I spent (not enough) time this morning praying for our children and their career choices.
It occurred to me that we live in kind of a weird time in history. Our children, both girls and boys, have so many possibilities for careers.
For centuries, most women in most countries had very few options. In many countries today, women had few options. And many young men have also been expected to follow in their father's footsteps. If your father was a tailor, you were expected to become a tailor. If he was a farmer, so were you. And so on.
So now we live in a country where both men and women can do almost anything.
And while that is great freedom, it also means that the choices can seem overwhelming at times. I mean, there are like hundreds of possible careers. Which is the right one for a particular young person, especially someone who naturally doesn't have experience in the working world?
There are ways to narrow things down, like doing career analyses. I have some of those books and the older girls have worked their way through. Naomi is an introvert so spending a lot of time with random people, as a salesperson, for example, wouldn't be a good fit.
Lydia loves children. Loves children. So she'll probably end up doing something with little kids.
Or animals. She love animals as well.
So yes, I was praying for God's guidance.
But maybe even more important than picking the "perfect career" is being at peace with not really knowing the future.
I went to college and chose metallurgical engineering as my major, based on a week long trip to Michigan Technological University the summer after my junior year. We had a half day session on metallurgy. That wasn't much information about a whole major, but I figured I could switch majors if it wasn't a good fit.
Turned out it was. I really loved metallurgical engineering. My graduate studies were more all encompassing and my degree was in Materials Science and Engineering. (Metallurgy is focused on, you guessed it, metals. But ceramics and polymers are also vitally important materials, of course.)
So I spent almost 10 years in college. Yes, 10 years. Graduated with Ph.D. Got married. Worked for a couple of years. Had a child.
And wow, was I unprepared! I hadn't been around small children much at all for decades. I was teary eyed with hormonal upheaval and fear the day we brought Naomi home from the hospital. Of course I had researched and read books and thought about baby care, but it wasn't something I had much experience with and I was so stressed about messing it up.
Did I mention she was under 6 lbs at birth, and born in the winter? She was so tiny and I was so unprepared! I loved her with a fierce passion that defied description, and felt inadequate.
But you know, I figured it out. And then we were blessed with 8 more children, and my life settled into a routine and I became a bona fide expert with small ones.
So sometimes you start in one direction, and life takes a sudden turn and you do something else.
That's encouraging. Our kids don't need to figure it all out. They can take a few steps in one direction. If they need to adjust, that's Ok. God can guide them through His paths for their lives.
Just as He guided me.