Friday, October 17, 2008

School Woes

I am so tired of school! When I started this school year, I thought I had more than enough free time to actually get everything done that I needed to get done. Sure, at the time, my kids were watching more TV than the average adult- it was literally on from wake-up to naps, after naps until forcibly playing outside, then dinner, and then after dinner required a movie before bed to "wind down" though I don't really know from what! As I started to realize that my schedule was pathetic and that DAYCARE (shudder) would provide a better education that what I was currently giving my children, I started to change. I know people (my husband) who is a rapid-changer, once he decides to change and logically maps out his brain, it is like instant change. Me, I have to work it over in my brain logically, emotionally, spiritually, and I NEVER stop talking about wanting to change. Gradually, I can take baby-steps and accomplish minimal change, but generally speaking, the biggest obstacle to all my change is in the "just do it" motto- I rarely just do it, I always think about it. Anyway, school started nice and slow, which was just plain misleading. I consider myself an intelligent woman and I typically excel in education situations with a minimum of effort. This was completely different. Because it is an online environment, "class attendance" requires you to do more than fill a chair and listen, something I could do very well in a traditional setting and still make a good grade. Now, I am forced to "read" a lecture and then respond to it. This was far more time consuming than any class I've had to sit in. On top of all this- I was required to do the regular weekly work, which generally amounted to somewhere from a hundred to several hundred pages and more responses. I still loved it, I love going to school and I love learning. I know that I can continue "learning" without some fancy degree but I have always been taught that women need a "back-up plan" and should therefore be prepared to have a full-time career at the drop of the hat. This means education. I was prepared to get my bachelor's degree in English or history with an intent to teach. 

The hitch in this plan came when I started to realize that my place was in the home. Verses like Titus 2: 4-5, "That they may teach the young women to be sober, the love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." I hadn't really dwelt long on these verses because they were uncomfortable, but also, despite the reference to blasphemy, I mistakenly thought that they were less than essential. When I think about this verse now, I feel ashamed. I was taking a history class and we were to write an original research paper on any topic we wanted. EVERYTHING that I wanted to write on was nothing to do with history! My topics were all about parenting and mothering, particularly as they pertained to the feminist movement. The problem that I was having is that I would have to convey my paper in a neutral, unbiased manner and on something so important as that, I didn't think that I could really maintain neutrality, especially since I wouldn't be able to use the Bible as a primary reference. This brought up an interesting problem for me: it is currently acceptable to say that you are gay in class, but it is unacceptable to say that you are a Christian. Therefore, I had to couch my REAL opinions in code and generalizations (otherwise I would be warned and then kicked out of class!) I think this is how blasphemy occurs.

 I can keep my witness pure by doing what God designed women to do- be workers at home, being chaste and submissive. These are things that our current culture looks at as an anathema; it is so strange and foreign that it calls attention to it, and through our willing position as homemakers, to God. This should be my goal- to witness to people all around me by my position under authority. It is so different from society that it must be noticed! Going to school and "providing a backup plan" is to accept society's mold for me. It is giving in to trusting myself over God, thinking that just in case God's plan doesn't work out, I have something to fall back on???

I have been so torn over this issue and have cried several times to my husband about feeling like I can't do it all and my constant frustration that the house and the kids are ALWAYS the ones who are sacrificed to my lofty ambitions. Despite all of that, finishing my degree is something that I WANT! It is hard to give it up. Today, I asked my husband (again) for his opinion. In the past he has given me the standard, "Do whatever is right for you." which just kills me because it is the exact opposite of what I am truly looking for. I want his help making the decision. We are all selfish beings and would like our way, but I was beginning to see that "my way" wasn't working. I finally cried to my husband asking for a final decision- what did he think was best. I would listen and submit no matter what, but he did say that he would approve of me dropping out of school, immediately. This potentially has big financial repercussions for us financially, and we aren't really able to bear them, but I know that God is sovereign. I have always been told that when you are following God's will, you have peace. Well, tonight I have relief, and peace. There is that fear of the unknown, the longing for the dream, but also the knowledge that I am doing the right thing for my family, for myself, and for my testimony.


Anonymous said...

I know exactly where you're coming from. I'm enrolled in an online college. I was homeschooling, but then decided to put the kids in school so I could do my schooling.

Now, I feel like I've lost who I am. I was a homeschooling mom. Now who am I? Homeschooling was who I was and I feel like I deserted my family.

But, remember it's important to be faithful with something until God lets us know that we are finished with whatever it is he has placed before us. In this case, I believe for me, it's my schooling. God will call you out of one place and put you into another one. Maybe God put you where you are to help you grow in faithfulness.

Keep growing that fruit of faithfulness, you won't regret it.

Kristi said...


I have been reading so much about what the Bible says about my position and if I agree with the Bible being God's word, then I must accept that if it provides direction for my life, then I should follow it. The Bible is clear in Titus 2:4-5 and Proverbs 31 (second half) that my job should be centered in the home. While I thought that I could compromise by attending school from my living room couch, I was wrong.

My reasons for school were all wrong and I don't remember having peace about it, only happiness that I was getting what I wanted. My education is really just to provide a "back-up plan" in case ____ happens. This is a lack of faith that God will provide for my family. I am not against school or anything of the kind and it is very possible for God to be leading you.

It was interesting reading your post, as it seemed to encourage me to stay with school, but when you talked about faithfulness, I just knew that I needed to be faithful about being a servant for my family first. I haven't done a good job of seeing to their needs, and school was giving me a legitimate reason to do just that. It is taking a lot of faith and trust to stay at home and focus on my home and family.