Blazing a New Trail

Today, Heidi from Heidi'sbooks and I are having a blog swap.  She shares some of her thoughts about a transition she's approaching on Transitional-Woman, and I'm reviewing The Chosen on her blog.

Last year I read an article in Forbes Magazine listing the top women executives. It was a fascinating article showing where each woman worked, how much money she made, and what assets she controlled. It also told each woman’s age. All of them were in the 48-60 age group.

I’m approaching that age group and also headed for a major transition in life. How is it that you can work yourself out of a job in 20 years? You see, I’ve homeschooled for 18 years, organized co-ops, lead 4H groups, planned community service projects, lead support groups, edited newsletters, etc. In a few short years all my students will have graduated, and I will face the empty nest (sort of)—and in the process lose my full time job.

When I think of all the possibilities, I get giddy with excitement.

As I look around my church at what the other ladies in my age group are doing, I realize that most of them are working full-time jobs. Most are doing jobs they enjoy. Some work long hours, commute, and arrive home late at night. Saturdays are filled with laundry and catching up on everything that gets pushed aside during the week. Kudos to them. They work hard, and are salt and light in their workplaces. But they have relatively little time for community outreach, ministry, or helping others in the church.

What if I chose a different path? What if I used all my past experience to work for the church and community just like the business woman moves up the corporate ladder? I could continue down the same path moving into an expanded position. What if a group of the first wave of homeschool-mom-retirees put their experience to work in the community and church? That’s a tour de force volunteer army. I think we could see a fundamental shift in our society.

What needs are not getting met in our communities? How many elderly have visitors at the nursing home? I don’t even know most of my neighbors, and church visitation has become a thing of the past. How are the older women teaching or helping the younger women? There are so many needs and people are going it alone. Maybe it’s time to bring back that sense of community.

I would like to wear a business suit and carry a briefcase, but maybe it’s time to blaze a new trail.

Heidi from Heidi'sbooks is a homeschool mom with five children who loves reading and talking about books.  For the past few months, she's been diving into the great Russian authors.  Whew!


  1. Great post, Heidi! I'm in very much the same place in my life--an empty nest, no full time job taking me from home every day, and a heart eager to be used by God.

    My our new paths be fruitful and fulfilling!

  2. Hi,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog...

    Another Heidi fan... There's nothing wrong in being a full-time mum. Kids benefit no end and are often more rounded and less bullish and able to face the world with greater social skills!! It's all very well being a high-flying lady exec, but sometimes it seems a selfish stance when that person is not and doesn't need to be a breadwinner. Single moms are a different kettle of fish: they have to support by means of earning wages... When left with empty nest what shall it be: back to work or be a full-time mistress to hubby? I preferred the latter... ;)


  3. Loved your post! I was a full-time stay-at-home mom for 18 years and went back to work (reluctantly!) when my boys started needing extra money for cars, insurance and college. While I now LOVE my job, I miss the freedom of the former years and yes, the many, many ministry opportunities that I was able to indulge in because my schedule was flexible. There are so many things that need doing, not the least of which is the mentoring of younger women that you mentioned - so important! Lots of ladies in the church have a heart for what you are talking about - but no time or finances to be able to pursue those dreams! You are not losing a job but being given a gift of opportunity, as you so beautifully put it. I love the picture of an army of former home-schooling moms hitting the streets of our communities with all they have to offer! I salute you! Be blessed as you are a blessing! (And thanks for sharing!)


  4. I can see that Elizabeth has a wonderful group of blog followers. You are all so encouraging! I currently feel the societal pressure to "make something of myself." But, I'm seeking why I feel this pressure, and why I feel like I have to have a full time job to accomplish anything. Those first, pioneer, homeschool moms had no idea how big the movement would become or how it would fundamentally change the educational landscape of our country. What else could we change?