Thursday, January 29, 2015

What Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up?

Hey Friend,
This may seem like an odd question to be asking myself when I am 53 years old.  I was never one of those kids who always knew what they wanted to be.  I envied those who had dreams of being a doctor, nurse, actor, lawyer, engineer, policeman, dancer, etc. 
The one thing I do remember wanting to be as a young girl, was a wife and mother (yes, I hear the collective groan of the feminist movement).  My mom's predominant role was being a good wife and mother and I looked up to her. 
I remember sitting down with my parents to decide what I was going to major in in college.  I remember our humorous conversation reminiscing about my dad trying to help me with my math homework and me always ending up in tears.  From those experiences, we deduced that I probably wouldn't make it as an engineer. 
Since I didn't have any great desire to "be" something, we started with what am I good at?  English and writing rose to the top. (That's why I cringe with ending a sentence with the word "at" lol)  Okay, English/Communications Major was what I would be.  Finished. End of discussion - except for my dad's final parting words, "Make sure you take a typing class."
I did well in my major in college, and I did take that typing class.  Jobs were scarce when I graduated so my typing sustained me for awhile in temporary jobs until I finally landed in the Human Resources department for a large holding company.  I walked employees through their relocation benefits as they moved about the globe.  I discovered that I loved working with people and helping them.  After getting married and relocating, I worked my way up as Relocation Director for a large Real Estate and Construction Company.  It's interesting how God takes us down paths that we would have never imagined.
Finally it came time to be what I always wanted to be - a wife and mother.  I would say, by far, this was the most demanding, most exhausting, yet most fulfilling job I have ever had.  I loved (on most days) being home with my kids.  I felt like I was in that sweet spot where God wanted me to be.  Sure, I had my days when I wanted to run away from home. 
I still remember vividly the day the UPS driver came to the door to deliver a package.  I was in sweats, my greasy hair up in a pony tail, wrestler's knee pads on my knees because I was scrubbing tile floors.  Barbie, and her excessive wardrobe and yacht were strewn all over the floor and Steven, my youngest, was running around in a t-shirt only because being naked from the waste down was the only way he seemed to "get" the necessity of getting to the bathroom when nature called.  I will never forger the look on that driver's face when I opened the door to sign for the package. Yes, this is what I had dreamed of being?!
Fast forward through many years of being a stay at home mom.  That is until infidelity and a divorce blindsided me.  I was immediately thrown back into the search for a job.  Only thing was that while I was busy being Mom, the computer age blew by me and left me in its dust.  What marketable skills did I have?  After much searching and fretting, I signed on as a teacher assistant at a private Catholic school that was just opening its doors. 
God certainly was looking out for me as I was assigned to work with a beautiful Christian teacher in the third grade.  Kim and the children filled a gaping hole in my life and as much as I helped and loved on those kids, they returned the favor ten fold.  So I could now add "teacher" to my resume.  I followed up teaching grade school with becoming a preschool teacher for several more years. 
Then, God brought a wonderful man into my life...or I guess I should say back into my life since we had been friends in high school and at the same time I was sidelined with two major surgeries that took a long time from which to recuperate.  My work life came to an abrupt halt and it quickly became clear that I would not be able to return to a job that required a lot of standing, stooping, kneeling and getting down on little people level.
It was during that time that my blog was born.  Out of sheer boredom and not being able to put any weight at all on my knee, I rediscovered my love of writing.  Once again I felt like I was in that sweet spot...only problem was that it didn't pay the bills. 
Once again, God's timing was impeccable.  My husband and I were married and I was excited to once again be in the fulfilling role of wife.  I was still needed in my role as mother to grown children (Mother is a job from which you never retire).  I sunk my teeth into my blog and being the General Contractor for a myriad of repairs needed on our 18 year old home that desperately needed some TLC.  My wonderful husband encouraged me to take some much needed time for myself - just to be good to myself after many years of neglect. 
This felt good for awhile, but I was always used to serving.  You name it, within the church and the community, I had done it.  Everything from Sunday school teacher, to MOPS (Mothers of Preschool) coordinator, to Junior Achievement board member, to helping start a Christian School in Pakistan,etc.  Serving has always been as necessary as breathing for me.
So here it is January 29, 2015 and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up?  I apologize that this post has been less about answers and more about journaling questions in my head.  I feel, once again, like I am back at square one wondering what I want to do with my life.  Do I go back to work? And if so doing what?  Do I serve in another area and if so where?  Do I take classes to improve my computer skills?  Do I learn another language?  Do I take up playing the piano again?  I honestly don't know...I am thankful, however, that I have the luxury of making a choice and am not back in that world of being a single parent trying to make ends meet.
All I know is that God brings us to these crossroads in order that we learn to wait expectantly on Him.  I do believe that He wants us to not sit passively, but to strike out in a direction in which we feel led and if that's not the way, He will close doors.  (This has happened to me already). 
I am brought back to having the scale read "less of me and more of Him".  I need to trust and believe that He has a perfect plan for me.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you a hope and a future."  (Jeremiah 29:11)
Notice, from this scripture, just who it is that has the plans that will give me hope...the Lord!
I am not good at waiting and being patient, but God's word has instruction on that as well:
They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  (Isaiah 40:31)
And so, I wait...and I pray...and I listen for His still small voice.
I know I want whatever I do to glorify Him and to build His Kingdom.  That is about the only thing I'm sure of.
What about you?  Do you ever struggle with the question, "What do I want to be when I grow up?"  Would you share how you have found direction.  I love stories that give us all hope. 
Thank you for reading the ramblings in my head.  I pray, as always, that you would be blessed in your endeavors no matter what part of the globe you are tuning in from!
ps. Please continue to pray for safety for the staff and children of Redeemer Christian School.  If you want to see REAL faith in action, follow the lives of Christian servants working to spread the gospel in places where radical Islamic ideals prevail.  I pray earnestly for our world...