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29 September, 2015

Another New Leaf

When I retired from youth ministry seventeen months ago, I had no idea what my life would look like. At the suggestion of my spiritual director, I took a full year to just enjoy my retirement and motherhood. It took a full year to really unwind and relax. After nine years of working nights, weekends, and holidays, I was long over due for some R&R.

During this time I discovered the aspect of youth ministry that I really missed was teaching.

This lead me to working for The Natural Baby where I teach monthly cloth diaper classes and workshops. I love my Saturday morning time working with families on something I am so passionate about.

I've also spent a great deal of time growing my photography "business" - taking workshops both in person and online, as well as joining a forum where we share constructive criticism.  I am pleased to say that I am booked through the end of 2015 with Christmas card, maternity, and newborn sessions. In August and September of this year I brought in more income from photography than I did for photography in all of 2014. Exciting times!

Last winter I was approached about teaching for a Catholic online homeschool.  At the time Eric and I were still discerning opening a franchise of The Natural Baby in our part of town. But after much prayer we decided that being a small retailer was a really fun idea, but would mean we'd have to say no to a lot of other opportunities in our lives. Once we made that decision I was able to respond to the offer about online teaching.  I finally finished the application and interview process last month.  Because I had responded so late, all the full-time teaching positions for 2015-2016 had been filled.

The staff really wanted me on board.  Since I did not have online teaching background, or formal classroom experience. We mutually agreed that spending this school year as a long term sub would be beneficial all around. They have several teachers schedule to be out on maternity leave, so they asked me to cover their classes.

Today I start my first 7 weeks of covering a class.  I'll be teaching Earth Science to a class of mostly 7th-8th grade students. The nice part about subbing is that most of the leg work has been done.  This teacher left me all of her power points. I just have to teach it!  She has also opted to keep grading, so I really just have to jump online and teach twice a week.  It's going to be a great way to get my feet wet.

I am excited for this opportunity and to see where the Lord takes me in all of these endeavors.  I've really enjoyed being part of families lives in each of these unique ways.  I have made new friendships and deepened others. It's been a blessing that off of this work I can do from home and/or with the occasional help from my husband and parents to watch the girls. I feel like I can still be the "stay-at-home-mom" I am called to be while contributing to the family financially and also keeping my creative mind active. I thank God for these abundant blessings!

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