There are a few reasons why I decided to start my master's now:
1) Window of opportunity. Julia leaves for college in seven years. We don't want both of us in school at the same time. If it gets too close to time for her to go, I'll keep putting it off. Then Jenna will be starting around the time Julia finishes. After Jenna's done with school, I will think I'm too old. So now or never.
2) Although I work at home, I don't work every single day. Now that my house is empty during the day, the idea of spending time at home alone with my thoughts was a bit daunting.
3) I want my girls to know they can go to grad school someday. My mom never said it, but when she got her master's in 1993, she was communicating to me that I could do that, too. Of course Chad already has his (almost two), but I want to show them that a mom can do it, too.
So I started this semester on my master's in professional and technical writing. It's in the Dept. of Rhetoric and Writing at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock. Phenomenal faculty in that department. Right now I'm taking Technical Style and Editing (which I had a lot of as an undergrad) and Theory of Rhetoric (which I've never studied before and is full of abstract concepts, but fascinating nonetheless).
Now there's a fourth reason I'm getting my master's that I didn't really think of before. It has been so good for me personally. I remember as an undergrad when something finally clicked. I took a basic newswriting class and I realized I loved journalistic writing. That part of my brain just woke up. I felt myself becoming something and I haven't been the same since. I've felt this way starting grad school. Parts of my brain are waking up. I'm thinking about things in ways I haven't before. I'm thinking about things I didn't even know existed before Aug. 19. I'm studying under wonderful professors and meeting new people in my classes. For ten years, I was a stay-at-home mom of preschoolers and that was a great experience that I wouldn't have traded for anything. I'm a little sad that those years are gone forever. But I'm looking forward to what's next for me.
I'm also not in house church this semester because of a conflict with my night class. So I'm out for this semester, possibly next semester, and maybe even after that. It's weird to say this, since I'm married to someone on the staff of a church that really emphasizes house churches, but taking a break from house church has also been good for me. I've made some relationships through house churches that I'm thankful for, but after being in five house churches in four years, I was ready for a break. Chad and the girls are involved in one right now that they seem to really like. I think house churches are and can be good, I just realize it's not for everyone all the time. Here's an interesting article I found about the small group/house church concept.
One last note: Check out the blog of our friend Nancy, who was diagnosed with ALS last summer.