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Why in the World Would You Want to do That?

Why in the World Would You Want to do That?

There I was, at the dreaded office Christmas party. As part of his job my husband had to attend certain functions and this was one of them. I didn’t belong here with all these doctors, lawyers, and career women. No matter how I said it – housewife, homemaker, or even nest builder, there always seemed to be an “only” in front of it that made the next word seem of little or no consequence.


I was trying to stand inconspicuously in a corner, sip my punch, hoping Dan would want to leave soon when I saw I was being approached by Dr. Edward’s wife. My heart sunk. She was an attorney. Whatever would I find to say to her? I took a deep breath and tried to remember what Dan had told me. His secret to getting along at these functions was to ask questions, find out what the other person was interested in, and then get them to talk about that.


She introduced herself and I greeted her and said Dan had told me she was an attorney. I asked what type of law she worked in. She replied that she was an attorney for the school district and continued to tell me a little about her job. Then came the dreaded question – “What do you do?”  I swallowed hard and told her that I was a homemaker and we home educate our 3 children. “Why in the world would you want to do that?” she spat at me.


My mind whirled. What was I going to say? Suddenly I remembered a scene from my childhood. There I was, in my favorite spot, sitting on the old abandoned plow in the grove behind the barn. When I was able to steal away this was where I went and I always daydreamed about the same thing. Someday a wonderful man would love me, ask me to marry him, we would have a big family, and spend all our time together. Other girls dreamed of careers but not me. My heart’s desire was to be a wife and mother.


Life seldom happens as we dream it will and I ended up having a very fulfilling career but by the time I was 30 no man had appeared to love me and ask me to marry him. I remember crying out to the Lord, “Remember me? I’m the one who wants a husband and a big family. I’m not getting any younger you know.” Another 5 years went past before I met my dear husband, then another 3 before we married. When I was 40 years of age we began our family and the years had rushed past since then. We had 3 babies in 5 years in addition to 2 miscarriages.


Our lives were very busy with Dan finishing up his schooling and beginning a new job. We decided to home educate our children and the main portion of that fell to me since Dan was gone much of the time. I found it extremely challenging and rewarding. I remembered our oldest daughter Emily coming to me when she was about 6 and saying, “Mommy, I know why you home school me.” When asked why she replied, “Because you couldn’t bear to be away from me all day.” I realized that she was most definitely right, not only could I not bear it, but I didn’t want to be away from her all day. Our days are wonderful. We get up together; gather to read from the Psalms or Proverbs and to pray for our day, then off to chores and breakfast before beginning our school day. I remembered thinking how some parents thrill to see their child’s first steps, but I had been privileged to see them read for the first time, conquer tough math concepts, learn to write, and a dozen other “firsts” normally relegated to a formal teacher.


It was at that point I realized that I was doing everything I had ever dreamed of doing. As I proceeded to share these things with Mrs. Edwards my enthusiasm grew and I must have told her considerably more than she really wanted to hear. She finally excused herself to talk with someone else. I breathed a sigh of relief but not because I was glad to have her leave as I would have been at the beginning of our conversation. I was a new person, confident in my role as wife, mother, home maker, and home school mom. I was doing exactly what I always wanted to do. How many people can say that?


I looked around the room. Dan was no where in sight. I thought to myself, who can I talk to now and how can I get them to ask me “What do you do?”


That party was at least 16 years ago. I’m still a homemaker, but I no longer put “only” in front of it. Our children Emily 24, Rebekah 22, and Eric 20, are still home educated and we have no plans to stop. We still get up together, gather to read from Psalms or Proverbs, pray and go off to chores and breakfast before beginning our school day. At the end of our day we prepare a good meal for Dad and wait in great anticipation for his return so we can share all the adventures we’ve had during our day. Learning has become a way of life for us. It is no longer relegated to the school room. We all love our lifestyle.  I am very content knowing the Lord has given me everything I have ever hoped for and look for every opportunity to tell people what I do. I have seen this Scripture fulfilled in my life –“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” Ephesians 3:20-21

Finding Joy in the Journey,


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Phyllis Sather

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  • Phyllis
    Posted September 18, 2011 at 4:36 PM

    Good to hear from you again. I’m glad your son is doing well. Thank you for your kind words.

  • Trisha
    Posted September 14, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    This is beautiful! What a blessing!

    And thank you, too, for prayers you prayed over a year ago for me. (my son was having major surgery) Life got crazy, and I never got back in touch, but I just wanted to let you know I’m very grateful. I appreciate you and your ministry. What an encouragement you are.

  • Phyllis
    Posted August 31, 2011 at 8:13 AM

    Thanks for your kind words Wendy. Of course you may share it with your Young Mom’s Group. I will send you a copy with the credits and my copyright. Phyllis

  • Wendy Gunn
    Posted August 30, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    Oh, and in reply to Trisch’s comment that teaching them to read is still her “favorite part,” I, too, consider it the highlight of Homeschooling to have taught my children to read! Thrilling to see them “get it”!

  • Wendy Gunn
    Posted August 30, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    Love your new “look” and thought this post was inspirational. I will print it out, with your permission, and share it with my “Young Moms Group” the next time we meet!
    Thanks for the uplifting words.

  • Phyllis
    Posted August 30, 2011 at 4:36 PM

    What a beautiful poem Marilyn. Thank you for sharing it.

  • Shannon
    Posted August 30, 2011 at 4:33 PM

    Phyllis, you know… you are an inspiration to me. I too am “only” a homeschool mom some days. But you are right, I am doing exactly what I always wanted to do, raising a family that loves each other, respects each other, and am married to my best friend. How could I desire anything else, least of all something as small and fleetingly worthless as a “career” in the workplace where someone with my “skills” are a dime a dozen. At home I am valued, loved, appreciated, and ABUNDANTLY blessed!
    Thanks for sharing!!!

  • Phyllis
    Posted August 30, 2011 at 11:53 AM

    Its good that we parents have “lights come on” moments too.

  • Marilyn
    Posted August 30, 2011 at 11:11 AM

    I have a little piece of paper in my wallet that I have had for years. I don’t know who wrote it, and I am definitely not trying to take it for my own. It reads:
    A light in the darkness, You’ve called me to be:
    A wife and a mother that would glorify Thee.
    Although it seems small, and unimportant to some;
    This is my course to finish, and my work to get done.

    Although I didn’t home school, I did manage to teach my daughter to read before kindergarten. She was taught many things with the basis of everything being our Lord is the creator and provider of everything.

    The love of our family is worth much more than a pay check . Thnk you for the fantastic post.

  • Trisch
    Posted August 30, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    Great post, Phyllis! I think we all have had those moments, but what a blessing you were able to see you were fulfilling your dreams.

    I always thought it was funny that people would pay a lot of money to have a good, trustworthy nanny, tutor, cook, housemaid….but if you do it yourself because of love for your family it’s supposedly not worth much!

    I agree with you–what a blessing to see the “lights come on” when they learn to read–still my favorite part and I’m in the process of teaching #8 to read! It never loses its thrill and wonder for me!

    Thank you for sharing your heart!


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