“What do you want to do when you finish high school?”
“Where are you going to college?”
“Your graduating this year? What next?”
I could not begin to tell you how many times I heard these questions, along with their several variations, as I neared the end of my “formal” education two years ago.
A friend shared with me several years ago that the best way to answer these kinds of questions is by being bold. If you don’t expect people to make rude comments about your life choice, answer in a way that says that. Be happy. Be bold. Be confident in who you are in Christ, and in the convictions He has given you.
It really does make a difference.
The questions I have rarely ever received are the whys.
“Why do you want to stay at home?”
“Why not pursue your education?”
“Why just stay home and let the world come to you?”
Then I would be able to give an intelligent reply — a reply that the questioner would understand better. If I were bold enough, I would answer something like this:
“I will still be pursuing my education. I will be studying the interests that I have always wanted to, but haven’t made time for. I will be busy studying natural methods for healing the body. Getting certified to be a doula. Researching the many political happenings of my day so I can best aid my country.
“I will be busy. I have several younger siblings, and I will be helping them to learn more about the world around them that God has given to them. Together we will study botany, getting hands-on-experience as we work in the garden. We will learn about life, as we see precious kittens being born, handle little chicken eggs that are hatching. We will learn about geography and practice handwriting as we write to friends that are far and near. We will learn about chemistry as I teach the girls to bake bread — why we don’t use boiling water, why we don’t use all whole wheat flour, why we add sugar or salt to the yeast. I will be busy doing the laundry for our family of thirteen. I will be cooking…..until I become so confident I can work with a younger sister to make over 400 cookies in a single day (true story — they were for a party we were hosting =D), cleaning bathrooms, picking up the house, keeping the garden weed free.
“By staying at home I will better know how to run a home of my own, if the Lord sees fit to give that to me. By staying home, I am a part of my family. I know them — and they know me — the good sides, the bad sides, and the in-between places. They have to put up with me when I am in a bad mood, and I have to deal with them. We learn about relationships — forgiveness — humility — loving each other — communication. I will become an integral part of our family’s society, enabling me to function better outside of my home with people of all ages. I am able to use my family as a home-base, a sounding board for ideas, to plan for everything I would like to do with my life.
“I will not just be waiting around in my home waiting for life to come knocking at my door. I will be serving the Lord in the sphere He has put me in — my family. And that service will extend outward. As we practice hospitality and have people in our home, as I serve my church, as I research political happenings, as I pray for our country, as I help with grass-roots programs…..I will be an intricate part of God’s wonderful plan He has for this world. It might be a small part to play, but if I didn’t do it — if I didn’t fill the place he created that is just my size — then something would be lacking in this world of ours.
“There are days when I respond in anger, when I shout at siblings, am disrespectful to my parents, and would rather be curled up with a book then working. There are days when I become weary — when I have washed five loads of dishes and there are still more piled up, when I come into a room that has been cleaned and see little ones playing in the floor, when I have food in the oven and don’t hear the timer for the umpteenth time that week, when I have washed ten loads of laundry and have more to do, when I have ironed a mountain of clothes and have yet another mountain to go, when I change one diaper, and immediately need to go through the process again. When I have baked loaves and loaves of bread, trays and trays of muffins, pans and pans of cookies. When everything I have done seems to come out all wrong, and nothing I do will make it right. When my back hurts, my feet ache, my throat is sore, and I still have a sibling clamouring to hear a story be read, and to be picked up and held. But these are the days of weariness that lead to peace…..the days when I am growing the most, learning the most. When I practice saying “I’m sorry”, when I practice forgiving, when I realize that “real” life is never a picture perfect fairy tale, and I can NOT rely upon myself for the answers.
“These will be the days when I realize all I can do is cling to Christ and in faith trust the One who will never leave me nor forsake me, Who will never fail or change. They are the days that are essential to my growth, my sanctification. They are essential to my family’s growth and sanctification. And we would all be lacking something without it.”