Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Some of you are probably wondering, "Is she reaching too far?"
Writing a book, keeping three jobs and two kids and one very important man, plus one dog and our house going....the answer is yes.

I am already asking, "Is it worth the sacrifice?"  Writing a book is quite a challenge for a stay-at-home mom. I have had to surrender my nights and naps and all television I might have been watching because I can't get anything done without being interrupted. I don't have all the answers. Right now I am plugging away at writing a chapter about ambition, so I am asking myself those hard questions, and reaching for answers found in the Bible as well as in practical advice from others.

What do you think of ambition? Most ambition is negatively perceived when we associated it with women. But does that have to be norm? I admit that ambition is going to look different for women and men.  Even feminist Betty Friedan admits that women can't be ambitious in the same roles as men--

''Some militants repudiated all the parts of the personhood of women that have been and are still expressed in family, home and love. In trying to ape men's lives, they have truncated themselves away from grounding experiences. If young women lock themselves into the roles of ambitious men, I'm not sure it's a good bargain. It can be terribly imprisoning and life denying.'' --- Betty Friedan in a 1981 New York Times interview (October 19, 1981 New York Times Books by Nan Robertson “Betty Friedan Ushers In a ‘Second Stage’” as archived on http://www.nytimes.com/books/99/05/09/specials/friedan-stage.html)

How do you think women should be ambitious?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on ambition from both sides-- men and their opinions of ambitious women, as well as women's own thoughts on what ambitious looks like for you.

Comment away.


Bethany Miller said...

Congrats on the book! I'm looking forward to reading it, as I constantly think about how my interests outside of the home should interact with my commitments within the home.

When I think of "ambition," I think of hard work, resisting laziness, and pursuing goals with zealous intention.

To that degree, Christians should be ambitious, but our ambition is curbed and directed by Scripture principles toward God-shaped goals (Col. 3:23). Thus, sometimes an ambitious Christian may look like an ambitious non-Christian; other times, they will look quite opposite.

Stay at home wives provide an interesting case study in ambition. Their work in the current cultural climate is the opposite of "ambition" and even mocked as a lazy choice. But, it is work that is close to the heart of God (Titus 2:4). Even if this woman works outside of the home or takes on a large community project, her time commitment limits how much she works at it, not because she is lazy or lacks ambition, but because her ambition is directed at her children and husband and home first and that takes away from working with total abandon on the outside project.

Anonymous said...


I was actually looking for a nutritionist for my Dad when I stumbled upon this page. I thought this was an interesting post, so I’d thought I’d respond. This is just my honest opinion, so take it for what it’s worth:

I come from a family of 7, with my parents and 4 sisters. I am the only boy that my parents have. I am also the middle child. I am also asian and boys in the asian culture are revered. Except that I came from the wrong asian family. I wasn’t revered. As a child, I had to learn how to help my two older sisters who were much older (there is a 7 and 9 year gap between us). I learned to cook, clean, sew, and all the other practical things that in society believes is something a woman usually does.

I moved away when I was 14 by myself to Missouri to an all boys school and really didn’t come back home until I was 22, so for 8 years most of the time I was around guys.

The reason I bring that up is that I believe this is the point of view of someone who has seen both sides of the story. The people and things that you listed in your blog are obviously the most important people and things in your life.

Their question, “Is she reaching too far?”
Your answer, “Yes”
Your question to yourself, “Is it worth the sacrifice?”
My answer to you, “It depends”

There’s always different ways to view things. If you see it as a “sacrifice” then yes, stop writing the book and go back to your normal life. But this is where your question of ambition comes in. You already started the book, can you really stop now? Generally speaking, ambition by definition is a drive or desire to attain a goal.

From what I have seen, women have many different goals. These goals of course, have different priorities in a woman’s life. If she is a good Christian, God will come first. If she has a family, her family will comes a close second and so on.

What you wrote instantly made me think of my boss. She is tough, demanding, but she is also very kind and caring. I have the pleasure of getting to know her family and love her 2 girls. I can see how much her family means to her, how much she gives life lessons to her girls (ages 10 and 12) and how her girls teach her life lessons every day. For awhile, my boss had “forgotten” to take her daughters to church. One day as they were driving by a church, her oldest daughter asked “Mom, is that where God lives?” She felt as though she had failed as a mother. Their schedule is very busy, school, work, clubs, soccer, acting lessons, voice lessons, you name it they do it. But now, their schedule also includes God and church. I can just see how much happier my boss is now because of it.

Sorry, I know this is getting long but I wanted to bring up a few examples before I got to my point which I will get to right now. Ambition to women varies from woman to woman, and as a man I cannot really imagine the weight and responsibility a woman feels to her family. What I can say is that the most supportive people in my life have all been women. They are: my mom, sisters, grandmother and my boss. The people I admire the most in the world are also the same people above because of their commitment to God and to their family.

Recently, I had asked my mom and she and my dad (who not long ago we found out has liver cancer which was why I was looking up nutrition info) if they wanted to go on a trip together. My mom just smiles and says, no. I asked her why not, I’ll send them anywhere they’ve always wanted to go. My mom just said, “Having all of you kids grown up, happy, and being able to support yourself was all I ever wanted.” I thought to myself, that’s it? That’s all you ever wanted? Then I realized how humble my mom is, and when I think about it, it’s not that hard to believe.

I thank God every day for the gift of women in this world. Good luck with all your endeavors.

Duy – dunguyen@cci.edu