I’ve been mulling this blog post over in my mind for several months now. I knew what I wanted to focus on, what the message was and the purpose. My obstacle was primarily fear. That big thing of what other’s might think or presume or judge me on. In an age where everyone is easily offended, but everyone has strong opinions, I do my best to NOT rock the boat. I keep my dreams to myself, so to speak.
So, let me jump in and give you some background. I have always been a nerd. I love my books, I love writing, reading and imagination. When I was little I decided I wanted to grow up to be the Science Officer of the Starship Enterprise C class. When I was in middle school I was already fascinated with technology and sci-fi. I would read everything I could get my hands on. When Star Wars came to the big screen that was it, I knew I had to work with robots, then came War Games, then Tron and before I knew it, I was going to college to be a programmer. I grew up when Women’s Lib was starting to roar loudly and sending the mixed messages. I went to college when I was one of the very few women in data processing. It was scary, but it was exciting.
My Grandma, was always encouraging, but warned me about false paths. The yellow brick roads in life. You know the ones; they have the bright jewel encased castles and grand ballrooms, but really they are ran by deception, the fake behind the curtain. I fell into that trap. I fought and fought for “independence”, which ended up trapping me in a world that was cold, lonely and very, very frightening. I remember, crying to my Grandma shortly before she became ill with Alzheimer’s, that it wasn’t fair. Life should come with instructions. I remember very clearly what she told me, and it haunted me for years. Her answer was; “It does, and I handed them to you a long time ago.” She was referring to the Bible she had given me in High School. I have grown up in church, but to be honest, I never read that Bible. Throughout time, it became lost, even more so than me. It took an angel, my husband Bob, to bring me home and turn my life around.
Deep inside, I always longed to be just a wife and a mom. My choices prevented me from having that life. Too many times I listened to the lies of the world and people who were not firm in faith to believe that I needed to push for success outside of the home, to make more money, to obtain more paper certifications, to obtain more education. More, more, more. I’ve always had a “giving” personality, but that became twisted and distorted by the life I chose. I took the burden of “doing it myself” and believing in the “I am Woman” chant. The truth was, my heart was breaking the entire time. I longed to be with my children, I was happiest baking cookies and pies for the neighborhood kids and my kids. I loved cooking for friends or families that needed help, even though we were having difficulty rubbing two pennies together ourselves.
Now, here we are today. It hasn’t been a perfect or even a complete transition, but I have finally found my way back to that path. My loving husband is strong in his faith, he keeps me centered and balanced and keeps me focused on “reading the instructions”. No, he’s not my original husband, he is not the father of my children, but he is the angel that lead me home. I know I’m broken. I’ve found though, that God uses the most broken for his greatest challenges.
A few weeks ago while visiting with friends, I heard the words come out of my mouth. “Please, think this choice through, don’t make the mistake I made.” It was in reference to a friend taking a job that would take more of her time. Totally opposite to who I was even a year ago, proudly boasting of my successes as a programmer. Careers are those emerald castles, but in all honesty, there is no place like home.
I have been on a journey to better understand who God intended me to be. I am grateful for my talents which have benefited me and my husband with my job outside of the home for income. But now, I don’t look at it as my job, my career, my goals. This job helps me help my husband, its not all about me and what I want. This job is a tool, it isn’t my life. My greatest joy is my husband and my home and my children and my ‘children-by-choice’, family that aren’t by blood by have been drawn to us, or us to them. I understand now that I am my husband’s helper, his partner on this journey.
When my husband and I bought our little house in the little woods, or as I call it, our homestead. Happiness and hard work followed. The hard work created more happiness. We started truly living what we believed and cherished. We laugh and cry together and we hold on to each other closely. We encourage each other, and even when we disagree, we respect each other. I love cooking, gardening and living simple. I love that I am no longer a slave to the world. I still work outside of the home, but it is with joy and not as a burden. I feel more and more a draw to the instructions my Grandma gave me when I was younger. When I don’t know what to do, I open those instructions and read them. A lot of the times, it causes me to reflect on the bad choices I’ve made in the past, sometimes I feel like a brat and my inside voice is whining “but I don’t wanna!”, in the end though, I take comfort in knowing that even though I don’t always understand, I can see the correct path and work my way to it and to stay on it.
So take it for what it’s worth from this older woman, who has gotten lost, found the wrong paths, chased after imaginary treasures, wondered in labyrinths filled with monsters, and finally found her way home.
- Before saddling yourself with a burden of student loan debt, DON’T. Just don’t. Pay as you go for your education and don’t go in debt for it. Use your talents for good. You don’t need an expensive piece of paper to be happy.
- Don’t become a slave to a career or to debt.
- Choose your husband wisely. Lust, passion and money fade away; Love, respect and honor grow stronger.
- Your children are your legacy, nothing is more important than your relationship with your husband and your children.
- Learn to help your husband, not hinder. You are in the same boat together, fight together, back to back and side by side.
- Put God first, keep your faith strong and don’t listen to the lies of the world.
- Most of all Pray, don’t nag.
Until Next Time,
Mrs. Kay Rice