Don’t quit your day job….and caffeine

I was alone in the post office.
Which is rare.
The nice lady behind the desk had beautiful gray hair and a quick smile. She took in me and my little one as I handed her the yellow slip that claimed our package.
“Be right back”

We waited a few minutes for her to return. As she did, she asked, “Is it his graduation certificate or his license?”
I was surprised. I was there to pick up my husband’s official D.O. license – the proof that he really is a doctor. The thing we have been working towards for so many, many years.
She obviously had some insight in the medical field.
“His license”, I answered.
“Is he still in residency?” she asked.
“Just finishing his first year”

She then asked me what our plans were when he was finished.
“We hope to return overseas.”
Somehow the conversation turned to paying off debt and she informed me that her husband also graduated from the same medical school as mine. He was now a family physician (the same speciality that my dear husband is going into).

“Because he went into medical school older than most”, she informed me,  “he will be paying off debt until he is 80.”
Then she proceeded to say – “Family practice doctors don’t make nearly as much money as other doctors do….so don’t quit your day job.”

All of the wisdom you could have imparted to me, an up and coming doctor’s wife, all you have to say is don’t quit your day job???

I have been mulling this over in my head for quite a while.
And it baffles me.
Most family physicians make close to a six-figure salary, some much, much more. What was it that was holding them to so much debt? Obviously his medical school loans, but at his income level they should be able to live without his wife working  – at the post office, no less.
A huge house? Two very, very nice cars? College for their kids?

I left the building with a piece of paper that will eventually allow my husband to prescribe narcotics, and practice his trade in almost any country in the world. But all that I was given was the picture of a life where there wouldn’t be enough.

This is so often the picture presented to medical wives (whether you are married to a doctor…or, you are the doctor).
There won’t be enough –

Don’t quit your day job.
There isn’t enough.

But there is.
There is always More-Than-Enough.

I already quit my day job.
Because I trust that More-Than-Enough, Yahweh Yireh, has and does and will provide.

O yes, and the caffiene?
I accidently didn’t order decaf tonight.
So here is a nearly 1 a.m. post for you all 🙂

Enjoying the journey….even without my day job,
~ Melissa


10 responses to this post.

  1. PREACH!!!!!

    I am grieved when my friends finish residency and rush out and buy fancy houses and cars and send their kids to fancy private schools and daycares. Dave and I don’t get it right a lot (i.e. we eat out WAY too much and impulse buy much more often than we used to), however, we have knocked out 2/3 of our debt, and we haven’t lacked ANYTHING. I haven’t worked in 6.5 years (part of our debt came from me staying home after Sam was born in 3rd yr of med school), and I am so THANKFUL that I have a husband who isn’t concerned about a material image but rather the image of Christ. I am sad for that lady and her husband.


    • Amanda – thanks for sharing your story. Can’t wait to hear that the last 1/3 is paid off. Joel and I dream of the day. FREEEEDOM!


  2. Posted by MattyO on July 1, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Be counter culture. Don’t buy into the lie. Don’t drink the kool-aid!


  3. Good post, Melissa! The medical school loans truly are massive, but it also is possible to pay them off and in a reasonable amount of time. It just takes choices. If you are a medical wife reading this, I want to encourage you that you can pay off the medical school loans, you just have to make choices about what’s most important to you: stuff or getting rid of debt. We are committed to paying off my husband’s loans, so we have made choices about our lifestyle like my husband driving an older car and us living in an apartment. And even with our commitment to paying off debt and us living more simply to make it happen, I am still able to stay home with our son because it is worth it to us. You can pay off the loans!


    • Thanks for the encouragement Katie! I know it is completely doable 🙂 And I look forward to the day when we make that very last payment. Wahoo!


  4. Posted by Erin on July 1, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Very insightful Melissa! My husband and I are trying to do without excess now in hopes of carrying out the same habits even when he starts residency. It is encouraging to hear that many others are focused on living simply!!


  5. Posted by Mrs AC Curtis on July 6, 2011 at 11:52 am

    That’s right!


  6. Posted by Mrs AC Curtis on July 6, 2011 at 11:55 am

    p.s.-that’s okay about the non-decaf – you must be getting ready for AFRICA!!


  7. Posted by Myndi McCallum on July 6, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    Mel, that is such a great thing to write about… I am in a similar situation, but I didn’t quit my day job, they let me go. Suddenly. I could tell for some time that a change was coming, but I didn’t have any idea it would be so sudden… so final… just because of reorganization in the department I worked for… Add to that being 10 weeks pregnant (at the time) and it’s easy to see where stress and uncertainty come in – BUT GOD. Yahweh Yireh. You said it. Thank you for writing and sharing and your insight. Again, you have blessed me, my friend. Again, I thank God for speaking through you and for providing for you and your precious family! Love you! ~Myndi~


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