Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sometimes I Wish

Sometimes I wish that I had not been a stay-at-home mom for fifteen years.

I taught school for 7 years before Sarah was born, and then I quit my job to stay home with my baby girl. Seth was born when Sarah was not quite three, and he fit right into our home. I loved being home with my kids.

I had a dear friend - a kindred spirit - who had her own twosome, each one year younger than mine, and our kids were best friends. We spent lots of time together and also took care of each other's kids for 'mental health breaks'. And, I loved being home with my kids.

I had hobbies, too, that I enjoyed during the kids' nap time and even more once they were in school. I had friends I walked with each morning after the school bus carted the kids away and who came weekly to my home to pray for our kids. I attended Bible study each Tuesday, had lunch with friends, and kept my home pretty clean and tidy. And, I loved being home with my kids.

I helped take care of my grandparents who lived close by. Did the grocery shopping and took them to the beauty shop and barber shop for the weekly 'do's. I even cleaned their home a couple of times each month and relished time just sitting and chatting, learning more about the treasures that filled their home and the stories that made up their lives. I so loved being home with my kids.

There were times I did everything I could think of to earn money so I could stay at home. I sewed clothing for others, tutored school children, and administered standaridized tests to home schooled kids. There were a few years in there that I cleaned several homes a week, often thinking, "I have a Masters degree, and I'm cleaning someone else's toilet." But, I loved being home with my kids.

After fifteen years, life and circumstances dictated that it was time - time to go back to teaching. I was blessed to get a job at Seth's school when he was in 8th grade. Sarah was a Junior in high school, and we all had to make some changes to make this new life work.

The years have rolled on, and I'm eight years back in education - four as a teacher and now four as a Counselor. Life is different. Seth is a Junior in college, and Sarah is a college graduate, living and working in Chicago. My husband and I are so glad we not only still love each other, but we also really like each other.

Education is different, too. A lot has changed in the thirty years since I taught my first class. Kids have changed. Parents have changed. Expectations have changed. Sometimes I wish I hadn't been a stay-at-home mom for 15 years because I'd be done. I could retire. I'd have put in my thirty years and could walk away.

But, I was a stay-at-home mom, and sometimes, when I wish I hadn't been, I remind myself that I loved being home with my kids. I love who they are and how they turned out, and I really love the memories we made. I loved being home with my kids.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Feeling a little sad today.

A friend from work's son is getting married this weekend. I love this friend a lot. She's my closest friend at work, and we share our hearts. What we don't share is a love for the Lord.

We were fast friends from the start. From my first day of work, we clicked and soon were sharing our life stories. Except for one part. Something has happened in her world at some point that has led her to a place in life that a relationship with Christ or even God is not what she wants.

About six months into our friendship, she gave me a card, thanking me for my friendship and letting me know how much it means to her. There was more. She said I'd shown her something no one else in her life ever had: that two people who don't see things the same could still be friends.

There have been many times over the years that I have shared about my faith, just as a matter of the fact that it's a big part of my life. It impacts how I approach the things that touch my life. I pray. I seek Him. I talk about Him. She listens. She acknowledges. She doesn't take part in those conversations.

Back to today. As I said, her son is getting married on Saturday, and she'll be off work tomorrow and Friday. As I left for work, I asked my husband to pray that I'd know if I was supposed to pray with her for the weekend. Hours later, as the day was coming to an end and I knew she'd be leaving soon, I found her in her office, closed the door, and told her I had something kind of awkward to ask her. I pulled a chair over near hers and asked if I could pray with her for her weekend.

She stumbled a little with her words, saying it was okay with her as long as I didn't care if she didn't participate. I asked if she would mind, and she said she didn't care. I almost backed out, say I'll pray later, but instead, I moved ahead, put my hand on her knee, and said a simple prayer. I asked God to bless the weekend, maintain a peace and a calm, and bring many years of happiness to the new couple.

When I finished with "In Jesus name, Amen", I looked up at her and thanked her for letting me pray. I don't remember if she said anything, and I'm pretty sure she didn't close her eyes or bow her head. But, I know she heard, and I know He heard.

And, now, I'm sad. I have been ever since because I can't imagine what has happened in this sweet friend's life that has brought her to the place where God holds no attraction for her, where 'cold' is what I see in her eyes when I speak of Him, and where this really good person does not have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.

If you're reading this, could you pray for my friend, and pray for me, that I'll be Christ with skin on for her, and that somehow, through the grace of Jesus Christ, I'll be able to help her move beyond the hurt that has brought her where she is now to an abiding faith in Him, a saving faith that will remove that 'cold' from her eyes and give her a warmth that radiates from them instead?

I love my friend, and I really want to spend eternity with her.

Paula's Heart

Sharing life on the road less traveled