written on my heart

I have a college degree and I can’t wait to be a wife + mother.

There, I said it.

I haven’t ever wanted to be anything else. God’s written it upon my heart since I was a little girl. Most of the people in my life already know this and have no issue with it. Not that they’re really allowed to have an issue with it, anyway. But for some reason, the rest of the world seems to be completely shocked when I share my career goals with them.

Very recently, as in yesterday recently, in his general audience address, Pope Francis said, “to be a mother is a great treasure. Mothers, in their unconditional and sacrificial love for their children, are the antidote to individualism; they are the greatest enemies against war.”  I think Pope Francis and I have a very similar thought process when it comes to motherhood, and actually everything else, but specifically motherhood. He went on to say that being a mother is a gift and that through their sacrificing, mothers help society overcome self-centered tendencies. I want nothing more than to experience the gift of motherhood.

As a college student, I had professors and employers tell me to “pick something else” when discussing future jobs. On the first day of a new course, most of the class period was spent having each student share a little about him/herself. We would share the basics like: name, year in school, major, ideal career, and something interesting about yourself. As you can imagine, my ideal career was always wife + mother. And as if that didn’t get enough funny looks, I would always follow it up with, “and something interesting about me is that I was at least 5 kids!” Most of the time the professor would laugh uncomfortably and ask what I wanted as a job, as if I didn’t understand the question. I made sure to restate exactly what I said, “I want to be a wife + mother and raise a family.” After it was clear that I wasn’t confused by the question, the professor would smile and move on to the next student. On one specific assignment, I was asked to find ways to apply things I had learned in my management class to my career of choice. I obviously wrote all about how to effectively use these techniques to manage a home & family and when I received the assignment back, the professors had left a note (along with the A) that read, “Aim higher, young lady!” Had I written that I wanted to be a nurse, would he have told me to aim to be a doctor? Or if I wanted to be a teacher, would he have told me to aim to be the principal? Who was he to tell me that my career path wasn’t high enough?

I’m pretty sure that if we went around the world and asked every mom with a college degree if she’s ever used it while raising her children, the answer would be a yes. Every. Single. Time. And that’s not saying you need a degree to be a wife + mother, but why can’t I apply what I’ve learned in college to raising a family? For a culture that is all about women’s rights and women having it all, we sure are quick to knock a woman wanting her “all” to be a family. I don’t think that every woman is called to motherhood, or that we should shame those who choose a career over family, but I just don’t understand why so many people are still so shocked at the idea of motherhood as a desire and choice. For a society full of pro-choicers, you think they’d accept that my choice is LIFE + family.

I’m not a naive tween waiting around for my prince charming to show up at any moment. I’m not counting down the literal minutes until I get married and start having babies. However, I AM looking forward to the day when God brings the man I will marry into my life. And I AM hoping & praying He blesses that marriage with lots of children. I am trusting in His plan to fulfill the desires He has placed on my heart.

If you want to read a more eloquently written post on the subject of women actually wanting to be mothers and stay-at-home-moms at that, check out Katrina of Cedars and Tiny Flowers. She wrote a beautiful post all about it here.

xx, Melanie Elizabeth

confidence in uncertainty (and lots of tears)

mark 11.24

A lot of the time, I have no problem writing a post. It’s actually pretty easy; usually the idea just comes to me and I quickly jot a note in my ever-present iPhone. This past week, I have not had any ideas. None at all. So this is a post about absolutely nothing. I’m hoping that by the time it’s finished, there is some general theme, or at least a well constructed thought. We’ll see. Obviously, if you’re reading this, I thought it made enough sense to share. I will not be offended at all if you click the ‘x’ on your browser tab right now…. not in the least ;)

Anyone who knows me knows that I cry, often and at the drop of a hat. I ALWAYS cry when watching movies, even if they aren’t sad. The other day, I cried at work (these were very little tears, and didn’t exactly stream out of my eyes, I’ll call them work-appropriate tears). I work full-time for a family as both their nanny and at their dental practice. Neither of which should bring me to tears. I recently started helping assist the doctor during procedures. The other day, a patient’s wife saw her husband for the first time with a full mouth of teeth, after what must’ve been a very long time without them. She looked at him, smiled ear-to-ear, and told him how handsome he was. I had to excuse myself from the room because wouldn’t you think it was a little weird if the dental assistant was crying after your procedure? I thought it was so cool that a dentist could bring that much joy into someone’s life; and to my surprise, not only in the life of the patient. I’m quickly falling in love with dentistry and I am amazed at all the wonderful things Dr. Akroush is doing at Artistic Dentistry.

I think God is probably laughing right now, because when I started college and I was telling Him MY plans, they never included working in a dental office. They looked a lot more like: date, graduate, work a little, get married, have lots of babies…But I’m finding peace, and even joy, in the surprise of His plans. My prayer recently has been a lot of me telling God that I trust His plan and a lot of me asking God to help me trust His plan. The other day, I was googling (which should totally be an actual verb by now) prayers for a future spouse. So many friends, and strangers, have told me that they’ve been praying for their future husband or wife since they were in high school. I’m a little late to the pray-for-your-spouse-party… but better late than never. Anyway, while I was looking for a prayer, I came across this post. This woman talked about asking God confidently for what you want. I know God created me to be married, He’s written it upon my heart since I was little. I fell in love with this woman’s prayer and I am claiming it as my own these days:

Lord, You created me. And I believe you created me for marriage. I don’t know the timeline, but I’m asking You to fulfill my desire to be married. Thank You, Lord, for this strong desire You’ve placed in my heart. Thank You that You’ve already been where I’m headed and that You know what my future holds. Thank You for marriage and for my future mate. Please be with him and prepare his heart to do Your will.

I’m sticking to that prayer for awhile :) And for now, I’m enjoying my Friday night at home, watching the Kentucky/Louisville game. I’m sure my night will end in tears either way, hopefully, they’re tears of joy over UK’s win! GO CATS! xo