After high school, I thought college was the next logical next step. I came from a family where my father was an accountant, my mother was a homemaker. Not knowing what I wanted to do after high school, I remember a conversation between my mom, dad and I in our kitchen. My dad asked, “Well, what do you like to learn”? My reply, “I like Math.” He responded, “Hmm, accounting is a lot like math.” Let me just say, that I did really like math. I liked it gave a concrete answer. 2 + 2 = 4. 6 + 5 = 11. There was no question it could be any other answer. There was one thing, however, I greatly disliked about math. Word problems. I was about to realize accounting (the public side of accounting at least) was actually like one big word problem. After my father finished talking about accounting and math, I distinctly remember my mother, in a soft whispered voice say, “Well, maybe she’d like to be a mother?” I remember laughing a little actually. A mother? That was the furthest thing from my mind. I was to go to college and to be an accountant. Or so I thought.
God is patient.
In college I soon realized that learning accounting did not bring much joy. It didn’t bring much excitement either. However, I was too far into my major and felt that I needed to continue and finish what I had started. I graduated with a degree in accounting from St. Cloud State University in 1995. After graduating, I started with a public accounting firm. I was not very excited about the accounting part of the job, but I loved the people part of the job. I actually recall enjoying watching the secretaries work at supplying accountants everything they needed. I remember thinking, now that looks rewarding. But I couldn’t go from an accountant to a secretary? What would the firm think of that? Looking back I realize it was my desire to want to serve others even back then. During this time my husband and I were married in 1997. We wanted to have children. But we both had jobs. Both had goals. Both had plans. “Our” plans.
God was patient.
Feeling extremely unhappy at the accounting firm, I ended up making a job change into cost accounting at another company. I worked for another two years as an accountant and then a job opened up within the company. An administrative assistant, a secretary to the Chief Information Officer. I remember going to my boss and telling her I wanted to apply for this job. She was shocked. She told me this would be a step down. But she approved it and I started my new job. This job would change my working career. There was joy in serving others. There was joy in making their jobs easier for them. For the first time ever in my job, there was joy. I worked for another 10 years as an administrative assistant.
God is patient.
During those 10 years, we gave birth to our first son in 2002. He was beautiful. A miracle. Our hearts overflowed with love for him. A true gift from God. The pull towards motherhood began – the ache of wanting to be home with our dear boy, but the worry how we would ever be able to afford it. We had built our lives around two incomes. I recall having a discussion with my mom in the kitchen again about my worry. In her quiet voice, the words resonated yet again, “then stop spending.” We tried to adjust my job to fit our family. Working two days in the office and two days at home with one day off.
God was patient.
Three years passed and in 2005 came the birth of our second child. Our beautiful daughter. By that time I had adjusted my schedule to only working one day in the office and two days at home. My boss never changed my salary. There is no doubt in my mind God continued to bless us, while he continued to wait. When our daughter was one year old our company went through a massive downsizing as it was bought out by another company. My boss lost his job. I mourned losing him as a boss. He was instrumental at letting us put our family first, job second. A new boss was hired in his place. I recall her phone call telling me I still had my job, however, she needed me in the office full time. Five days a week. My schedule had allowed me to be home with my children four days a week. I was able to fit work in between their schedules. This was now changing and changing fast. My husband and I knew where my heart was. I recall still needing to make the work decision, fighting between the fear of the unknown and the deep desire to be home with the children. I recall a very important day all those years ago when my husband walked into our home office, looked at me and said, “Take the deal. Quit your job. We will be OK.” And there it was. My fear over us not financially being able to do this, not wanting to put the burden all on my husband, not knowing the future, all subsided and melted away with his support, courage and our radical leap off faith.
God had been so patient.
I recall standing in the kitchen after quitting my job having an internal conversation with God one day. I remember saying, “OK God, I have all this time, what would you like me to do? I could make care packages for the soldiers, help the homeless, anything”…my thoughts were immediately interrupted with the word “motherhood.” Motherhood? I remember thinking. Of course, I know that, I am already a mother. The word was repeated a second time, “motherhood.” At that very moment, I understood. I was to pour every part of my being into being a mother. I was to do His will and do it well.
I am so thankful God was so patient.
We have never looked back or regretted our radical leap of faith all of those years ago. After quitting my job came our third beautiful blessing. The birth of our second sweet boy. It has been the most amazing, wonderful journey. Motherhood. I thank God daily for the gift of our children, entrusting me to this beautiful vocation and His patience.