Happy Homemaker, Ph.D.

A novice homemaker's attempts to use her engineering Ph.D. to serve her family

Letters of Resignation…

This weekend, I need to write my letter of resignation.  I discussed my plans with my manager a few weeks ago, so this isn’t a surprise to him (and word seems to have traveled quickly through the building), just the last step in making this change “official.”

I can’t help but remember the last time I wrote such a letter.  About six and a half years ago, I decided to leave my job as a development engineer in a community I had quickly grown to love with a support system that could not be matched, to move to another state and go back to school full-time…

I want to keep these posts brief, so I’ll leave the details of that story for another time.

The parallels I see are these:

  1. Then:  I left when times were good.  It was important to me to know I wasn’t running away from the tough situations that I had faced about a year before.  I look back on those days (especially the last year) with great fondness.  Now:  I think this has been my favorite semester teaching, in part because I am teaching a quality management elective for the first time.  I’ve had some rough semesters in the past, but I’ll be ending on a really positive note.  (I’m hopeful this final round of TEVALS will continue that impression for me.  I think I’ll keep the ice cream nearby, just in case, come mid-December.)
  2. Then:  I left one dream for a better one.  I had dreamed of getting a Ph.D. and teaching since at least 1997 (though maybe not too seriously at that point).  I dreamed of teaching at the school I’m at now, my alma mater.  Now:  I’m living my dream again, and giving it up for a better one.  Before I ever dreamed of getting a Ph.D., I dreamed of being a stay-at-home mom.  I never saw how they went together, but that conflict and struggle can wait for another post.
  3. Then:  People thought I was crazy, including those who love me the most.  Now:  I’m getting similar reactions this time as well.
  4. Then:  At the end, something happened to make work seem a little more appealing.  I was offered promotion to corporate headquarters the day before I told my boss of my decision.  (Okay, so maybe it wasn’t a big draw.  I had told myself I’d never move to that city after seeing the overcast winter days during my Six Sigma training.)  Now:  After a few years without raises, faculty salaries are increasing slightly, effective the day after I am leaving.  Not that anyone teaches for the money, but I couldn’t help but chuckle when that announcement was made.
  5. Then:  People surprised me by being supportive.  My boss, especially.  They could see this was important to me and a good fit for my interests.  Now:  People are surprising me again with their understanding and support.  What an encouragement they have been!  I am blessed to have such kind colleagues and friends!
  6. Then:  God provided financially.  Yes, it was a significant pay cut, but I studied full-time debt-free without depleting my savings.  Now:  God will be providing for us through Chad.  It will be an adjustment, but I know our needs will be met.

My purpose in capturing this is to also remember God’s great faithfulness in that time of uncertainty and change in 2005.  I didn’t do what I was “supposed to” by society’s standards.  I trusted God and stepped out in faith.  I had an incredible summer ministering to friends and partnering with God to complete my thesis.  I got to study exactly what I wanted to at my school of choice under the direction of a guru in the field of designed experiments.  I started dating the man of my dreams and married him within a year.  I was awarded a fellowship that provided abundantly for us for 2 years.  God just kept going above and beyond what I could have imagined.

So my question to myself is now – why do I think this time will be different?  Our Lord doesn’t change.   I’m so silly to question when He has proven Himself faithful time and time again!  I’m starting to get more and more excited as I think about this!  What new adventures and blessings (and lessons and trials) does He have in mind this time, I wonder.  I know it must be good (Rom. 8:28)!

How has God shown His faithfulness to you?  Recall those times.  Cling to them through life’s challenges.  Share the story God’s given you, for great is His faithfulness.

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,

There is no shadow of turning with Thee;

Thou changest not, They compassions they fail not;

As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!  Great is Thy faithfulness! 

Morning by morning new mercies I see;

All I have needed Thy hand hath provided–

Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!                (Thomas O. Chisholm)

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