Friday, December 23, 2005

Season of regret

My husband gave me some hard but good words the other day. I've been faced with my selfishness lately. Money issues and finding work has been a big stress on our relationship our entire marriage. More of a stress on him than on me in many ways because I grew up with a Daddy who provided everything for me. Money was never an issue for me growing up. Even when I was out of the house he paid for my college & grad school education as well as provided me with a car, food, clothes, & rent-free housing. I worked as a teenager, mostly as a babysitter and at a health club. I worked throughout college and grad school as well - office jobs, nanny jobs, bookstore jobs. But I know I was lucky. It was very important to my dad to provide for his kids. He was a very giving man... perhaps to the point of taking away responsibility that should have been ours. My dad grew up very poor & perhaps that played into it. Providing for us financially was his way of giving us security and love. So, going into marriage, I unconsciously expected my husband to be my Sugar Daddy. Now, 2.5 years into marriage, I'm facing this. Husband was aware of this even before we married. I remember now, before we married, he being worried about financial expectations I may put on him because of how I grew up. He worried that he wouldn't be able to be a good provider for me on a counselor's salary (or a coffee shop salary).
I grew up with a mom who never had to work outside of the home. She took odd jobs here & there but it wasn't out of financial necessity. My mom got great pleasure out of being a homemaker and a mom. She was able to be home with all of us kids when we were growing up & I'm grateful for that. She instilled in me the desire to stay home when we have kids. I look forward to the time when we have kids and I can be home with them. I am a homebody. I love our home; I love being at home. But I also can see how this can be safe, how this can become an escape. I don't want to have kids just so I can escape from working. I still plan on counseling when we have kids - perhaps evenings when my husband can be at home with the kids. I still hope to do speaking engagements & workshops. I still hope to write professionally. The problem is, I've been so focused on the future & planning for what's to come that I have neglected right now. And I know it's because right now is hard career-wise; right now is disappointing career-wise. It's not that I don't want to work. I just don't want to have to work where I don't want to (like the bookstore). I'm so protective of my time - and probably not in a good way. I want to be able to do our counseling practice solely & having to do anything else I resent. This has caused me to be unwise & selfish with my time right now. We don't have kids now & therefore now is a time of greater freedom that I need to be using my gifts & time towards building our counseling practice & earning money. Husband said, "I'm worried that you're going to look back on this time & see it as a season of regret." And he's right. I struggle with a lot of regrets from my past. I can't go back but I can do something about now to prevent future regret. I am convicted that I'm not using this time as I should... Because of my fears, because of my lack of trust & dependence on God, because of my stubborness, because of my selfishness, because of my poor time management I am not doing with my time & my life as I want to. Those were good words from my husband. I pray God continues to change my heart & my attitudes.

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