help with discernment...

I’ve always had trouble discerning what God is telling me to do. I try to listen and watch where He leads me, but I always second-guess if I’m “reading” things right.

Recently, my husband and I have talked about me quitting my full-time job to stay at home with our daughter and the baby on the way. I would however have to do something to earn some income and we figured out that if I could babysit 3 other kids in our home, we would come out pretty even. I want to do this so badly, but I worry about handling 5 kids. I know many of you are parents of 5 or more children, so I know it can be done, but the thought of it is a little daunting.

I really want to do what the Lord wants me to do, but as usual, I am having trouble “hearing” him. How do all of you find ways to listen to God and KNOW that you are doing His will?

Any input on the situation would be greatly appreciated!

It is often very difficult to know if we’re doing exactly what God wants us to do.

I can relate to your situation as I quit my full-time job almost 10 years ago to be home with my children (then 4 and 6 months). By the time I figured all the money I would save on: gas, childcare, clothing, eating lunches out, etc., we found that the difference in income was really not that big! I began doing some work from home (business writing, project management and data entry) at about 10-15 hours per week, and we did fine.

Back to knowing if this is right for your family. Sounds like you are already praying about it. If you don’t currently have a regular hour of Eucharistic Adoration, I would strongly recommend it. I have had many insights and moments of reassurance during my prayer in the Presence of Jesus.

Sometimes you feel a certain peace about a decision; sometimes things just begin falling into place; sometimes you experience obstacles because our spiritual enemy doesn’t want you to do something. It all comes down to trusting in the Lord and sometimes stepping out in faith.

Have you asked other families/neighbors/church friends if they or someone they know are in need of daycare? Maybe you could do just part-time or after-school care? Would your current employer have any work you might be able to do on a part-time basis from home? What about other professional contacts?

Start looking into possibilities and see what develops. My husband and I have made many big decisions in our lives – moves, jobs, adoption, etc. Sometimes our paths start off in one direction, but then lead us somewhere else completely. Be open to where Our Lord wants to take you – it might be an opportunity you haven’t even considered yet.

When trying to make a big decision, I often pray something like:

Dear Jesus, you know we have this big decision to make. I’m asking that if this is not the right thing for our lives and for serving You, that you make it clear to us. Close all the doors and windows of opportunity if we are not to go down this path. If we are to go down this path, help us to feel your assurance and peace, and open every door and window to lead us where You want us to be, and to do what You want us to do. Jesus, I trust in You.

My prayers are with you! God bless.

Thank you so much for the response and the above prayer. I basically try to say the same thing when I pray, but you have worded it so eloquently! :slight_smile:

You have some great ideas and I’m sure it’s because you’ve “been there, done that.” Thanks so much for your insight!

For help in your decision, you might want to consider working through the spiritual exercise at this link:

I have not “been there done that” since I am not in your situation and you would probably rether hear from other moms who have real expreience to offer. However, what I can tell you is that my wife has decided to quit her full time job to be with our three young boys. She has a small typing business at home where she does transcription for a few doctors. She loves being home and we do without a lot that others may have who are earning more money. We camp instead of use hotels, we use analog Internet instead of high speed cable, we go to the public pool instead of buying our own pool, we don’t buy expensive clothes and use hand-me-downs often, we go to the local diner instead of expensive restaurants. So there are lots of places to cut for the experience of a lifetime to be with your children. I hope that helps a little.

God bless.

Allow me to recommend a book

"What Does God Want?: A practical guide to making decisions"
by. Fr. Michael Scanlon

I think it is published by Franciscan University Press

Good luck

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