We were out running errands this last Thursday, when my husband decided to stop by an RV dealership just to look and see what they had since we saw we were ahead of schedule. He’s had this hint of a dream of owning an RV for a few years now, it started with the desire to be able to travel in retirement, and then grew to the dream of using it for vacations with our children camping around the country. It is cute, and even though I really disliked the thought of RVs in general, I adore how he is so drawn to them.
We were met by a salesman who wanted to know how to help us, and were up front in saying that we weren’t ready to buy anytime soon, but just wanted to look at the prices and see what they had to get some research on what it’d be like to own an RV. The salesman didn’t mind taking us around and even offered us the entire property to explore on our own. As the time went on, him showing us RVs and asking us questions about our life, he started talking about his own family and offering some great advice.
He had married young, and was still a very handsome man, he had 6 children with one wife, and was honest with us in saying that he loved seeing how we acted with each other, and hearing what we were doing and planning to do with our “beautiful” family. It was such a sweet encouragement. He talked with me about the importance of staying home with my children while they are so young, how 4 out of his 6 children had that privilege with his wife and as a result, excelled in school and even in college – finishing in just 3 years with their degrees. His last two children didn’t have that opportunity, as his wife had already started her career, and as a result, were in daycare from a young age and struggled the entire time with their schooling, including college. All of kids though, were now adults and doing excellent in their own paths in life. He showed us a picture of his family – it was so sweet, and his wife looked so impossibly beautiful that I actually thought she was his daughter! Meeting him, hearing him talk about his family, feeling the reassurance of our own paths in life, was a blessing to me personally.
One thing that stuck with me when talking to him while expressing how much I loved being able to be home with my babies, was him agreeing and saying that having a family, enjoying your family and actually getting to be with your kids, was just “the best thing in life.”
The Best Thing.
And it really is. There are so many times when I can’t believe how blessed we are to have each other, to have our boys, and the excitement I feel for the future paired with the pleasure I feel in just enjoying the mundane moments together. He encouraged me about feeling so behind on my career, how it was on the back burner. I was not a woman who didn’t know what to do with my life. I had a profession in mind when I was only 9 years old, I loved school and especially college. I was ambitious… I had motivation… I knew what I wanted and was going after it at lightning speed! 😀
I received my Bachelor’s of Science in Biology, and graduated with honors mostly because genuinely enjoyed the difficult classes. I devoured my education, and loved every last bit of it. I had the taste of utilizing my degree by working in research and still miss it, miss learning new things everyday, and miss the excitement of scientific discovery. The salesman reminded me that I was still so young, and that his own wife had waited until mid to late-30’s to even start her career in nursing, and still climbed her track steadily until she became a very prestigious nurse. It was so interesting to hear him talk about how her particular type of nursing was her vocation, her calling (and very necessary one, giving chemotherapy to child cancer patients). But he also insisted that raising their children, creating a beautiful family, was also an incredible part of her success.
It was The Best Thing. Not her amazing job, not how she’s using her talents now, not how she’s able to help children who are dying… but how she raised her children.
Her family, her ensuring that her children grew up to become good, healthy, well-adjusted people, kids who excelled in school, who knew what they wanted in life, was “the best thing.”
Him having a family, enjoying his family while they were growing up in his household, seeing them turn into adults, was the best thing.
I know with our toxic environment that is aggressively hostile to the family, especially the traditional, Christian family, it’s hard to feel any encouragement that what we are doing is making any difference.
But if you are out there, trying to do the right thing for your family, if you’re a wife who is working because the income is needed right now, or a stay-at-home-mom who is lovingly teaching her children and faithfully home-schooling them so sacrificially, I just want to encourage you. I’m thinking of you tonight.
If you’re a husband who’s keeping it together, making the best of your life, and honoring your commitment to your children, I want to encourage you.
It really is the best thing.