If you asked me about my dreams for my life, the list has some big goals on it. I want to write a book. I want to launch my own website. I want to be a mom. I want to give a talk on Theology of the Body. I want to learn how to make creme brulee with a fire torch. I want to sleep in the back of a pick up truck and look at the stars. I want to have my own podcast. As Joseph and I got to know each other when we were dating, we gradually started talking about a future together. The dream of that future meant that we would start building dreams with each other in mind. Only 6 months into our relationship, I sat down for a heart to heart with him at midnight and decided that I wasn't going to look into getting my doctoral degree in history. Instead I was going to start a life with him that didn't require years and years of more school and a move to a city nowhere near him. Through my senior year of college, I started to work at the university library and I loved it. I loved the research questions, the front desk, and the interaction with fellow students. It made sense for me to keep fueling my interest in libraries and pursue a master's in library science (MLS). Everyone at the library thought it was a great fit for me. I learned a lot through my time there and, by the end of my college career, I had seen almost every aspect of the library and student success center that was also housed there. Sometimes I even brought part of the library home with me!
Then last summer, I decided that even pursuing a MLS didn't quite seem to fit into our plans, either. Most of my colleagues at the library seemed to think I was crazy for not going for that goal. I was told I was wasting my mind if I didn't get a higher education past my bachelor's degree. Even my professors told me I was ridiculous, marrying young and forgetting about school. But I knew that it was possible to get a job at a library after college without the MLS because of the experience I'd gotten already. And all the while I kept writing for my own blog, as well as picking up a couple of free-lance opportunities along the way.
I graduated in December and sent in what seemed like an infinite amount of resumes to libraries in Kansas City once Joseph and I knew that was the city that we'd live in. I went up and visited libraries and discussed their systems with connections from my time at Washburn. I poured my heart into cover letters and researching about how to answer the interview questions that would lead me to nail the job. And I didn't hear back. Or, when they did contact me, it was to tell me they'd decided to pursue another candidate. Nothing was working the way I had planned, and it was driving me crazy.
I started to attach my self worth to the job search, and quickly became disappointed. It felt like I wasn't useful. Wasn't worth it. Wasn't good enough. And the chorus of 'you're not good enough' seemed to follow me and ring in my ears with every rejection e-mail and every time the job was taken off the board without me in the position.
I ignored the small voice in my heart that told me to be still and wait and know He is God. Instead I frantically moved and put in resumes with jobs I didn't even want. I had the remnant of a plan left. I was grasping onto it, but it was slipping fast.
Then the answer came to me one night about a month ago, sitting on my bed and flipping through my e-mails. I'd just had an interview to be a substitute teacher at Catholic school about thirty minutes away from our new home . They'd offered me the position. You would think that this meant I was finally at peace. But I wasn't. I sat on my bed and realized that I didn't want that job. And I didn't want the twenty-some other jobs that I'd applied to. The reason I'd applied to them was that I wanted to proudly state that I was employed, as if that added something to my self worth.
What was it that I really wanted? To pursue the thing I was good at, that I enjoyed and that I loved - writing. At that point, I was writing for two different websites, I had my own blog and opportunities to pursue that dream kept falling right into my lap.
So, when Joseph got back from an out of town trip, I asked him if I could have another heart to heart. I spilled my thoughts to him in a corner booth at Panera. I didn't want him to think I was giving up on looking for a job, or being lazy by focusing on my writing instead of the traditional 9-to-5. But his response was amazing - he said he'd thought I should write too. I stopped my resume submitting, told the school I'd be unable to substitute for them. And on Monday I had my first day as a stay-at-home-wife while Joseph went to work.
On this first week of my time as a stay-at-home-wife, I've learned quite a few lessons already. To start the week, I became a little more stay-at-home then I would have liked...the transmission on my car gave out, so I've spent a lot of time in Joseph and I's little apartment. While that may sound like torture to some, it's been the perfect environment for me to write and enjoy my time as a wife. God was just giving me more opportunities to trust Him and be not afraid.
I've had family and friends ask me how long I'll do this, or if I'm looking for another job. Or what my plan is for the next year. But the reality of my life right now looks like this is going to be something that happens for a while. And I'm loving it. It is awesome to be able to finally cook. While some may consider that a chore or burden, I have missed my time in the kitchen so much while in college and living off of leftovers. And to have dinner ready when Joseph walks in the door? That's an incredible feeling that I've been looking forward to.
It is beautiful to finally have time to read books that have been sitting on a shelf since I graduated from high school. And I've blogged and written more in the past three days than I have been able to for weeks. Who knows...maybe something will happen in the next year or so that will change what my day-to-day look like. It could be that God opens the door to someplace where He thinks I can better serve Him. Maybe littles will come along and the job description of stay-at-home-wife and blogger will transition to stay-at-home-mom and blogger. I don't know...but I know someone who does.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)
He has a plan for me. It may not look conventional, and it doesn't look like a thing I had planned. But I know He has work for me to do. And if my mission field is here within the walls of this apartment, then His will be done.
“It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start. Love begins by taking care of the closest ones – the ones at home.” (Saint Teresa of Calcutta)