Thursday, May 3, 2012


Where you lead me I will follow, where you lead me I will go.  Where you lead me I will follow, Jesus take me down that road.

We sang this song at church on Sunday and I couldn't have needed to hear it more.  I have never been a good decision maker.  Every time Duane and I go out to eat he asks me to pick and I repetitively refuse.  I'm indicisive and I hate that about myself.  I wish making decisions came easily to me.  Let's be honest though, if I can't decide between Panda Express and Panera, major life decisions are out of the question.  I've come to realize over the years that the reason I struggle to make decisions is because I worry so much about the people around me and how the decisions I make affect them.  I'm not saying this so that everyone can say "Oh what a selfless person she is" because I am nowhere NEAR selfless.  Usually quite the opposite, actually.  However when it comes to making decisions I am always so focused on how it will affect others. This goes for simple decisions along with big decisions.  There comes a time though, when I have to remember that I have to do what is best for me.  That in turn will be the best decision for my loved ones as well.

I haven't kept it secret that this year has been nothing short of difficult.  Going back to work after 4 months off with my baby presented unforeseen challenges.  The hours away from my baby seemed longer than I ever imagined.  I wholeheartedly decided to go back to work last August after much debate.  I decided that I didn't want to be done teaching.  I wasn't ready to give up on something that I only did for a year and a half.  I wasn't ready to just throw my hard earned degree down the drain.  I knew it would be hard, but I dove head first into my new class.  It was what I felt God was calling me to do.  I have known for a long time that my classroom and school are my mission field.  That is why I love working in the school I work in.  Yes, the kids are rough and there are days where I want to quit, but it is so rewarding.  So, so rewarding.  Not only am I teaching my students math and language, I am teaching them life lessons.  Lessons that they might not learn at home.  I am showing them the love the Christ shows me.  I pray for them at night and on my way to school.  I am not exaggerating when I say that many of them feel like my own children.  However, being a "mom" to 26 sixth graders has been exhausting both physically and mentally.  The one way 45 minute drive is exhausting.  There are nights I come home with little energy for my own son.  And this is where I struggle.  This is where my decision comes in.  Can I do this any longer?  Can I continue to teach next year?

This afternoon I sat in my principal's office.  As it goes in any job setting, rumors spread and I had shared my thoughts of not teaching next year with a few colleagues whom in turn shared those thoughts with my principal.  Just as he had heard through the grapevine that I may not be coming back I heard through the grapevine that my principal was on to me.  Luckily, I have an awesome principal that is extremely supportive.  He talked through things with me as I sat in tears, feeling overwhelmed with the decision before me.  He told me he supported me in either decision I made.  He said he didn't want to persuade me either way, but to remember that my baby is only young once.  I know that he respects me as a teacher, but I also know he respects me as a mother.  And that is not found in all bosses.  He was so reassuring and I desperately needed to hear the wisdom he had for me.  At the end of our conversation he told me to take as much time as I needed to decide.  He advised me to pray about my decision and I muttered something like "I've been praying a million times a day and I wish God would just give me a definite sign!"  He reminded me that neither decision is the "wrong" decision and to just follow what my heart tells me to do.  If only I could listen to my heart and drowned out the sound of my brain.

My heart is telling me that I would be a better mom and wife if I left my teaching job.  My heart tells me that I would feel much more at peace if I was able to spend my days with Kason.  On the other hand, my heart aches in thinking about not being able to teach anymore.  Not being able to feel like I am working in my mission field anymore.  Giving up (for now) on a dream I have had since I was in kindergarten.  Apparently my heart is torn.

When thinking about this decision I know I need to put myself and my family first.  I always look at other working moms that seem to be able to balance it all and think.."man, if they can do it, so can I."   I start to feel guilty and think that maybe I am just being dramatic and over emotional.  But that's not reality.  The reality is that I feel as though I am getting lost in a sea of busyness and exhaustion.  I feel like I am not giving my 100% to Kason and Duane.  I feel like it's not going to get easier in a few years when I have another baby to think about.  I need to do what is right for me.  I am my own person, and I can't base my decisions on what other people are capable of.

I don't really know where I am going with all of this.  I have not decided if I am going to resign from my job.  There are a lot of things that go into this decision, finances being the big one.  After talking to my principal, I am confident that if I want to go back to teaching in the future, I will be able to so that fear has subsided a bit.

  All I know is that I am so thankful that I serve a God that knows the big picture when I can't even see into next month.  Thankful that through my many, many prayers God is revealing himself to me in ways I have never seen before.

So for now, I will just pray, because when it comes to making these decisions...that is all I know how to do.

This is the verse that I repeat over and over again when making decisions like this one...
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." -- Jeremiah 29:11    


  1. Here is my 2 cents~ If you can stay home... financially speaking... stay home. Teaching is an exhausting and draining job for 10 months of the year. Your babies will only be little once. From my experience and the teachers that I work with- most moms/teachers who seem to be able to balance it and hold it all together do not have a choice in the matter. Regardless of our desires, our only decision is to work because our family cannot function without our income or more commonly health insurance. You do what you HAVE to do- and have to get your mind and heart to accept it and deal with it. So if you can stay home- do it- there will always be kids to teach :) and if you can't stay home- pray for acceptance, know this is God's will for your family/for Kason, and accept the challenge. (Moving closer to my job- 10 minutes- drastically helped my working mommy heart deal with it!) Praying for your decision- and hoping that it is blessing that you are able to make a decision.

  2. I agree with the person above...except that usually its a misconception that the people are balanced and holding it together...I dont think that I know one mother...maybe person....who feels balanced and like they are holding it together...I DEFINITELY dont!! Just cuz Ive been doing it longer...doesnt mean much..except that I may feel a bit more "relaxed" on some things..but every year brings new challenges.

    It is true that there will always be kids to teach, so if you try staying home and you find that isnt working, then you can come back to teaching???? But the kids are only young once is correct...and some people just know they wouldnt be able to be stay at home moms, whether due to finances or just personality!

    I love ya! I have had so much fun getting to know you better and teaching with you this past school year!

  3. I agree with the other posters...I however have never felt so called a certain career field as you have so it is hard for me to understand where you are coming from. But remember God did call you to teach...but even if you stayed home until Kason was would still have many years of teaching ahead. Have you thought about spending some time tutoring a few hours a week alongside staying home? I know not the same, but could be enough to meet your desire to teach and keep you on top of your skills. And Kason will be proud of you no matter what decision you make.

  4. I wanted to reply to add my two cents, too! You are a wonderful person, wife, mommy, teacher, friend - God has made you perfectly the way you are! I have had two sets of parent times, one began 26 years ago, and the other began four years ago. I worked out of neccessity until Ted was almost two and, while I enjoyed my job, being away from Teddy was so painful. Knowing that someone else was essentially raisng him during the day instead of me made me cry!

    God allowed us a way for me to stay home finally, and! It wasn't easy because Kevin was a fairly new teacher on a new teacher's salary! But we found ways to make it work, and it was so worth it to be the main one in Ted's life as he grew older. He benefitted so much from having his mommy home even though we didn't have a lot of the frills in life. He didn't know that! He only knew that every morning he got to wake up and be at home with mommy! It made mine and Kevin's heart soar to know that.

    Fast forward to four years ago! I went back to school in my thirties and finally received my teaching degree at age 42. Boy, did I (and my husband and son) work hard to get that degree. So when Philip arrived four years ago, I had a little bit of worry and sadness leaving teaching after working so hard to get into it. But now! No worries at all! Being with Philip, Elijah, and now Sophia at home is the biggest blessing. We have gone back to having only one salary, and it has been tough, but never would we think of having me go back to work outside the home until our little ones are older.

    It is so true. They are only young once. Ted grew up before we blinked! We are so blessed to be doing this thing called parenting again, and all of the sacrifices are worth it to be the one who raises them.

    Just my thoughts after having been there. I have tutored several children during these last four years, and I am now homeschooling my own children for a bit - so I have used the hard won degree! If you feel God calling you to stay home, he will make it work. We absolutely know that from experience because God has made a way with our finances every time we can not see the way. Through 3 adoptions in three years and leaving my teaching pay, God has made it work. I would love to share with you about this some time.


  5. Facebook is creepy... I don't know you other than as my sister's friend/colleague, but for some reason it showed up in my newsfeed thing that she commented on this and i have no idea what possessed me to read it.
    However, I felt like I could relate, and may (or may not) have thoughts worth sharing...if it helps. I am also completely unable to make decisions on little things, to the point of it being laughable. Ugh, so annoying. So for me, making the decision to drop out of art school (fine art photography) after 3.5 years and however many thousands of dollars was not an easy one. And I didn't even have kids as part of the equation yet. I was miserable, depressed, and felt like I had learned what I wanted to lean --and more-- and that those last 2-3 semesters just weren't worth it. Plus I had work-related (studio) offers that I couldn't pass up. Now that I've been away from work, regular and constant communication with other people, and challenges --creative or otherwise-- that keep me on my toes... I miss it. I wouldn't trade my position as a stay-at-home mom, but it's a hard job. Actually, I think those are the hardest 2 jobs in the world: being a mom and being a teacher.

    This is probably more helpful: My MIL is a teacher. I think she worked up until her 2nd child was born, and became overwhelmed after trying to go back to work. She couldn't bear the long days and "leaving" her kids. She ended up taking about 7 years off. Maybe more, I don't remember. Financially, it wasn't the best move, but they made it work. And though she could be up for retirement if she hadn't taken the time off, she says she doesn't regret it. She says she'll never regret raising her kids. Kind of like everyone else is saying, they're only little once. I don't know how easy it is to take time off these days and pick right back up when you're ready, but if it's an option then good for you.
    I hope you're able to find peace in whatever decision you make.

  6. Hi! I found your blog somehow through another blog and enjoy keeping up with your beautiful family. I attended Purdue as well so enjoy your boiler pride!

    I graduated with my accounting degree and worked 3 years and was miserable. My heart was not in it as I'd always wanted to be a teacher and had a love for children. I went back and got my masters in teaching and started teaching 4th grade. I loved being able to make a difference. After 3 years, we had our first child and I had to make the same decision as you. I decided to stay at home, simply because I knew he would only be this little once. It was hard as I had paid a lot of money for my degree, and I loved my school and students, but ultimately I decided my son needed me more. I Do not regret my decision at all, but I will say that I do have some days where I miss teaching. I miss adult interaction, the challenge of getting students interested to learn, etc. I've had day where I think to myself, "what did I do today important? Laundry, cleaning, changing poopy diapers??" but then I'm reminded that I'm raising my children to be children of God. I'm teaching them how to respect others, how to love one another, etc. Sure, some days are not glorious, but at the end of the day, I think of all the fun moments I would have missed if I were teaching. I have no meetings to attend, no paperwork to complete, no repeat cards to write, no worries other than raising my children to be good people.

  7. Hi! I found your blog via kellys Korner. I wanted to write and let you know, I know exactly how you're feeling. I'm a kindergarten teacher who has always dreamed of being a sahm. We had our second daughter in September and took the entire school year off to spend with my two daughters. I also took the time to figure out whether I was meant to stay at home full time, while my kids were little or if I should stay with teaching. The hardest part of being a working mom to me is figuring out how to balance everything and dealing with my mommy guilt. What I learned from staying home is that my mommy guilt didn't go away like I thought it would.....I just feel guilty and worry about other things! I've decided to go back to teaching in the fall, and while I know it is going to be a very big adjustment (I'm really dreading that alarm clock) I feel like it's what's best for my family right now. Good luck with your decision....either way summer is almost here which means more time with your little one! Enjoy!

  8. Thank you all for your words of advice and encouragement! Ultimately, I have to do what I think is best for my family..but it is SO nice to have the support of those around me. You all are great..that's for following me on this journey! :)

  9. I found your blog from a friend. This is the first blog posting of yours that I have read. Which is quite funny because I could have written it word for word (except that I have 3 children, 6,5, and 2). I am also on this journey; also in education (although currently out of the classroom and working in curriculum). Whether to stay or go is a daily struggle for me. I have a long list of pros and cons for both options. I agree there isn't a 'wrong' decision. I am putting you on my prayer list as we both go through this journey. Best of luck! I plan to continue on following you through your blog.