Yes, another quotation from Carolyn Weber's Surprised by Oxford. But this is my last for now. J If you want more, I suggest you just go read the book.
This from a discussion with her mentor, Regina, who had also juggled marriage (and widowhood), family, and being a Christian in acadamia:
"'Carolyn,' she began earnestly, 'all of these 'things' mean nothing in and of themselves. They are just objects, just means to an end. What does it matter what committee you serve on? What promotion you get? That book you labor over to write and publish, someone will end up resting a coffee cup on, without any care as to your sacrifice. Your children are only young once. Your marriage provides you a chance to put someone else first daily. Such things refine your soul." A fond, faraway look passed over her eyes, and I caught myself remembering that she was a widow… What is important is that my identity doesn't lie primarily in being a professor, or being a wife, or even in being a mother. Those things will always fall short. Entire careers get swept away at a moment's notice at the presentation of a pink slip, a vote of the elders, an accusation of a student, a cut in the budget. Marriages face infidelities, for instance, and end up like car wrecks from which people can recover but are never again the same. Children grow up and move far away and forget to write or call – as they should.' She smiled wistfully. 'The point is, if you have your identity in any of these things, it's surefire disappointment. Anything man-made – or woman made, for that matter – will and does fail you. Having my identity in Christ first and foremost gives me the courage – yes, the courage – to live my life boldly, purposefully, in everything I do, no matter what that is."
~Carolyn Weber, Surprised by Oxford
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