Friday, May 10, 2013

What are you going to do with your life?

You know the career assessments, from high school, that help you determine what to do with your life? Yeah. I loved those. I loved thinking about the possibilities of all the things I could do and how I was going to do them. Though I had some ideas, there really wasn't one particular profession or field I thought I'd be in. I knew I wanted to get married, have kids, write and help people. Those assessments always alluded to options that included me writing/teaching/helping people, but I had no idea how these things would play together in real life. I went through college and got a BA in English (professional writing) then took the first job that came to me as a technical writing intern; then, soon after, that internship got me a full-time job working for a financial management company. Let me tell you something. I got Cs and Ds (D = diploma, right?) in high school math. I am not a numbers person.  I really didn't belong in a company with a financial focus, regardless of what I was doing there. It's like foreign matter to me, y'all.

After having our first baby I found it really, really hard (okay, anxiety made it impossible) to travel (only day trips 50-100 miles away) for work, which was required by my position at the financial place. Pretty soon, I transitioned into another position with the same company - not requiring travel or number crunching - and that lasted a few months before I moved on totally. My momdar was on high alert and I just couldn't be so far away from my baby. To prove it, I even got pulled over on the way home from my last day of work. I just couldn't wait a second longer to get back to my little one and start soul searching again.

I felt perplexed and uncertain on who the new "me" was going to be. I was on this "what am I going to do with my (professional) life" quest. Even though I already had a degree (I've loved writing since I could hold a pencil - that should have been a clue), I decided to become a licensed realtor. Because, you know, what was I really going to do with writing? Like, in real life. Heh.

When I was 75% done with the classes I found out I was pregnant with #2 and the Lord literally stopped me in my tracks. I couldn't keep my eyes open (due to first trimester sleepies) through the Real Estate Law class. I just couldn't. I quit and didn't finish the classes.

A couple years later, I found myself enrolled in a masters program for Business Counseling. Guess what - pregnant again. SURPRISE! I knew I couldn't devote enough energy to either my kids (or my job) or the masters program to make it through. I quit before the first class even started.

I promise, I'm not really a quitter - look at my baking!!

Finally, I took another position that I thought would be the winner. As it turns out, that wasn't it either.  In fact, I was more frustrated than ever - until the Lord spoke right in my ear. You know those kids I wanted? Yeah, they are the ones that needed my time and labor. I had been looking to define myself by a career path, not by my identity in Christ. He was piecing it together for me and I was flat out ignoring Him until this point. Collectively, my husband and I listened and agreed that the best place for me to be was home - helping him with our business and taking care of our home and children. And, right before I quit my last job I got another sign - baby #4 was coming.

With all that said, I looked high and low for my calling, but God had been sending me the signals (two pink lines at a time) all along. I'm so happy to be home with these children and so content to know I'm doing the job God made for me and trust Him that it's right. I love taking care of our family each day. It's a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week job filled with laundry, diapers, messes, homework, laughter, coloring, toy cars, bubbles and baby dolls. There's no bi-weekly pay, vacation days or 401k, but the rewards are infinite and I get to write about it all along the way.

So, my high school career assessment was right after all, who knew.

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