Thursday, January 9, 2014

Giving Into My Career, Part 2


The last post I wrote, here, is about how, when I made this decision, it was a huge step for me. For the first time since I had kids, I wasn't fighting with my calling to my career. I was (as the title suggests) giving into my career, and it was freeing. Finally, I wasn't constantly fighting with my own bitterness and jealousy about wanting to stay at home. Instead, this school year, I have embraced my place at my school. I have served the members in my department, been kind to my students and told them that I love them as they leave for the day. I may be the only person in some of my students' lives that says that to them, and God has placed me in my school for a reason. Now that I have stopped fighting this calling, God is doing amazing things through my teaching.


At the beginning of this school year, I decided that I was going to take a Master's level English class. For me, this would take care of a recertification requirement, and at the time, would put me one step closer to getting my Master's. The idea was opening up doors for the future, giving myself more options and a way out of public high school whenever I got tired of it.

I was wrong. I was so wrong.

Well, here it is; deciding to get my Master's degree was a big, fat mistake. Why? I'm not saying that women shouldn't get advanced degrees. Good gracious, if I were famous like Candace Cameron Bure, I would be all over the news tomorrow for saying that. But I was wrong, and here is a list of reasons why:
  1.  I was motivated by unbelief. Seriously. I was looking for a way out of where I currently am, harboring discontentment and grumbling about the work God had appointed me to do. I didn't believe that this was what I was supposed to be doing. Surely, God needed my help to get me to where I should be. This is the biblical definition of foolish (Pr. 3:5-7)
  2. I didn't pray about it. Ever. It made sense to me, and I decided to do it. All of it looked good on paper, and it was very logical and noble and worthy of being done. So I sidestepped praying about it. That was a massive mistake.
  3. I didn't count the cost of it. The class was three hours a week on Tuesday night. That added up to much more than three hours a week. I had to leave school on time to pick up my kids, only to leave my house as Adam walked in so that I could be on time. I left Adam alone on Tuesday nights to feed, bathe and put my kids to bed without me. I sacrificed time on the weekends when I could be catching up on home or schoolwork on assignments for the class. This was so much more detrimental than I could have imagined, and left me burned out by October. I forgot my place in my little world, and I forgot that so much depends on me every day. I lost my priorities, and everyone in my home bore the brunt of this three hours a week.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/notahipster/4457794763/
It sounds very gloomy and dismal, but it's not; this realization is very freeing. It is also pretty darn sanctifying - knowing that I made this awful, but ultimately not really permanent or long-term decision. Seeing why I made it, and (hopefully) learning from it as I move on from here.

The other sweetness in this situation is that the contentment that I had in July when I wrote the last post still stands; I am content in my job. In my mind, there is no reason not to be: I am doing something meaningful that uses my gifts and talents. That is something so many people never get to do. And for the past five years, I haven't been able to say that. Or "Love you guys" to my kids as they leave my classroom. And for that, I will praise the Lord's holy name. Soli Deo Gloria, y'all.

P.S. I am currently reading (i.e. devouring) the book Women Living Well by WomenLivingWell.org's blogger Courtney Joseph. For the next couple of weeks, hopefully, I am going to be posting about the book and linking up on her blog. Feel free to join me!

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