|New Year's 2017|
Looking back on 2017, I'd say that it wasn't a bad year. We had some challenges and some really exciting joys, as I'm sure most families do. My oldest started Kindergarten. My littlest started preschool. My hubby had some major accomplishments in his work and educational life. These required quite a bit of time and sacrifice on our part, but we were happy to support him as he reached for his dreams. We took a vacation to a cute little amusement part called Knoebels, celebrated my 20th High School reunion (What??!!), and survived the month of birthday craziness that is called August.
The thing that stands out the most for me personally is the mini-callings that God has placed in my life. In 2017, I opened myself up to his leading. I prayed and waited and wondered. God didn't answer with some big life-changing calling. Not just yet. But he did answer with some amazing blessings that I've dubbed "mini-callings."
Over the Winter, I spent time at our church's coffee bar, called The Lobby (Check it out if you live in the area! The proceeds support hunger around the world.) writing a summer curriculum series for http://fourfivesix.org/ I loved this opportunity! It later lead to a new job as a content editor for the curriculum series, which I do once a month. I have enjoyed reading the lessons and helping to edit the content using my love of English, theology and preteen ministry! So fun! If you work with preteens at your church, check out our comprehensive curriculum series called "Deeply Rooted.
In the Spring, I taught a class entitled "Writing Your Life Story" at the local community center. I received so many blessings as my student told me her life story and we worked to develop it into a piece of writing. It's never too early to begin writing down your memories and sharing them with family.
Due to my schedule, God afforded me the time to do some volunteer work. I served at our church's food pantry over the summer and this Fall I began serving with our church's 4th and 5th grade girls. I also became a discussion group leader at our MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group. Each of these things has brought me joy in serving the Lord once again in ministry.
The most out-of-the-blue, amazing mini calling came in October. While in worship one day, I had the inspiration to create dances for our church. I had never seen a dancer on our church's stage, but it was something I had done in the past and loved. I had a lot of insecurity about this, due to the fact that I haven't been in a dance studio in five years and still carry around some extra pounds from the births of my children. Despite my insecurity, I inquired at the church. A couple of weeks later, in an odd coincidence I can only equate with God's timing, the worship team was looking for a choreographer for a dance for worship. (WHAT??!!) They have not had a dancer in years and at the same time that God placed the idea on my heart, they began looking for one. (Chills, seriously.) In October I had the privilege of choreographing a dance about the struggle to find God during life's challenges, set to the song "Say Something" by Great Big World. I loved every minute of the two weeks (yes, TWO!) that I worked to choreograph it and teach it to a very talented dancer. It was so awesome to see the dance come to life and to see our congregation respond to it.
In December, I had the privilege again to choreograph a dance for the angel in our Christmas services. It was a joy to watch her dance and to see the choreography come to life to "Oh Come Emmanuel" by the Piano Guys.
This Fall, I also went back to work part-time as a substitute teacher. Despite the occasional really bad class and catching pink eye, I have enjoyed working with the students and learning more about the educational system. I even had the privilege of teaching one lesson on the history of the Hebrew people, including Abraham, Moses, David and Solomon. Another coincidence that God called me to work that day with that lesson.
My most challenging "mini-calling" continues to be the work/life balance between being a supportive wife, mommy of two, substitute teacher, writer and editor. Life is crazy, but it's the good kind of crazy as I live out these mini-callings. Thanks be to God from whom all blessings truly flow.