Monday, June 10, 2013


I would NEVER use the word "decisive" to describe myself. "Indecisive" hits the nail squarely on the head. But I have come out of my little 3-day Valley of Decision quite well, thanks to this book that Jim's mom recommended to me called (ha!) Decisive, by Chip and Dan Heath.

Jim and his dad both got it at the Catalyst conference they attended in April, and it has been sitting on our bookshelf unread and unnoticed until Jim's mom suggested that it was amazing and it my help with my decision of "to teach or not to teach." Seeing as how Saturday was Jadon's birthday and Sunday we went to the fair with our small group after church, I didn't have much time to read an entire book (I haven't found time for that for over a year!), but at her suggestion, I skimmed it until I found a section that seemed especially interesting, and then--wonder of wonders!--my Mr. Sleepless actually slept in until almost 9 am on Sunday, which gave me time to actually read said section. (A full day at Legoland with only a 5 minute nap may have contributed a little to this little miracle, but such exhausting days rarely phase my little guy, so I think this was definitely God showering favor on me!)
In the book, the Heath brothers use the acronym WRAP to guide you in a better decision-making process than simply listing pros and cons.
W= Widen your Options
R= Reality-Test Your Assumptions
A= Attain Distance Before Deciding
P= Prepare to Be Wrong
The principles covered in the A section grabbed my attention, so I skipped to those chapters...and they were great! SO helpful!

10-10-10: Ask yourself how you would feel after making a certain choice in 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years. I easily acknowledged that if I decided to accept the job, in 10 minutes I would feel stressed and overwhelmed. (In fact, just thinking about taking it almost ruined my summer as I became overwhelmed with everything I would need to do!) 10 months from now (right around Spring Break), I would likely feel exhausted, stressed, discouraged, bummed out at all I was missing, feel like I was failing as a wife and mother, and straining just to survive until the looming finish line. Of course, I would probably be driving a new car, which would be great, but in light of all the other negative feelings, it didn't even seem that wonderful. 10 years from now, I figured, I'd probably long be over this year...unless of course I made some major mistakes that ultimately scarred Jadon or my marriage. Then I would still be regretting the decision.
On the flip side, I quickly surmised that the instant I said "no" to the job, I would probably feel an immense sense of relief, and a renewed joy for all the plans and adventures I had for this summer and this next year. In 10 months, I will probably still be driving my old car--and probably complaining about it some--but I love my current life and I'm sure I will continue to love it throughout this next year. I am excited about Jadon being in preschool 2 mornings a week, freeing up just a couple of hours for me to get "stuff" done--including some Pinterest-y type projects. I am excited about making the most of our new Legoland passes and renewed zoo passes, and using them with friends. I am excited about hanging out with Jim's sister and our nieces more, now that they moved down to San Clemente. I am excited about joining Bible Study Fellowship on Wednesday mornings, and Jadon getting to be a part of the amazing kids' program. I am excited about some changes to my role in ministry, including a few potential major shifts. I am hoping that God will open up a door with our next movie (Prom Dare) and my role with that...Bottom line, I have a TON of stuff I am excited about for this next year--and a full-time job wouldn't fit with any of it! And finally, in 10 years, I am pretty sure I will have a new car by then (which will still be somewhat new if I have to wait longer to get it, ha!), and various house projects will probably be accomplished (just on a slower time table as we save money gradually). And I know I will have zero regrets about not taking the job.
SOOOOO, the 10-10-10 principle definitely pointed me in the direction of not taking the job.

But I kept on reading, and was struck by the next principle:
What would you tell your best friend to do:
This was easy. If any of my closest friends came to me with the question of whether or not to take the job, I would be supportive and see the value of either decision, but I would advise them that the job wasn't worth it. Their kids would only be young once, and they have many years ahead of them to work full time. Even though this job was easy, they would be more than capable of getting another job later, when the time was better.
Hm! What a concept! And as I thought about it, I realized that in the midst of all the advice I was getting, this was exactly what my closest friends were telling me. My decision was getting clearer...

And then Jadon kept sleeping, so I kept reading, and LOVED the next principle:
Honor your core priorities:
Oh man! Of course! So, one of my core priorities in life is to stay out of debt, and this job would definitely help me do that. But....I could also honor that priority without taking the job--by simply being content with what I already have, including my 16-year-old car. As long as it's running, I can live with it while we save up again for my new one. And, worst case scenario, it breaks down, I can get a small car loan that I can pay off quickly. And knowing how God works, I wouldn't be surprised if he keeps my car running long past when it should, just to keep teaching me about contentment!
AND...even more important than my priority to stay out of debt is my priority to be the best wife and mother that I can be (which is second only to being the best child of God that I can be...and even that order sometimes gets skewed!). And taking this job would definitely NOT help me do that. No matter how hard I tried, I would be making sacrifices of Jim and Jadon. And that is not worth it to me.

At about this point, Jadon woke up, and since then, I have only managed to skim a few more chapters of the book--which have only served to back up these three deciding principles.

SOOOO, this morning (after working my last sub job of the year!) I called the district office and declined the job. Fortunately, it was a voice mail, so I didn't even have to explain my reasons to a person. After hanging up, I felt light and relieved, and Jim, Jadon, and I went out and did yard work together. 

For the first time in my life, I am a Stay-At-Home-Mom by choice (up until now it was "forced" upon my by way of lay-off). And I am thrilled. I have a great life, and I am content just the way it is for now! I look forward to seeing what adventures God brings my way this year, and I am excited that I will be free enough to able to jump into them with reckless abandon!


  1. So glad your enjoying your free time with Jadon.I was a stay at home Mom for Peter's first 8 years of life.I sometimes feel as if I am missing out of spending time with him when I go to work.I am thankful for the work know that I am a single parent.Peter is at school and I need something to do.Homeschooling is a good thing.I was going to home school. That would of been interesting.I like your creativity!Its nice to spend time in the creative mode being thankful for God's creation and Jesus sacrifice.

  2. I have never regretted staying home with my kids! It truly is a blessing to feel like you are able to choose between working or staying at home. Few even feel like they can consider this choice.
    On a side note: Our 15 year old car and it's bi-annual catalytic converter replacement is probably secretly friends with your car=].
    Hmm. on another side note maybe I'll get on Pintrest one of these days, too.
    I considered applying for a formal part time job and submitted my resume, but thankfully didn't get asked to interview... I know that sense of relief-- I'm where I should be now! -Sonia K=]