I told that to a dad that I spoke to at a homeschool meeting that I had the honour to be the guest speaker at this week. He was asking, the way that dads do, about the business of speaking at conferences and meetings and selling books. What’s my website like? How do I market the books that I write and publish? What is my target audience? Etc.
The thing is: I love my job. I love to write. I love to pour over scripture and find a nugget of truth that I can apply practically to my little world “under the maple tree”. I love chatting with all of you on the phone, in person at meetings and conferences, and virtually here on line. I even like balancing the books and working through all of the tedium of invoicing and such (maybe that’s because there really isn’t too much of it.) J I’m starting to like packaging up books as I imagine that I am building little fortresses for these little treasures as I send them out to do battle with the postal system. (It’s like a game of Tetris to create just the right package so that the books don’t slide around or get dinged and my sweet customers don’t have to feel the heavy burden of expensive packaging and inflated shipping prices.)
But this isn’t my full time job. I told that to this dad that I was chatting with. “After all, this isn’t my full-time job. I already have a full-time job.” His eyes bulged. “You have another job?!” “Of course I do! I am a wife and mom that home educates her kids. It doesn’t pay well but it’s a full time job.” And really, it’s a lie to say that it doesn’t pay well. The truth of the matter is that it doesn’t pay the same as another professional teacher might make but it is a job none the less that I do take quite seriously.
Of course, being a homeschooling dad, he knew. He nodded. It’s true. My priority should be my full time job. After all, while I could invest 40 hours a week (or more!) into Maple Tree, which I would really love, I would quickly lose track of my first career choice, my first work priority. So while I do hope to see myself working at this job full time by the time my last little cherub graduates from her homeschooling experience, more than that I look forward to the pay off then, when, God willing, we can enjoy a strong family relationship built over many years of living this crazy life together and can see our young women out in the world living the lives that God created them to live.
I know a lot of you mamas are in this same boat, living the daily insanity of full time wife and mama and teacher. (And that teacher job on top of the others is a really real job!) Many of you are working away at your own home businesses, at jobs away from the home or even at other jobs that are just as taxing but also don’t pay in dollars and cents. I have talked to you homeschoolers who are bus drivers, full time professional nurses, Usborne consultants, dance teachers and volunteer ministry coordinators. Kudos to you!
Remember to give yourself the credit of time and energy to make your first jobs first and the others to fall into line behind. I wish for you the peace of heart to be able to prioritize first that which you feel is the right thing to do for your family (whether that is homeschooling or not) and let the money worry about itself. I know that many of us add a small business or part or full time job on as punctuation to an already busy schedule to help make ends meet but may I encourage you to trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path. (Proverbs 3:4,5) Remember that he has said that he will provide all of your needs. (Philippians 4:19) Do what you know to be right for your family and let the money follow, not lead you.
I have to daily do this, as I think that I have missed writing deadlines, haven’t blogged in a month or haven’t balanced the books for a couple of conferences. Yikes! Thank you all for your grace as I have been absent from my little soap box under the maple tree. I will pop in and out, as I can, when the reading and math lessons get done and when we aren’t chasing our crazy dog through the woods, since I miss my time here with you.
Blessings in your busy days, Friends!