Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Understand Your Mission
After all the excitement of yesterday (still giggling intermittently!) and my recent thoughts on the compatibility of full-time work and being a wife and a mother, I had to laugh as I read the first few paragraphs of this article.

Carolyn McCulley pointed out some articles from the Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood on her blog, Solo Femininity. I was most amused reading Homemaking Internship by Carolyn Mahaney that I just had to share it with others. It was this first extract that got me, but I definitely recommend reading the whole article.

Imagine preparing your whole life for a career in medicine. In high school you volunteer at the local hospital and spend your evenings reading medical journals. You make the honor roll and head off to a prestigious medical school. After eight years of only study and no social life, you finally graduate. Then you spend two, maybe three years in your chosen field—not even enough time to pay off the school loans.

But the more you practice medicine, the less you enjoy it. Suddenly you realize the truth. Your real calling is to be a teacher. You want to work with kids, small ones. So now with a mostly useless set of skills (at least you would know how to do the Heimlich maneuver if a kid choked on his hot dog in the school cafeteria), you want to enroll again at the university and study to be a teacher. But you can’t. Your time and money have run out.

You can’t afford to give six more years of your life to study, and you certainly can’t afford the extra school debt. The years and the funds allotted for career preparation have already been spent on another profession. You have to accept the reality that you didn’t graduate with the right degree to teach.

All too often we stumble onto homemaking the way this student stumbled onto teaching. We devote ourselves to studying for a particular career, but suddenly discover we want to enter an entirely different field for which we never prepared. Surprise! We find ourselves engaged to be married but without a degree in homemaking.
I've done all of that. I studied hard and worked hard, often to the expense of other things. Just yesterday I reached one of the pinnacles of my career and spent today getting congratulatory hugs and handshakes from friends and senior colleagues. I am now in their elite club - I am now one of them! But I have found myself still unsatisfied. I have devoted myself to medicine only to discover I want "to enter an entirely different field for which we never prepared".

It's an interesting article about how to practically prepare OUR daughters for homemaking, yet it doesn't address the issue of how to prepare if you are not from a home where a Biblical view of the family and of the home was taken. I know that it is only now that I am learning about running a home and raising a Christian family, having never stood at my mother's knee while she roasted a chicken (I still need to learn how to carve it) or never having had family worship. Some of what I do in my work now will help, such as the "transferable skills" of organisation, time management, conflict resolution, and caring for others. I have been so blessed to have older women in the church mentor me and teach me some of these wifely skills. Of course these skills are not only to be learnt for marriage but, as Carolyn Mahaney says, to "honor God by expressing your femininity today".

My young friends, let it be your constant aim, and at the same time your earnest prayer, that you may first of all thoroughly understand your mission, and then diligently prepare for it, and hereafter as successfully fulfill it.
John Angell James, English pastor (1785-1859)

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  posted at 18:43  

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