January 30, 2008

New Winds Are Blowing

My dreams of becoming a proofreader by trade are materializing!

It's been about a month since I talked with anyone about proofreading work, so I contacted my mentor, Bethany, last week. I've only spoken with her once before, but she is so inviting and encouraging to me that I had to get back on track and figure out how to do the "next thing".

I upgraded my resume' and printed business cards. That was fun. Then I started searching with Google for Christian publishers.

I thought it would be much harder to get publishers to send me proofreading tests, but tonight I'm encouraged again! After sending contact emails to a couple of Christian publishers I found on the internet (I chose names I was familiar with), I received a response within days requesting my address so they could send me a test!

You've got to understand... (In my English I'm actually saying, "ya gotta understand!") This is incredibly FUN to me! In my mind, this is like tackling a crossword puzzle would be to some people. For my husband, it would be the equivalent of thinking through strategy in a card game. My Grandma Beneta would giggle that she was cooking up a "Triple Word Score" in the game of Scrabble. For my daughter, it would be like solving the crime in a mystery novel.

Proofreading comes naturally to me. I'm hungry to practice it and "solve" more sentence structure dilemmas, correct spelling and punctuation mishaps, catch formatting inconsistencies and GET BETTER AT IT! In fact, the managing editor of the first publisher to test me (last year) agreed to send me manuscripts to practice on, along with already proofed copies so I could see how my efforts stack up against others'.

I love this!

Meanwhile, I'm holding two part-time jobs and keeping my home and marriage healthy, staying close to Jesus, encouraging my offspring, helping lead worship at church, and trying to sell my Dad's metal detector! I'm a busy lady, but not too busy to keep plugging away at the work I long to do next - with patience and perseverance.

This new life is coming to be! The dream is to earn a healthy income, manage it well, and support mission work for the Lord. To bless and be blessed.

With God's help I will do this!

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January 8, 2008

Mommy Says, "Share"

Didn't we all hear from our mothers, teachers, aunts, whoever - that we should "share"?

Tonight I'm resting snugly in a warm home offered to us by some old friends. (Is it okay that I call you old, friends?) My husband and I are celebrating our 30th anniversary surrounded by beauty beyond compare and more than 2 feet of snow! They offered their vacation home to us just out of the blue... How refreshing it is to be cared for like this!

Who taught you to share? How did you learn to love? -and how do you express it?

"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen." 1 Peter 4:8-11

I haven't told my friends this yet, but I've really struggled with sharing my home lately because I was sure I had so little to give. How many times have I seen someone not appreciate what I offered? How often have I stepped back from inviting someone over because I was embarrassed by the rust stains in the bathtub, or because I had convinced myself that my humble meal wouldn't appeal to them? The answer is: far too often!

This scripture says that I should use the gift I have received to serve others. That means I don't have to worry about what I don't have to give! What God has given me, that is what I am to use. And look closely - I'm even instructed to administer my serving in God's strength! I'm not supposed to "sweat it". I'm not sure I know how to do that, because I quickly become concerned about what the recipient is thinking.

The word "faithful" is in there too. In another scripture it says to "practice" hospitality. So, maybe I need to accept the idea that I need to be faithful to practice it, then it'll become more natural and more fun for me to SHARE!

I know that's true.

And once again, it all boils down to love.

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