I’m a homemaker, a.k.a. I don’t earn a paycheck. My last culturally defensible tenet for being home full-time walked down the aisle last September. That milestone added to an underlying angst that started with our final home-school graduation four years ago — that ‘I-should-do-something-with-my-life’ feeling.
Lately I’ve been struggling beyond belief to make a decision about whether to seek outside employment. My husband’s excavation business has had back-to-back lean seasons. Our savings has been drained to stay afloat and he has taken a temporary position to make ends meet until we land our next contract.
The heat was turned up recently when the State of North Dakota granted me a teaching credential —not what I expected when I submitted my application to substitute teach for a little part-time cash. Now I face the prospect of re-starting the teaching career I set aside 18 years ago in favor of educating my own children.
My heart longs to remain on the home-front. My creative-self dreams of becoming a published writer. Echoes from past ministry call my name. The worker-bee in me feels guilty for not contributing a paycheck. Last but not least, my ego is drawn to the prospect of a legit career. Hence, the internal tug-of-war rages on.
My head is spinning in a fog of confusion that feels a lot like that internal panic you get when you’re on a super highway interchange and not sure of where you are going. Pressed and hemmed in by traffic, you’re caught up in a dizzying labyrinth of possible routes. Road signs move by so fast it’s impossible to read them. There are no clear landmarks and no time to think. Making a wrong turn and ending up lost is highly probable.
~ What I wouldn’t give for a Homing Pigeon ~
I recall an experience in Seattle a few years ago with my youngest daughter. We had some time on our hands while her sister attended a seminar at the Seattle School of Midwifery, so we headed out on our own adventure. I had a rough idea where I was headed: the Woodland Park Zoo —or so I thought.
I had only a paper map, which I examined long enough to capture a mental picture of where I needed to go before we launched out into the city. The moment I merged into wall-to-wall traffic, both maps, the one on paper and the one in my head, proved useless.
One wrong turn led to another. We wandered aimlessly for hours, while I worked overtime to mask my distress and the fact that we were lost; desperately trying to navigate on raw instinct alone. I remember the blessed relief that swept over my when I saw the Zoo sign. To this day, I can’t explain how we ended up there.
~ GPS Changed Everything ~
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Psalm 32:8
Our world is a different place since the development of GPS. Navigating even the most daunting situations has become easier. It’s like having your own personal homing pigeon with you in the car. Traversing a busy metropolis is not only doable, it can almost be fun (tongue in cheek). It certainly would have made all the difference in our zoo quest that day.
I don’t understand all of the mysteries of GPS, but I do know one indisputable fact —GPS can’t help you navigate unless you actually turn it on. In the confusion shadowing my life at the moment, I am discovering that “re-purposing my nest” starts with re-purposing ME.
Redefining my post-mommy, post-homeschool–teacher self is going to take insight and intention. I am confident there is a niche meant for me. I was created for a unique and incredible purpose – a plan bigger than ME and beyond my imagining.
I also suspect that learning to thrive in that niche will take discernment, and probably some elbow-grease. Thankfully I have an intimate relationship with the One who has a birds-eye view of everything. He is the GPS of my life journey. He is my Navigator.
The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand. Psalm 37:23-24
The caveat is this: I have to tune in and turn up the volume loud enough to drown out the noise of my own confusion. That means spending time in the presence of the Lord and in His word. Allowing the busyness and details of my life to interfere with that has effectively turned off my spiritual GPS just when I need it most.
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9
The truth is that, although it defies all logic and cultural norms, my convictions still whisper that my place and my calling are here. This is my niche —to create home for my husband, to share my journey with others, to plant seeds in the field I have been given.
The same small voice that gave me the courage to step out into the unknown world of “home”—the same Jehovah that led His people in the wilderness— beckons me to trust Him once again.
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21
Lord, forgive me for once again attempting to navigate this life through my own understanding, and without you. Please continue to show me what YOU want my life to be about. Guide me through the confusion and set my course straight.