Welcome to the second week of our new series…The Ellen’s Picks Member Spotlight. Almost every week, we’re featuring guest blog posts from the inspiring women leaders of the Ellen’s Picks community! You can look forward to reading what these humble, impactful, faith-driven, and passionate women have to say about faith, leadership, family, ministry, and a wealth of other meaningful topics. I’m excited to learn from these women I get to call my friends, and I hope you will take the opportunity to appreciate them with me!

EP Guest Post - Christin

In 2015, I trailed my Canadian-born husband across the border from Southern Pennsylvania to Waterloo, Ontario.

In this move, I left behind a fulfilling career. For ten years, I had built a vocation as a writer (publishing two books along the way) and a professor of writing. I loved my work and was anxious about what my future would look like in this new home. Would I be able to teach in Canada? Would my qualifications transfer? How would I fit into our new life?

If you have never immigrated to Canada, you might not know that the whole process takes about a year. A year for your paperwork to go through. A year to get your permanent resident status. A year to qualify for health benefits. A year until you can start applying for jobs.

And in the meantime, you float.

For the first time in my life as a mother, both my kids were old enough to go to school. So if I was not careful, I could sit at home, alone, all day, for 5 days, just waiting for my kids and husband to come back to me from the lives they were so quickly establishing in this new home.

I tried to find ways to add direction and structure to my days. I wrote. I volunteered. I joined the gym. I cleaned the house. I got groceries. I made breakfasts and packed lunches. I picked the kids up from school. I made dinner.

And I grieved.

I got angry. “Sometimes I wish God hadn’t made me this way!” I cried one night to my grandparents over the phone.

“What way?” my grandpa asked.

“With ambitions and dreams and a desire to work. It would so much easier for me to fit into Dwayne’s life and career if I was just happy to stay at home.”

I felt a lot of guilt that I wasn’t content to exclusively take care of my kids and home. I wondered if there was something wrong with me as a woman and a mother.

My grandfather listened respectfully but then replied, “You wish God had made you differently? You go ahead and question the God of the Universe who made you exactly who you are. You see how that goes for you.”

Verse Art - Christin Taylor PostHe was not cruel. He was right. He delivered a swift kick to my proverbial behind, and I snapped to. There was no use in wishing things that could not be. No use in trying to change what already was: me.  And not only was I who I was, but in Grandpa’s rebuke I heard love too: I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” by God (Psalm 139:14 NIV). There is no goodness in throwing that gift back at God.

Over these past two years, I have been working to believe that God did not make a mistake when he made me with these gifts, talents, and ambitions, that my strengths and dreams are not a nuisance or an inconvenience to my family, nor is my desire to work slowing down Dwayne and my kids.

If I believe that God has made me intentionally and called me as a writer and educator, then who I am, vocation and all, must be an essential part of our family story and identity.

I am not simply an appendage of our family trailing behind. My ambitions are a delight to God and a gift to our family.

A year ago, I finally got my permanent resident status, and this Spring, I was accepted into a PhD program in Composition and Rhetoric at University of Waterloo. I have dreamed of getting my PhD ever since I graduated with my masters in 2006, but I stopped to have two beautiful children along the way.

Initially, I vacillated about this new opportunity. What will it do to my kids? What will it do to Dwayne? How will our family cope with me working as a full-time student? Is it selfish of me to pursue this dream?

Thanks to the unwavering support of my husband and family, I’m stepping out joyfully into this new season, choosing to believe that I’m not a trailing spouse, but a trail-blazing spouse.

EP Guest Post IG - Christin

Christin TaylorChristin Taylor is the chief editor for the Annesley Writers Forum, and a PhD candidate at University of Waterloo. She lives with her family just outside Waterloo in the cozy town of New Hamburg. You can read more about her and her writing at www.christintaylor.com.


Ellens Picks Affiliate

Ellen’s Picks is the realization of a dream; a vision to connect a community of Christian women in leadership from across Canada with each other and life changing books. Women who will read & journey together through a book six times a year – a book that Ellen has hand-picked. It might be something that has challenged, encouraged, or even just entertained her! It will be something to equip and encourage women who lead, addressing not just our day to day work but all the things that refresh, equip and engage our leaders’ hearts.