Monday, March 14, 2016

A New Chapter For Me



I am wondering how many NEW CHAPTERS we each have in life. I am 61 years old and getting ready to enter another new identity. I most definitely did NOT see this one coming! 

My previous chapters? 25 years in full-time ministry in many different shapes and sizes. The last 4 years I have described myself on numerous job sites and online magazines as a freelance writer and professional blogger who worked from home. Over-lapping with the freelance writer identity I was also working on a book that was still a mystery whether it would become a reality or not. And then last month the book of my dreams was published and I got to experience the surreal and delicious sense of accomplishment involved in being an author

And now in the coming Fall I will be a preschool teacher! 

From an early age I remember being warned not to see our job as our identity. That it was dangerous and limiting. As young marrieds we reminded ourselves that we were more than our job and that our jobs and ministry must not become our identity. Not to hold our favorite tasks too tightly because nothing is permanent. 

But you guys, that is kind of impossible. It just is, at least for me. When you are involved in an ongoing ministry you give yourself completely to it or you're not doing it right. How could you do it half-heartedly if you care for and love the people you are working with and for? 

We thought that the ministry life would be our identity until the day we got too old or better yet, that we'd die while still on the job. At the beginning of our ministry career our parents had asked us if we had a retirement plan in mind. We naively stated with the arrogance of youth that there is no such thing as "retiring from ministry". Oh Lord! More than a little bit of embarrassment and regret happening now! We gave it our all and did not plan for a future beyond ministry. 

And then as a writer and an author, your job becomes an obsession...and it needs to. It becomes who you are, how you think of yourself. Because it is not easy and it does not happen accidentally. A freelance writer must be constantly on the hunt for the next job and keep submitting the words everywhere you can possibly send them. An author cannot stop working on the book or it will be nothing more than a collection of files that no one will ever see or enjoy. 

But an income is still a requirement and that is the main reason that in August of this year I will be describing myself as a preschool teacher. There is another reason that I am excited about this new chapter and the second motive for taking the job; the potential for new friends and a reason to get out of my house a few days a week. 

I have some history working with little ones. I taught preschool full-time for two years before my first son was born. I was also taking night classes toward a degree in Early Child Development which I did not complete. After my son was born I continued to work as a preschool substitute teacher in three schools for a couple of years. I was a children's church director and teacher in two churches for about, yikes...10 years. 

I am so happy about this opportunity! It feels hand designed for me. The preschool is part of a church that is on the other side of the little forest behind our house. So close! No awful Texas driving for me! It is only two days a week and the pay is nice enough to make a difference for us. And the women involved are so nice and funny and very welcoming! 

As I've been researching info for the job, I am falling back in love with early child development, the teaching theories, methods, songs and books! So fun! By the time I start this new job my grandson, who I watch twice a week, will be two years old and he will get to be my guinea pig for songs, stories, art projects and trying out new "transitional motivators". Haha!

So as I said at the beginning, this is my new chapter and be prepared for me to jump into it with both feet and becoming totally immersed in kid stuff. You will be hearing fun kid stories and maybe even some spiritual insights, who knows? 

Now my new identity will include author, freelancer, preschool teacher and I guess always a minister in one way or another. Because all believers are ministers, in lots of different forms and shapes and sizes. God loves variety, right?

So this blog post has really been more of a newsletter than a real post I suppose. I just felt the need to give you an update of sorts. The sales on my book were great in February, but very low in March and that makes me sad. If you have any ideas for advertising it for free somewhere, let me know or feel free to promote it yourself. I will appreciate it so much! 

Buy it here!


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10 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your new job as teacher, and for your other hats as well. As ladies of a "certain age' we can wear many hats.

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    1. So true. We have experience in many genres and the wisdom to know how to use it. Thanks, I'm looking forward to it.

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  2. Susie: Congratulations on your upcoming job. I know you will do well with it. Did you ever consider a Blog Hop featuring your new book?

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  3. I am very happy for you as you begin this new chapter in your life. It will be fun and rewarding and keep you "young" at heart. Exciting new things developing for you! As far as marketing your book, perhaps you could visit some local Christian bookstores and ask if they would let you put copies there for sale. You could even do a book signing. I think your book could easily become a kind of Ladies' Bible STudy guide...perhaps an idea to promote to churches. And Cecilia's idea of a blog hop...I guess you could be a guest on other blogs and share your story...with a link to purchase the book. What about sites like "She Writes"? I don't know too much about that either, but I believe also as you connect with others even through your new job in the fall that you will see ways to get your book "out there". Just some thoughts.

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    1. Thanks, yes, great ideas that I will be looking into.

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  4. You know what? Your life is good. Good in that deep, soul-satisfying way. I think this will be another good thing. There's a saying I read somewhere. It was about a person long since passed, but it said something like, "She lived every day of her life." I like that and your blog brings it to mind. It's a good thing.

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    1. Sandi, the good you see is because I am choosing to look at that part and write about it. I will not write about the many days of circling my home in boredom and loneliness and posting on Facebook in order to have SOME kind of connection with people outside my home. I am working hard at looking at the good in order to be a forward moving person who helps others along the way.
      I want to be a person who is remembered in such a lovely way. Thank you for writing that.

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    2. Haha...I wonder how many of us do this? Many a day I circle. That sounds like the title of a book. My kids keep me busy. My husband makes lots of laundry for me. I have a few friends. But...some days...between Star Trek and dinner or between soccer and bedtime...I circle too. Don't we all? It's where stories come from. They hide in the silence between great moments.

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    3. You are a natural writer.."They hide in the silence between great moments. " Beautiful!

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