Jen Dekorte, owner of Sweet Petite Bakery, opens up about how she and her husband decided to start the bakery while homeschooling their two boys.
It’s Faith and Work Week at All Things New. We’ll be exploring how our work connects to God’s work through the inaugural season of the All Things New Podcast. Here on the blog, we’ll be posting excerpts from a handful of the 11 episodes. Today’s segment is from our conversation with Jen Dekorte, owner of Sweet Petite Bakery. It has been edited for readability.
Trevor Sides: When you and your husband, Eric, first talked about owning your own bakery, what were those conversations like? Did you talk about the pace of life and how it would impact your home, your kids? What were your prayers like?
Jen Dekorte: At first we were just wrestling with, first of all, is this a good idea? Because this is not the pace of life that we see from other people around us. Is that okay? We really did battle through that, and there were some really great verses that I felt like God gave me, especially regarding homeschooling—not only just being a mom. We’re homeschooling and working, and then on top of it you own the business.
Trevor: You started a business, you own it, it’s yours.
Trevor: And there’s a lot of pressure that can come with that, as well as the joy and the fun of doing what you want to do.
Jen: There can be.
Trevor: There’s a lot to it.
Jen: There is, yeah, and I felt like the thing that I struggled most with was, “You know, our life looks kind of odd, is that okay?” And then just feeling this comparison. What is good? Like, I’m comparing myself to other women around me but then I negated to think about the fact that God has them in their own reality and he has me in my own reality. So it's dangerous for me to compare myself to others. Instead, I need to be looking up toward God and what he has for us. He definitely gave us a lot of encouragements, but it felt like once we became comfortable with where God had us, then it was very easy. We knew there was going to be some time sacrificed, things like that, but Eric and I are also fairly good at imagining the big picture vision of what we want our family to look like. Our life is already fairly untraditional. We homeschool year-round. We use a method called Charlotte Mason. I love it. And the thought behind it is to give your children a generous education, or a generous curriculum, so that learning is a lifelong skill.
Trevor: What were some of the verses that helped you get over the comparison trap?
Jen: Well, 2 Thessalonians 3:11-12 says, "For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living." That one helped us not to feel that pressure of wondering what other people are doing or being idle. Be busy with what God gave you. It helped me to re-center my thinking vertically.
There was Hebrews 13:7-8: "Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." It doesn't say to imitate what they do; it says to imitate their faith. So that was encouraging to me to not worry about that so much. Worry about what God has for us. Keep it nice and simple.
And then the battle of wondering, “Okay is this being responsible?” Because I do want to make sure that my children are taken care of, that their education is provided for, that our home is going to be taken care of—all of those little bits and pieces that are a full-time job in themselves. What does that look like? Titus 2 has been of much encouragement to me, as well as Proverbs 31. But it says to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, submissive to their husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. And then it goes on to talk about the older women teaching the younger women and training their children and being self-controlled, just all those daily tasks you would want as a godly woman.
Trevor: And then in Proverbs 31, she's considering fields and buying them.
Jen: Right, yeah.
Trevor: You're considering gluten-free cakes and baking them.
Jen: Yeah, exactly.
Trevor: I think we tend to think of those things as mutually exclusive but they can go together. These can hold hands. Both of these passages can work together.
Jen: They can, I think they definitely can. It's just a tricky business in how that works. There are a lot of things in life that are very good to have in your life—there are so many good options out there. You could fill your day with tons of good options and be way too busy. And it can really thwart what you originally started with. So we've said “no” to a lot of things in order to say “yes” to other things.
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