the whole thunderstorm

I have been a smidgeon more bold about looking for places to guest post and exploring writing opportunities. I penned this email in response to an editor who invited me to write for their online publication antler.

Things are pretty dicey around here as I apply for jobs in NYC and still juggle the day-to-days, you know how that goes. My apologies for not writing sooner. It was like a little bit of lightning to have someone ask, “What do you think you’d like to write about?” It was honestly part of the paralysis in getting back to you.

What would I like to write about? So many splendid things.

The biggest wrestling match I’ve been tangled up in recently has to do with work and passion and calling and vocation. I’m in the process of applying for jobs, so I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what it is I am supposed to pursue. You know – the questions you are supposed to ask/answer at 18 or at least by 24. These questions and answers are in an unfortunate cyclical pattern in my life and I’m still twirling.

Linguistics? Social Work? Community Advocacy? Public Policy? Writer? Dancer?

I just threw that “dancer” idea in for fun. If I’m honest, I would also say freestyle rapper because I really do love leaving rap messages on my friend’s voicemails. My point is that I hold some pretty strong beliefs about calling and vocation and I can’t seem to get them all to line up in the way I answer the question, “What do you most like to do?

Isn’t it from a privileged position that I can ask that question in the first place? What makes me think I need to LIKE what I do from 9-5… so many people don’t and they are still created in the image of God and have the ability to give Him glory with their days. On the other hand, God has created us with hands and minds and thoughts and abilities that will specifically give Him glory and reveal His creativity as we reach for and beyond the limits we’ve been given.

So, is it wasteful to have a mind that chooses to read textbooks at the beach but then not engage that mind in a classroom? Is it wasteful to choose to have a job at the bottom of the todem pole based on the belief that all levels of the todem pole are important? Is it irresponsible to work in a field that does not utilize what feels like one’s greatest passion?

It is with these things I wrestle and I suppose right now my body is nearly worn out with the fight. I know the best writing comes at these kinds of moments, so I wonder if I shouldn’t pursue this idea for a post.

I’m free for skype or phone, but now that you’ve read a few of the raindrops I’m not sure if you’ll want the whole thunderstorm.

Just let me know.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

I’d say yes to that

Want to work with military personnel overseas? How about foster care children in San Diego? Ever thought of writing for Anthropologie or working for a government subsidized housing program in New York? Want to work in the agricultural industry? Want to teach, preach, or lead in a church ministry? Want to do administrative work for a non-profit or various secretarial duties for a start-up business? Want to drive the grain cart in the harvest parade? How about freelance or contract work – thought about that? Want to work at a university exchange program in the Dominican Republic or for the booming windmill business? Thought about working part-time at a print shop, coffee shop, branding company, advertising firm, or babysitting?

I’ll stop because your brain is swimming.

It’s just that, I would say yes to all of the above. Everything. Actually, I did say yes when people asked me those questions this past year.

Every time I got an email, phone call, or networked connection through friends, I responded as quick as I could get my resume and cover letter re-formatted to fit the job description. I was willing to do anything – literally over 100 applications worth of anything. It was a long banquet table set with a feast of humble pie and I ate slowly and thoughtfully every single day. Every job held possibility to establish my purpose in the States, so I jumped at every job and envisioned the most beautiful version of how it could play out.

I went to San Diego and felt its darkness, but pointed out coffee shops I would frequent and community organizations I would join. I visited companies in Philadelphia and imagined myself saying hi to new neighbors. I went to New York and hob-nobbed with writers in a library bar. I went to Des Moines and talked about my farming experience with the Soybean Association.

I said yes to every open door long enough for it to get shut in my humble-pie covered face. My excitement jumped from one job to the next and my plans were peppered with different geographical regions and career fields every day.

And in the midst of all those slices of pie, God was weaving His story. He was drawing me closer to Himself and deeper into a sustainable joy. He was blessing me through closed doors that pointed me toward His open arms. He was weaving a story that told of His provision, His protection, and His glory.

I’m still learning what it means to be part of His story, but I cling to the blessing that He is the author. Today, He is authoring a story and I am acting out miracles that bring Him glory. Closed doors, humble pie, new dreams, change of plans… all drawing me closer to Him and deeper into a sustainable joy.

I hope I always say yes to that.

let LOVE fly like CRAZY