To be employed (full-time or part-time), or not to be employed, that is the question…
This is somewhat of a hot-button question, I know.
It hits hard-core.
It’s a difficult question either way.
Both come with their sets of pros and cons.
Sometimes there is a choice, sometimes there is not.
Sometimes there are seasons for one or the other, and then it changes.
Either way, it’s a uniquely answered question.
Mostly because each family is unique.
And therein lies the beauty… if we can see it that way.
Our first child was born in October. I was teaching at the time, and planned to return in January. We were blessed with a friend who lived very near our home who was staying home with a daughter just three months older than our son. It worked for us. At the time, I was ready to return to work. I enjoyed my job. I enjoyed the joys of motherhood. I seemed to be able to focus on my job while at school. And then focus my energies on my growing boy when I returned home.
Our second child was born in the month of May. This schedule was a bit easier. I didn’t need to return to work until September. But nothing was easy about it. I found myself crying. A lot. A sense of depression and despair overtook me by sheer surprise as the days winded down. I returned to work, now having an infant and a toddler, and everything was out of whack. Sure, I made it through the day, and then I would cry on the way home. I didn’t get it, but I knew something was about to change. I decided to step away from the career I loved… for a time. Perhaps I would return that following January.
But I didn’t, and the journey that transpired until now has been life transforming.
This school year finds me back in the throws of teaching. And admittedly, my heart has been attempting to find a place of contentment. I’m there in body and mind, not so much in spirit. Some days are good. Some moments are great. But mostly, I’ve learned to appreciate something very basic, maybe even something I’ve taken for granted – the blessing, privilege, honor, and greatest joy in my role as a wife and a Mom. Over this Christmas break, I’ve watched my feelings, thoughts, and actions confirm to me over and over where my heart lies.
So what does this mean? Sometimes questions take a bit longer to answer. I’ve been pressing in closer and closer to the heart of my heavenly Father in pouring out my soul and listening to his heartbeat. And He tells me this…
3Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
And I think… the desires of my heart have changed over the years. His desires for me have become my desires. If He’s given me this soul stirring, He’s directing that. And I can trust it. I can trust Him.
And He has given me a husband who MORE than supports my desires for our family. He’s encouraged me, spoken words of appreciation, and has given me space and patience in my silent times of searching.
Now it’s a matter of taking that step. The next step. Whatever that next step is. And trusting. And moving forward with tremendous joy and gratitude. I have been given more than I will ever deserve. God loves me madly and has provided a way for me to have an eternity with him. How can I not give Him all the glory? I want to enjoy what I do. I want to give 110%. I want to love well. The rest is just details…
We, as a society, need great teachers. We need great doctors. We need great crossing-guards. We need great trash collectors. We each are uniquely crafted for the love of something. I found myself smirking at thoughts of my “loves” lately, and years ago I would never have guessed what my answers would be. I want to do my “loves” and want to do them with excellency. Because if I’m following my desires, I have a soul satisfaction of completing His plan. Nothing beats that.
What “loves” has He given to you? Are you able to do them with excellency? If not, why not?
How can I pray for you?