Happy Homemaker, Ph.D.

A novice homemaker's attempts to use her engineering Ph.D. to serve her family

A New Beginning

on August 2, 2011

Let me be clear.  I do not have a Ph.D. in Homemaking.  Or Family Studies.  Or Nutrition.  Or Food Science. Or Early Childhood Education. Or any other field that I think most homemakers would find very interesting, at least by name.

My Ph.D. is in Industrial Engineering.

I have earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, worked as a development engineer for over five years, led projects as a Six Sigma Black Belt, finished my master’s while working full time, worked as a full-time Ph.D. student and TA/RA, and taught university classes as a full-time instructor for four years.

And in a few months, I am leaving the workforce to stay home with my precious children, a daughter (15 months) and a sweet babe due to join us in March.

I am not a natural housekeeper.  My grandma, who was a paid professional in the housekeeping arts, could tell you that.  I still cringe a little with regret of her honest assessment, “I think you’re more of a businesswoman.”  As a single gal, keeping my apartment well was not a priority, and I’ve had trouble changing that as God has called me to be a wife and a mother.

This is a scary transition for me.  I fear failure.  I fear isolation.  I fear losing my skills with lack of application and practice.  I fear the financial changes.

But I am also excited!  I’m excited to take a big leap of faith that I haven’t done since 2005 (great story, one I’ll write about).  I’m excited to have the time with my family.  I’m excited for the new challenges ahead (for example, can I conquer my dislike of washing dishes?) and the opportunity to try new things (recipes!).  I’m excited to do something outside the norm (I think.).  And most of all, I’m excited to be taking this step in obedience to my Jesus.

As for my fears?  God gives us power through the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8).  If we’re following His will, failure will not be a problem.  (Note the significant “if” there.)  Jesus is always with us (Matt. 28:20), so really, isolation shouldn’t be something for me to fear.  I can apply my analytical skills at home (and that will be one purpose of this blog – to share them with you!).

And, I’ve been reminded in the last couple of weeks that God’s economy is much different than ours.

“The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors.  But you are not to be like that.  Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.  For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves?  Is it not the one who is at the table?  But I am among you as one who serves” Luke 22: 24-27.

Regardless of the role God has given you in this season, think of how you can serve today.  For me, I’m going to be doing my best to cheerfully wash those dreaded dishes.

~Dana

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8 responses to “A New Beginning

  1. Marla says:

    Welcome to the world of being a stay-at-home mom. It is incredibly scary, but also amazing! I am excited to read about your journey!

    • dckrueger says:

      Thanks, Marla! I’m finishing up the semester at work, but I’m looking forward to being at home full time. The summer was a good trial run, and it was amazing (and a good learning experience)! Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!

      • Marla says:

        You will love it. It is very hard sometimes and every once in a while, you will miss your career. But, overall, it is awesome! Is there any way that you can adjunct a few courses so that you don’t have to completely stop working? I am hoping to do that once I graduate. Also, I recently started blogging about my parenting journey at marlasmotherhoodmusings@blogspot.com. I mostly blog about the lessons I do with our oldest (I homeschool preschool right now), but sometimes write about other things. Please check it out!

      • dckrueger says:

        Marla, I just checked out your site briefly. I didn’t realize your daughters’ ages or that you were working on your doctorate! I am hoping there will be some adjunct opportunities, and right now it seems rather promising even just with my current department (There are a couple of other departments I could inquire about as well with my background.). Thanks for sharing your blog! I’ll do my best to follow it!

  2. Chad says:

    I love you no matter what!

  3. Liz Welty says:

    I have sort of conquered my dislike of dishes after two years 🙂 However as for God’s provision, it does not disappoint even for us farmers in the middle of drought. And your children will be blessed for this Dana. Congrats!

    Liz Welty

  4. […] cookies all day, (Not do the dishes, though.  That hasn’t changed.  See my first post:  A New Beginning), write and send Christmas cards, and decorate our Christmas tree.  (There’s a reason the […]

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