Wednesday, May 02, 2007

It's that time in life

The next big chapter. You turn 18, graduate from high school, and say hello to the the real world. No more safe Christian environment. No running to the pillow to cry because someone called you a name. Real life trials will be introducing themselves soon. I am no longer thinking about the day I'll get a key ring, but a diamond ring, no longer wondering how I'll ever get through High School, but how I'll survive college, and I'm no longer thinking about what to major in, but how successful my career will be. Honestly, I don't know what to expect, and that's where you come in handy. :) I want to know some of the following. Feel free to answer whatever questions you want off the list. Many of these pertain to married women, but there are a good portion singles can answer. Hint Hint. ;)

College:
~ What part of college life was the most surprising to you?
~ Did you face any religious persecution, and if so, how did you deal with it?
~ As someone about to start college, what is the best advice you can offer me in regards to ANY aspect of the college life?

Single Life:
~ What did you do as a single that you most loved?
~ Is there anything you miss about being single that you wish you wish you could still do as a married woman? (this sorta goes along with the first)
~ Is there something you regret not doing (or doing) as a single that you could advise me to also take advantage of (or avoid) as a single?
~ Were there any singles ministries you were in that particularly helped you in your walk with God?
~ If marriage ever became an idol for you, how did you deal with accepting singlehood as your lot in life at that particular time?


Career:
~ What is the most helpful advice you can give to me as far as beginning a career?
~ For the stay at home moms, what part of the career to full time stay at home mom was the hardest?
~ How is being married and having a career different than being single with a career? (I know this probably sounds like a stupid question, but I want to know! :)
~ Did your parents, family, friends, and husband all support your career? If someone wasn't supportive, how did you deal with it?

Family:
~ How long were you married before you had kids? Do you wish you had kids sooner/not as soon?
~ For those who had kids soon after marriage, what was the hardest part about being married for a short time and then having kids?
~ For those who were married awhile before having kids, what are you most thankful for about life as husband and wife for awhile without the responsibility of kids?
~ Did you give up your career as soon as you had kids, or did you continue it even after kids came along?
~ Do you wish you had stuck with a career rather than giving it up for kids?
~ Did anyone make comments directly to you about "wasting" your degree to be a homemaker?
~What part of being a wife, mom, and homemaker most excited you?
~ What parts of marriage did you expect to be easier? Harder?
~ What is your favorite thing about being a wife/mom/homemaker?
~ What advice can you offer on being a wife/mom/homemaker?
~ What was the hardest lesson to learn about not being independent, but being married and under the authority of your husband? Or in other words, what part of married life was the hardest to get used to (giving up time with friends, the freedom to go out whenever you wanted, not having to worry about cleaning for anyone but yourself. etc)

There are several more things I would love to know. But I don't want to overwhelm you with questions. Remember, whatever questions you want to answer would be a blessing. Don't feel you need to answer all of them! I will be tremendously grateful for any answers.

11 comments:

Isabelle said...

Dear Sarah, that is a whole lot of questions! How sound and mature of you to ask them.
I'll just answer a very, very few for now. I am not exactly of the same religion as you, and am still pretty young (26 tomorrow), so my answers will most certainly have far less worth than your other friends'. Please take this just as a few humble thoughts from a faraway friend. :)

I’ll just answer about the college part for today, OK?

Q: “Did you face any persecution?”
A: I faced persecution a whole lot when I was exactly your age. I was baptized at the end of high school, after an intense two-year catechumenate. My family just didn’t understand, especially my siblings. Surprisingly, though, I felt more persecution from my mother, who was raised religiously, and still says she’s a believer (as opposed to my siblings). She wanted me to do very, very well at school, and considered the catechumenate gatherings a waste of time and detrimental to my studies. Surprisingly, as well, my father, who claims to be an atheist (claimed? When we talk about it now he rather says he’s an agnostic - I do believe he is a spiritual man, in his own way), was the most understanding and supportive of them all – he was always the one driving me to the meetings, and comforting me when my mother made me feel bad every time I left home for those meetings.
Just a couple of things this has taught me:
1. You may be surprised and realize that "persecution" may not always come from the person you expect.
2. "Persecution" is not necessarily bad. It helps you feel clearly what concessions you will NOT make to your faith. I believe those challenges will help you grow (even) stronger in your faith. The best thing is to react not as a victim, but as a triumphant being, knowing inwardly your higher level of happiness thanks to your faith in and love of Christ. I've also learned to make my heart gentle and understanding towards those who do not share my belief.

I’m afraid I can’t advise you much on the rest of the college part – the educational system is very different in France. I did teach in an American college, a few years ago. My limited advice would be – stay clear from the crowds. Don’t howl with the wolves. Don’t feel you have to “be cool” because others thinks so. Just be, and stay, your own beautiful self! I'm sure you will, Sarah, and I'm sure you'll do great.
As for studying - the Parable of the Talents always inspired me to study with gusto, for years and years. Whenever you feel a little discouraged, it might help to remember or re-read it.

Take care!

Beth said...

Sarah, I posted my response on my blog cause it was so long ;) hope it helps.

Briana Almengor said...

~ What part of college life was the most surprising to you?
That my freshman year, I thought I would never make lasting friendships and by my senior year, couldn't believe the depth of friendship I had come to know with some folks (still close friends to this day!)

~ Did you face any religious persecution, and if so, how did you deal with it?
I did, but being a religious studies major didn't help matters. I sort of invited it by declaring that as my major. HOw I dealt with it: the most helpful thing I did was to be really involved w/ Campus Crusade, read Josh McDowell's literature, pray, have others pray for me, constant fellowship and encouragement from other believers.

~ As someone about to start college, what is the best advice you can offer me in regards to ANY aspect of the college life?
DON'T GO INTO DEBT TO GET A COLLEGE DEGREE. Especially as a woman who probably wants to stay at home and have babies one day, it's not worth carrying a huge debt for years after you graduate. That's the biggest thing I regret about college; we're still paying off my loans and I'm nearly 10 years out.


Single Life:
~ What did you do as a single that you most loved?
Traveled!

~ Is there anything you miss about being single that you wish you wish you could still do as a married woman? (this sorta goes along with the first)
what Beth K. said I agree with...spending extended time w/ the Lord, in His Word. Hide it in your heart now b/c when you reach the season of life I'm in, you don't have the time to really study and memorize as much and yet it's the season you probably need His Word guiding you the most.

Also, I miss the ease of going anywhere, even to the grocery store.

~ Is there something you regret not doing (or doing) as a single that you could advise me to also take advantage of (or avoid) as a single?
Pinned to the wall, I would say I regret not spending more time w/ my immediate family, not cultivating those relationships more than I did. I spent my single years at a distance from my family..both physically and otherwise. I wish I hadn't been so eager to 'get away' and be independent.

~ Were there any singles ministries you were in that particularly helped you in your walk with God?
Campus Crusade for Christ on campus and also whatever the local church had to offer.

~ If marriage ever became an idol for you, how did you deal with accepting singlehood as your lot in life at that particular time?
Oh man...you touch on a BIG one for me. YES, it most certainly was an idol, and I wish I could have been one of those who says, "I completely surrendered it to God and then my prince came." But, that wouldn't be the truth. I found it was something I had to surrender and then surrender again and then again...get the picture. Trust me, whatever God doesn't get fully as a single, HE will continue to come after when you're married. He doesn't necessarily make you get it all right (as far as the idolatry of marriage goes) before He necessarily gives you a mate.

Career:
~ What is the most helpful advice you can give to me as far as beginning a career?
I'm with Beth: pick something practical that fits with your desire and call to be a lover of the home,and to possibly be a wife and mother someday: like nursing, teaching, even finance can be of value.

~ For the stay at home moms, what part of the career to full time stay at home mom was the hardest?
Feeling rather homebound, out of the loop so to speak.

~ How is being married and having a career different than being single with a career? (I know this probably sounds like a stupid question, but I want to know! :)
Can't answer this since it's never been my experience.

~ Did your parents, family, friends, and husband all support your career? If someone wasn't supportive, how did you deal with it? Everyone was supportive thankfully.

Family:
~ How long were you married before you had kids? Do you wish you had kids sooner/not as soon?
2 years and I felt it was good timing for us.

~ For those who were married awhile before having kids, what are you most thankful for about life as husband and wife for awhile without the responsibility of kids?
WE needed time to work through conflict, get adjusted to married life and esp. married life w/ each other.
I also appreciate the memories from that time..that we were able to build with other friends in that season b/c our lives then were so flexible. SO, we were able to invest relationally well in that season which has paid dividends now when there isn't as much time to build them, only enjoy the ones that were already existing if that makes sense.

~ Did you give up your career as soon as you had kids, or did you continue it even after kids came along?
GAve it up

~ Do you wish you had stuck with a career rather than giving it up for kids?
Was not even an option given our circumstances.

~ Did anyone make comments directly to you about "wasting" your degree to be a homemaker?
Nope...well, except my college professors when I expressed my desire for that back in college. But, that didn't matter much to me.

~What part of being a wife, mom, and homemaker most excited you?
Honestly? I won't say publicly what part of marriage most excited me..you can ask your mom about all that. :)
AS a mom..I don't know if I thought of it much before it happened. NOW that I am a mom, I love seeing them learn every day something new and esp. things about GOd...that's just an amazing privilege to get to be so upclose to that and also be one of the primary influences on how their little lives will be shaped. The most exciting and the most humbling aspect of mothering as well.

~ What parts of marriage did you expect to be easier? Harder?
I expected nursing to be easier than it was. I expected getting along w/ my hubby to be easier than it is at times.
I expected A LOT that has turned out to be harder than I thought. I must have had a rather high view of my abilities before I got married.
There is one aspect of marriage that I thought would be harder/ less enjoyable, but again, you're going to have to talk to your momma about that one. :)

~ What is your favorite thing about being a wife/mom/homemaker?
I love having my husband walk through the front door at the end of the day, going to bed with him at night.

I love seeing my kids smile and laugh and learn. I LOVE cheering them on.

The homemaker thing...I'm still working on that one. I guess the thing I love is feeding my family nutritious meals, and making an orderly environment for them, one conducive to learning.

~ What advice can you offer on being a wife/mom/homemaker?
Being a wife: read the Bible passages on being a wife and all the good books and actually APPLY what they say. :)

being a mom: do the same as being a wife.

Being a homemaker: do the same as being a wife and a mom. :) :)

~ What was the hardest lesson to learn about not being independent, but being married and under the authority of your husband? Or in other words, what part of married life was the hardest to get used to (giving up time with friends, the freedom to go out whenever you wanted, not having to worry about cleaning for anyone but yourself. etc)!
All of it!
I'm not so submissive by nature, but then again, no woman is or the Lord wouldn't have to command us to be submissive, would He?
The hardest part about submitting to a husband is that my life is tied to his decisions..what happens to me is directly related to what he decides is best for our family. That can be really hard at times when you think your hubby is not making the best decision or making a decision that you know is going to cost you personally in some way.

Hope these answers were helpful in some way to you.
I think it's great that you are seeking out the input of older women, Sarah..a mark of humility on your part for sure.
But, remember that God writes a different story for each person. He has fearfully and wonderfully made you and has plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Your life is going to look different from my life or anyone else's. As much as we sometimes want to plan for it all, try to anticipate it all so that we can execute flawlessly (at least that's my tendency), God has a way of throwing us curve balls that we could never have anticipated for the purpose of making us walk in His Spirit, depend on Him and see His faithfulness surpass our own.

Bethany said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bethany said...

Sarah,
I am going to answer some of you questions later this afternoon (waiting for my lunch to cool right now...and I am hungry hee hee). But the overall best advice for all these stages is TO ENJOY EVERY MOMENT AND DON'T WISH YOUR LIFE AWAY!!!! So many people especially women wish and long for that next stage. Enjoy the moment you are in and take advantage of all it has to offer. I did a post a long time ago...FEB 06 on that.


Anyhow, I loved the stage you are about to enter. I have to say it was one full of changes, trials yet also lots of fun and full of growth for me in terms of becoming who I am.

Ashleigh said...

Sarah, I didn't have time to answer all of the questions, but here are a few:

College:

-- Embrace the opportunities to get experience in what you are learning, and not simply book or classroom knowledge. Do internships or special projects. Experience is a huge help in getting a job after college. Plus, I think more is learned through doing than hearing.

-- I would agree with the advice not to borrow a lot in student loans. Apply for scholarships, look into grants and tuition waivers. Work on the side if you are able. I made it through undergrad and grad school by making the most of all of these opportunities and only had to take out one very small loan (of about $4500 -- which isn't bad for six years of education).

Single Life:

-- I miss being able to freely travel. While it's certainly not impossible by any means, it's a lot harder and more expensive to travel once married with kids. And honestly, I regret not traveling more. I love theater, so I would have done more theater. Can't really do that at this point in my life with young kids. It would require too much time away from them.

-- As far as singles' ministries, I'll take the opportunity to plug Focus on the Family's webzine www.Boundless.org (my husband is editor of it). It talks a lot about preparing for marriage.

Career:

-- If you are planning to be a stay-at-home mom someday, study an area in college that you can use once you are at home. Then your degree won't feel like it's going to waste. Study writing or journalism, art or photography, perhaps business if you want to have a small business from home, etc. I got a master's in film-tv production, and currently as a stay-at-home mom I'm not using it. Fortunately, I do have opportunities to write and edit. This brings in a little extra money. Also, get experience. Intern. Volunteer. This will open up future opportunities for you.

-- For me, the hardest part was not being able to check of tasks as completed. Dishes, meals, cleaning, changing diapers always has to be repeated, continually. I didn't feel a sense of accomplishment for my efforts as I did when I was working. Also, giving up what I thought was going to be my future: working in film and television. But, despite the times it's hard, I wouldn't change having my kids for anything! I love them LOTS and can't imagine life without them.

Family:

-- My husband and I were married 8 months before I found out I was pregnant. It was sooner than we had planned, but God knew what He was doing! I wouldn't change the timing at all.

-- The hardest part was losing the "alone" time we once had so quickly.

-- I gave up the idea of pursuing a career in television and also quit the job I was working at. I had my first daughter at the same time I graduated from grad school. But I was able to continue to do freelance writing and editing. So I am a full-time stay-at-home mom who does work from home. But I can pick and choose what I do. There's a lot of freedom in that.

-- While I sometimes wonder what life would have been like if I'd pursued my career instead of giving it up, I don't regret it. I would rather miss what could have been career-wise, than miss seeing and experiencing my daughters grow up.

Leanne said...

Posted on my blog for space reasons!

Suzanne said...

College:
~ What part of college life was the most surprising to you?
I was very naive about how wild people would be. Even though I wasn't saved until the end of my freshman year, I'm grateful that I stuck with friends who weren't wild.
~ As someone about to start college, what is the best advice you can offer me in regards to ANY aspect of the college life?Do not sign up for credit cards. I have many friends who went into MAJOR debt in college. Just stay away!!

Single Life:
~ What did you do as a single that you most loved?traveled - on the go all the time
~ Is there anything you miss about being single that you wish you wish you could still do as a married woman? sleep past 8 AM

Career:
~ What is the most helpful advice you can give to me as far as beginning a career? I think the Mahaney girls did it well - they pursued careers that they could use later to supplement their families' incomes (photography, accounting, writing)

~ For the stay at home moms, what part of the career to full time stay at home mom was the hardest?
for me it was adjusting to the fact that this is my life. When you have a career, you are out and about all the time.
~ How is being married and having a career different than being single with a career?
Being married with a career is difficult. I wanted to give as much time to Rob as I could, but I was working and that made it difficult. However, we were able to save some money while I was still working.
~ Did your parents, family, friends, and husband all support your career? If someone wasn't supportive, how did you deal with it? My family thinks I'm nuts for being a stay at home mom. Just wait til they find out that I am going to homeschool.....

Family:
~ How long were you married before you had kids? Do you wish you had kids sooner/not as soon? Iwas married at 31 and was ready to have kids immediately. We wait until we had been married for almost a year before we tried to start having a family. I think this answer depends on how old you are when you get married. I wouldn't trade those 11 months with only Rob for anything!

~ For those who had kids soon after marriage, what was the hardest part about being married for a short time and then having kids? Trying to keep my focus on my husband with two infants needing my constant attention.

~ Did you give up your career as soon as you had kids, or did you continue it even after kids came along? I stopped working when I was 28 weeks pregnant because I was put on bedrest. I have no plans to return at this point.

~ Do you wish you had stuck with a career rather than giving it up for kids? absolutely not!

~ Did anyone make comments directly to you about "wasting" your degree to be a homemaker? see above answer about my family.



~ What was the hardest lesson to learn about not being independent, but being married and under the authority of your husband? Or in other words, what part of married life was the hardest to get used to (giving up time with friends, the freedom to go out whenever you wanted, not having to worry about cleaning for anyone but yourself. etc) At first it was easy becaue I wanted to be with my husband all the time, but it is a challenge.

Bethany said...

Sorry it took so long Sarah. Here it is. I wish you all the best as you step into this next stage.

College:
~ What part of college life was the most surprising to you?
HMMMM. I loved college! It was one of my favorite times. Although there were times that were very difficult to me. I am somewhat of a perfectionist so if things went wrong or I didn’t get the grade I wanted I would FREAK out. I guess I never thought I would be so intense. I had a friend that use to say after a test….Hey are you still going to Heaven….it doesn’t matter. So I think that I was surprised by how intense I made it at times. And really it got easier each year.

-Did you face any religious persecution, and if so, how did you deal with it? I went to a Christian College (although not one of the really strict ones) So no I didn’t feel persecuted. Although there were a lot of crazy rich kids that were there that were obviously not Christian or at least not acting like it.
~ As someone about to start college, what is the best advice you can offer me in regards to ANY aspect of the college life?
You know what I am all for college…whether you use your degree or not. Believe it or not my degree is in Exercise Physiology and I did work as a Trainer and in Corporate Fitness and then as a Director of a Country Club’s Athletic facility for some time but as you know my career shifted into Photography. Would I change what I majored in….I don’t know I took so many electives in Art and I loved that….and I loved my time in my other career too. I did have loans when I graduated…about 9 thousand but it was all paid off after our 2nd year of marriage. Anyhow, I think yes having a college degree is great but the time is more about learning to learn and growing up (with a little bit of cushion). I wouldn’t trade that time. I became who I am. My beliefs (at times were tested) but became my beliefs. I learned how to manage my time, how to manage my money, how to live with other people, how to deal with disappointment, how to commit myself to something and reach my goals. Sure I am not using my degree everyday but I am using so much of what I learned during college life everyday. If that makes sense. So do what you LOVE, major in what interest you the most. That and find some really great friends and stay away from the ones that bring ya down.

Single Life:
~ What did you do as a single that you most loved?
Burned it on both ends. I had so much fun and obviously I can’t do that now. HEE HEE. I did lots of crazy fun things…but I was a good girl. I went shopping at 24 hour places in the middle of the night, dyed my hair after an all nighter writing a paper, went to lots of concerts and plays, road trips with friends, traveling, kept taking art classes even after I graduated college ( I love to learn new things).
~ Is there anything you miss about being single that you wish you wish you could still do as a married woman? (this sorta goes along with the first) Be spontaneous. It is so much harder to be spontaneous married and especially with kids…everything takes a lot of planning. I miss having lots of time to learn new things. I still do but my time is limited.
~ Is there something you regret not doing (or doing) as a single that you could advise me to also take advantage of (or avoid) as a single? I traveled but I would travel more.
~ Were there any singles ministries you were in that particularly helped you in your walk with God? I was in a girls group that met with teens…mentoring them actually was a big blessing to me.
~ If marriage ever became an idol for you, how did you deal with accepting singlehood as your lot in life at that particular time? I was actually the girl that wanted to graduate college move into the city (I went to school in Boston) and work and live that life for awhile then get married later. So my struggle was that I met Aaron and fell in love with him when I was 19 and soon knew he was the one so by the time I graduated college I was following him and not my career dreams. So at times that was hard for me. (I know I am a weird girl…but I love Aaron so much and know I made the right choice…isn’t it funny how most of the time God gives us the opposite of what we want…but HE knows what is best.


Career:
~ What is the most helpful advice you can give to me as far as beginning a career? Do an internship in college. Work hard…there are so many people that graduate now that think they deserve the whole world but are lazy and don’t want to work for it. If you are faithful you will do well.
~ For the stay at home moms, what part of the career to full time stay at home mom was the hardest? The first year for me was the hardest. I was in shock the whole being home all day and no adult conversation. I missed other adults and accomplishing goals.
~ How is being married and having a career different than being single with a career? (I know this probably sounds like a stupid question, but I want to know! :) It is a lot harder. You are tired but have to be there for your spouse at the end of the day. I remember soon after we got married I wanted to just quit and stay home. Although when I was in between my career change I had a little over a month off and after a week and a half I my house was clean and I was bored out of my mind. I think the big difference is that all your choices…even staying at work late really effect another person so there is a lot more to juggle.
~ Did your parents, family, friends, and husband all support your career? If someone wasn't supportive, how did you deal with it? Everyone has always been supportive of my career. Even now…you know I work from home but have had to really step back. My husband constantly tells me if I want to work more he will help make that happen for me…I don’t right now I want to be with my kiddos while they are little and I know someday when they are teens I will probably have more time to work and pursue those career dreams (actually Seth is getting pretty good already at helping me set up my photography lights so by 13 he is going to be a great assistant…hee hee)

Family:
~ How long were you married before you had kids? Do you wish you had kids sooner/not as soon? 4 years before he actually arrived. A little over 3 years (this matters because life changes for me during pregnancy…my pregnancies are not easy) when I got pregnant (we were close to thinking about having kids but he was still a surprise) I wouldn’t trade that time at all. Aaron and I had sooooo much fun together. We took lots of trips had friends over all the time. I have so many great memories of that time. And I really think having that prepared us for how hard having kids can be on your relationship… we really needed that time to grow close and know and understand each other. Now I was young when I got married I was 23…if I had gotten married older and for friends that have I think that it is silly to wait (those eggs are not getting any younger).
~ For those who had kids soon after marriage, what was the hardest part about being married for a short time and then having kids? I don’t consider my time short.
~ For those who were married awhile before having kids, what are you most thankful for about life as husband and wife for awhile without the responsibility of kids? I know it is not going to be like that until all our kids are grown. We really grew close had a lot of fun memories (while we still were young and had the energy to make them). I loved all the traveling we did and spontaneous weekends away, road trips, nights out, gatherings with our single and married friends at our house…hospitality.
~ Did you give up your career as soon as you had kids, or did you continue it even after kids came along? No….well I no longer worked for someone else and I took some time off but then went back to work for myself. But the more kids I have and the older they have gotten I have less time for work so I am not as in it as I use to be.
~ Do you wish you had stuck with a career rather than giving it up for kids? Not a full time career…but I am glad there is something I can do on the side. I needed that.
~ Did anyone make comments directly to you about "wasting" your degree to be a homemaker? I wasted my degree to change careers….but I hate that statement a degree is never a waste. And no, no one has ever made that comment to me.
~What part of being a wife, mom, and homemaker most excited you? Being with Aaron everyday and night. Watching life all over through my kids eyes…that is the best…it is so much better than I imagined.
~ What parts of marriage did you expect to be easier? Harder? Communicating I thought would be easier, it is hard work. I never expected to have to plan and make time to talk or that things get bad when I don’t tell Aaron my feelings and hold them inside. I think it is hard juggling all the roles of wife, homemaker, mother, etc etc. I thought cooking and meal planning would be harder (and it is when I am preggers) but once I got started it was easier than I thought.
~ What is your favorite thing about being a wife/mom/homemaker? Wife…ask your mom. HEE HEE. JK. I love having someone to love that loves me so much. Mom…seeing life through their eyes and the love that I feel for them. Homemaker…….. and making our home, home.
~ What advice can you offer on being a wife/mom/homemaker? Wife……..love him more than you love yourself and you will be happy and make time alone with him a priority. Mom……..Enjoy every moment because it flies so fast and remember they are kids and set your expectations accordingly. Homemaker…..learn how to cook, clean and organize young so that it is easier to adjust but remember that relationships are more important than clean floors.
~ What was the hardest lesson to learn about not being independent, but being married and under the authority of your husband? Or in other words, what part of married life was the hardest to get used to (giving up time with friends, the freedom to go out whenever you wanted, not having to worry about cleaning for anyone but yourself. etc). Money….having to ask before I bought something or justify a purchase. Also I tend to over commit to things so learning to ask Aaron first before just saying yes to everyone else. I am the girl who can’t say no.

Bethany said...

You know I thought of one more thing on your last question. Advice on being a wife and mother etc....

Know that family life and how that looks, how you raise your kids etc isn't a one mold fits all. What is right for one family might not be right for another. No book or method is 100 percent for everyone. So don't let people tell you that you are wrong if you do it "that way". Pray with your husband, ask friends seek advice, try different things and ways out and find what works best for YOUR FAMILY. Then do it and don't look back.

Danielle said...

Sarah,

I'm a little late to comment on this, but here goes . . .

College:
~ What part of college life was the most surprising to you?

That it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.

~ Did you face any religious persecution, and if so, how did you deal with it?

No. My first year I was away from home in Nashville at Belmont U. (a Christian school, although not strict at all) and my sophmore-senior year I was at York College. I didn't face any religious persecution whatsoever.

~ As someone about to start college, what is the best advice you can offer me in regards to ANY aspect of the college life?

Take classes you want to take for your extra credits. College is such a great time to explore different interests that you have. Meet different people and learn all you can from your profs. There are so many professors that I just loved!

Single Life:
~ What did you do as a single that you most loved?

Going lots of places with girlfriends. Trips to the beach, NYC, going to CA to visit my friend in San Jose, a 6 month internship at HSLDA in VA, having money to spend to go to museums, nice restaurants, and the concerts, etc.

~ Is there anything you miss about being single that you wish you wish you could still do as a married woman? (this sorta goes along with the first)

Hang out with girlfriends more and go on trips with them.

~ Is there something you regret not doing (or doing) as a single that you could advise me to also take advantage of (or avoid) as a single?

Like almost everyone else, I really wish I'd traveled more, especially gone to Europe, as well have done a missions trip. I'd thought about it a lot, especially teaching ESL in China. I wish I'd done some things like that now. But I was too practical and was more concerned about working and paying off student loans. Now I wish I'd done it anyway.

~ Were there any singles ministries you were in that particularly helped you in your walk with God?

My year away from home I was really involved with BSU (Baptist Student Union) which was great.

~ If marriage ever became an idol for you, how did you deal with accepting singlehood as your lot in life at that particular time?

Like Bethany, marriage wasn't really ever an idol for me. I actually didn't want to really get married for the longest time. I thought the idea vaguely as a nice one, but the reality didn't tempt me. I really enjoyed my independence and wanted to spend my life serving the Lord single.

Career:
~ What is the most helpful advice you can give to me as far as beginning a career?

Do what you LOVE, I mean LOVE.

~ For the stay at home moms, what part of the career to full time stay at home mom was the hardest?

Since I've only been home 2 weeks, and our plans aren't final about what I'll be doing, I'm not sure yet. :)

~ How is being married and having a career different than being single with a career? (I know this probably sounds like a stupid question, but I want to know! :)

I really didn't feel it was that different. The main difference was there was more to do and a little less flexibility. Josh and I each took care of the apartment/house. It wasn't like I was the sole one responsible for cooking, grocery shopping, laundry, etc. I think this is really important. My job always meant I was home latest. Josh didn't sit around at home waiting for me to come home and make dinner. If you're married and both working, than I think it's important to discuss your expectations with each other. We're very much a team and seek to help each other in every area.

~ Did your parents, family, friends, and husband all support your career? If someone wasn't supportive, how did you deal with it?

Total support.

Family:
~ How long were you married before you had kids? Do you wish you had kids sooner/not as soon?

About two years until we started planning for it, just shy of three before they arrived. I loved having those two years and wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

~ For those who were married awhile before having kids, what are you most thankful for about life as husband and wife for awhile without the responsibility of kids?

It gave us a chance to buy a house, save and get more financially solid, pay off debts, as well as know each other better.

~ Did you give up your career as soon as you had kids, or did you continue it even after kids came along?

We plan on me continuing my career in some way, even if it's starting my own business or freelancing from home. I think it's really important to continue other interests outside of children. I've known women who make their whole life their children in an unhealthy way, and it can be suffocating to their children.

~ Did anyone make comments directly to you about "wasting" your degree to be a homemaker?

No matter what I do, I never believe a degree is wasted. Lots of people get degrees and end up getting a job where they don't use the specific degree they went to school for. The same thing with being a homemaker. Getting a degree is about learning, time management, getting good study habits, becoming a lifetime, independent learner, etc. Those things are never wasted.

~What part of being a wife, mom, and homemaker most excited you?

I love being a wife like I never imagined. Mainly because of our friendship. I never expected to be such best friends with my husband. I'm excited about all the possibilities I'm not even aware of when it comes to motherhood. And I love having a home and doing artsy stuff to it and being hospitable (at least I hope to be more hospitable with our kitchen being done!).

~ What advice can you offer on being a wife/mom/homemaker?

Hmm, I don't know. You know, I could have spent a lot of time preparing to be a mom before I was pregnant, but I didn't need to. I had the time when the season was right. Although I think one should be wise about preparing for the future, I think often preparing for the future means doing your best at whatever you're doing now. If it's a being a student, than be the best one you can be. If it's working full-time, than give your all to that and be a good employee. You'll take something from every season and be able to apply it to the next. Make sense??

~ What was the hardest lesson to learn about not being independent, but being married and under the authority of your husband? Or in other words, what part of married life was the hardest to get used to (giving up time with friends, the freedom to go out whenever you wanted, not having to worry about cleaning for anyone but yourself. etc)

I think communicating has been the hardest thing (especially in the beginning). I can't really say after getting married I "felt" less independent or under the authority of my husband in testing sort of way. We discuss everything, so communicating is most important, and sometimes we don't do that well. We don't always agree about everything, from spiritual matters to finances, and that's okay. So far, Josh hasn't made any decisions that I haven't backed; we try to be in agreement about all major decisions, at least that's how it's been thus far.

Hope this has helped!