Another Blue Pill, I Mean … Job Offer?

Today, Michelle Jonas, the vice principal of Crook County High School, called me.

“We would like to offer you a full time position at Pioneer High School,” she said. Pioneer is the alternative high school. Alternative is the word used for students who can’t cut it in the regular system or those who need to work during the day or those who need a different environment. In other words, we’re talking about 90 percent boys.

“Paul’s in Alaska. I’d like to talk it over with him first, but it may be hard to get a hold of him. How long do I have to make this decision?” I asked.

“Well, obviously we’d like to move forward with this as soon as possible. But Jan will be sending you a certified letter in the mail after which you will have seven days to respond,” she answered. She explained that the job would consist of some direct instruction, some assistance with online classes, and that it is a five-day, full-time position with my prep coming at the end of the day. Obviously, I’d be dealing with many of the most difficult students in the public school system.

I think, I’ll be dealing with angry boys in men’s bodies who probably all have either a mean father or a non-existent father.

I answered, “I already heard rumors about this position opening up. I thought it was offered to Mr. G—. Can you tell me what happened? I thought he accepted it. Did he change his mind?” Mr. G — has a military background. His teaching style is highly structured, but his dry, calm sense of humor helps him to be loved and respected. I also heard that he has a vision for Pioneer High School — he really wanted to make some good changes that would help these students. I think This school needs a man. Those boys don’t need one more woman in their lives telling them what they should do.

Michelle answered, “We were thinking of offering the job to him. However, we discovered we need to follow protocol and offer this position to any teachers on the recall list with a secondary certification. You are one of two people who have the correct certification on the recall list.”

“What happens if I refuse this position? Does that remove me from the recall list?” I asked.

“Yes,” she answered. “Refusing a full-time position will remove you from the recall list. Your recall status was only valid until this September anyway.”

“Thank you for the opportunity,” I said. “I’ll try to give you an answer much sooner than seven days. I just need to talk to Paul first.”

I talked with Paul. Nothing really seemed to come of it. It was the same old dance around the same old pros and cons. Stability, steady income, and insurance vs. happy stay-at-home mother homeschooling in poverty.

I’m beginning to feel there is a conspiracy out there in the world to keep mothers out of the home and fathers out of work.

Why is it that I keep getting offered jobs? Paul gets paid about $12,000 more a year than I do because he’s higher up on the pay scale. It would be nice if he’d get a job. I’m the one who wants to homeschool. I’m the one who wants to bake and fold laundry and clean the home and nurture and create a home. I want to read aloud and teach the art of narration and remind them to brush their teeth and make their beds. I want to train the girls in good habits. Teach them to attain excellence in all they attempt. I’m not saying Paul doesn’t want all this – but I have a passion for it.

But I know I shouldn’t be complaining. With the recession on, I should be thankful. It’s just that I’m …


I’d rather blame the system for not hiring me and be happy in my unemployment.

Offering me employment puts the responsibility completely in my court. I must answer for if my family goes hungry. I must answer for our financial struggles. I must answer for moving us away from a community that Elsa doesn’t want to leave.

It gets more complicated, though.

This job relates indirectly to my good friend, Heather. Every morning, I’ve prayed Lord, please bring Heather a job. A single mom with two boys, she’s been subbing in the system for three years now, waiting for an opportunity to get a job in Prineville where her community lives.

This is how it all shakes down. Mr. G — holds a social studies position at the regular high school. He does a wonderful job there, but he has a vision for Pioneer to really put his all into making a great program for these students. He wants this position. But the school system must offer it to those, like me, on the recall list first. I’m one of two people to which they must offer it.

Anyway, if he accepts the job, that leaves an opening in the social studies department at the high school and guess who is first in line for that job?


Now, I realize that I can’t make actual decisions for my family for what might be if
everything works out. I could turn down the job and the other person on the recall list could take it. Or Mr. G– might go to Pioneer and a person from the middle school  wants the social studies position, knocking Heather out of the running.

But do you see how it all interrelates? Do you see how I might reluctantly accept what is just a job to me and interfere with someone else’s vision? The ripples of my decision will hit the coast of someone’s life.

Any person just looking at our financial position would tell me … “Duh, you’ve got a full time position with benefits in a school system. Here’s your chance in.”

To add to the pressure, if I turn this position down, I’m removed from the recall list. No more will the school system call me with offers.

I’ve arrived at a point of no return. Do I go the safe,sensible direction? Or do I follow a nebulous calling to homeschool and write? A calling that many days I doubt if it even exists? My kids will do fine in the school system. They have what it takes to succeed. And writing … well, come on,Danielle. Be serious. Do you know how difficult it is to make an income as a writer?

So, I’m in need of advice. Write to me. Tell me what you think.



  1. Danielle, You know I love you with all my heart and you know I’ve already told you what I think. I just wonder where God is in all this? Is this an answer to prayer or not.?..only you know. Is God opening this door? Or is the enemy trying to distract you from what God is trying to do? Again…only you know. I wish you could stay home with the girls, you’ve done such a fine job with them. And you know how I feel about “state schools” & their liberal indoctrination agenda and their tendency to get off track from teaching reading, writing and arithmetic–the things they should be teaching vs. all their cultural meddling, And you know how I feel about mother’s staying home and raising their children. But you have to eat and you have to have a roof over your head. And why can’t you write in your spare time until or unless doors open where you make a livable amount from your writing OR until Paul finally lands a regular income which will allow you to quit?


  2. My two cents…take the job and keep on writing. That new situation will afford you many new stories. Talk to the girls and see what they say. This will allow you all to stay here in this town if you wish. A job like that is perfect for when your children are in school, you will have the precious after-school time to share together. I understand what boat you are in…I would have loved to continue homeschooling, but now my husband is doing it because he became unemployed. We know this might not be forever though. Just like this job offer of yours. I think you should accept it, something good can happen for your husband or for you in the future, and you could walk away from it eventually if you wanted to. This offer is happening to you for a reason. (ie. God looking out for you). If it were me, I would accept that job in a heartbeat. Praying for you Danielle.


  3. My two cents…take the job and keep on writing. That new situation will afford you many new stories. Talk to the girls and see what they say. This will allow you all to stay here in this town if you wish. A job like that is perfect for when your children are in school, you will have the precious after-school time to share together. I understand what boat you are in…I would have loved to continue homeschooling, but now my husband is doing it because he became unemployed. We know this might not be forever though. Just like this job offer of yours. I think you should accept it, something good can happen for your husband or for you in the future, and you could walk away from it eventually if you wanted to. This offer is happening to you for a reason. (ie. God looking out for you). If it were me, I would accept that job in a heartbeat. Praying for you Danielle.


  4. That is a big dilemma. I was so blessed to be able to stay home with my kids and homeschool off and on. We had to make sacrifices and weren’t able to have a lot of things others had. One day after one of my daughters junior basketball games we were all in our old rust spotted SUV and I looked around at the other families leaving in bright shiny new SUV’s, beamers, Lexus etc. I asked my kids, “Aren’t you embarrased driving around in this old beater.
    They unanimously answered, “We are glad you were home with us not like the other parents who both work full time and still are in debt. Now my daughter, who is also a teacher, is staying home raising her 2 small children.
    This doesn’t answer your question but “All things do work for good.” By the way this is Terri(Webster)Henry and I have started this blog for my mom’s writings. You are free to go to it and read them if you would like.


  5. Danielle,
    First, I not very smart. I clicked on Jill’s comment, so that is why you have it twice. So, here is my comment. As Jill read your post to me, I immediately thought about the Providence of God. If you are a believer, there is no such thing as chance. All events, people and circumstances come into our path through the hand of God. It is our job to respond prayerfully and spiritually to the things which cross our paths.
    The teaching opportunity is not the ideal situation as you wrote, but it is an opportunity. It will allow you folks to get on your feet and move forward….together. The job is also not an end all. Opportunities will arise for Paul and you could change course.
    The things you wrote in your post about the changes happening in the family are all true. These kind of things have been transpiring in the general public for years. The economic and social conditions are now beginning to effect the Christian households. Men out of work, women returning to work, etc… The only difference is we stand on a strong faith in Christ. You know as well as I do, there are tons of verses and lessons in the Word which speak of trials, tribulations and difficulties. As the Word shows us, we are to stand still, be patient and keep our eyes on Jesus.
    I will share some verses from the Baccalaureate celebration of the high school graduates. You probably know the story of Jehoshaphat, as they are approaching battle against insurmountable odds. Much like the situation your family, my family and many others are facing today. In his prayer, Jehoshaphat says in verse 15 of 2 Chron 20 “For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” Clear instruction of where we should be looking. Then further down the text, in verse in verse 15, “Thus says the LORD to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s”. Follow the Lord and seek Him in our circumstances. Lastly verse 17, “You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.”
    These verses may not give you a direct answer to your circumstances, but they show you where you should be looking and who you should depend on. Again, I believe the opportunity is being orchestrated by the Lord. You can take it and not be tied down. You have a gift of writing and can do this anytime and anywhere. As I said earlier, this will give your family an opportunity to get on their feet and move forward…together.
    Know that you are in my prayers daily.

    Lord bless,


  6. well, you tried the teaching full time with the kids in public schools and hated it. it truly isn’t where your heart is, it is not your passion or your desire. in the school setting, that is not good for anyone involved. i know that it may not pay the bills, but i wouldn’t want my children to have a teacher whose heart isn’t in it. especially with the types of kids that you are working with. i know you can’t control the decisions of the others involved, but it sounds like the passion and vision this other guy has is the kind of teacher that those kids need.


  7. Danielle, I think people are leaving you such great comments and guidance for your decision. The thing that keeps popping into my mind right now is that your will is not always, and sometimes rarely what God’s will is for you. Is it possible that you are trying to force your will in this decision? Only you and Paul know, but really, when it comes to you, only you and God know. I’m wondering if God is opening a window for you in the eleventh hour, blessing you. It may not be your will, but it might be your life-line. I don’t think, right now, you have the luxury of trying to knock yourself out of the pool to help friends or people you know. Your responsibility is to your family first. Further, this is just a shadow on the importance scale, but Elsa is breaking records in eighth grade. If she is not settled in a school, she could miss an all important scholarship for her future, and I have no doubt she is going to get one. Also, like others have said, this does not have to change your lives forever, just until Paul gets set up in his career, give him a little time, it will happen, God sees the whole picture, is fully aware of all of it, and let it be His plan for you. Traveling can happen at any time, and the girls can be home schooled by Paul until you guys can switch roles. I honestly think this should be time on the knees looking to the Man who holds the agenda in His hands, He will tell you exactly what to do. Love and miss you all very much!


  8. Danielle, I appreciate the quandry you find yourself in. I admire your thoughtfullness toward others in your decision making. Your Mother(who worked full time) must have been a remarkable person to leave her children so balanced in thier approach to life. I as your father and it appears you also have had to start over at the age of 65 for me. Believe me when I say that the calmness your father exudes is surface only. Underneath is a boiling caldron at times. I am sure of this because his situation and mine are very similar. My youngest son went to an alternative school the last 6 months of his high school carreer and was so happy to be able to spend 1 hour a day instead of 7 hours a day to complete his schooling while working full time. It i would be an opportunity to reach into the lives of young people like kyle if you were to be involved in the alternative school. Don’t be afraid of this new challange

    I made these three observations to you so you might also observe vicariously something akin to your life in someone else. We all have to make very tough decisions, the smallest of which changes our lives forever. I feel for you especially when often it seems that Gods voice is deafingly silent at times. I think he wants us to excercise the abilities which he has already given us. I have endured many sleepless toruturess nights and days searching for answers as you are.

    I want you to be certain of at least two things. I have heard not only the silence but the golden quality of Gods voice. Of this I am certain. God has indead told me things which only he could. When the silence is almost crushing you have to listen very loudly and you will magnify the still small voice that has always been there. Sometimes we actually smother Gods voice with our questions. God has recently actually shouted at me.
    That is one of the things I wanted to tell you. God hears your every prayer and he will speak to you.

    The other thing I wanted to say is do not be afraid. I don’t believe for an instant that God will ever ask you to abandon a dream that he has planted. God abides in eternity while we are trapped in the moment. Sometimes we are stumbling and bumbling simply because we can’t really see the direction we should go. God intervenes with random events which actually serve as bumpers to right the wrong path we have unwittingly taken. We can clearly see the past but the future holds nothing but uncertainty. Sometimes we just have to trust that God has intervened and “herded” us into the different but right path which will lead us to the dream that is in there somewhere.

    I don’t know enough about your life to tell you to do this or not do this. But I do know from my life to assuredly tell you these things. Do not be afraid! God hears you and will speak to you in a way that you will know. And he will really direct you in varied and unique ways onto the path that is yours and yours alone. Others will give you advice and it is all good advice, but it is your’s to glean from that what is for you to do now and what it is for you to just hear and save for later. I don’t envy your path because it is hard and I do envy your path because it will require you to take it hand in hand with the creator of everything we know and see.


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