bearable.

I will probably have a lot more “news” about the goings on of our family in April, as there will be many more interesting activities planned this month.  But for now, we’re simply trying to withstand the doldrums of the gray, cold, Michigan winter (February is always the hardest month) earnestly waiting for the arrival of winter.

In like a lion, out like a lamb?  Hope that lamb arrives sooner than later.

For now, please enjoy another installment on the “life lessons” God has been teaching me in the midst of the quiet, calm, and ABOUT-TO-DRIVE-US-NUTTY COLD WEATHER!! 

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Growing up, if I had a nickel (ok, a couple of dollars…gotta compensate for inflation and all) for every time someone asked me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I would probably have been able to pay for college and leave with no additional financial obligations (or at least half of what I fork out now, considering I went to Emory).  It seemed that the answer came in stages…

Stages…in pictures…

STAGE 1:  (Elementary School) A doctor…I know I want to be a doctor…or at least, my mom knew I was going to be a doctor. 

STAGE 2 (High School) Wait, I don’t HAVE to be a doctor just because mom says so?  I can actually decide (dream) for myself?  NO WAY!!

STAGE 3:  (College) I never had to figure out who I am and where I want to go for myself.  I have to choose?  Fine…I’ll major in educational studies…teach maybe?

STAGE FOUR: (Post-College) Ok…I’ve worked in different jobs these past four years, and nothing was satisfying (administrator, elementary aged after school program “teacher”, business manager).  I guess I’ll try that teaching thing I had considered earlier…high school age I think…social studies…ok, I may as well get my Masters in Teaching.  WOAH!  I can actually ENJOY my job??  THIS IS AWESOME!  I’m good now…I know who I want to be….who I am

…or…so I thought…

Every job comes with perks!

Now that I’m in Michigan, following a husband who is seeking to build his own new identity as the doctor my mother originally wanted me to be (I’m pretty sure marrying one is the next best thing), I’m once again left wondering who I am and where I’m going.  I don’t know if I’ll be going back to a classroom (especially if he finishes his training here in Michigan…easier and probably wiser to stick with my current, well paying, great benefit providing job).  Once he’s done with all his training, there is no need for me to work anymore anyway…with his physician’s salary, tax-wise, it would be better to remain a one income family at that point.  I’ll be managing a home, raising (at this point hypothetical) little ones, and living with and caring for retiring in-laws (which may or may not end up being more difficult than raising kids…we’ll see). 

“But…but…I wanted to BE someone!  I wanted to do something more than…than…just be a…a…a HOUSEWIFE!  Sure, I joked about it in the friends with girlfriends.  But I didn’t really MEAN it!  I can offer so much more!  WHY, GOD…WHY???”  Definitely kinda egocentric…prideful.  I can’t I’m proud of myself for it, but these are the honest thoughts of my heart I have had for the past few months as, more and more, I began to realize where my life (and my “career”) was ultimately headed.

But, as always, God’s right there to “slap me upside the head” (in His most gentle and caring way) as I allow my sinful, selfish self take over.  Especially when I challenge and question His ways. 

I came to Him asking (more like SHOUTING), “WHY ME?”

He gently reminded me…”It’s not about you…it’s about ME!!”

In him we have obtained an inheritance, 
having been predestined according 
to the purpose of him who works 
all things according to the counsel of his will,
 so that we who were the first to hope in 
Christ might be to the praise of his glory.

Ephesians 1:11-12 ESV
“I” wanted to do something…something important…something that would make me stand out apart from all others so that they would take heed and praise…well…ME!  The problem is that God’s purpose for me ISN’T to bring praise to myself.  My purpose (the one that will give me ultimate joy and peace) is to bring all glory and praise to HIM.  No matter what works He has set for me to do (be it teacher, housewife, mother, or anything else) the glory and praise goes to Him, because He alone is worthy of it.  I don’t DESERVE anything…His glory, His praises, His majesty…none of it is something that belongs to me.  Still, I have been invited to take part in all of it, a gift purchased by the sacrifice He made of His Son.  Just so God (in all His splendor and awesomeness) could be with me and share Himself with me (only God knows why).  

That’s why, no matter what task He sets for me, I need to be grateful…even if it’s something I may think is simple, mundane, and unglamorous (in my meager humanly limited capacity to understand the ways of God…and how fulfilling His ways are).  I do it knowing He will be glorified by it…because it’s what He has called me to be.  How could I ask for more than to do the job the God of the universe has purposed…just for me!

Besides…being a housewife/mother is such a noble, albeit CRITICAL profession.  Raising kids, keeping a home, and honoring one’s parents (and in-laws) are probably some of the most important jobs there are.  And it’s very possible that’s what God has called me to.  It’s exciting, when I allow my perspective of the “who I am” and “where I’m going” to change to “who He is” and “where I need to be…with Him”.

After all, my identity and hope is in Him alone.  Praise Him!

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