Ben and I usually take drives when we need to have a serious conversation. I have a tendency to clean during these types of talks, so we learned quickly that removing me from the home during these conversations limits distractions. In early 2016, Ben came home from a two-week long training and I said, “Can we go for a drive?” He grabbed the keys and off we went, hitting the back roads of North Dakota.
Being that I was the one who requested the drive, he waited for me to start.
I’m quite stone-cold when we start these conversations off. Both Ben and I know I will probably end up crying by the end, but I start off strong.
I said bluntly, “I want you to stay in the military.”
“Stability.” – Again, cold. blunt.
“I don’t understand. You are already going to make good money as a RN and it’s a stable job. Why do you want me to stay in the military then?
After going back and forth for a while, we realized we were on completely different pages.
“What’s the real reason?” Ben asked.
“I want to be a asdfljkaslfdkj,” I was crying and therefore obviously difficult to understand.
I repeated, “A asdfljkaslfdkj”
“You want to be a…..”
I laughed and tried looking at him through my teary-eyes. “A Home-MAKER!!!”
“I want to stay home.”
He laughed because the Megan he first met said, “Just so you know, my career is a priority for me. So when we have kids, I will work and you will stay home.”
To think he married me…
That’s where the conversation started. Through much more prayer and more drives, we kept contemplating it. Then we received orders.
Ben had to re-enlist to accept the orders.
I couldn’t start the job I lined up at the hospital.
And I stayed home.
Ben went on more trainings in the meantime and I took care of everything for our move.
Looking back, it may have seemed like this one moment sparked my desire to stay home, but in retrospect it was a two year process.
As we were praying over this decision, I talked to my mentor and she provided me with this wisdom. “Megan, would you have obeyed God if He told you not to go to nursing school?” I said, “Heck no. First, I was not in a place where I was receptive to the Holy Spirit’s voice and two, even if I did hear that still, small voice, I was too stubborn to listen to it.”
Fortunately, God got me through nursing school, because Lord knows I could never have done that on my own. But, it doesn’t necessarily mean that He was setting me up for a career in nursing. During nursing school, I was challenged beyond what I can express. It challenged us in our marriage. It challenged me to be dependent on God. It challenged me to pursue true healing and freedom from an eating disorder. I learned so much during my time in nursing school that wasn’t necessarily from the textbooks.
Over those two years – our first two years of marriage and my last two years of nursing school – I was growing in my Jesus journey and healing from an eating disorder. And I started listening to that still, small voice. As graduation grew closer and closer, my passion for pursuing a career was diminishing, and my desire to be a home-baker grew stronger. I tried to push that feeling aside multiple times, because I’m supposed to be a “strong, independent woman” who “doesn’t need to rely on a man,” and “who needs to have my own career in case something happens,” and “I don’t want to disappoint my family and friends,” and “what will people think of me?”
You name it. I thought it.
We prayed about it. We moved to Texas. We prayed about it some more. Then we decided to have me stay home.
It’s not because Ben is controlling and forcing me to stay home.
It’s not because I’m scared of being a nurse.
It’s not because we are pregnant.
It’s because I have felt called to be home.
I feel called to spend this time growing in my walk with Jesus.
What I’ve learned in this journey is that I’m not going to make everyone happy. Read that again. That’s a lot easier to write than actually live out. When I can tell that I’ve disappointed and confused family and friends by deciding to stay home, I have to remind myself that I can’t make everyone happy. I’m tempted to justify how I fill my days or why we made this choice. Even as I’m writing this, I have to push away the temptation that, “Well this blog post will explain everything so that people understand.” I’m writing this so I can process it myself and so I can educate you on how this blog will change. By processing this for myself on “paper,” I feel I can put into words what I meant to say when I explained this over the phone to family and friends. Because in reality, I’m much better writing than explaining things using my mouth.
I’m not the career-driven, accomplishment-pursuing, praise-hungry Megan anymore. I was like this most of my life, but it was never satisfying.
Interestingly, in my last blog post before we officially decided I would stay home I wrote, “I gave up the notion that I had to be the best, I gave up wanting to be more “er.” Average, instead, became my healthy. I let go trying to prove I was worthy by collecting accomplishments. I gave up trying to win approval from anyone and everyone. I embraced and welcomed my average-ness and it was glorious. I learned that it’s actually okay that I’m not the best. I thought people liked me because I had something of the “best” to offer. That I had something people wanted to obtain. When I learned to give this up, I just was Megan. No one can be me. I’m the best at being Megan.”
And guess what Megan really enjoys?
She absolutely enjoys being home-baker.
I wake up excited to start my day. I enjoy taking care of everything house and home related. I enjoy spending time with my husband when he gets home, not rushing through the “how was your day?” conversation, so I can work on homework. I enjoy managing the finances and bugging the insurance company when I catch a mistake. And I get to spend a lot of time with Jesus.
I know that all the worldly goals of this life on earth aren’t satisfying – having a career, raising a family, owning a home, going on vacations, having a nice car, etc. They are nice but I don’t want them to be my ultimate goal. Because with those things and our human tendency toward greediness – there can always be that promotion, a nicer home, a nicer car, etc. It won’t be satisfying.
I feel like the most blessed woman on this entire earth. I have a husband who loves me and provides for me, a puppy who keeps me company, a two bedroom apartment that I get to take care of, a Bachelor’s degree with no debt, a healthy body and mind, and the time and opportunity to grow in my relationship with Christ.
Because God created a space in all our hearts that can’t be filled with cars, or houses, or children, or even a husband. It can only be filled with Him.
If at the end of my life, I devoted everything I had to following Jesus – then I can stand before God and hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Matt 25:21 NLT
2 Timothy 2:21 NLT, “If you keep yourself pure you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.”
That is my ultimate goal.
So while I’m home-baker, I am and plan to continue filling my days with Jesus. If He says one day, “Megan, I want you to go into nursing. I will say, “Sounds good Lord, show me the way.” I don’t want my stubbornness getting in the way this time of Him fulfilling His greater purpose in me. How can I know what He wants for me if I’m not spending time with Him?
And part of this period of time will be consumed with writing a book. As I have expressed before, I enjoy writing and sharing what insights the Holy Spirit has revealed to me. The book is going to be along the lines of my eating disorder recovery/Jesus journey. All that to say, I’m letting God takes the reigns on it and see where it goes. Therefore, this blog will not be super active – let’s be real – it hasn’t been super active in the first place. But, I will be focusing on writing the book. If I have a snipbit to share, I may post something up. And if the Lord desires this book to be published one day, I will definitely update that information on this blog. So stay tuned!
An older woman in my Bible study put her life into one eloquent sentence, “I’m a work in progress.” We all are. Until the Lord Jesus returns or I go to heaven, whichever one happens first, I will always be a work in progress. Always growing and changing, never stagnant.
So for now, I enjoy being home-baker.
**Updated: I was seeking encouragement from other women who have made this decision to stay home with no kids and came across BlairBlogs.com post on, “Why I Decided To Be A Stay-At-Home Wife (With No Kids)” She articulated the following few paragraphs so well that I had to ask for permission to share them. She communicates with such confidence and poise how this decision has been a blessing in her marriage and their lives. I love her thoughts on women empowerment and mainstream ideals. I fully stand by what she says in the following paragraphs. And with Blair’s express and written permission, I am able to share them with you…
“I realize that this lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but it works well for my husband and I given our goals, personalities, and desired pace of life. I think it’s important to note that I am introverted and enjoy/need lots of time alone to function. Being by myself during the day (with our puppy!) is enjoyable and refreshing to me, not lonely or isolating. I’m also very self-motivated and don’t require a boss or leadership figure to move forward and accomplish tasks; this personality trait lends itself well to working from home and homemaking.
Many people deeply pride themselves on being “crazy busy,” but I’ve never wanted that. I’ve always sought out simplicity, quietness, calmness, and peace–and now, my life reflects that. I have time to think and breathe, time to pursue my personal goals and dreams, and time to spend with my husband. We don’t live rushed or frantically, but steadily and intentionally. This takes effort from both of us, and requires saying no a lot (“Say no to the good things so you can say yes to the best things” is our mantra). We both undoubtedly agree that any challenge we’ve faced through this decision is wholly worth it for the reward of slow-paced living.
My soapbox-ey thoughts? For a country that’s pushing women’s empowerment, it sometimes feels like we as women are only empowered to make mainstream decisions and work mainstream jobs and have mainstream dreams. I’m all for educated and empowered women–ALL for it–but it has to be inclusive. Just as there is great value in a woman working a corporate job, there is great value in a woman running her household well. Just as there is great value in a woman sitting around a board room table, there is great value in a woman sitting around her dining room table, feeding her family. It takes courage and a thick skin to live counter-culturally, but in my life, and in the lives of my current and future family members, I see great value to it. I hope and desire to see women follow God’s calling in their lives bravely, whatever that may be.
Through this past year, as we’ve lived an “unpopular” lifestyle, I’ve learned how critically important it is to make choices that best suit my family, not someone else’s. We respectfully don’t care what other people think of our arrangement; it works for us! Similarly, we understand and support friends and family who have chosen very different routes. It takes all kinds. You do you!”**