Today's post is a piggy-back on a post I wrote last week. I received so much feedback from it that I wanted to share more of my personal experiences with deciding to be a full time SAHM.
Being a spouse and parent, you have to sacrifice many of your own personal goals and aspirations to put the needs of your family first. For KB and I, we have been given many learning opportunities from God that have taught us valuable lessons in keeping our priorities in this order: Christian, Spouse, Parent, Other.
My biggest challenge in my personal life has been the struggle with school. Growing up, I was a straight A student with dreams of being something great when I got older. Little did I know that God had a totally different plan for me.
I would be a wife at the young age of 16, be involved with traveling and in the public eye of the Christian Hmong community with my husband's ministry, be a mom at 18, and not even step foot into college until I was 21.
When I did finally start college, I had intentions of doing whatever it took to finish, and finish in a timely manner. Every time I thought about myself and my goals and my future, I had this burning need to hurry up and take as many classes as I could to finish and become that "career woman" that I had always pictured myself.
I became so consumed with myself that all I thought about were MY plans and MY goals, never remembering to ask and wait on GOD's plans for me.
I became so consumed with myself that I was convinced my husband would wait for my attention and affection for a couple of years so that I could focus on finishing school.
I became so consumed with myself that I told myself I was doing all of this for my kids - taking my time and my attention from them so that I could get a degree and land a job that would benefit them in the long run.
And every time I came to this dilemma in my life, God gently reminded me that my first covenants are with Him, my husband, and my children.
At one point, I had become so consumed and stressed out with my studies that I actually started to hallucinate and hear things. All my stress was literally driving me crazy. I no longer made time for God and had lost the peace and balance that He brings to my life.
Another time, I was getting ready to leave for night class, and my son (who was about 4 yrs old at the time) started crying and asked me to stay home with him. That broke my heart. I thought I was doing it all for him, but all he wanted was me. It didn't matter to him if the world deemed me as "successful" or not. He just wanted his Mommy.
My most recent reminder was right before starting nursing school at the beginning of this year. I was torn, once again, between starting nursing school full time and putting my kids in daycare OR holding off on school for a couple more years until they were a little older.
My acceptance into nursing school has been something that I have worked so hard for all these years. I finally get to the point where I'm accepted, and all I have to do is start. But I had this conviction that the timing wasn't right. Instead of listening to that little voice in my heart, I decided I would move forward with everything.
The night before my first day, I received a very clear message from God that it was, indeed, not the right time for me to pursue nursing school. My son shared his worries and concerns with me, and it broke my heart that he was so stressed about the situation. He shouldn't have to worry about things like who's going to take care of him or be home when he gets home from school. I should always be there for him to depend on.
I had dropped my daughter off at my mom's that night so that I could get an early start on my first day, but my mom called me around 10:30 and said Sym was crying and asking for me and would not go to sleep. My mom never calls. Ever. It doesn't matter if Symphony does not sleep, she will tell me the next morning that she did fine. I always get the truth from my brothers, though. But for some reason, she called me that night and told me Symphony was miserable and asked me to go pick her up.
It was like God was saying, "You didn't hear me when I tried telling you before, so I'm going to make it blatantly clear to you tonight!" It was crystal clear that night that my place, right now, is at home with my husband and my kids.
Some days, I do wish I was schooling or working, but those are my "rough" days when I just really need a break. For the most part, I am thankful that I get this opportunity to stay home and focus all of my attention on my family.
Not everyone has the same convictions and not every mom can be a stay at home mom. I totally understand that. But these are our reasons for me being home at this point in our lives. I feel like if I were to ignore these lessons and do what I wanted to do, it would just be disobedient. It definitely has been one of the hardest decisions for me to make, though.
I had aspirations of being a successful career woman and being respected by others as someone who had achieved something great in this world, but God had a different plan for me. In my opinion, a better plan. I get to live out the single most important calling in my life - to be a wife and mommy to my wonderful family.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all of your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6