Wednesday, February 27, 2008

What I Don't Want

I tend to sit quietly at the lunch table at work. Most of my coworkers are middle-aged and their conversations generally follow experiences that I don't have much input on. Along the lines of kitchen remodeling, car payments, house-flipping, and such. Just haven't "been there, done that." :)

The other day one woman was talking about the nerve of her husband to want a new truck two years into making payments on the last. Her words:
"I told him no. Definitely not... not unless he could find one that is the same monthly payment we are making now for the same number of months. He'll never find one."
She got up and left the table. The others exchanged knowing smiles and one spoke up:

"Yeah. He'll get his truck tomorrow."

"What?" I asked. "She sounded pretty definite...?"

"Oh, you don't know her husband. He gets whatever he wants and she pays for it. One time she told him not to buy a snowmobile and he bought six."

Sure enough, the next day the same woman came in and said, "Well, he bought the truck."

She looked directly at me and said "When you get married, make sure it's a man who will support you! Men just want us to make money for them to spend!"

Make sure it's a man who will support you... At work they call me a "lifer," my coworkers think they will marry me off and I will take my maternity leave for each child and come back after three months. They joke about me being there "forever!" They don't know that I have other ideas...

I honestly don't know where my Lord will have me in ten years, but I know for sure what I don't want.

I don't want to drop my kids off at daycare every morning and head off to work. I don't want them to cry for someone else when they get hurt, I don't want to miss out on their first steps and first words because I was on "another day, another dollar."

I don't want to argue with my husband over which one of us has to call in to take a child to the doctor. I don't want to frantically dial babysitter's numbers on a snow day because I just can't call in and end up missing the perfect attendance breakfast. I don't want any of that.

I don't want to be so stressed and frustrated from my day at work that I have nothing left to soothe my husband's stress away when he comes home. I don't want to divide up the household chores evenly between us. I don't want to be so backed up on laundry and dishes and housework that it's all I can think of once we are both home.

I don't want to convince myself that a second income is necessary because car payments and expensive vacations take priority over my family. I don't want to debate over whether I want another child because it would take so much time away from work.

I don't want my kids to remember me as not being there. I don't want school teachers to have more of an influence than I have. And while I'm on the subject, since I want to home educate, I don't want school teachers either!

That's what I don't want. And my latest working experiences haven't changed my mind. Whenever my coworker's little girl calls, and she picks up the phone and snaps "Well, whaddaya want. Can't. I'm at work." I think how I don't want that.

I just don't.

I think that our culture is irresponsible with money. We get on the plastic habit, end up in debt, and need a second income to pay it off. And what about the woman in the story I opened with? Well, I feel that when wives work, it takes away the husband's value as the provider and breadwinner. He is disillusioned and without a purpose, whether he realizes it or not. And, yeah, we're human; so why not just slide into irresponsibility and let your wife pay for everything? I mean, you're just not needed in the money making department so much anyway.

I'm not saying it's wrong to help out when it is necessary. I'm not saying a woman shouldn't be prepared to work if needed. I'm not saying education and training are pointless for a woman either. I'm currently working on my bachelor's degree in accounting. I may use it immediately, I may not, but since I am single it's not something that will allow my family's needs to slide in the meantime. And it's there if and when I need it.

Some say being a homemaker shows a lack of ambition. I disagree. To me there is no higher ambition than that of bringing up children in the "nurture and admonition of the Lord." And none higher than that of helping a man to further His kingdom.

That's what I want.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Not Tolstoy, Still Priceless

Kevin asked me to read to him tonight. So I read to Kevin (almost 4) and Anne (8). Thankfully I learned years ago that it just doesn't pay to be too picky about the quality of the books you read to a toddler. I mean, you just can't get past those overly-simple-repetitive-Dick-and-Jane-style classics.

For instance, tonight Kevin picked out three books.

Clifford Barks
The Bear Detectives and the Missing Pumpkin

Twas the Night Before Christmas

I added one book of my choosing to the list; The Three Snow Bears (I love Jan Brett! :) )

Clifford Barks was very closely along the lines of "Clifford barks at the flowers, Clifford barks at the trees, Clifford barks at the people, Clifford barks at the bees."

'Nuff said. I shall only add that it wasn't my first choice... ;)

Twas the night before Christmas - Kevin learned a new word from this one. Plump. He asked me what it meant. I said it meant chubby. He then asked; "Am I chubby?" "Are you chubby?" I answered "no" to each question. Then (because the term must apply to someone) he stated firmly, "Anne is chubby." I think that statement resulted in this picture:

I also learned something from that book that I didn't remember from the poem before...


Santa smokes. Ahem.

And I quote:
"The smoke from his pipe he held tight in his teeth,
and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath."
Ah for positive role models... :-D

Oh, and the bear detectives.

"Aha! You've found a pumpkin leaf,
Just show me where
you found this leaf
Then I will find the pumpkin thief."
Yeah, enough of that one too. Let's just say I'm not crazy... yet. ;)

Then we pulled out the camera and started taking pictures. Oh, and Kevin is very camera trigger happy, and he wanted to take pictures of himself making fish faces, and of the floor, and of -- my feet.

I'll spare you. :)

The Snow Bears book was my favorite. It was Goldilocks told with polar bears in Alaska. The most "classic-y" one, and I prefer classics.

No, they weren't in depth. Not even close. None of the books were terribly brilliant or inspiring or mind-developing. Actually some verged on being, well, annoying.

That's not the point. :)
Rather, it was a moment, and now a memory, and it's only once and it's just TOO MUCH FUN!

Friday, February 08, 2008

A Verse and a Thought

"Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

-Philippians 4:6-7

"Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all."
-II Thessalonians 3:17

"In returning and rest shall ye be saved, in quietness and confidence shall be your strength."
-Isaiah 30:15

I know, I've been very sporadic. No excuse really, but to be honest I have been struggling. I am thankful when He impresses His words on my heart. I believe there's a greater purpose behind our struggles, and He uses circumstances and situations to renew us spiritually and bring us back to Him. Easy to forget, painful to remember, but the end is priceless. I'm trying to hold onto this.