I wanted to have a baby not long after we got married. I might be so bold as to say that Ian did too, but I can’t really remember.
Of course, we didn’t, because I hadn’t finished my college degree yet.
Some people might say that we shouldn’t have gotten married at all if we weren’t ready to have children, but I would respond that we were doing what we felt the Lord was leading us to do. We knew we wanted a family, we just didn’t know when.
Throughout my life I have pursued a lot of areas of interest. I love learning, and I loved school. I would just keep going to school indefinitely if life didn’t ask other things of me. But I’m glad it does, because I value learning, but there’s more than one way to learn.
I took every science I could throughout high school. I ate it up. I thought I would pursue the sciences in college as well.
God had other plans, and right towards the end of it all I decided to study art instead. Initially headed in the direction of art education, after one semester I dropped the education and dove in head first to a realm that I was immature in and unacquainted with, but I knew I wanted it.
I fought to learn and succeed, and God was gracious and allowed art to consume my thinking. I was fully immersed, I was gaining respect, I was an artist through and through.
During my time at college, I used to say that when I was done doing whatever I did with my life, I was going to open a bakery. Then, when I was done with that, a flower shop. I thought it would be fun to write and illustrate children’s literature. I wanted to keep in touch with the child psychology and education that I had dabbled in. I began to find scientific illustration fascinating. And on it went.
When I graduated from college, we were trading roles. Ian was going to study, I was going to support. I had some graphic design clients and found things to do here and there after we moved until I found a job in graphic design.
I always struggled with the idea that if I left school and just stayed home to have babies, I would be wasting my education. I had a hard time reconciling this idea with knowing that I wanted to have a family. My dad always said that education was never a waste. But still, I wanted it to be worth it. I wanted to use it.
I was also afraid that I wouldn’t be able to pursue the things I wanted to.. like my bakery and flower shop somewhere in the distance, let alone art and everything else I was interested in.
It dawned on me some time ago, that having a baby has not taken me away from these things, but immersed me in them.. maybe just not in the tidy box I’d thought they’d come in.
I bake all the time. I am involved in several evening activities and often bake for them, and I love (usually!) making meals and desserts for my family as well. I love being in the kitchen.
I have a garden. Admittedly, I don’t have the slightest idea what I am doing out there, but I love look at it and pretend I had something to do with the lovely flowers that grow, the berry bushes that ripen, the apples that fall to the ground.
I am bringing up a boy. A boy who will likely love to explore nature and all the creepy crawlies in it.. biology at it’s finest. Not to mention the opportunity to educate and watch the development of a child firsthand.
Life comes in seasons. I think different aspects of a person’s nature also have different seasons. Right now, my season as an artist has taken a winter break, but many other areas are flourishing in the sunshine of summer. Winter is turning into spring, and I can feel the creative juices beginning to flow again. I have plans in my mind for new artwork and a little book for children. I am anticipating a certain child’s imagination blooming in the next few years, and working together to explore and create in the realm of fine art.
What I am ultimately saying is, staying at home with my child has not closed the doors I thought it would in my life. It has opened doors that I didn’t know I wanted open, and allowed me to pursue all kinds of things I never would have been able to chase after if I had been in a ‘usual’ job, or grad school, or so many other paths that wouldn’t have been just right.
As our family grows and life continues to change, I know some things will take a back seat, corners will be cut, seasons will change again. But, as I think about the way life has changed and journeyed along already, I know there will be goodness. I know that I walk with Jesus and my family, and that means there will be fulfillment. I pray that God will always open my eyes to the good things he is putting in my life, no matter how buried or disguised they may be.