I had two brothers, one older and one younger and I never felt that they had more options in life than me. God had a plan for each of us based on His will. My options were not based on societal norms, pressures to be successful, or pressure from my parents to live their unfulfilled dreams through me. The only expectation I felt was that God had a plan for my life and it was GOOD.
I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. I began teaching my stuffed animals and dolls at a young age. I also played church and would lead the singing, preach, and take up the offering. I did it all! One Sunday when I was in 1st grade, I went to Sunday School and told Mrs. Green my Sunday School teacher that I would teach the lesson that day. (she told me this many years later – I hope I asked her and didn’t just tell her – but like I said – I always wanted to teach!)
I taught for three years during which time I got married. I became pregnant after we were married a year and a half. The Lead Teacher at Almond School where I taught was a dedicated teacher I very much respected. She told me when she found out I was pregnant that if I could, I should stay home with my baby until he got older. She had gone right back to work after the birth of each of her two children and she said that if she had it to do over, she would have stayed home a few years.
Phil had decided to go to seminary, but we tightened our belts and I stayed home for the next 10 years. After that I worked part time for several years, going back to full time teaching in 2002.
Does that sound like a lot? I did NOT do it all at once!
I mention this because our culture scares women into thinking that they must stay in their job or they will lose every opportunity. There is also a strong message that women who do choose to stay home are missing out “on something”. I have been blessed to be able to teach public school, teach as a volunteer in a Christian school, work part time as a Health Education Specialist, and teach full time again. I also have been able to create art here and there along the way.
The point is NOT whether you are working outside your home or at home, or both – the issue is having peace that you are where God wants you to be at this time.
Let me share briefly about the next generation of women in my family. Our three daughters all graduated from college and each pursued various careers in: Legislative Staff for a US Congressman on Capitol Hill, teaching high school Political Science, nursing, coaching women’s soccer at every level from college to middle school, teaching Special Education at the elementary and middle school levels, and staying home with young children.
Does that sound like a lot? They did NOT do it all, nor all at once!
What I want to communicate clearly to the next generation, our grandchildren, is that God has a plan for their lives that will allow them to use their unique gifts and abilities while serving Him.
19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.
We are able to “have it all”, in fact verse 20 says ” infinitely more than we might ask or think”.
I LOVE that last part – “through ALL generations forever and ever! Amen!”
We will have it all … in God’s way and in His time.