What’s A Girl to Do? Life After High School

In the machine we’ve created, it is assumed that a high school graduate will, no, must go to college, get a good job so he/she can get a good house and live a good life. To some people, there simply isn’t another option, which is sad, at best.

I could write a book on the many facets of this subject, on all the alternatives to college as higher education and what is a “good” life, but this isn’t a book ;-) Nor is it a debate about college, girls, etc.

We have a graduating daughter this year. As she battles the barrage of questions that can be uncomfortably assuming, she is searching out and finding (praise God!) answers to that daunting question, “What will you do now?”

Answers to that question are no doubt different for different people, but it is so freeing to see the world as a landscape of opportunity for the glory of God.

We keep pressing our children to go back to the original, most important question for life: “What is our purpose here?”

And in answering that, we can more clearly make life-decisions that will help us fulfill our purposes.

I’ve been asked, a number of times, to explain specifically what Bria will be doing after graduation, because the question looms frightening beside society’s expectations.

Please know I share with humility, from a sincere desire to help so many who have asked.

So, while her landscape will no doubt be constantly changing, there is a framework that has helped her make decisions at this point in her life.

It is a given that she will continue her education. Much to the chagrin of “educational status quo”, learning is a life-long process, and the world is a bigger classroom than a college campus. So I hope no one worries. Oh, and we have lots of books ;-) and college classes at our fingertips. Please do some reading, if you disagree, and learn that college is just one, tiny option for higher learning and just one among a thousand equally (or better) suitable paths to a “good life”.

She wants to serve. No, she knows the Lord asks her to serve and so He has put it in her heart to do so. “Look not only on your own needs, but also on the needs of others.”

It is, I think, our most basic purpose. The last act of our Lord. The one He left with us to “do to one another”. Isn’t that what the story of the talents was about? That God has given us “this much” for “this time”; will we invest ourselves, our time, energy and gifts, into the people around us? Isn’t that the only way to keep living?

So she will serve here first, in many ways, and specifically teaching history to her younger siblings. A “serving” she will thoroughly enjoy.

She wants to be available. Being available for other needs is half of the duty of a Christian, isn’t it? For how can we serve if we are always too busy? The Lord has placed another family in our path she will be assisting one day a week, and she is truly thrilled to be able to reach out to them with her gifts.

She will be teaching (for pay) a friend’s daughters to sew. She will continue her piano lessons and possibly teach a younger brother piano. She will dabble with different home-business ideas, including a current job offer for ebook editing and design she is praying about.

She may volunteer for a crisis pregnancy center. She may volunteer to drive an elderly lady to the grocery store. She will read. She will create things. She will enjoy life and whatever opportunities the Lord gives her.

But her favorite thing? Being in the dirt, working on the farm, working in the garden, helping us regain some of our self-sufficiency since the storm.

What will she not be doing? Wondering “what to do” with life bursting with so many choices she can’t do them all.

It’s just a small snapshot of a short moment in time in one girl’s life. Let’s do what He gives us!

(Read her perspective at Visionary Womanhood.)

 



69 Responses to “What’s A Girl to Do? Life After High School”

  1. Sherry says:

    This is so very important! I love your emphasis that college is not the only option for a young person! We have “graduated” six so far, 4 of them girls. Some went to college, others have found their way without it. Our oldest daughter at home is 19 and very active at home; she helps with English and math, often entertains the tiniest girls while I take time with the older children, makes lunch for us daily, and is developing her artistic talent and pursuing small business ventures. A Godly homeschooled young man has expressed interest in entering into a courting relationship, but she has opted not to begin for another year while she matures and waits on God’s timing. She looks at this time as being precious, and doesn’t waste a drop of it!

  2. Rachel R. says:

    Neither of my older daughters are interested in college either. And in spite of my husband’s family being strong college attendees (including several college professors in the mix), we’ve chosen to not push the girls.

    My oldest is 17, and seems to be in no hurry to finish High School – though what she doesn’t realize is that she studies a subject so thoroughly, that by the time she’s ready to move on, she has often studied that subject well into college level.

    There is a part of me that wants to push her down the “proper education” road. But truthfully, I don’t think that is the road she will be her best for God pursuing.

    Currently, other than school, she desires to write books, knit, cook, and raise herbs. She blogs too – http://knittedbygodsplan.blogspot.com.

    It is a great encouragement to us to see so many other young men and woman taking a good long look at the “status quo” and turning down a path less traveled.

    My “almost” 15 year old is just starting high school. But I’m already seeing her thoughts turn that direction as well. Although she wants to work with animals and special needs children, and sew.

  3. Smitti says:

    Another timely post! Just when I was seriously ‘concerned’ (because God knows I would ‘never’ worry when He’s told me not to! ;) ) about my daughters ‘having’ to go to college, He is showing me another young woman who will live (thrive!) without it. Isn’t He wonderful!?!

    Also, I recently ‘discovered’ another degree you can get in college. It has to do with sport venues and hospitality. From what I understand, it’s ‘home ec’ for stadiums! You learn how to make people comfy while they’re there, how to ‘bring your food from afar’, how to properly manage the finances, how to clothe the staff, and how to ‘delegate’ to get the work done in the proper season, and how to care for your ‘servants’ as well as guests. (And they say the Bible is irrelevant! HA!)

    Praise the Lord! :)

  4. Charlotte Moore says:

    Love this!!!

  5. Keri says:

    How Very Beautiful!!

    As a mom to four who have already graduated..I can so understand!

    I am not against college at all..as long as a young person has a definite plan and knows what they are going for.Our oldest daughter went away to college for two years.Our sons have not gone to college but have thought about it..here locally and our 19 year old daughter has had some Bible classes online.Our sons have had good steady jobs since graduating.

    I recently had someone make some pretty snide comments to me about college and I have to admit that it did hurt but not because I wasn’t sending my kids away to college but because of the way she said it.

    It sounds to me like all of the things that your daughter is planning on doing are just wonderful!!Our daughters have had wonderful serving opportunities like this also and it only made them stronger in the Lord and gave them a taste of what they feel called to continue to do.

    I know people who just send their kids off to college because they don’t know what to do with them next or they are ready for them to be “out of the house”..UGG..yep..that is what they have told people.

    As your kids get older..The Lord will give them wisdom on what they are to do with there lives at this stage.I have seen this time and time again with my older children.

    As of right now..our three oldest who are not married and still live here..although our 23 yr.old son will probably be married within the year.They all have good full time jobs and for that I am thankful.They are 28,25 and 23.

    It is a little different right now for our 19 yr.old daughter who is still at home with me during the day.Her online classes are finished for now and she may be working for the family she worked for last summer..watching their two kids when they get out of school at the end of the month.She had lots of fun with them!!Just to let you know Kelly..she teaches piano to her younger 14 yr.old brother.I was actually going to take him for lessons to a sweet young lady and when my daughter found out..she was like..Mom-I can teach him! So, she does and he’s doing well with his lessons.

    This post has been an encouragement to me mostly because my 19 yr.old daughter has not gone out into the “working world” yet and she is not quite sure if that is where the Lord is leading her right now.She gets a little grief from people for that.She has the sweetest and purest heart.I do know that the Lord will give her wisdom and us wisdom when the time comes.

    It would be great if you just lived down the block Kelly and these girls could get together..lol.Thanks for the encouraging post!Blessing to you today!!

  6. Keri says:

    Okay..I just read Bria’s post on Visionary Womanhood and it was Beautiful!..and made me cry!!

    One of the other things that I wanted to share was that once older grown kids start working full-time..They are exhausted..when they come home and don’t want to move or do anything..lol.The responsibilities they had when they were younger and home more are not possible but they also know they are not allowed to just be “couch potatoes”. They still help with some things when their schedules permit.

    I’m going to have my 19 yr.old daughter read these posts..as I know they will be a Huge help to her!!

  7. Sarah says:

    Congrats, Bria! This is very encouraging because I still have little girls at home and I am already thinking about what they will do after they graduate homeschool. It shows me that my job is to encourage them in their God given talents. Thank You for the great post, Kelly!
    -Sarah

  8. Abby says:

    It is hard as you graduate to not get frustrated with the billions of “where are you going to collage” or “what are you doing now” questions. Many of these questions are asked because people don’t know what to say to a young person. It was hard for me in the beginning, but now it’s not. The questions become less.

    Congratulation Bria! The next chapter in your life is going to be grand! I am fully enjoying it myself as of now :)

  9. Shawnele says:

    Another lovely post on a topic that has eternal impact!

  10. Nicole says:

    This topic has been on my mind lately. This (and Bria’s) post inspired my post today. I am so thankful that I have learned to be good no matter what God leads my girls to do in their lives. It can be so hard with outside pressure. Thank you for posting about this and for sharing Bria’s post also. I linked to both in my post today :)

    http://indulgentaromas.blogspot.com/2012/05/no-need-to-leave-nest.html

  11. anonymous says:

    I want to offer a different perspective. Not for the purpose of arguing, just for your education.

    When I graduated high school, 10 years ago this month, my mother had cancer and my dad (a sub-contractor) was feeling the effects of the post 9/11 economic downturn. Having a “feeling” God was calling me to stay home, sew and play piano was not an option. I worked. I worked at Burger King. It wasn’t great. I think I made $6/hr for 40/hr a week. I want to say I brought home like $200/week after taxes. But that was the best way I could serve my family, by not being a burden financially.

    My story is without a doubt something people in this economy feel as as well. I would say that my situation is closer to the average families reality rather than your situation.

    I am NOT raging on you. You have it good and that is great. You guys worked hard for what you have. And the best way for your daughter to serve her family is to be at home, so be it. Your way is not the only way and it is not the “best” way. There is no best way, only what is best for each family. Each family makes there own choice and that is their business. If you were having trouble paying rent and keeping your lights on you would be saying something totally different.

    • Word Warrior says:

      Anon,

      I’m sorry for your family’s hardship, but to assume “You have it good and that is great…If you were having trouble paying rent and keeping your lights on you would be saying something totally different.” is an insult.

      We have, for a long time, struggled to pay various bills, including the food bill, despite our frugality. We also sacrifice a lot to live the life we do, not because “we have it good”. The Lord has provided, miraculously, time and again, because we trust Him. My husband was out of work for a year rebuilding our house. Times are not “easy” for us right now. We struggle, and we have to make careful choices. Be careful what you assume.

      And I didn’t say “this is the only way”.

      • anonymous says:

        I didn’t mean to insult you though. Personally, I would think if someone was not requiring an adult to work, it would be safe to infer they were able to pay their bills. That is where I was coming from. I am very sorry for your families hardships too and I can see why that would be an insult. I honestly hope your daughter steps up to the plate and offers to work since she must see you struggling.

        • Word Warrior says:

          First, you obviously didn’t read my entire post. She IS earning money.

          Secondly, I find your thoughts wildly ironic. We are criticized for allowing her to help with household chores, with the children, etc. (“that is NOT HER JOB”, they say), but I’m “not smart” for not making her work a 40 hour week to contribute to the household?? (Anon, had left another comment before this one, less kind, but expressing the same opinion).

          I don’t think you have a grasp on what “family economy” means. Helping in our home IS contributing to the finances. She planted our garden (saves a ton on groceries), sewed some of our curtains and my comforter for our new house (big savings), is teaching piano to a sibling (instead of our paying a teacher) and will be paying her car insurance and gas out of her sewing lessons. That is only to name a few ways…

          Furthermore, there are very few families who, if they made their 18-year-old work 40 hours and give most of the money back to the family, would not be heavily criticized.

          I would challenge you to open your mind up to all the possibilities in life besides just “going to work for 40 hours”. We have, through our very financial struggles, discovered a wealth of options and opportunities to benefit our family’s economy without sacrificing the things important to us.

          • anonymous says:

            I would love to open my mind to not working 40 hours a week, but that stack of bills is calling my name…. I never said you weren’t smart or criticized her for helping with the chores. On the contrary, I think that is the least she can do. Sewing and gardening are great, but if she could also do that while bagging groceries or pouring coffee at a diner. But if you don’t want that, that is fine, I cannot say I agree with it or understand it.

            • Word Warrior says:

              Anon–you aren’t hearing me. And you aren’t being honest, which makes it VERY difficult to have an intelligent discussion. You said *precisely* “it is not very smart to have an adult not working” in your first comment. And I am telling you that she does MUCH more than “help with chores”, although that is a very important part of her contribution to our family.

              We have become so consuming, as humans, that people largely ignore the reality that *saving* money is equally beneficial to earning it. To plant a garden, teach music lessons, make otherwise expensive home furnishings, cook from scratch, and a thousand other things–all these reduce the amount of income our family has to have in order to pay the bills.

              You are also ignoring the fact that she is making an income, paying her insurance and her gas. She is a contributing member, not a burden.

              A young, single woman working a 40-hour week to pay bills is only one way to live (and by your own admission, not a great way). Working equally hard to reduce the cost of the bills is another brilliant option ;-) . It doesn’t mean a family “has it good”, it means they are taking a different approach to survival.

              • Keri says:

                Hey Kelly,

                Please don’t take this the wrong way..okay-here I go..lol
                Some of these ladies..obviously young ladies have been hurt terribly
                by some of the things they have gone through while they were younger.

                Your article was good..so..don’t feel the need to be so defensive when answering them back.You don’t have to always prove you are right…(Proverbs 27:6)..Have a Blessed Memorial Day Weekend..

                • Kelly says:

                  Keri–But I *am* right, LOL!

                  If you knew half of the “behind the scenes” that I deal with, you would be publicly commending me, instead of rebuking, for my exercise of restraint ;-) Let’s just say things are not always what they seem…but thanks for the admonition.

                  • Brittany says:

                    I see what you are saying Kelly.

                    Anon could have actually saved gas money and work uniform money and potentially the cost of insurance and another vehicle, if she used one, by staying home. She could have been babysitting or something from home, which would have saved such expenses. There is definitely demand for babysitters. She could have planted a veggie garden, which saves tremendously on groceries and can even be done on a porch or balcony. She could have hung clothes on a clothesline after washing them and that would have saved oney and helped her parents. She probably could have come up with ways to save/earn $200 a week from home without needing to spend part of it on gas or clothes. It costs money to go out to work.

                    I am so proud to hear what your daughter is doing to help your family and contribute. She sounds like a happy, busy, and helpful gal. :)

                  • Keri says:

                    Hey Kelly,

                    Yep..you are..lol..and thanks for having a sense of humor about it!
                    I can’t imagine what you must deal with “behind the scenes of your blog”.I’ve actually thought about starting a blog but am not sure I want to deal with all of that.I’m sure you know what I mean.Anyway..I think it’s good that we can all discuss these things on here. Encouragement is always good too!

                  • Keri says:

                    You are very welcome!!

    • Keri says:

      Anonymous,

      Good for you for going to work to help your family when there was a financial need.I’m sure they much appreciated it!Blessings to you!

  12. Emily says:

    A breath of fresh air…
    How did this concept get so lost within the Christian community!?
    Thank you for your ministry!

  13. Cheryl says:

    Be ready in season and out of season…What an opportunity to share the Lord and His plan for young ladies when you get that inevitable “So what are you going to do now?” It is a legitimate question and it doesn’t always mean “What outside career are you going to pursue?” Teach your daughters to be prepared with an answer and not be offended.

    One elderly gentleman, after our church announced all the graduates of the year, asked our daughter this question. He was quite pleasantly surprised at her unusual answer, and told her how wonderful it was to here!

  14. Cheryl says:

    “Hear”– not “here”! Sorry!

  15. Nikki says:

    Congratulations on your daughter graduating high school! What a beautiful milestone to celebrate. Sounds like you have a very special and wise young woman :)

  16. Jessica says:

    I really enjoyed reading this! My girls are only 3 and 2, but I know time will fly and before too long we’ll have to be thinking about these issues. Congratulations to your daughter!

  17. Carolina says:

    Congratulations on your graduating daughter!
    May God continue to refine her character and skills.
    What do you use to teach History?

    • Word Warrior says:

      We are trying to decide…I love the unit study approach, which requires more work initially, but integrates lots of subjects/angles into one study–more like life-learning that makes sense.

      I like much of Veritas Press. But we’re also considering just going through “History of the World” and using that as a spring board, maybe, adding biographies, geography, etc. So many directions it’s hard to choose!

      • Terri says:

        We have used Beautiful Feet history curriculum for about 10 years and I absolutely LOVE it. Very Charlotte Mason”ish” – real books, notebook approach. The only curriculum I have stuck with over the years – just a thought!

        • Word Warrior says:

          Ooh, thanks for the reminder, Terri. We love their books! Rea (the owner), gave me quite a few to review before the storm. I think we may have salvaged a few though…I was so happy to find them in storage!

      • Heather says:

        We are reading through History of the World now. My oldest son is 11. We are enjoying it. :)

      • Carolina says:

        Do you have an empty wall for a history time line?
        I do, but I never find the moment to get it started. I know it it will a little bit of work in the beginning, so I am postponing and postponing it.
        I think it is great that Bria will continue to live with you, doing all those good things. she will be -as she alrady is- a great asset to the family.

  18. 6 arrows says:

    I’ll apologize right out for what’s probably going to be a book-length comment ;-) but I wanted to weigh in from the perspective of a mom who (along with my husband, of course) has raised two children to adulthood, and the differing directions those two children have taken since graduating from high school (how it’s played out regarding their adult education and their serving).

    Of my two adult children, only my 19-year-old daughter has found it needful to go to college. My 22-year-old son, after his high school graduation, looked into training for a certain field of work, but the cost of the training was $10,000 for a three-week course! Wages in that field are quite good, but the jobs are not plentiful, and too many of the few people who do work in that industry are being laid off as the demand for the service this industry provides has declined due to the crumbling economy. So my son chose not to pursue training in that field just then, to avoid going into debt to get an education for a field in which he may not even be able to get hired for quite a long time.

    Instead, he is working for a very reputable company in our region that has many opportunities for advancement without needing a college degree or specialized certification. He is living at home, saving money for whatever the Lord may have for his future, and helping to contribute financially (and practically) to our family, which frees me up to focus on homeschooling/discipling the younger children without having to combine homeschooling with earning an income. He is also available to assist alongside my husband with home duties, or take over in his dad’s absence (when hubby is at work). Not to mention how he might assist with the younger children when his mom is typing excessively-long comments :-)

    My adult daughter did decide to go to college, and just completed her first year (general studies) while living at home. In the fall she plans to move about 2 hours away to begin specialized studies. The program she’s interested in is offered locally, but it costs $30,000 a year, and the only university around here that offers it does not have a very good program. There is a high failure rate among the school’s graduates when it comes to taking the certification tests that are required to work in that field. So my daughter has opted to enroll in a very rigorous, thorough, well-organized and MUCH less expensive version of the program at a different school, though it will take her out of our area for five consecutive semesters. However, she will be living with extended family, renting an upstairs room from my sister-in-law, a single mom. So it’s also a nice way for our daughter to minister to her aunt, providing her with a modest supplementary income stream through rental payments, and serving as a companion to her 14-year-old cousin with whom she’ll be living, who is an only child. Also, my daughter has a great relationship with my sister-in-law, and it’s so neat to see the bond they’ve already formed, and how much they’re both looking forward to living in the same household for a couple of years.

    So it’s a win-win for both my daughter and sister-in-law (as well as her daughter), though we’ll really miss our daughter while she’s gone… *sniff* She probably won’t be able to come home most weekends, either, because her job will mainly involve weekend work since she’ll be so busy with her classes and studies during the week.

    Now…having. said. ALL. that ;-) I’ll admit to a certain level of ambivalence regarding the whole college thing for our daughter. She has such a heart for serving, and I was concerned that the demands of “higher education” (and having two jobs in addition to that) would not only virtually eliminate her availability to serve others for a season, but would affect her DESIRE to serve when she gets to a less busy season of life, having spent much time procuring an education for herself.

    I think back to my own young-adult years, and serving other people was the FARTHEST thing from my mind. I never grew up with that mindset. Getting an education for *me*, a job for *me*, fulfillment for, you guessed it, *me*, that’s what life was all about, and I still struggle with putting others’ needs before my own desires. The habits of youth can have a powerful shaping influence long into adulthood, and I hoped my daughter’s focus on her education and jobs wouldn’t affect her heart for serving others, as it did mine.

    Well, guess what? My daughter’s available time for serving this past year WAS drastically limited, but her heart for it has certainly not diminished. She’s done with her classes locally, and yesterday, she was scheduled to work at one of her workplaces, but they were slow and called to tell her she wouldn’t have to come in. So what did my daughter do? She came and told me that she wanted to take her 4-year-old sister to the park :-) So off they went, just the two of them, to the park, and the library, and the hardware store ;-) , just enjoying the pleasure of each other’s company on their 3-hour excursion.

    So now I’m not so worried that college and jobs will turn her heart away from loving service to others! She sees a need, or a way to bless someone, and she just does it, not thinking “I deserve a break”. I see that as one of the great benefits of homeschooling, that very strong sibling bonds are often developed, and because the children are growing up with so many opportunities to serve each other, they much more easily do just that, and are not as likely to default to the *me first* mentality as those who grew up isolated from serving opportunities. (Not trying to start a homeschool vs. institutionalized school debate with that remark ;-) .)

    It also gives me hope that my daughter’s heart won’t as likely be drawn away from home to pursue an outside career away from a husband and children with whom she very likely may be blessed someday, which is what happened to me (heart drawn away from home) and still affects me some days, even after 19 years out of the workforce.

    Our daughter has experienced firsthand the close, tightly-knit bonds that occur in families that are not scattered all over the place pursuing their separate careers and educations for most of the years children are in the home. I am hoping she (and all my daughters) will always have a strong desire to serve their future families, and that a season of college education and/or work outside the home will not make it difficult for them to turn their hearts and full attention to their own families some day. (I worried about that possibility when my oldest daughter began talking about college and outside jobs, but my husband wanted her to have the opportunities she desired. I can see now the blessing that comes when a wife aligns herself with her husband’s will and they become unified in that way. Peace and harmony within the family are worth so much, and many blessings have come, both to our family and to many outside of it, by allowing our daughter the opportunities she has had.) Also, I think that, in a way, she is already serving her future family by earning an income now, part of which could be put away to help with future finances, possibly making it less likely that she would HAVE to work to bring in a second income when she’s got her own family.

    SO SORRY for how long this got! This is YEARS-worth of pondering, Kelly! How to summarize? Probably this. Live together in harmony. Love one another. Serve one another. And trust God with the results, no matter where life takes you.

    Congratulations to Bria! You and your husband have done a beautiful job raising her. Many blessings to you and your whole family!

    Now back to my family. What year is it? :-)

  19. Keri says:

    6 Arrows,

    We don’t mind it being long because it was a great response and a Blessing!! Thanks for sharing!!

  20. Cathy says:

    BTW, Kelly, I neglected to mention how attractive your girl is…

  21. tammy says:

    Bria was such a joy to meet! You have done a wonderful job Kelly i know you give the Glory to God. I stand amazed at His saving love and grace, to think He called us to be His children and works moment by moment in our lives. Bria is a beautiful testamony of what God has done in all of your lives. What a Saviour!! Our oldest girl has chosen ,by God’s grace, the same path. She takes care of children, volunteers at the local Pregnancy Center and is a huge help to her father and i. Yes, we make sacrifices. We have one income, buy our clothes and most other things used, Drive really old vans (they are the best!),things such as this. It is so not a bother to do these things to help our family do what we feel God has called us to. Lord Bless you all and thank you so much for sharing this loveliness God is working out in your lives.

    • Word Warrior says:

      Tammy,

      Thank you so much for this sweet comment…and I’ve said to you already, meeting you was such a joy to me. I can’t wait to see you again in a couple of weeks!

  22. Kate S. says:

    There are so many opinions out there as to what a girl should do after graduating school. One says college is a must. Another says staying at home is a must. I’ll tell you what the one and only MUST be. She MUST seek the Lord and His Great Will in her life, be it college, home, missions, ministry, distance learning, etc etc etc. Every young woman is unique and God has a plan for her.

  23. Charity says:

    This post made me cry…actually I buried my face in the pillows while making the bed and sobbed. I’ve struggled a lot lately with bitterness toward my parents and the way I was raised. I tell myself, it was my childhood, it’s over, and I need to move on and get over it, but yet I am affected greatly by it! As soon as we were “old enough” (15 for me), we had to get a job (we got our drivers license the first day we turned the legal age) and then we payed for everything ourselves. I had to give my dad my paycheck, he cashed it, took money for rent to live in their house, car insurance, and the remaining amount I had to pay for gas for the car I drove (they owned a car lot and we had to pay to rent a car to drive), buy any clothing, toiletries, if we got sick and had to go to the doctor then we paid it and paid for any meds needed. I graduated high school a year early and my parents didn’t even know! I took 2college courses and worked in the daycare on campus full time (unbeknown to my parents as well) plus continued the partime job so I could give my dad the check from the part time job and have the check from the daycare job to save for college. I wasn’t even 17 years old. I moved to Florida for college, tested out of all the courses that I could (since I had already taken a few college courses), took as full of a course load as the school would allow a d work 30 hours a week at the post office to pay my way. I finish a 2yr degree in a 1 1/2 years and graduated at 19 years old, came back “home” and worked a full time job paying my parents $175 A WEEK for rent to live in their home and all the same stuff that I paid as a 15 year old. I was thrilled to go to college to have a safe place to live and to dodge my fathers hand, and my mothers harsh tounge. But it all feels like such a waste!!! And it hurts! I felt jipped when I got married and didn’t know how to care for a home. The little bit of cooking knowledge I had came from taking a class in high school. I had “cooked” at home, if you want to call it that, it was always boxed mixes and frozen junk tossed together, that was just the way my mother cooked, and all I knew. I have four littles and have had to learn everything from “scratch” while learning/trying to raise them and it has been tough! I wish I would have had those precious years to train and prepare for caring for my husband and children, for taking care of a family. My husband and I talked about this again last night and we know we want something different for our children! I certainly learned to work hard from the way I grew up, but the time just seems wasted!

    • Keri says:

      Charity,

      Wow!!..all I can say is I really am so very sorry that you had to go through that.I worked also as soon as I became of age also and began paying for all of my own expenses.Nobody ever took my paycheck though.When I look back on it now..I know that it made me appreciate things alot more and made me much more responsible.I’m not sure how old you are now but I’m 51 now with 4 grown kids and 2 still teens and I’d like to share what I’ve learned.

      Just because you were raised this way..does not dictate how you live your life now.My husband and I could both honestly say that there was alot of time wasted in our childhoods(won’t go into detail)and I’m going to be honest here and tell you it took us a long time to work through the hurt and anger.I guess we kind of did it together.

      It also helps..and I hope you know..that the Lord Loves you and wants to help you through this.Sounds like a quick and easy answer but it’s not…The only way we found healing was through our relationship with Jesus Christ.

      You can start New with your family you have now.You will not mess up your kids just because you had a rough childhood.I hope and pray that you are in a good church and you can surround yourself with families that will love on you and help you.

      My husband used to tell me..you may not have the relationships you want with family..(he meant..parents..siblings..etc)..but you can have that with OUR Family..kids..their spouses..and grandkids..someday!

      You know what..He was right!!We have a great relationship with our adult kids.They are strong vibrant Christians and we thank God for that everyday.We are not a “perfect” family..lol..and have things we deal with but you know what..the generational dysfunctions are just not there.

      We love our families and still spend time with them..but with our family here..we just don’t have to deal with the same things.
      I just wanted you to know that it can be different with your kids!and their kids..and so on.Hope this helps a little..

      • Cathy says:

        Keri and Charity,

        I firmly contend that there is NO waste of time w/God. If you believe that He is sovereign (and I do), then you have to believe that whatever He brings into our lives has been preordained, and that He will use it for our good. I kick and scream, and chafe under that idea, but it’s a Biblical idea. I grew up in a pastor’s home, and my dad was nothing on the inside of our house as he was on the outside. There were things that he did for which he could have been jailed, but it was a different era, and we were a pretty secretive family. It was/is amazing that my sister, or brother, or me are still walking w/God. That isn’t to say that there aren’t scars, or that I wished life had been different, but it is to say that God drew our hearts to Him, and He has kept us in His care. Factor in the fact that my mom died @ 43 (she’s w/Jesus, so she’s more alive than ever), and you had me scratching my head for a while. My mom, to this day, was the best Christian that I’ve ever known, so I often wondered why God would take my mom, but not my dad. But, I have to trust that to the Lord, and move forward. This is off topic in terms of Kelly’s post, so I am speaking directly to the notion that time is wasted…

        • Keri says:

          Cathy,

          Thanks for sharing that but I have to tell you..that I don’t think it can ever be “preordained” that a father who is a Pastor could abuse his children but I do believe that the Lord can let it be used for good.He wants us all to turn to him but if we say we walk with him and abuse our family or others for that matter..well..That is Not of God!!

          I am so very sorry you had to go through that as a child and it just makes me sick and sad that this goes on in so called Christian Homes!

          • Cathy says:

            Eccleciastes 7:14, “In the day of prosperity be happy, But in the day of adversity consider—God has made the one as well as the other So that man will not discover anything that will be after him.”

            Keri, please don’t misunderstand. I spoke of my dad in the broadest sense to make the point that God uses everything in our lives for His good. I don’t want to hijack Kelly’s blog, so I will make this quick. If I didn’t respond, I would be remiss not to do so.

            If God was “pleased to crush” Jesus (Isaiah 53:10), then why do assume that God doesn’t cause bad things to happen to people? In other words, if you look at many of the OT figures, many of them underwent suffering in the form of evil brought by others…think David, Moses, Jeremiah…I believer that I can back it up w/Scripture.

            Now back to our regularly scheduled programming, i.e., Kelly’s post about her daughter…and ifI only knew how to inject one of those goofy smiley faces, I would do it HERE.

            • 6 arrows says:

              Cathy,

              Off-topic here, but if you want to learn how to “inject one of those goofy smiley faces”, check out this site: codex.wordpress.org/Using_Smilies

              And remember to put a space before and after your smiley text ;-) so you don’t get this;-)

              :-)

  24. Keri says:

    Charity,

    I forgot to ask..do you still live in Florida?

    • Charity says:

      Keri,
      Thank you for your encouraging words! To answer your questions, my husband and I are in our mid/late twenties and have been married for 7 1/2years we live in the Low Country of SC. We moved across the state a little over a year and a half ago and have yet to find a church. For now, my husband leads us in worship at home. Moving has given us distance from rough “family” situations and that in itself has allowed for some healing for both of us. (My husband wasn’t exactly raised in a great home, but different situation than my own.) So yes, neither of us have the framework that should be there to look to for an example of how a home should be established etc., so we’ve started from scratch, but this keeps us both on our knees, which is a very good thing. The thing that is a big struggle for us both is honoring our parents. The Bible clearly states to honor your parents and with no stipulations. It doesn’t say, if they treated you the way they should have, if they were the example they should have been, if they weren’t abusive, it just says to honor them. And yes, this too keeps us on our knees, trying to seek God’s heart on how to do as He’s said.

  25. Keri says:

    Charity,

    That was one of the things that the Lord put on my heart also about
    honoring our parents.He said to Honor Them..not just if they were Christians or if they did not live up to my expectations.He will give you wisdom on how to do it..If you ever want to email me..eighthurleys@yahoo.com

    God Bless you and your husband as you work to bring up your family in his ways!

  26. Keri says:

    Don’t know why that happened..but there is no me…at the beginning of the email address. Just the eighthurleys@yahoo.com

  27. Heather says:

    I was at a store today and when I walked in some people were paying and walking out. I didn’t hear the first part of the conversation but what I did hear was the mother of a young girl saying, “Oh NO…she is not going to get married any time soon. She has to go to college first and then get started on her career. Then she can think about getting married.”

    When I graduated high school my grandmother (who raised me) gave me two choices. I could work 40 hours per week or I could go to college. I chose college. I wish I would have had the freedom of choice that Bria has! I’m so thankful my daughters will!

    (freedom of choice as long as it’s the choice you want them to make…feminists…puh)

  28. Rachel F. says:

    College was a requirement that my parents put on all 5 of their children. While I enjoyed it, I knew before I went that I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. 12 years since graduation, I am still paying off my loan, groan. I learned many valuable things in college, but what I failed to learn is what I most need now: how to run a household :) I have 4 young children and I know it can be difficult to get things done with them around, but I often feel overwhelmed by all that is required of me. There just doesn’t seem to be as many hours in a day that I need. I do wish I had learned more about housekeeping and cooking. I don’t begrudge my parents at all, but I wish I had done more to learn about my full-time profession :-)

  29. Lovely post Kelly!! So refreshing, my just graduated daughter gets the same questions… “Now that you’re done with school, what do you do all day?” Did they really think school work took 12-14 hours to do each day? ;)

    Off to read part 2 :)

  30. Cindy says:

    Why do ladies use blogs to encourage and minister to others? Why the need to constantly encourage? If we truly believe, we should not need to be always reassured?

    • 6 arrows says:

      “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” I Thessalonians 5:11. (KJV: “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.”)

      “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Hebrews 3:13.

      “…that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” Romans 1:12.

      And the list in Romans 12 for members of the Body of Christ to use our various giftings: “…prophesying, serving, teaching, encouraging, contributing to the needs of others, leading, showing mercy…”

      Why the need to constantly encourage? Because the Word says to (and says to “daily” in Hebrews 3:13).

      Blogs are one way for Christian women to encourage and minister to others, and it is a very good way, in fact, as it does not require a woman to leave home to encourage, exhort, comfort, edify, and generally build each other up within the Body of Christ. There is also the opportunity to fellowship with like-minded believers that may be difficult to find in one’s own locale.

      Cindy, to use your words, “If we truly believe…”, then we will take the bible at its word and put into practice what we are exhorted to do. Certainly that will be ministering to our family first, and outward from there as the Lord leads in His timing. I think we do need that frequent reminder about where our hope lies: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready ALWAYS [emphasis mine] to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear…”

      Our help comes from the Lord, but he uses His people to bring encouragement, comfort, edification and many other blessings. To the extent that blogs point you to Christ, then I think they are very beneficial in the life of the believer, and an excellent accompaniment to our study of the scriptures.

      • 6 arrows says:

        The reference to the bible passage quoted in my second-to-last paragraph is I Peter 3:15. I meant to include that!

        • Cindy says:

          Yes I see but I sometimes get disheartened with the tone of some of our sisters’ comments. After all, we don’t know that a young lady pursuing a particular course of study is doing it because she felt it laid on her heart? Why must we use Scripture to tell someone their choice is wrong – is this what I am called to do? I have had relatives cured by female doctors I know it was part of His plan for them so by discouraging a girl from following her heart,Ii would be substituting my opinion for His will, no? My husband feels that if children need education to develop their God-given talents – who are we to refuse?

          • 6 arrows says:

            Hi Cindy,

            Thanks for your response. There are several assertions in your reply, but since I don’t have a lot of time to respond, I’ll just address one part of your comment: “Why must we use Scripture to tell someone their choice is wrong…?”

            You seem to take a rather dim view of scripture, as if it is subservient to personal choice. There are scriptural choices and unscriptural choices. We need to be able to rightly divide the word of truth (II Timothy 2:15), which comes through careful study of God’s word, and then use it for reproof and correction when necessary.

            “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (II Timothy 3:16-17.)

            Scripture is the only source on which we can always rely for truth. Our feelings, our hopes and dreams and the choices we make based on them can be subject to error. It is not wrong or unloving to use scripture when discussing people’s choices. In fact, we’re told in Ephesians 4:15 to speak the truth in love, that we may grow up into Christ in all things.

            Remember also that there is much hope, comfort and reassurance found in the Word of God, giving us a deep sense of peace as we walk in Truth.

            We must begin with scripture, and meet the One Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. If we begin with ourselves, what we want, making life all about our own aspirations and choices, even if they appear to yield good fruit, well…read the book of Judges to see what happened when “every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”

            • Cindy says:

              True, but our wonderful pastor uses Scripture to encourage people when they are unsure of what path to take. They themselves had read passages which seemed to tell them to not take a certain path, yet he would find passages that showed it was really the Lord presenting them with an opportunity. It is very inspiring, especially to the young people who are unsure of themselves. I guess my point is that so much is left to one’s interpretation. If someone has their mind made up, they can always find verse to support their decision. If there are two conflicting passages, how would we know which is correct for us?

              • 6 arrows says:

                I think it’s great your pastor is modeling the importance of using scripture as the guide for decision-making in people’s lives. And as far as this statement goes: “If someone has their mind made up, they can always find verse to support their decision”, unfortunately, that is true all too often. People often approach scripture starting with their own presuppositions and then look for biblical “proof” to back up their opinions and choices. Which of course is backwards of the way it should be.

                Your question “If there are two conflicting passages, how would we know which is correct for us?” is a good one to ask. First we need to remember that scripture does not contradict itself. If it seems to, then we have an incomplete understanding of those apparently conflicting passages and how they fit into the larger context of the bible. Scripture interprets scripture, and if it appears to do otherwise, then that gives us all the more reason to dig deeper for an answer to the apparent inconsistencies.

                My answer to “so much is left to one’s interpretation” would be to consider what the Word says in Romans 12 verse 2: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” It is possible to correctly interpret scripture to know what God’s will is for all of life, but we must be transformed through Christ, not conformed to worldly thinking.

                Also, I find James 1:5-6 very hopeful, where we’re invited to ask for wisdom and given instruction on how to ask: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” And certainly we can pray for wisdom for our children as they become young adults making decisions about their futures. Not to mention praying for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our children, Who leads us into all Truth.

                I’ve enjoyed our discussion, Cindy. I hope it was helpful. ;-)

  31. Diana says:

    Thank you for your wonderful post! I’m so encouraged to hear the sort of things your daughter will be doing and her heart for the Lord. I’m saddened to see some of the cruel comments that have been posted.

    My 19yr daughter is getting the same sort of flack. Just a week ago an elderly lady at church, after hearing we were not sending our daughter to college nor out to the workforce but that she was going to live at home til marriage if the Lord brought her a husband and that she would serve, work, continue learning new things etc, got really big eyes of discust and got real bold concerning her opinion that a girl HAD to have SKILLS to survive these days. (why do you have to go to college or get an outside job to have SKILLS??? lol). This was disturbing coming from an older lady not to mention what it means she was saying about ME (since I am a Stay at Home mom with no college degree but would be able to get a job if my husband died and I had no other resources, lol). The funny thing is that even my HUSBAND does NOT have a college degree. He just works a regular job at a bakery and he has taken care of our family for years (by the grace of God) with a low income ($2000 a month right now for a family of 7). We love our life and not being part of the rat race! We love being frugal and being able to have enough (though to some we would be considered poor because if you are not content there is NEVER enough). I know many who have two incomes and degrees. They run the rat race with their eyeballs in debt and a fragmented family just to try to keep up with the Jones’. We just have peace and a close family..because we cant afford so many ‘pleasures’ in life, it has protected us and we have found enjoyment in simple things…and in eachother. Because of this we have MORE MONEY than many of the families we know. If dh gets his hours cut we say YAY, more time with Papa. Because we live simply and dont require a mess of $$ to keep up with the lifestyle. We have always been glad that I stayed home and that we homeschooled. (I had jobs til we married). When we made that decision we got a lot of flack. In laws called me lazy. Now they balk at my daughter. But their rat race is not part of our worldview. It is refreshing to see someone who is saying it is OK to be a simple , hardworking woman or mother of God , serving and nurturing as the Lord makes us able. People sure do not appreciate motherhood or homemaking etc anymore. It is such a shame. Thank you for letting us see into your lives a little. Not to mention there were some great ideas there for us to chew on ourselves :)

  32. Renee says:

    Our daughter just graduated from high school(homeschool) this past summer May 19th…she works from home on her own web-site and helps with her sisters Etsy shop…she has a very full day without college. I can’t wait to hear all that your daughter does and how God will fill her cup to over flowing.

    Many Blessings,

    ~~Renee

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