I know it’s not the freshest, or at times, the healthiest option, but I tend to use frozen meals for work or when I am eating alone. In checking the directions, I have noticed they include oven directions in addition to the microwave ones.
Now, one of the (main) reasons for the frozen meal is to prepare and eat it quickly. Most of the meals can be done in 4-7 minutes. On the other hand, the oven directions can take up to 40 minutes or more. And for some of them, you need to move the frozen glob to another container before cooking.
Now seriously, if I wanted to wait an hour for my meal, I would prepare something fresh. Then again, some people may not have access to a microwave so alternative instructions are useful.
That got me to thinking about options in general – especially when “plan A” won’t or doesn’t work, plan “B” will get us there, it just might take longer.
Right after high school, I attended a Christian university where I had chapel twice weekly and floor devotions among the other benefits that come with faith-based education. But, I left after 2 years to get married and transferred to go to a local college to get my nursing degree. 18 months later, I took a year off with the birth of our first son. Resisting the temptation to quit, I returned and finished my last year albeit exhausted from lack of sleep and with all the distractions of wanting to play with the baby instead of doint homework. My husband was awesome and made sure I got time to study.
I have been a nurse for 35 years now and this career worked well for my family, but my plan “A” was to finish a degree related to the Bible. When our first son went off to college nearly 20 years ago, the time had come to go back to school myself. I went to the local Christian college taking night classes. It took 5 years to complete a 2 year degree, but I finally got my Bachelor’s degree in Bible. Then I had the opportunity to go on to seminary and complete my M.Div with emphasis in Christian Education. I was blessed indeed.
In looking back, this definitely was the long route to get there, but there were advantages I would not have gained in the shorter path of my youth.
- Career changes and opportunities: Nursing was not my first choice, but it was a good decision. I have had opportunities and experiences that would not have happened any other way. I have worked with some of the most compassionate and caring healthcare professionals. I got to go on a medical mission trip a few years ago. Since high school, I have wanted to go to the mission field…it was not a calling to do it full-time, but I wanted the experience. Nursing opened the door to fulfill that dream also.
- Prioritizing: My family, and especially my children, got to see me work at multitasking and prioritizing when I went back to school. When you have a family, a job, AND homework, there just isn’t enough time to waste. The skills needed to keep up are vital skills to develop.
- FUN and family: Very little spare time means choosing wisely how to use it. I couldn’t do a lot with my friends to the neglect of my family. I chose them. With the limited time I had, I invested in whatever my children were involved with and just spending time with them.
- Less peer pressure: It is a distinct advantage for the older student. I was not distracted and tempted to fritter away the hours or party late into the evening. I was on campus for 3 days a week staying in a dorm room. The first year, they put us in empty rooms along with undergrads just out of high school. Then, they (wisely) put the grad students who needed temporary housing on a wing of our own. Let me tell you, it was much quieter there. A group of older women going back to school did not have TV’s or run the halls shouting “he asked me out” (a phrase I heard more than once the year I stayed with the undergrad students). The skills to prioritize were in full swing by this time. I worked to get as much work done on campus as I could so I could have more family time when I got home.
- Abundant Blessings: I only wanted to finish my bachelors. God also provided the way for a Master’s degree. All I can do is be amazed at what only God could provide. “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” (Eph 3:20. NLT)