Tuesday, July 21, 2009

He's Done! He's Really Done!

Luke took his last final, for his last class, of his last semester of the MBA program last night. Woo-hoo! It was a wonderful thing to celebrate. He has worked hard for almost four years now, balancing a demanding job, school, family life and church. Last night as we were lying in bed he said, "Tomorrow I only have to go to work." A huge weight has been lifted off his shoulders!

We have been reflecting a lot this week on what a blessing our education is. While Luke's pursuit of his MBA was a bit of a trial, it was also a huge blessing. There are so many places in this world where education is a luxury and most people can't even read and write. Many people would love to have someone give them an opportunity to get an education, and it's something we shouldn't take for granted. Luke's company paid for every penny of his MBA and we should not complain about the work involved to get it. (However, that doesn't mean we can't praise God that he is finished!)

Not only did Luke's MBA teach him more about finance, but I also learned a lot about being a wife and mother. While he was in MBA classes, I was in a school of my own (usually learning from my own mistakes!). So here's my short list of lessons I learned through this busy season of life:

Stacie's Tips for Persevering while your Husband is in School:

-When you start to feel sorry for yourself, remind yourself of how much God has blessed you.

There were many evenings when I wished Luke could be home instead of at class, and it was easy to start the self-pity. But then I would immediately feel convicted of how my situation really wasn't that bad, and how much worse it could be. I would remind myself of the wives whose husband are off fighting in Iraq. I would think of women whose husbands had died, and they were left as single moms. How all these women would love for their husband to only be gone one night a week! All of a sudden, I felt ridiculous for complaining about my situation and thankful for what God had blessed me with.

-Instead of focusing on how hard you have it, put yourself in your husband's shoes.

I confess that I did not do this enough. I tended to get selfish, and think about how hard this was on me, instead of focusing more on how difficult it was for Luke. Not that his schooling didn't put an extra load on me, but it was selfish of me to only focus on me. I should have thought more about how I could help him out, prayed for him more, and encouraged him more. Learn from my mistakes and use this time to learn how to really serve and encourage your husband.

-Use this time to teach your children.

You've heard this a hundred times, but our kids learn more by what we do than by what we say. Remember this when you start to complain, or when bitterness starts to spring up in your heart because your husband isn't around as much as you'd like. Your children are watching you and learning from your attitudes and actions. When you start to fall into the sin of complaining, remind yourself and your children of how hard Daddy is working, how much we need to encourage him when he is home, and help them think of ways they can help him out. You'll be teaching them how to have a Christ-like attitude despite a difficult situation, and keeping yourself from sinning in the meantime.

-Remember that our trials aid in our sanctification.

Trials are never fun while we're in the midst of them, but when they are done we can see how God stretched our faith and drew us closer to Him through the trial. I didn't enjoy having Luke in school over the last few years, but now I am thankful for the experience. While he was in school I grew a lot in my faith, our marriage is even stronger than it was before, and I have learned to appreciate our time together in a way that I didn't before. I have grown in ways that I wouldn't have if I had never experienced this unique trial.

There's probably a lot more things I learned that I could write about, but for now I'll stick with those four. I don't write them as someone who did them perfectly, in fact I failed miserably at most of them. But I now have a special place in my heart for women who have very busy (or absent) husbands, and I hope God might use my experience to help someone in a similar situation.

To end this post, I'll share a picture from our little celebration last night. We didn't do much (He didn't want a huge party) but we had to do something. So Isaac and Caleb made banners, I made some of Luke's favorite food, and we invited my parents over to surprise him when he got home. (Luke's parents are planning on having a celebratory dinner with his side of the family another night.) Luke was surprised, we all had fun, and here's a picture to capture the memory of the long-awaited night:

Great job honey! We love you so much!

1 comment:

Rebekah said...

This is fantastic news! Congrats, Luke and Stacie! I can't imagine trying to work, go to school and care for a family all at the same time. :)