Tuesday, June 12, 2012

...That is the Question...

Japanese-synthesized music lilts in the background, and I munch almonds beside a cup of reheated coffee. My tousle-headed preschooler is in bed, and the older kids help at our church’s summer Vacation Bible School program. 

Last night panic gripped my chest. I had been researching part time jobs and considering one especially. This one would require an intensive full-time training period, lasting over six months. My motivation was the resulting flexible part-time schedule with numerous days home with my family, but the process to get there suddenly seemed daunting. 

The excitement had dissipated and apprehension constricted my chest. Could we do this? Was it wise for our family? Would the end justify the crazy period to get there? 

Later that night, I lay entwined in my husband’s arms on the couch. He talked, his mouth against the back of my head. He wasn’t sure what to think either, but he murmured calm into my mind. We hugged in silence.

I ran the idea and its pros and cons past some friends over a night of games and fresh Vietnamese spring rolls. Late at night, fingers twisting the frayed couch threads, I whispered the idea over the phone to my sister, and she practiced newly-acquired counseling techniques with me, asking questions and waiting. 

Today, sunshine and a cool sixty-four degree breeze buffeted me gently as I walked the neighborhood circle, greeting neighbors, and guiding my three year old on his blue bicycle. Training wheels scratched the road on alternate sides, and he drove in mild diagonal lines across the street. I weaved with him, gently nudging the wheel towards safety and watching for oncoming traffic. His red duct-taped helmet hung low over his eyes, and he squinted into the setting sun. I knew the path, and he was happy to simply bike beside me.  

Boxes line the hallways and stack high in our garage now. Our eleven month process to sell our home, find a new one, and prepare to move is almost over. In seven days we close on our new home and drive away from this current one. We’ve seen our God’s extravagant hand so clearly through this, and it speaks calm to my mind now. 

My almonds are gone, the coffee cools, and the music plays on. Thank you, Abba. I’m happy to simply bike beside you too. You weave beside me, nudging me into safety and you know the path we’re on. 

Linking with Ann, Michelle, Shanda, and Emily. 


Denise said...

Such a lovely post.

LOLITA said...


It is amazing how we go through the same moments with God when making decision most especially the most crucial ones.

We praise and thank God, every clearing He ushers us into after a valley or a hallway or a waiting room. We always come the same way, from starting on vague to the knowledge God showed us and guided us with, then the answer.

How I admire you for consulting with Him first and foremost and laying plans with family and friends and always..... waiting upon God and where He is leading. So much like the new home He supplied lately. Thanks be to God.

I pray that you will find the answer soon and I am positive it will the best for all concerned.

Houseofmills said...

So did you decide?

Mindy @ New Equus - A New Creation said...

I feel your pain! I am agonizing about a job situation myself. I am full-time and would like to go part-time so I can be more flexible with the "stuff" that God has laid on my heart. I know I just need to trust Him more to show me the way. Thanks for speaking up about this! :)

Brian Miller said...

cool on the house...that is a brutal process...and the PT job...i think you know what to do there...if not you will if it is...

AmyAlves said...

Evenin' Jennifer,
I always so appreciate your honest and thoughtful heart. Thank you sister for sharing. Keep us posted on your decision... and meanwhile, enjoy walking beside HIM! ~ Blessings, Amy

suzannah | the smitten word said...

there is tenderness in your words. blessings, peace, and wisdom over all your upcoming transitions and decisions.

Jennifer Dougan said...

Thank you, Denise.


Jennifer Dougan said...


"Every clearing he ushers us into..." - thank you!


Jennifer Dougan said...


Nooo... I'm still praying about it and weighing pros and cons. Some days, it excites me, other days, I worry about the changes.


Jennifer Dougan said...


Oh, I can understand. May God lead you and I, with his calm, his clear discernment, and unified minds. I'm excited to hear more about your "stuff" that God is leading you into.


Jennifer Dougan said...

Thanks, Brian.


Jennifer Dougan said...

Amy, and Suzannah,

Thank you, friends.


Cheryl Barker said...

Jennifer, so good to know that the Lord is guiding our steps as we look to him, isn't it? Glad to hear that your moving plans are coming together. Continue to rest in him!

Michelle @ Changed By The Maker said...

I know you'll receive wisdom about making this choice, Jen. Thanks for linking up with me!

Brother Ollie said...

great focus on gratitude

Jennifer Dougan said...

Cheryl and Michelle,

Thanks, friends, for your encouragement and prayers.