I didn’t have to make the decision by myself after all.

I called Paul to wish him a happy birthday. He’s 39 today. After the girls and I sang to him, he got down to business.

“I’ve been thinking,” he said. “I know that if you took that job there’d be about three months of all-out-war with those boys and then they’d figure out you mean business and they’d start learning and then you’d fall in love with them and you’d rise to the top like you always do.” He paused and I agreed with him that … after awhile, the job would grow on me. Giving begets loving.

“But,” he continued, “you want to be home with the kids and I want you to be home with the kids. We’ve done this all before. There’s nothing for me in Prineville. If Prineville wanted me, they’d have given me a job, but they didn’t. I’d just wait around at home being depressed again.” I agreed with him here, too. I added that Robin had called and said the same thing. She said,

This is so last year.

We’ve tried this before. I work full time, but my salary doesn’t really cure the problem. We’re all miserable. Paul does the dishes and cooks the meals and cares for us, but all the while, he’s sinking, sinking, sinking. At least, once a week, I get down on my knees and pray for a way out, for a way to make home, home. I want to be the hub of the wheel of the family, the heart of the home. There’s a quiet desperation, a thin veneer over waves of despair.

This opportunity is old hat. It’s a hampster wheel — a lot of work and going nowhere.

I confess to Paul, “I was going to decide this by myself, but I’m glad you helped me. I’m glad you confirm what I was planning to do anyway. I’m supposed to know thyself. I’m being untrue to who I am if I go back to work full time. I’ve sworn that I won’t do it unless we’re starving and we haven’t gone hungry yet.”

I’ll help with the income, but family is first. In this culture, in the days we live in, I know that I can’t erect the shining barrier around our family if I’m away from them most of the day. I must hold fast to the timeful life.

“I like it out here,” Paul said. “It’s like Intervention and Mountain Classroom, but it’s on the water.” He said this while floating on the Nak-Nek river. He talked about opportunities in Kenai. I said I’d be willing to come.

“We’ll figure it out,” he said. He’s got work until October. Alaska doesn’t seem to be feeling the recession like Central Oregon is.

We both took a deep breath and the feeling of understanding and agreement passed across the air thousands of miles away.

“Good,” Paul said. “Now I can get back to thinking about you naked instead of figuring out what we’re supposed to do.”



  1. Danielle, I love your heart to be home raising your children and protecting and preparing them. I pray God makes it possible through all the trials. Don


  2. I’ve enjoyed your writings and appreciate your heart. You’ve made a huge decision that will impact your childrens lives in the most positive way. Thanks for being so open and sharing with us. Terri (Webster) Henry


  3. Your family’s circumstances have been heavy on my heart these past couple of days. The reasons you are/were reluctant to accept the Pioneer school position made me think, pray, rejoice. All of it renders today’s post a delight to read. 🙂

    It occurs to me that sometimes, the hard(er), forward-moving decisions get made only when we find ourselves forced to choose. Whereas moving to Alaska might have seemed anathema to you last week, it is now a viable–even attractive–plausibility for all of the reasons you’ve outlined, sought counsel in, prayed over. God’s perspective! It is the only kind that counts…and we can’t force it.


  4. Wow…the way you write…love it! This post sounds so much like my life. Our family too had to switch it up, Dean being forced to stay home and be the homeschool king due to lack of employment, and my part-time job which will probably need to be changed to a full time job very soon, since his unemployment ended. I too miss being home, but we won’t get into that here. Will the Lord will provide Dean w/ work here? Or me w/ work here? My thoughts totally resonate in agreement w/ you when you say, “We’ve done this all before. There’s nothing for me in Prineville. If Prineville wanted me, they’d have given me a job, but they didn’t. I’d just wait around at home being depressed again.” That’s my husband’s life for nearly 2 years now. He’s filled out more than 250 job applications. And he is a trained professional, with a Masters Degree. So sad. I know so many wonderful families that have left this small town, it is so unfortunate. It is so crazy…we love this small town, we love our fellowship, we love our friends, we enjoy where we live, but in the end, you can’t stay unless God makes a way. You can’t live on nothing, or on minimal pay. This is a new way of life for us, waiting for God to move. Learning to trust him, depending on his strength and his timing. Putting ourselves out there in new situations. I never once thought I would be in the position at this time in my life to have to consider the fact that we might have to move one day from here. Maybe I’ll google Alaska today.


    1. Wow, Daneille I loved how you wrote out your story.. Very nice
      My cousin lived in Alaska until she retired at 53 years old. They make a much better living than we do here in the states and it is beautiful… It will be good for you all to be together, God has a plan..
      Take Care and best wishes to you all


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