That was my first job but certainly not my last. I worked until I was 57 when I took an early retirement to help take care of my parents who were both ill. The greatest unfulfilled desire, the most longed for dream, I ever had was that I wanted to be a stay at home mom and never managed it. Oh I talked about it, and I planned for it, but I never achieved it. My husband graduated from college in 1967 and we agreed that as soon as he made $10,000 a year I would quit work. He was a coach and his first contract was for $7800 a year! As his salary rose so did our expenses. We had children, we bought a house...you know the drill. So I continued to work though the venue changed. I became a secretary and I typed and I filed and I answered phones and I dreamed about what it would be like when I got to stay home. No more doing laundry at 10:00 at night. No more going to the grocery store on the way home from work. At least that's what I thought.
When I was 35 God called me to do something utterly rediculous. He wanted me to go to college. That whole story is for another day but kicking and screaming I signed up for classes. Eventually I became a teacher, and then a high school counselor, and an assistant principal, and an assistant superintendent. I don't think there was ever a day that went by that I didn't think, "one of these days I'm going to stay home." Oh, don't get me wrong. I loved what I did. I loved the teenagers I worked with and they occupied a special place in my heart, still do I guess. I thought being an assistant high school principal was the best thing since sliced bread and loved going to work. But always there was this dream waiting.
Five years ago I retired. I spent the first year of it with my parents and that time was the greatest blessing God has ever given me. But for four years I've stayed home. I tried working part time for a little while but nope, didn't like it, didn't want to do it. I wanted home. And girls, it's even better than I dreamed.
God knew the desire of my heart and He could have granted it at any time. He chose the time - not the time I would have picked but the perfect time. If I had stayed home all those years ago when I wanted I would have missed the friends I made at work who loved and encouraged me, who taught me that work is not the dead end I tried to make it but a time of adventure and accomplishment. I would have missed the kids who needed me to tell them they were ok, that they were special, that they were smart and beautiful and loved by God. I would have missed the very real gifts God gave me for doing what He told me to do when I went back to school. And I don't think staying at home would have meant as much to me as it does now.
Do you have a dream? A dream that seems impossible? Please remember that God has perfect timing. Maybe you think He's saying "no," but it could be He's saying "wait." Don't give up on your dream - mine was just a small one and He loves me so much that He paid attention to even that small dream. He knows the desires of your heart, too.
(Photos are all by Flickr)
Oh, and not this isn't really Hollywood, but I just loved that line in Pretty Woman.