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Kids choose careers for multiple reasons. Some think of the salary, some are trying to please their parent(s), and I'm sure there are many other reasons! Obviously, some have indeed done their research, choosing a career they believe they will love, but I believe they are in the small minority. More often, kids randomly choose a 'cool' major and go to a nice college, only to change their major at least once, and sometimes don't finish their schooling at all. By the time they are in their 20s they are so frustrated with their lives. They hate their jobs and spend the next couple of years working a few different jobs until, like a lightbulb turns on in their mind, they decide that they are going back to school to get a degree in.....    What happened? They finally had the time to try their hand at a few things, saw where they excelled, and found out what they loved doing! Unfortunately, they lost a lot of money AND time, and in order to land their dream job they have to then spend MORE money and time! It's just a shame when this happens! Don't get me wrong, this sort of thing can happen even after careful consideration, but the chances of it are slim.

I think we'd all agree that the goal is to ultimately love doing what you HAVE to do every day.... I'm hoping that the Lord can work through Scott & me in order to help our children see where He is leading them by the time they turn 17 or 18 so they can get a good head start in life. That takes prayer, thought, work, and time! 'Time' is where I think lots of kids stumble; senior year comes faster than high school students realize. If they don't start the narrowing down process soon enough, it's too late...really! The college selection process begins and their heads start to spin! We want to try to avoid all of that if possible! 

We know that one of our jobs as parents is to closely watch our children over the years in order to realize which gifts the Lord has blessed them with. Once that child has gotten to a point where they themselves are able to see their strenghts and weaknesses, then the fun begins....

When James started High School last year, we started talking about his God given talents and which career he might want to persue using those gifts. Sometimes just getting a teenager to start looking into their future is a great start.
We had James make a list of his strengths & weaknesses and we compared it to our list. (kids really love to hear THEIR PARENTS tell them all of the things THEY think they're really good at! It sure does build confidence in them!) This was a great way to pick and also weed out career choices. We also explained how important it is to find a career that utilizes his natural talents instead of picking a 'cool' career or one that just makes lots of money! At first, he had 4 completely different careers picked out based on what he enjoyed doing and what he thought he'd be good at. After a year and a half of praying and talking with family members who know James well, he's been able to get it down to 3 somewhat similar choices. They all involve physical fitness, hard work, innovation, and helping others, which he has had a passion for since he's been a small boy! Now, we need to research each of those choices, carefully weighing James' strengths & weaknesses in each one. He has a little over a year before he starts his senior year; if he can have it narrowed down to 2 career choices by that time, then all he has to do is to wait on God to reveal to him where He is calling him to go.                             
       'Be still and know that I am God.'   Psalm 46:10

Well, Kimberly is now 18 in the final stage of her career tweeking, James is 16 narrowing down his options, and at 9.5 John's talents are just starting to bloom. Amazingly, at only 2.5 and 5, we can already start seeing the girls' strengths & weaknesses bubbling up to the surface. We know that we still have a lot of work ahead of us; may God keep His loving hand in the raising of our children. After all, they are only on loan to us for a very short time; it all counts, so we want to get as much of it right as possible! We also know that we can only do good things with the Lord's help, so that's why we have been praying that He would raise our children through us for the past 18 years! Actually, I think the topic of allowing God to raise our (His) children for us will be a blog post for the future!  ;)
For now, Damaris is happy sitting on my bed, cleaning her tiny little toes, but I know in the blink of an eye she will be graduating from high school and planning her life! I can honestly say that I'm doing my best to enjoy every moment with each of my kids. To tell you the truth, having Kimberly leave home to start her new life has really been an eye-opener for me. It feels like just yesterday when she was sitting on my bed, cleaning her tiny little toes.....boy does it go by fast!