Monday, January 25, 2010

Change of plans!

After a master’s degree, a Ph.D. seemed a logical next step in my goal to encourage others. But instead, my husband went to law school, and I went to work to earn what was termed the “PHT” degree. “Putting Hubby Through!” My choice at the time was either to help Rich or pursue my degree and eat cereal three meals a day. I knew when my mom skipped college, she ended up feeling inferior to my dad who was a university professor. Even with just two of my eventual four children in tow, I felt a nagging inside to go back to school. I finally put the matter to rest by throwing myself into mothering and homemaking and letting the chips fall where they may. Gradually, the joy of that job won out over the frustrations of not going to school. I did what mattered most to me, tending to the mundane, unpaid, and endless duties of being a wife and mom. Now and then I imagined what doors would have opened to me as a Ph.D. Some days I thought about resigning.

Looking back, what mattered most to me paid off. My kids didn’t cost me half as much as they taught me! I ended up encouraging others through a radio show, writing, and speaking, rather than as a family therapist. Interestingly enough, my mom’s grandchildren, my children, were the ones who affirmed her because they mattered most to her. They didn’t see her academically. They saw and responded to her love for them.

Whatever your strivings this New Year, it’s important to avoid putting off your good intentions to write, call, or visit someone. Begin to mend fences; right wrongs, even take a risk you otherwise wouldn’t. Say “no,” if necessary, so you can say, “yes” to something else, consider the greater good over and against having it your way. A change in plans may be a detour, but it doesn’t mean you won’t reach your best destination, which is the place God has in mind for your talents!

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