When I was a little girl I always wanted to be a pediatric oncology nurse –I know pretty specific, huh? Ironically, one of my very best friends is that very thing today! Well, I AM NOT! :) I have always known that I wanted to work in the medical field, however. It both intrigues me and grosses me out all at the same time! When I was in college, I was going pre-nursing right up until I starting failing not doing so well in my science classes – you know all of those classes that are essential for nursing school! (It didn’t help that I contracted mononucleosis my second semester in college and had to be out of classes for 6 weeks either, but that’s beside the point)! Anyway, I digress…I started looking into different professions and the Bachelor’s degree in Christian counseling degree at Central Baptist College (where I was a student at the time) was brand new. I had looked into it and did some research and prayed about it and after some self-discovery and God working on my heart about an area of my life that needed some healing, I knew that counseling and eventually social work was the path that I and God would want me to take. The cool thing is that I knew I could do hospital social work, but I also knew it would require a master’s degree…not something I was super excited about since I was barely able to pay for college, but God is good!

I did graduate from the Christian counseling program with my bachelor’s degree in 2003. The semester prior to that, I lacked SERIOUS direction. I was feeling pressure from several areas…one from the lady that I was living with at the time. We had a pretty heated argument discussion about what I would do with the “rest of my life.” She all but told me that I would never make any money in my profession (she did know what she was talking about) and that I really needed to get on the ball about making a decision because it wasn’t going to just “fall in my lap.” All in all, she was right. I applied for the masters of social work program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock which was EXTREMELY hard to get into – especially from a conservative private college. So, I also applied at the University of Texas at Arlington. I had family in the DFW area and decided that I could relocate there if needed…not my first option. In short, I was actually accepted into BOTH programs! I was ecstatic!! BUT, I now had a choice! UGH! If you know me at all, you know I hate choices! It didn’t take me long to decide, I stayed in Central Arkansas. I got a job at Arkansas Children’s Hospital (LOVED THIS JOB!!!) and went through the MSW program which was THE HARDEST THING EVER! Not the work necessarily, just trying to be a “fish out of water” so to speak…a conservative in a very liberal world. I was in grad school during the election between Kerry and Bush and it was…just difficult being me.

I graduated and began applying for jobs. After all, I knew what I wanted to do – I wanted to work in a hospital! I applied and interviewed for a few. The first interview I had was at a mental health clinic for severely mentally ill adults and I DID NOT WANT THIS JOB AT ALL!!!!!! Therefore, I went to the interview and was not nervous ONE BIT! I was COMPLETELY myself! I left there knowing I did not want the job yet felt very confident that the interview went well. It was strange. They called the next day and offered me the job! I felt a weird sense of conflict within myself. I talked with Brice and prayed about it. I talked with some of my friends. I actually ended up taking the job and LOVED IT! It was stressful and hard and I worked sometimes 60+ hours a week but it was a great first job out of school. I had a great boss! I was only there for 7 months when my husband called me in between clients to tell me that they were closing the Little Rock office and we would either have to move or he would have to switch jobs. We had been married for a little over a year and I had been at my job for less than a year. I had just purchased my first new vehicle, AND I had a schizophrenic patient about to walk into my office!!! Um…FREAK OUT!

The rest of the story kind of gets boring from here. I will summarize…we ended up moving to Texas – DFW area. We moved in February 2006, I started working at a HOSPITAL in March and we found out we would have our first baby 2 weeks after I started! I did eventually quit working full time and went to a PRN (setting my own schedule, only working on the weekends) mainly because I was so sick with my pregnancy and afterwards. Hospital social work was not nearly as fulfilling to me as the mental health world…I will just throw that in there! :)

I am now working full time again and have been since last December. I struggled for a long time about whether or not to go back full time. After Rachel was born, I was home with her during the day until she was 3 – taking her Parent’s Day Out since she was a year old. I did work some during the week occasionally but, for the most part, I was home with her. I started working full time when Lauren was 9 months old. Sometimes I feel like I cheated Lauren in a way. I feel guilty for not giving her a chance with her Mommy. Brice and I talked and prayed and prayed and talked about this career move for me. I have said things like, “I am not good stay-at-home-mom material” and I truly do believe that! Some moms do that really well. My kids did not learn much from me when I was at home. When I am at home, I am cleaning or doing laundry or checking things off my list…not focusing on them. If that’s not transparency, I don’t know what is!!! :S I am not a teacher at heart! I don’t feel bad about that – it’s just not me! I hated school! I liked it when I was younger because that was my safe place. It was where I went to escape my home life but I never wanted to be a teacher – EVER! I don’t make daily lesson plans with my children. I don’t have agendas. I am not made that way. Now, when I get my kids at the end of a work day, I take them home and we talk about what they learned…I sit with them and reiterate what their teachers have already taught them. I love on them! I hold them and kiss them because I feel like I appreciate them more because I am not with them. You may think that I am WRONG for this and I appreciate your comments but that’s how I feel. I have had people tell me that my priorities are in the wrong place because I am at work and not with my kids. The truth is that I don’t have to be at work. Financially I do not have to work. If it makes you angry that I do, I am sorry.

I will say this – I love my children. Right now, I also feel called to a place outside of my home. I feel like God has placed me at my place of employment to help those in need. God provided me a way to go to college because I did not have it! He then provided a way to allow me into a TOUGH program for graduate school that I was not SUPPOSED to get into and helped me to persevere through…FOR WHAT? To help others. Last December when this position came open, it was actually different than it is now. There were some layoffs in March prior to that and the women/children social worker was part of that layoff. Then the ortho/neuro social worker quit, making a vacant position. Someone else was actually just covering the women/children area temporarily. I felt called to the women/children area so I went to talk to my boss and said, “If I am going to be away from my children every day, I want it to be because of something I am passionate about. Would you consider making this position women/children and a small portion of ortho/neuro?” So, I now cover NICU, labor and delivery/post partum, women’s OB/GYN surgical, and 6 beds of ortho/neuro. It was a God thing! I love my job! Lately, I have been struggling with whether or not God is wanting me to do ministry with women in some capacity full time but for RIGHT NOW, I am where I need to be and my kids are doing well. I do still struggle occasionally with not being with my kids much. I love them and I miss them when they are not with me. They are my world but they also will always know that!!

“…for such a time as this.” Esther 4:14

“There is a time for everything. And a season for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.” Colossians 3:23



Kaydi said…
I understand your calling and the mom guilt. I know what it is to struggle with that. I'll share with you what I told someone earlier this week who expressed their disapproval of my job: I have to go where God calls me and for whatever His reason He's called me to work outside the home. I'm just being obedient because I know first hand it's way better to be in His will than out of it.
Rikki Kreger said…
Thanks for leaving me a comment! How amazing that we share a name!! I don't see that often. I like your blog--I appreciate transparency in others--moms and believers most of all! I will be keeping up with your blog now!

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