Thursday, May 17, 2012

Trading College for Homemaking


    
      
       May- it's the time for graduations. But for me it's a time of guilt and grief. It's a reminder that I didn't do what I was supposed to do. It's a flagrant labeling of me as a quitter, failure. I spent six years and thousands of dollars and yet have no piece of paper hanging on my wall with my name on it. Six months from the finish line and I walked away. I pushed so hard for so long to make it happen, but for all the wrong reasons. Finally, I stopped. I could no longer ignore God's tug on my heart. In that moment, for the first time I asked Him what He would have me to do and that changed everything. 

    When I began my college journey I was assured of my abilities to perform academically. I very proudly stated that I was a college student, where I attended and what I was majoring in (at the time ;) ). When I think back on those years, I was always trying to prove myself. I could do it. I am intelligent. I am capable. I am worthy of this praise. An “A” wasn’t just a score, but a symbol for approval. I tried and I tried, but the Proverb (16:18) rang true that pride goes before the fall. The last program attended was again a last stitch effort to redeem myself from my miserable college performance. It was the logical and safe choice, but not the best choice. I discovered that a pretty solid sign that you’re on the wrong path is when you feel obligated to change or hide who you are for it. Indeed, I had denied myself on the inside to become pretend to be what I was supposed to be for this field. I was miserable and cried each day. One day in particular was telling. The instructor had asked us to envision life five years from then. Every single person said an education or career goal. Me? I silenced the room and left jaws dropped with my honest response of “home and family.” I had kept this to myself before then but there was the moment I had to be truthful or deceitful with myself and them.  I kept thinking, “if God created me as I am for a reason, then what am I doing trying to be or do something else.” So, I stepped out in faith into the unknown believing that God knows better than I do and He is trustworthy.

     Yet, I still want that beaming look of pride expressed to one who has achieved a college degree. I want that sense of value that is bestowed upon those who have earned and achieved it according to this measure. To be considered accomplished and educated (because the paper deems one educated whereas my time spent in study all those years doesn't). To be given the same respect and regard for choosing wife as others are given for choosing work. In my weakness, I begin to believe that these desires would be satisfied if I went back to the traditional path of college, career, and then family. After all, a homemaker without children is nonsense, right? I’m wasting my time and energy, not to mention holding us back from moving on in life, by choosing this foreign path of homemaking as means of pursuing home and family, right? The conflicting messages easily throw me into a pit of self-pity and despair.

     To believe these things and act upon them would be to once again do the wrong things for the wrong reasons. I notice how me-driven or others-driven my motivation was during my college years. The same is true of the (false) desires mentioned above. It’s all about what I could do for what they could give to me. It’s an empty exchange because only God could satisfy those desires of my heart. Only He can give me worth, because He is the one who carefully crafted me to be as I am. And it is only He who deserves such high regard and glory. Who am I? Rather, I am one seeking the Lord and endeavoring to walk by faith. I may one day return to college, but it will be for the right reasons- to gain greater knowledge and skills or be in place for influence to serve Him for His glory.

     Even in my weak moments (and this particular month there are many) I know that I can rest in the comfort of my Heavenly Father’s loving embrace. I also know that love is so great that He would give me a husband who so patiently endures my weaknesses and even my sold-out heart for home and family.  Blessed.

28 comments:

  1. Thanks for such an honest post.

    I met my husband when I was in graduate school and as he was stationed in Italy with the Army I left my schooling to be with him. I knew in my heart that he was the one for me and he supported my desire to be a homemaker. Seven years and three little boys later I don't regret my decision but there is a small part of me that wishes I had the paper to show the fruition of the seven years I went to college! (Although the student loan paper each month is a not-so-fun reminder!)

    Take care and try not to feel down-you're following your own path!

    Melissa@TheHappierHomemaker

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha, indeed the loan statements each month are a reminder of sorts each month! The provision of that payment while homemaking on one-income, however, is an even greater reminder to me that God will take care of us when we follow Him. Thank you for your encouraging words. It's always so lovely to hear of those who chose their path without regrets :)

      Delete
  2. Oh my goodness. I am in that place right now. I want to be a helpmeet and a homemaker and "nothing more." I have a blog and have written about it here: http://writeread-kensie.blogspot.com/2012/04/change-is-in-wind.html . We don't have children either & I still just want to care for my home and family of 2. God is leading us and your post has encouraged my walk. Thanks so much for that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad it was an encouragement to you! My heart is always to encourage those who wish to pursue homemaking or home & family the courage to do so. I enjoyed your blog post as well. I can completely understand the feeling of being so torn. I will certainly pray for God's will for your lives to be done :)

      Delete
  3. Wow. This speaks right to my heart. I never attempted college, but only because I didn't know what I wanted. Instead I worked in jobs I hated, often feeling extremely depressed, and even crying on my way there. I ended up losing my job, and have sense found tremendous peace at being a housewife and homemaker. However, like you state in this post it's not a valued position. Especially being as I have no children. I almost constantly feel belittled and unappreciated by family and friends. It's so wonderful to know I'm not the only one struggling with this, AND it's great reassurance knowing that this is who He created me to be :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You certainly aren't alone! Though, I must admit I constantly feel alone in this as well because no one around me accepts homemaking like I do. I'm so grateful for online communities such as this! I went to school and worked for the first few months of our marriage and then just worked for several more months. The job wasn't bad, but doing something that just didn't jive really took it's toll. Hating life because you hate what you're doing is highly detrimental to a marriage. My husband always reminds me how important it is to him to see me fulfilled in what I'm doing. I genuinely believe God creates us unique according to His purposes. My crazy sold-out heart for home & family does get misunderstood and criticized. However, if my heart is to please God and no one else and that relationship is well, then that's what ultimately matters. :)

      Delete
  4. Amen! I spent the first several years of our marriage (even after several children) being asked by certain highly educated, "Important" and "contributory to society" family members, "When are you going back to college?" I was even told that I'm so smart it's such a sad thing to waste it...as if being home to make a life and a home for my husband, and children was a waste!

    Now, after being married a long time..being a homemaker for a long time, and being remarkably "different" from these career women, no one asks me this anymore. In fact, sadly, they rarely speak to me at all. Yet, God protects in these ways when you are living for Him. They can go about their material pursuits, and I can go about my pursuits of "non-importance" in their eyes. Since it is not a contest, but rather living in God's Will, I can be satisfied in my heart that my life's "career" mattered for eternity, not just the temporal.

    God Bless you, and stay strong in your resolve to live first for the Lord!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are at times comments or even a lack of comment from others that conveys a sentiment of disagreement. I've come to where I will remain quiet. Instead of responding audibly or perhaps just to myself, I decided that I can offer grace, pray and draw closer to the Lord personally. As long as the main voice I'm giving my attention to is the Lord's, then that's what matters. It's not always easy, but that's my heart. :)

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. Glad you found it encouraging as well :)

      Delete
  6. As a child, I remember having a lesson in the 5th grade where we looked at careers & circled all of those that we were interested in...I circled actress, dancer, singer, & so forth. There was nothing that I chose that was practical at all. I did not finish high school and when I got older (23)I found myself divorced with a disabled child and had to make a decision. I went to college & became a nurse. The money has been good compared to all of those days spent as waitress and in drive-thrus. Although, the 12 hour shifts were hard on my body and my child was growing up without me. I made a change and went from full-time to part-time & PRN. This helped tremendously at home, but I lost my benefits. Many years later, I am remarried, but my husband has been out of work for the last few years and is finishing his degree this summer (in hopes of enabling himself to have a better chance at finding job). I am the only money-maker now and am craving to come home. My daughter just graduated high school and will be home forever and I am back at square one trying to find that job that I can do at home and still be productive enough to pay those "student loans". I pray that I can join the "stay at home mom" force soon. It is a hunger as strong as some would say their biological clock ticking is. There is a time and purpose for all of our phases in life and mine is due for a change.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Marla! We are told there is a season for all things. I wonder if this is told to us to counter our natural tendency to try to make the seasons change. I'm guilty of this right now. Yet, I think back to all the times I tried to make something happen for myself and later wished I had left it alone in God's hands. It's a constant struggle of complete trust. I'll be praying for you and your situation! :)

      Delete
  7. Keep pressing on! Seeds that start out "hidden" eventually grow into Redwoods.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I love that image! :)

      Delete
  8. The Lord will give you peace and will continue to guide you! It's great to hear your heart, thank you for sharing.

    ~Nicole, Working Kansas Homemaker

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. A pouring out of my heart is exactly what this post is. I'm always weary of really doing that in fear of rejection. It's so comforting to have others be so accepting and encouraging! :)

      Delete
  9. I can definitely relate to this. I got my undergrad degree before marriage and kiddos were a part of the equation, but I kept fighting for my masters degree. $20,000 and countless hours and energy later, I have finished all my classes, but have yet to complete the last third of my thesis and comprehensive exams. I have one more year. Two more semesters to get it done before it's too late, and I honestly don't know if I will get there.

    Like you, I realized that I was doing it for all the wrong reasons. Looking for validation from the world. Looking to prove myself to everyone who ever doubted me because I was just an impoverished daughter of an alcoholic.

    In the end, I feel like I might regret it if I don't finish, but I know that I was reaching for my will and not God's will through that time.

    Blessings to you and your family! Also, I was the only homemaker in my classes as well and it was a real eye-opener to me to see how I was treated and how SAHM's are viewed in the academic community. It really saddened me that people just can't accept that a smart, educated woman can still make the choice to follow God's calling to be a mother first.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I would've made the Same choice oh wait, I did! School is a trap.....In a nutshell. You said it perfectly, that God created us the way he did. He tugged on your heart, and you obeyed. So God Bless you!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I absolutely loved this post! I would love it if you shared this post at my Feminine Friday Link-Up Party, I think my readers would really enjoy and benefit from it!

    http://susangodfrey.com/biblical-response-to-feminism-part-1-feminine-friday-link-up-party/

    Blessings!
    Susan

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sometimes life is not about what the world says at all and you've got it right. I'd love to have you link this up to Titus 2 Tuesday next week on Cornerstone Confessions. Others need to hear this.

    By the way, I saw on your profile description that you are a "Keeper of the Home." Have you read "Called to Be a Keeper" by Lori Merrill? If not, I highly recommend. I think you would really like it. It's a Bible Study kind of set up like those of Beth Moore but totally geared towards what it means to be a keeper of the home. It has forever changed my life.

    Hopping over from Women Living Well.

    Kathy

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh, girl, I can SO relate to this! I spent about a year in college before flunking out. I knew I had the ability to finish, I just didn't have the motivation {I was seventeen when I started college... NOT mature enough}. Well, I had always planned on going back but life happened. Got married. Had a baby. Became a stay at home mom. Wouldn't trade any of it for the world, but I often feel guilty when I see others my age who have a degree and a career. But then I remember, it's okay. I also don't have the student debts that they have! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing, Alana! I also started at seventeen at a nearby college, and then left for university at 18. Although I learned some very valuable lessons during my time there, I also recognize that that is so young to handle everything and especially know what you want to do with life. I can understand that instant comparison that occurs when you see a peer with that degree and career. However, when that happens look at those little ones and be encouraged that you, too, are greatly blessed! And yes, no student loans is certainly a blessing as well! :)

      Delete
  14. Thanks for participating in Feminine Friday for 05/25/2012! I hope you'll come back and join us this Friday!

    http://susangodfrey.com/category/faith/feminine-friday/

    Blessings!
    Susan Godfrey

    ReplyDelete
  15. I feel like I can relate. While I finished college, I immediately became a stay at home wife and then gave birth to our first child 5 months later, becoming a stay at home mom. While I can say I finished, I definitely feel a lot of pressure from the outside because I have "never" used my degree. Thanks for sharing! And you are educated, no matter what they say!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the encouragement! :)

      Delete
  16. Hi Whitney! I am new to your blog but am so thankful to have found it! I love your heart. I actually got married in college and we ended up having a baby right away. I went back for a year and finished school after my son was born and I really do regret that decision... because I know my motives. I knew I would feel bad about myself for not having a degree (pride) so I was willing to leave my son with a sitter so I could get a degree that I have never and most likely will never use! Thank you for being a testimony to women of following the will of God in their lives!! -Katie @ http://lifewiththelittlers.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I found your blog in the sidebar of another blog and have been enjoying reading your posts....Your blog is delightful and very helpful as well.

    I admire the stance you took to be who you felt God was calling you to be. Mr. B and I are about to celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary, it's just the two of us as we were never able to have children....we wanted them, but it just wasn't to be for us. I want to encourage you that whether you ever have children or not, you can still have a *very* blessed and fulfilled life as a homemaker.

    It has taken me many, many years to feel secure in my role as a SAHW w/o children and blogs were a big key in helping me to see that I'm not the only one who made this blessed choice.

    Blessings to you and your DH!
    ~Michele

    ReplyDelete
  18. Congratulations on your baby - Yahweh is faithful and will uphold His Word in and for your family. Left full time work as a doctor to be with my husband and children and He has continued to bless and uphold us day after day - God bless and keep you all safe in Jesus' name.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...