Wednesday, August 8, 2012

When God Says "Not Now"

On Monday, I was offered a job. Flabbergasted and beaming with pride, I actually considered taking it, and those closest to me welcomed the opportunity for me to do something I love. My sweet mother offered to keep the kids, and my overly generous husband encouraged me to go for it.

And I almost did.

You see before I became a mother, I was a doctoral student and graduate teaching assistant (i.e. professor/student) in the English department at our local university. I lived and breathed school. Reading, writing papers, and teaching were my life, and having to step down from my position as mentor to new teachers and vacate my position in the program was a tough one. 

But then our first daughter Kate was born.

Then our rough-and-tumble Cora came along.

And now sweet Annabeth is here.

And, well, you know what I had to tell the kind people in the English Department.
"Thank you but I must decline. With a newborn and two other very young children, I have my hands full, and I do not want to lose sight of my priorities. However, please keep me in mind in the future." 
To say that was a tough email to send would be an understatement because I truly miss the academic life. 

But now is not the time.

Have you ever had to make a hard decision to forgo your own interests and desires, even a job opportunity, to be where you know God wants you to be? 

I'm praying for you. Please pray for me, too.


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  1. I really enjoyed reading this. I think most moms have to give up SOMETHING. I would say I used to be really into fashion and shopped a LOT. Im a little bit of a shopping addict lol but now I have four children on one income...and I can't shop like I used to. I give it up happily for my babies...but sometimes it's hard :)

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    1. I can relate, Tonya. I love to shop, too, and I've had to learn to prioritize what I spend our money on. It is hard, but I would much rather be able to stay home with my kids than work and have all the "things" I wanted. That sacrifice is totally worth it to me!

  2. This actually brought tears to my eyes! I just imagine God beaming with pride, a huge smile on His face as you follow His lead in obedience each step of the way. Who knows what the future holds! But it sounds like you made the right choice for this particular season and for your girls. :)

    1. Awww, thanks for your encouraging words. I just knew in my heart what I had to do, and, honestly, I have no regrets. Yes, I want to be back in academia one day, but "one day"--not today--is the key right now. We all have to follow His lead.

  3. What a very difficult decision to make, especially with all that support you were offered. I, too, gave up a full time teaching career when I realized that I couldn't be a great teacher AND a great mom (that's just an observation for my own life). I told my husband just today that I don't think I'll ever go back to teaching full time because I think my children will grow to need me just as much as they do now, albeit in different ways.
    Prayers to you! I'm thankful that my children's peers are being raised by such sacrificial mothers as you.

    1. Amanda, I completely agree: I couldn't be great at both, and I know deep down who would suffer--not the freshmen in my class but my family. It's just a no-brainer for me right now and probably will be until they are in college! :)

      I agree with you that every stage in our children's lives will require my presence. My mom says middle and high school-age kids need their parents around as much, if not more, than they do when they're little, and I agree. Children are constantly changing; each stage is difficult and even more challenging than the last. It never gets easier. As a mom, I need to be there for my children every step of the way.

      Thank you so much for your encouragement and kind words.

    2. I've recently come to the same decision as both of you. I just couldn't be great at both things and had to choose. Of course, I chose my family. I'm so thankful that my husband is supportive. My family was not. It has been a difficult transition on that front. But I know I'm in the right spot!

  4. Thank you for the post. I found you at The Better Mom link up and I loved reading it because I can relate to your dilemma. I had to let go of my Teaching Assistantship too when my son was born. I just couldn't do it. It was heartbreaking but it ended up the best thing I ever did. Later,however, I was able to return to academia where I am now. You are right, sometimes God's answer is, indeed, "not now."

  5. Keri,
    When our family chose to homeschool, we knew it would mean that I would not be employed full time outside the home. Now, 17 years later, after graduating both into college, I can look back to see how many ways God used the years of "being faithful in the little things" to prepare me for much "grander" things (at least in the eyes of the world). Those years of child rearing, homeschooling, and serving in our church and homeschool support group allowed me to develop and hone skills, build relationships, and gain life experience that God is using now in this next stage of my life. I suspect if I hadn't been faithful to the high calling of motherhood, I would not have learned the lessons that are now bearing fruit in my life. You are a wise woman and will never regret your decision. So glad I visited from Be Not Weary today!

  6. Thanks Keri....for the reminder of what a privilege we have to be Mothers first and foremost. I often forget that HUGE truth. Congratulations on your BIG job right where you are!

  7. I think you made the right choice. I have just one child. I returned to my job when he was 3 months old, and it's been a very good thing for us. But if I had more children close in age, it would be much harder to manage--and much more expensive to get childcare, which would reduce the effect of my earnings. Also, when I think about what it's like to start a new job, I can't imagine going through that while also caring for little ones. Even a job you enjoy would most likely make your life crazy right now! God will bring you another opportunity when the right time comes.

  8. Beautiful....thank you so much for linking up with Faithfully Parenting Friday! What an awesome choice you had...I left teaching to be at home with my child, and I don't think I ever want to leave this time in my life!!! Blessings!

  9. I found this quote yesterday that totally wrapped up my experience of choosing to raise my children at home rather than continue with my previous career path. Now that mine are teens/adults I have no regrets. It was not always easy in the moment.

    "Five good children are an immense luxury, and to deny one's self other luxuries in order to raise them is not self-denial at all, but merely an intelligent choice of investment."

    Edward Sandford Martin, The Luxury Of Children