If I ran into the teenage me, I’d probably have to stop and introduce myself. So many things are completely different than I imagined. I’m completely different than I imagined.
I remember spending several weeks one summer traveling with the Allstate Youth Choir and Orchestra. My roommate was a homeschooled violinist named Holly. She was the first person I ever met who totally disagreed with my decision to pursue a college education and have a career. Her sole ambition in life was to learn how to be a good wife and mother. She wanted to marry a man who would provide for her and she wanted to take care of their home. I spent those few weeks trying to convince her to change her mind, and she did the same to me. I just couldn’t understand why she would want to waste her life being at home without bettering herself in some form or fashion.
And then six years ago happened. God got my attention, exposed some major sin, and as a result I began to look deeply at every part of my life. Where was I headed? Was it a road I wanted to go down? Who was I living for? What was I sacrificing? What was I gaining? Was I happy?
As I evaluated every area, I realized I had been living for everyone else. I was a workaholic and even though my job was rewarding, I had no boundaries. I was sacrificing myself, my marriage, my family, my home, my dreams and my relationship with Christ.
So I made two lists. One was a list of goals and ambitions from the workaholic me; the other was a list of dreams I had chosen to put on hold, promising myself I’d get to them someday. If I chose list one, we’d never struggle financially again. I would be successful and have a great career. If I chose list two, it meant that I would learn to take care of my home, be a good wife, prepare to be a mother, pursue my dreams of writing, learn what it meant to be a woman after God’s heart, probably have to live pretty tight financially, and most likely put my career on hold.
I woke up today, snuggled with my son, worked outside on a building project with David, canned fresh green beans, cooked supper, canned some more, and now I’m sitting down to write. I have had a great day. Never in a million years would the teenage me have imagined this would be a great day. But it was, and I’m so glad I chose list two. I still get to teach a few college classes here and there, so I get to do what I love. I get to spend the majority of my days at home- tending to my home, raising my family, serving and encouraging my husband, and learning what it means to grow in Christ. And God has opened amazing doors of ministry that I would have never had time for if life looked like it used to.
I wish I could find Holly and tell her that I finally get it. No, I would never sacrifice my education, but I do understand how important a focus on home should be in a wife and mother’s life. Am I saying that if I worked full time I couldn’t be focused on home? No! But for me, I had to experience my home and a new way of thinking and doing life in order for it sink in.
My priorities were wrong. The things I thought were important were keeping me from the better things God had in store. I sacrificed my true dreams in order to “climb the ladder”. Have you sacrificed your dreams? What have you put on the backburner for far too long that you know God would have you pursue? What’s stopping you? Make your two lists. And then make sure to follow your heart.