Writing in the present

Last week I shared how I realized about a year ago that I had always been curious about language and how I began setting aside time and space to write. Well, I wouldn’t have believed it if you had told me, but after a couple months pursuing time to write led to this blog. I knew it would take courage for me to share my writing and I needed some accountability in the discipline of making time for it.

What started out as a discipline and then something I shared with friends and family allowed me to begin to see themes and patterns in my writing. Still when people asked me: What do you write about? I had no idea how to answer. A natural question to “I’m spending time writing” yet the verbal lover was speechless.

I had more ideas than I had focus to pursue, so I tried to be patient and enjoy the process… and I did! Writing consistently has been therapeutic for my soul and eventually, I started working on a book. I had written various pieces and submitted them here and there in an effort to persist, but suddenly, words and ideas were taking shape and I felt compelled to write them.

I began writing the non-fiction book in April and wrote steadily for four months. I have a complete outline for ten chapters and I’m up to 24, 000 words. I took a break at the end of summer and haven’t had the enthusiasm to continue the last few months, but again, I’m letting it develop on its own timeline.

Meanwhile, I have renewed enthusiasm for the start of the blog’s second year and a clarity of focus for the direction it’s headed in. I streamlined all my posts (past and future) into three categories and added a page announcing that I’m available for freelance work.

I still have more ideas up my sleeve than time to act on them, but for the moment, I’m working on establishing the blog’s direction, a presence on social media and pursuing freelance work, locally and online.

You can help! Do you know anyone who would be encouraged by reading this blog? How about a business that needs copywriting services? Spread the word!

10 Jobs I Worked before Copywriting

  • babysitter
  • teaching assistant to French professor
  • burrito-maker (line server/cashier at Qdoba)
  • after school care
  • project manager (Choice Translating)
  • infant and toddler care (The Growing Place)
  • K-5th teacher/sub (Pickens County, Mead, District 81 Spokane, Central Valley, private school)
  • bookseller (Barnes & Noble)
  • Kids Lead (Soma Communities)
  • preschool assistant/teacher/aide/specialist (private school, Headstart)

New: Professional Freelance Copywriter

 

Resources: Personality, Behavior & Communication

Personality tests. They are all a bit different and I’ve taken a handful over the years. I went ahead and compiled a list of the ones I’ve taken here, along with a brief description and some links.

If you are just getting started, I’d recommend the first two. If you find these interesting and want to read more, #3 is a discussion in how the first two connect. I’d recommend #4 for a work or team setting, #5 if you work in a church or parachurch setting and #6 for anyone who wants to learn more about communication and relating in general.

  1. Four temperaments – click here to read a Christian perspective on 4 temps
  2. Meyers-Briggs type – probably the most well-known, 16 possibilities from a combination of your preferences for focus, taking in information, making decisions, and structure.  Take the free version
  3. Temperament-Type connection #1 – Keirsey and in chart form
  4. Disc – focuses more on behavior style, often used to help people communicate how to work and relate with others – free version
  5. Apestministry style – free version
  6. Life Languagescommunication style, this is the only one I was unable to find a free version for

Which of the above tests have you taken? Which would you recommend? Are there others you have taken or would recommend?

 

Teaching kids about finance

My dad has a background in finance, while mine is in education. He sent me this link recently which connects to conversations we’ve had about where our passions intersect. The question that we, and others, are asking is how are we preparing kids for life? Does, and should, education include things, such as how to manage money?

Humanity’s purpose, part 2

Based on the creation story, it would seem that there are certain tasks that God had in mind for all of humanity, as well as ones that were more specific to individuals. I think often part of our struggles come from being ignorant of, or forgetting, the distinction between the two. So, while operating in our individual strengths is part of what creates the beauty in the ALL, we are often quick to compare and decide “this” task or “that” person is better or worse than “this” or “that” other. Let’s celebrate the unique gifts we each bring to our world. Let’s focus on doing our part and maybe others will feel free to do theirs.

Tasks we are ALL called to…
  • help take care of the rest of creation
  • bring glory to the Father (talk about vague)
  • bear fruit by the Spirit’s power – love, joy, peace
Tasks YOU are called to uniquely…
  • Specific people – your family
  • your neighborhood
  • Specific tasks – your job

 

What are you seeking?

I recently came across this article and thought it was worth sharing. I find it well-written, refreshing in its sincerity, and relatable to many people I know. Hearing stories like this makes me want to write in ways that encourage others that hope and purpose can be found and experienced in pratical ways! What are your thoughts on the article? Can you relate?

Having it all kinda sucks

Humanity’s purpose, part 1

So we looked at WHO we are last week.

Today, we look at WHAT we are called to do.

In Isaiah, we are told that we were created for God’s glory. Well, that’s vague. How do you even begin to define the word glory, and all that it implies? I’ll let you mull that over!

In the creation story, we are told God placed humanity in the garden to tend to it and watch over it. This suggests to me that when God designed and created Adam & Eve, He had specific tasks in mind for them to do. It also seems he had specific people He placed in their lives.

Would it not follow that He has specific tasks for each of us? Specific people for us to care for? Specific ways for us to bring Him glory?

What are some things/people you know you are called to?

Part 2 next week…

Listening to my life: Purpose in Teaching

I left corporate America to go into teaching because I thought the world of education would be more… What? Judicious maybe? as in balanced when it came to time and relationships.

Hahaha. Hahaha. Hahaha.

I have learned many times over how much I love to teach, and I’ve struggled more than I would have ever guessed. It turns out education isn’t necessarily a kinder or more equitable system, but it is the system I have chosen, or perhaps the one that keeps choosing me…

Love

Teaching is something I love. It is a combination of words, kids, and leadership skills that create an atmosphere where I learn at least as much as I teach. I loved studying to become a teacher, student teaching in first grade, and my first year as a teacher of two classes of 3rd grade math & science.

Before and since, I’ve taught in public school, private school, in homes, in churches, in government programs, and nonprofits. I’ve subbed for four districts in our area. I’ve written curriculum and I’ve trained others. In these various roles, I’ve sought the same relational opportunities.

I enjoy connecting with students, getting to know them for who they are, and seeing their uniqueness. I love learning their needs, and discovering how to help them grow. I’ve worked with babies-adults, and while they are not all the same, they all have unexplored learning potential.

I enjoy collaborating with other teachers who desire to see students succeed. I love making a difference in students’ lives, academically and in other areas. Whether I’m teaching a three-year-old social skills or a 6th grader math, in essence, I’m saying “I know you can do this, and I’m here to help.”

Struggle

Teaching is also something I’ve struggled with since I was first told that if I wanted to teach in an international school, I needed to begin with two years in the states. I struggled learning how different districts, and even schools within a district, operate so differently from one another. I dislike how much time is spent (or should I say wasted) on red tape items.

I wrestled again when I chose between a promotion and subbing, based on location, but I was sure it was temporary. I was shocked when my dreams came true and were turned upside-down in the same week by several administrators who did what it took to protect their own careers. I was discouraged when alternatives I was sure would have a more ethical approach turned out to have their own dysfunctional dynamics. I grieved when people are blind to how their choices are negatively impacting those around them.

I hate injustice. It makes me angry when people care more about numbers than people. It frustrates me when systems are inefficient, but I have not been searching for a perfect system, school or job. I’ve yearned to find a place where I’m free to be me, and I’d like to earn more than the supplies needed to do the work!

Desire

In her book Listen, author Keri Wyatt Kent stated that our loves and our struggles together point to what we desire. This desire is an indicator of our personal purpose. The reason I haven’t had a traditional teaching career is because of the struggle, and the reason I’m still in the field is because of the love.

Together, love and struggle have been working to create new desire in me. Desire that is bigger than my original desire to make a difference in a few kids’ lives, to live an exciting life somewhere far away and to pay my rent. My new desire is the “how” as it applies to the life I’ve been given.

This desire is continually growing and changing, and it is, at least in part, synonymous with purpose. Just as we have more than one love or struggles, we can have more than one desire or purpose. Teaching is one purpose for my being in this city.

Teaching is about relationships and the communication of ideas. Teaching truth as relationships are being nurtured. For me, this means teaching isn’t my job; it’s my lifestyle (and sometimes also a small source of income!).