The Sporadic Blogger Strikes Again!
Back when I decided to start this blog, I knew my time was already stretched pretty thin. In fact, I actually thought about deeming myself the Sporadic Blogger but someone else was using the name then. She was dealing with a medical issue and although I said a little prayer for her now and then over the years, I didn't check back in. Hope she's happy and healthy and still writing!
But, I digress... 😂 Already!
My point was going to be, I never meant to sporadically check in every year or so!
Pretty sure I've said it before but life gets busy, doesn't it?
I added a flurry of posts last year around Christmastime. Did you notice? 😉
I'm sharing that amazing story with you today.
It's all about the heart of the matter!
I've always loved words. I'd mastered our Dr. Seuss library by kindergarten and never looked back. I read voraciously... until I had children anyway. 😁 I've always been really bad at carving out any time for myself. I know millions of parents out there are just like me. Especially if you work a 40+ hour week. And, who doesn't when you add in the fact that you're a parent! With a home. And laundry. And a yard. And...
Anyway, suffice it to say that I always wanted to be a writer. When it came right down to it however, I was carrying enough baggage around that I lacked the self-confidence to even try. I knew with all my heart though that I wanted to be a Mom and poured every moment I could into it. I would write in my head all the time but rarely would it make it out and onto paper (computers weren't a thing yet 😖) other than sporadic beginnings.
I did work up the courage to take a home study course learning about writing for children. I'm proud to say I did well. Still, I never vested any time to make my dream a reality. Along the way, God and I reconnected in a BIG way. I'll share all that one day, but if you just can't wait, check out my other~very primitive, mind you~blog, Don't Kiss That Frog. I spruced up that post and a few others but if you read very far, you're going to run into long blocks of text.
I've been meaning to get back to that... 😖
Anyway, 40 year story a little bit shorter, once I reconnected with God and broke open that Bible with the intention of meeting Him there in the pages, it was eye-opening, life-changing, and utterly amazing to watch Him at work in my life.
I still kept so busy doing life that I never found time to be a writer, but I was hanging with little people all day. I loved my job, worked for myself, and survived empty-nest syndrome with flying colors thanks to God plopping a group of 30 suddenly leaderless kids in my lap one Wednesday evening. He used the next ten years or so to teach me so much while I taught them.
I'll be sharing some of those tales with you too. 😏
During that time, I learned this verse.
"Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart." ~Psalm 37:4
Delight yourself in the Lord meant to want to know Him. I told you, I was witnessing concrete evidence that when you apply God's Word to your life, you see Him working... of course, I was delighting myself in Him! It was then I knew that when it was time to write, He'd let me know.
Fast forward another couple of decades... well, almost... to the flurry of blog posts at the end of last year.
Just when you think things can't get any worse...
Man, we don't even utter the question, "What else could go wrong?" around here because frankly, we think we get hit with more than our share. I have a theory as to why that is the case. Pretty sure I'm spot on with that, by the way. If you need a teaser to pique your interest, we all dance with the devil at some point. If you come to your senses and remove Him from your dance card, he gets really pissed. 😲 Pardon my language.
But, back to the amazing way God takes what's bad and turns it for good in this story!
Labor Day weekend 2018 was a life changer for us.
A few years earlier, I'd closed my childcare because keeping up with two very active preschoolers and a 55 hour a week childcare business were beginning to affect my health. My husband had just gotten a raise at work and if we tightened our belts, we'd do alright. I was exclusively keeping our son's best friend's little boy but other than that, was bringing in no income.
That Saturday morning, Randy was injured unloadng a piece of freight from the back of his cargo van. It was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. After years in the construction industry he had suffered several serious accidents... all in the "freak" category, oh, by the way! This fact strengthens my suspicion as to who's behind the "more than our share" theory.
Good thing Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down" is one of our theme songs for life.
He's just not able to do physical labor any longer. The constant pain has become to much for him to bear. I, of course, was praying for an answer because I don't want him to work! He has earned the right to stop as far as I'm concerned. You'd say the same if you only knew. 😍
We'll just leave it at an adoring, "My hero..." followed by a heartfelt sigh.
We tightened our belts again and hunkered down. We decided our best course of action was to put the word out that I was re-opening the daycare. Randy would be my helper and handle meals and cleanup... We'd do okay,
Only for the first time in my 30 some years in the business... people weren't lining up at the door.
What now, God? I know you didn't give us these girls to find ourselves homeless! We sold everything we could think of to sell and held on.
I started looking for jobs, but knew I wasn't likely to walk into a position that would pay enough to support us around here. I was sure I'd need two. 😓
Then, the whisper of a thought came...
"Go for it."
I pondered for a few days and knew people were going to want writing samples. I'd been successfully writing for BlogMutt (now Verblio) for a year or so but my contract stipulated not sharing any purchased work. The only shareable published works I had, besides one 250 word devotional that was published in a children's devotional awhile before, were on my own blog site. Hence, the flurry of posts.
I started applying for content writing positions.
I was flabbergasted when I heard back in no time from not one but three!
One was even a parenting blog! I was really excited about that because I consider nurturing to be one of my main areas of expertise! They were willing to negotiate the rate per word and promised plenty of work. Things got slowed down over Thanksgiving and then they were going on hiatus over the holidays. I felt confident though that I'd be hearing from Mo right after the first of the year.
The second response took me about 5 minutes to grow wary of and decide against pursuing further.
Third time's a charm
One of the positions that I applied for was intriguing. It was for a management type position that included writing. The business was in Florida, but the option was out there to work remotely so I went for it.
Granted, I'd been out of the workforce for 20 years, but I was a quick study and had past experience working in an office setting. I was sure my last boss would give me a great reference. I was very excited to hear what the job entailed.
I had a phone interview the day after Thanksgiving and was offered the job! But, remember, the Mom blog was shining so brightly on my horizon! My big-headed self turned down the position because I didn't want to tie myself to full-time. 😲
We were nearly penniless, mind you.
I shake my head at myself from time to time. I sure do.
The penniless thought struck hard about two seconds after I regretfully explained that I was afraid if I excepted the position, I'd miss a great opportunity to write in my area of expertise and thanked him for considering me.
I tell you what, it's a good thing God doesn't leave us to our own devices without at least trying to get our attention!
I almost missed out on the best opportunity of my life!
About the time I was beginning to fret that I probably should have taken the job, the phone rang.
Is it weird that I heard a "knock, knock" in my head?
He called back!
I was offered the opportunity to write freelance while deciding whether the other opportunities panned out. It was the first of several times this year that I am sure I blurted, "Yes!" before he had finished the question. 😄
Oh, and guess what...
I never heard another peep from the mom blog...
*shrugging* Their loss.
Frankly, I haven't thought about it much and when I do, I say, "Thank you, Father God, for stepping right in front of my cocky self.
Super long story crammed into a nutshell
I'll cut to the chase.
What are the odds that a novice writer would land a well paid position~while going through a totally new learning process, mind you~right out of the gate?
Slim to none, I'm pretty sure.
But, God, my friends. But, God.
I've learned a lot this last 10 months and still have a ways to go. But, I'm going! You keep going too.
In the meantime...
Everybody's thriving. We're doing just fine.
I know it's tough parenting at our age...
The busy pace if nothing else gets tough, and we haven't even jumped off into the world of extra-curricular everything yet! 😉 Add to that the "what if" of worry when life throws you a serious curve...
I get it.
But, I tell you this, I knew God would show up BIG and he did. Things aren't all sunshine and roses yet, but I know whatever's coming, God's got it figured out. I'm just going to keep hanging on tight and trying to instill His Word in the girls and praying they hold on tight as well.
He's who will break the cycle. I want them to break the cycle. I know you want the same for your sweet babies. Strike up a conversation with the One Who Loves You Most. He'll let you know He's listening.
Now, hang on and hope for the best. No matter how bumpy the ride gets, He's got it all figured out.
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See you next time,