13 April, 2007


On March 22, I blogged about my future. Boundless has, once again, given me more fuel to feed my passion for an unexeptional career. In Dreaming The Right Dreams, Drew Dyck talks about career dreams.

As a student, I found it to be very encouraging. People often tell me to do what I love to do, but I think I'd love to be a mother, and I'm not going to do that yet. I love my physical therapy aide job, but I shouldn't do that forever. I'd love more education in that field, but I can't jump through the academic hoops. It's somewhat frustrating to know that I could do physical therapy, I just can't do the schooling. I mean, technically I could, but only if I quit coaching, quit spending so much time with church activities, quit my job(s), and had absolutely no social life. I'm not willing to do that for a Doctorate of Physical Therapy.

If you don't already have a "career," I'd encourage you to read the whole article. But this was my favorite paragraph:

"The difficulty about examining unrealistic dreams is that it flies in the face of our dream-obsessed culture. From a thousand different directions we're encouraged to pursue our dreams against all odds and at any cost. That kind of thinking might be OK if our dreams were realistic — or at least accompanied by second and third options. But often they are not."
Realizing that I couldn't do everything I wanted to do really hurt. Last Spring, when I realized I wouldn't be doing PT school immediately after graduation, I had an incredibly difficult time sacrificing that dream to God's greater plan. Now, I am thanking God that he had another academic plan (Linguistics) laid out for me before I knew I needed it.


"The Websters" said...

That paragraph is blunt, and doubly true. I've found myself in the mindset in the past of "follow your dreams," only to later think, "what dreams am I actually trying so hard to follow? and why?!"

I'm excited to see where God takes you! At this point in my life, I'm beginning to search out God's plan for me for the coming college years. Seeing you [and others at church] in other stages of the process is an encouragement and a wonderful gift from God. =]

Towropes said...

Hey, you.

It's such a joy to see how godward these thoughts of yours are. God is at work in your life!

I'm looking forward to our next rendezvous, Shenaynay. It's high time for a trip to Pittsburgh, isn't it?

Pops said...

You wrote, "I just can't do the (PT) schooling. I mean, technically I could, but only if I quit coaching, quit spending so much time with church activities, quit my job(s), and had absolutely no social life. I'm not willing to do that for a Doctorate of Physical Therapy."

Now, there is a statement of what you value. And here is a point of view to consider in your analysis: consider time. If you can do PT school, remember it will NOT take forever and it will not curtail these other activities forever. Several years perhaps, but not the rest of your life. This situation is not "all or nothing". It might be better stated as "some, but maybe not all, right now."

Coaching, church, jobs, social life - all good and necessary things. but, for a season, could some (not all) be eliminated or reduced - for a season? In this post, I am not encouraging you to do any one or the other, however, realize that completing PT will last the rest of your life. And you have expressed that it seems(ed) that God has(d) called you to PT. And I see the joy that you have after coming home from working as a PT Aide. And your excellent job performance is demonstrated by your frequent calls to come to work to substitute for someone.

You wrote, "I love my physical therapy aide job, but I shouldn't do that forever." That statement makes me wonder, why not? IF DPT is not your call, then could the clear gifting that your are expressing as a PT Aide be enhanced as a PT Assistant? The time required is easily less than two years of further schooling, now that you have so many classes already. And the study time requirement would be less than for a DPT. Your other activities would not nearly be so constrained while in PTA school as compared to DPT school.

Coaching - good, fun, influencing kids - good. Worth the sacrifice of a career in PT? Maybe. If coaching your is primary calling from God. Or is PT, or is motherhood? Or a combo meal, biggie sized? (By that statement, I mean all of the above)

Serving at Church - vital. But again, for a season, would it be wise to reduce or eliminate some service while your pursue further education so you can fulfill your life's calling? Not for selfish reasons, but for your calling and only for a season.

Jobs - CRS - pays well, fits with PT, could be a career. Debbie - pays little but fits with PT. Q's - pays little, does not fit with PT, I don't see you being called to a career there, and you could pick up another job there anytime, if that was your desire.

Social life - again, could a reduction be tolerated for a season? I also noted your "all or nothing" statement of "and had absolutely no social life". Be careful with these statements and more importantly, the thoughts that precede them. Very few things in life are all or nothing. You could have a social life in DPT school and even more in PTA school. And even if social interactions are reduced, it would be only for a season.

My point, again, is to remember that PT school (DPT or PTA) is not forever. Others things, could and should be sacrificed IF PT is what God has called you to. And IF His call for you is PT then forgoing other things (for a season) during PT school is His plan, and these other things are not His plan. Remember, I said "IF".

You mentioned being a mother earlier in your post. I see an interesting contradiction here. Although, not politically correct, there is much wisdom in a mother being at home with her children as they grow up. Many children have been sacrificed upon the altar of their mother's "career fulfillment".

The question is, could you do DPT school, become a PT and still serve as a mother? Probably, but one or the other would need to be part time. Which one is the higher call? If you have no children, the answer is easy :)

Or, could you do PTA school, become a PTA and still serve as a mother? A PTA seems more a feasible and practical alternative as a part-time career while being a full time mother.

Or, instead of "could you", the better question is "should you?" IF God has called you to be an mother and a PT, then the answer is "YES, you should do both!" Then you will need to work out the time spent on the two callings. The same holds true IF God has called you to be an mother and a PTA.

IF God has called you to do one thing and not the other, it is advisable to only do the thing that He calls your to do. There is that word "IF" again.

Parenting - OK, time for my life's example. I have found that being a parent is 100% about not doing what I want to do, but 100% about considering others needs (and wants) before mine. Not that do it well - I regularly fail miserably - but that is the call on my life.

And, in God's order, parenthood is preceded by marriage - similar to parenting, an arena of serving an other and self-denial. I don't do very well in this context either.

But here is the blunt truth - there are many things that I have desired, but I have not done because of my responsibility to serve my wife. There are additional things that I have not done because of my responsibility to serve my children. And remember, I do not do these things very well.

The following litany is not a boast. And it is not an admonition to you. But it has been the experience of my life. I write it here hoping that you will benefit from it. That is all.

School, serving in church, jobs, social activities - all have been curtailed as I have tried to serve as a husband and father.

School - I have wanted to go back to school since 1982. I tried for a while - not good for my calling as a husband and father. And I did not do very well in school either.

Serving the church - I have said "no" to invitations to serve so I could have time and energy to spend as a husband and father.

Jobs - I have often constrained myself to overwhelming, frustrating or mundane job situations to care for my wife and children. Somewhat conversely, I have denied myself pursuit of a third or fourth job (volunteer - because I enjoy it or paid - because I have many mouths to feed) so I could be present to serve my wife and children.

Social activities - my family has become my primary social circle for the past 24+ years. I now find myself entering a new stage when that social circle is being stretched, and the interactions reduced as my children become adults and find their own circles.

I remember how your mother hungered to simply speak with an adult after days of interacting only with young children. Her social activities were severely curtailed. But she did so with a joyful heart of serving her children - her calling.

And with all of this self-denial (again, this is not a boast and definitely not a complaint against my family), I have often done a very poor job as a husband and a father.

This diatribe has been offered for your consideration, and hopefully for your benefit. Marriage is about self-denial now for a greater good later. Parenthood is about self-denial now for a greater good later. School is about self-denial now for a greater good later. Life is about self-denial now for a greater good later. Self denial, not for it's own sake, but for God's glory and for the good of others that you are called to serve.

I hope that something here benefits you. I want God's will for you. I am praying for you. I love you Shanny.


J H said...

I was going to post a reply, but you're dad pretty much said it all - and said it very well at that. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

For what its worth, I had to take a long hard look at my study habits and my longterm plans after my sophomore year to decide if I should even stay in engineering. God definitely brought me through the next two (more difficult) years. He taught me many things through late nights and long weeks of studying...

I don't know where God is leading or calling you and I don't know the context of that quote - but I'd encourage you to seek out the dreams that God has for you. He is better than even the most audacious could dare to hope...and he himself has taken us as his adopted children. (Matt. 7:7-12)