Praying for Tunnel Vision

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 13 Comments A+ a-

About a month ago I hinted that there were some things happening at work, I think it might be time to reveal what’s going on. Toward the end of June, during my annual evaluation, my boss dropped a bomb on me that my part-time work was no longer working for the department. Color me surprised since I had been working part-time for eight months without a word that there were any problems. I was given two choices: return to my current position as a full-time employee or accept a voluntary demotion and go from 30 hours per week to 20 hours per week.

Jon and I have spent the last six weeks deep in conversation, debate, drawing up sample budgets, and praying! Even with losing approximately $800 a month in income, the decision seems pretty clear to us. There is just no way that I can, nor do I want to, work full-time with three little ones aged four and under. I just can’t do it. However, since I was given the leeway and latitude, I have taken my time in informing my boss of this decision. Call it stubborn, call it chicken, call it whatever you want, but I’m not making this decision any sooner than I have to. Until yesterday... I was pulled into my supervisor’s office and asked if I had given any thought to my decision. I asked a few more direct questions and I finally admitted that, yes, we were leaning towards part-time employment.

And now that I’ve said the words out loud, to my supervisor of all people, I am desperately praying for peace and tunnel vision. My head and my heart know this is the right decision, of that there is no doubt. But I am having a hard time keeping my eye on the end goal. If I look to the right, dollar signs are dancing in front of my eyes, mocking this decision and the loss of income. I become paralyzed as bills and unplanned-for-expenses come to mind. If I look to the left, I become angry and bitter that I was forced into this decision. I become mired in a deep pit of resentment when I think how there might be some pregnancy-discrimination involved.

But I’m constantly forcing myself to keep my eyes on the road ahead of me, of the ultimate goal of what is best for our children. No matter the circumstances surrounding this decision, I know that God is pulling the strings and strategically moving things around to fulfill His plan for our future, for our family. I can trust in that. I am thrilled at the idea of only going to work 2 and ½ days a week, of getting that much more time at home with my babies. I’m looking forward to play dates; attending a moms group with my friend, Sarah; I’m looking forward to days playing in the sprinkler and backyard; I’m looking forward to quiet afternoons while children are napping; I am looking forward to being Mom.

And if God is forcing us to become better stewards of our money, then I suppose Jon and I should look at it as another teaching moment. Finances will be tight but again, here’s another moment in learning how to trust God to provide for our needs. Pray for me, won’t you? Pray for His perfect peace to permeate my soul; pray that I can maintain tunnel vision in regards to this decision, that the critics on the sidelines will quiet with time and I will no longer see or hear their distractions. For what is waiting on the other side will be much sweeter and more fulfilling than I could possibly imagine!

I’m a coffee drinking, book reading, laundry procrastinating, husband and children loving, mess of a woman who believes that chips and salsa can fix anything. We have chickens running around the backyard, a mountain of dishes in the sink, and on any given morning, I have at least 10 school forms that need my signature or initials. It’s a crazy life {I prefer to call it controlled chaos}, but its ours.

13 comments

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Amazing Racer
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1:51 PM delete

I will definitely be joining you in prayer. I know that the Lord will be so faithful to direct your family!

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Haley
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2:03 PM delete

OH Jenn.... I UNDERSTAND!! I will for sure be praying for you! It is a very scary situation but you all will make it. All my love.

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Tamara
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4:07 PM delete

I am right there with you on this one! Don't hesitate to contact me if you need to just talk, or need any info on surviving on less income. ;) We'll be praying for you.

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9:12 PM delete

Jenn-
I too was faced with this decision in my life. I have always wanted a classroom of my own... and that has never come until now- and now that I want to be at home more with Carter. After my dream job (first grade)was posted at the school I have taught at for 3 years, so I was tempted to apply, and after a long waiting process was offered the job. While I am guaranteed more vacation than the average full-time employee, it is still hard to think about time away from my baby boy. Well, before more little ones come I'm going to give it a try starting in September, knowing it will be 10 wild months. God is good and provides for us and he will protect me as I guide these 6 year-olds while mine naps! Good luck...

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Lange Mom :o)
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4:51 AM delete

Jenn my love
You seem to parallel my life so much! I was pregnant with Jared when I had to quit King Soopers to come to Indiana. It was HARD making ends meet. I decided to prioritize. Cloth diapers, nursing, meals at home, movies at home. Those little sacrifices will seem like putting money into an emergency fund. You and Jon CAN DO IT! Whatever your decision. Hang in there~

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Stacey
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8:13 AM delete

Wow. I am sorry to hear that your are being forced into this. I will pray for exactly what you said: tunnel vision to keep your eyes on Christ and what you are being called to!!

HUGS!!!

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CPT Mom
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9:36 AM delete

Our God is good and faithful.

He knows just what we need. And I am so thankful for that because I can very quickly become worried and fearful as well.

Things will be tight, but the extra time with your babes will make it all worth while, I just know it!

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Melissa King
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12:05 PM delete

I am sure you made the right decision. When I was deciding whether or not to go back to work after Cody was born, it was so hard. I didn't know what I was going to say when I sat down in my boss's office. I finally told her I wouldn't be working anymore and was totally at peace with it. Somehow the money works out. I think you did the right thing.

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Christine
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12:18 PM delete

I recently resigned from my full-time church position and our income was cut about $2000 per month. We planned ahead of time and paid off loans, cut our grocery budget, got a few voice students to add a few more pennies, and have changed our mindset. I can'te tell you how freeing it is not to work! I am not distracted and can focus on our family almost 100% of the time. You will never look back. I will be praying for you.

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Amy
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1:46 PM delete

Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers as this new chapter begins in your life. We are king and queen of cutting back, It can be done!! It just takes determination and it is clear you have that!

God's Blessings to you!

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Anonymous
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6:06 PM delete

Jenn honey-
I KNOW that God will provide!!! =) And I also know that He will bless your and Jon's decision to put the family first!! As some of your friends have written here, there ARE ways to cut back and make life simpler, and enjoy the little things. God will also teach you to trust Him daily with your needs. It will be an amaazing thing to see!! We are here for you and will be praying for you!!
Love, Mom

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Anonymous
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6:09 PM delete

PS Just remember the miracles you girls saw over the years as God provided for us as I stayed home to raise you!! This world and Satan would like you to take your eyes off of the Lord with worries and thinking it can't be done or that you and Jon are crazy for doing this!!! It CAN be done!! God is greater and PROMISES to provide!!! Love, Mom =)

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Elizabeth
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7:20 PM delete

What a terrifying decision! During times like this, my mom always reminds me that God will never give you more than you can shoulder. I hope it works out for you!!

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