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“That’s fine for some women, but it is NOT for me.”
That was my rather adamant response five years ago when a friend suggested that my struggles to land a job after grad school might be a sign I was supposed to start a family and be a stay-at-home-mommy. And I was having none of that!
Now, I still don’t believe that it was the right course for me at that time, but my overblown reaction makes us laugh to this day. Boy, I was insistent I was not going to be a SAHM.
Not that I saw anything wrong with that choice, mind you. If that’s what other women wanted to do, good for them. But that was definitely not in my plans.
My plans. Hah.
Like when I planned to pursue a job in business with my economics degree … but then God led me to apply to graduate schools for library & information science instead. (My sweet grandmother asked probably a hundred times how they were connected. They weren’t, Grandma. They weren’t.)
Or when I started making plans to move away right after college … but then I met Levon while back in my hometown the summer before my senior year. (We married the next summer!)
Or when I planned to get a job in a library after completing my master’s degree, but then I faced 14 months of unemployment, instead. (Not my finest months, let me tell you.)
Or when I thought my current part-time job would be “just temporary” until I found something full-time … but then I had Aidan and discovered I didn’t want to work full-time, after all. (Who knew?? Oh yeah, God did.)
So many plans made. So many plans changed.
But every single one of those changes to my plan was orchestrated by God to lead me to something better. He has never steered me wrong yet, though I haven’t always recognized His guiding hand in the moment.
Every single one of those changes to my plan was orchestrated by God to lead me to something better.
And now He’s about to steer me in a different direction once again, one in which I once said I would never go … (do you see where I’m going with this?)
That’s right, after five years of managing my church’s bookstore, I am saying goodbye and starting a new chapter as a full-time stay-at-home / work-from-home mom!
This wasn’t a decision we made lightly. Oh my, I can’t even tell you how many hours I spent thinking, praying, and researching. In all reality, though, I think I knew for months what God was telling me to do. But there was one thing holding me back — fear.
Part of my desire to stay home was, of course, rooted in wanting to be with the kids in these early years. And the flexibility it would offer our family definitely appealed to Levon.
But I also felt God asking me to step out in faith to pursue my own business ventures.
I had been trying to juggle both my day job and my side hustle simultaneously for two years, and until recently, it had worked. I had systems and schedules, and I was doing a pretty okay job.
But then I hit a plateau. And I recognized that I could not grow either venture because I didn’t have the time or energy to invest. Not while also taking care of things at home well, raising my kids well, and loving my husband well. And since my husband, my kids, and my home are non-negotiable, that left either my job or these other dreams to release.
And the logical, rational choice was, of course, the side hustle.
I haven’t yet established much of a steady income from it, while my real job was secure. It was a sure thing. The decision seemed obvious. Of course I would put the blogging and writing and products on hold. It seemed like the wisest choice.
And yet …
It just didn’t feel right.
I thought maybe it was because I was holding too tightly to my dreams and needed to release my grip. I thought maybe I was just being selfish. Basically, I needed to suck it up and do the responsible thing.
But more and more, the feeling inside me grew that perhaps, in this case, the “smart” thing wasn’t the God thing. And maybe, just maybe, I was trying to talk myself out of pursuing the dream not because I was responsible, but because I was scared.
Maybe I was talking myself out of pursuing the dream not because I was responsible, but because I was scared.
My current job was the safe choice. I knew how to do it, and I knew what to expect from it. Show up, do my work, get paid.
But creating my own business or pursuing writing opportunities? That was scary. It is scary. I don’t know what to expect. I don’t know how it’s all going to work or what it’s going to look like. I don’t even know if I can do it.
But God does.
And that’s why, while this is the most challenging detour He’s ever taken me on, it’s also the most exciting. Because it’s the one that’s going to stretch me the most and make me the most dependent on Him I have ever been in my life.
I’m a planner by nature. I like to know what’s coming and prepare for it. I don’t like risks and I don’t like unexpected surprises. (Except parties. A friend once threw me a surprise party, and it was one of the highlights of my life.)
But every time God has steered me in a direction different from my plans, it has always been to something greater. He has proven His faithfulness more times than I can count. So, while I’m nervous about my new ventures, I know they will ultimately be what is best for my family and my personal destiny. And I trust Him to lead me and equip me in them.
Thanks for reading my big announcement!
Will you indulge me in a quick moment of whimsy? If you have a glass nearby, grab it and let’s toast to following God’s lead and to all the exciting things He’s going to do through The Merry Momma! *Cheers!*
Your Merry Friend,
A SPECIAL NOTE:
I want to make a few things clear before I go, just so there are no misunderstandings.
- I am absolutely, unequivocally, 1000% not saying moms shouldn’t work full-time outside the home. I have never said that in my life, and I will never say it. I believe in my heart of hearts that some women are given special grace by God to work full-time and raise kids well. (You can read more about that in my post “Can Good Moms Work Outside the Home?”) I just happened to learn (rather unexpectedly I might add) that I am not one of them.
- On a related note, I am also not suggesting that everyone should quit their day job to chase their dreams. Sometimes God keeps us somewhere we don’t particularly care to be for a while to prepare us for the next step. In fact, I’ve been wanting to stay home since I was pregnant with Andrew two years ago, but it has taken all this time before I felt God actually release me from my job.
The bottom line is this: I don’t believe there is one “right” path for anyone to take, and nothing in my story is a judgment on anyone else’s.
It is simply my journey of trusting God’s guidance and His will for my life.
… and also learning to never say never. 😉
10 SCRIPTURES ABOUT GOD’S DIRECTION
We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.
But for those who are righteous, the way is not steep and rough. You are a God who does what is right, and you smooth out the path ahead of them.
The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.
Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.
The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
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