The title to this post does have a point. You'll have to keep reading to find out what that point is!
I have been accepted to Michigan State's MSN program...which is a completely different program from what I applied to do. I think I explained a bit ago that they just announced a change in the MSN in Education program to reflect increasing standards for those who teach at the Bachelor's level...which I think is a good thing. However, upon graduation, I would be a Master's-prepared educator with an advanced practice degree as well - a Clinical Nurse Specialist. However, I would be a clinical expert in an adult arena. My passion and "expertise" lie with people who weigh less than 10 lbs. I can't pursue a degree of that level that isn't what I wholeheartedly desire.
Last week I was mired in my statistics. BASIC statistics. Probably the same material that high schoolers cover in their AP stats classes. I was freaking out over my homework and ended up canceling a coffee date that I was really looking forward to with my friend Michelle. So it was one coffee date...what's the big deal? But let me tell you how I chewed on that all day...I can't tell you how meaningful it is to me to be rooted in a place where we have friends and are part of a community. And now I'm bowing out of that in a large way to pursue something else. And even bigger than that, if I'm feeling badly for bagging out on a friend, how much more will that feeling be compounded when I'm choosing between writing a research paper (for a much more daunting class) and bonding with my child?? (*No, said child is not arriving in the next 9 months - it is still the hypothetical child!*) The more I chewed on these things, the more bitter it tasted.
Matt would support my decision if I said I wanted to jump off the rim of the Grand Canyon. But that same day, as he was driving home, he felt a burden in HIS heart too about these things. So we had some awesome discussion over the weekend about our priorities and where we feel God leading our lives and what we want for our home and our future family. We were planning on just going ahead and having kids in the midst of me being in school. Carolyn and I joked, when people asked us what about when we have babies, that we'd be breastfeeding with one hand and typing our papers with the other. But deep down I know our children need more of me than that, and that's not how I want it to be.
There are so many things I/we want to do it's ridiculous. There are so many amazing ways to minister and influence and drink up this life that God has given us. A couple of summers ago, within one week, God dropped in both of our hearts separately a desire to adopt. We each had three separate instances that week that involved something concerning adoption, and each prayed, "God, is this something you want me to talk with Matt/Jenny about??" That is something we feel without a doubt is part of the Lord's intention for growing our family. No idea how or when or where; it's still in the "talking" stage, but with these new thoughts regarding not pursuing my education at this time, we may move forward with earnestly seeking counsel and beginning paperwork in 2009 so at least it's on file for when the time is right.
We'd love to do short-term missions. Again, how or where or when is beyond me. I have always desired to volunteer at the local mission and keep putting involvement there on the back burner because, well, how on earth would I do that, work, and do school?
School may still be in my future, but God has lovingly helped me place it on a shelf right now. My greatest sphere of influence at the moment is in my home and in my community. When we have children, the time that I have with them can never be regained. We have such a responsibility to be resourceful with what we are given, whether with finances, time, or talent. Times are uncertain right now, and people matter most.
So I canceled coffee with Michelle and it profoundly made me consider what my priorities are and what I want my life to look like for the next few years. I feel a huge weight lifted off my shoulders that I didn't even realize was there until it was gone. In no way do I feel that taking stats and applying to school was a wasted effort: I conquered a huge fear (um, taking stats), grew exponentially in my friendship with Carolyn, and actually applied to grad school, something I never thought I'd actually follow thru with doing! And it's certainly no coincidence that State up and changed their program at the last possible second - it made me seriously consider what I want and love and where my priorities lie. That alone has renewed my excitement for what God has in store for our lives!