Tag Archive | journalism

What’s Cooking On The Back Burner?

simmering potI quit my job the other day. It’s something that’s been bubbling on the back burner of my mind for several years, but that I’ve been unwilling to stir up and taste until now. You see, it’s what I know best how to do. It’s been a large part of my identity. I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do with myself now.

But the time was right; I felt the Holy Chef tapping me on the shoulder telling me it was time to stir that pot and see what delicious meal He would spread before me.

So I called my boss and told him I was leaving. He wasn’t surprised. He had sensed it coming for awhile. And, while not thrilled at the prospect of replacing me, he knows it’s the right thing to do.

You see, I have a son who will be a senior in high school next year. I need to be there when he needs to talk about his future—or should I say, I need to be there to pull out of him whatever feelings he thinks he can identify and is willing to share with his mother. I need to help guide him through the college application process and the girls who will try to distract him from his goals.

I have another son who will be a sophomore in high school, and I need to be there when he comes home from school and wants to talk about his day, his life, his hopes, his fears.

I have a daughter who will be in her first year of middle school. I may be her 6th grade teacher next year. I need to be all there for her when we have those inevitable tween battles, to let her know that she’s beautiful and funny and talented.

You might find it surprising when I say that my job was unique. I actually worked from home. But my job was very deadline driven and when I had that deadline knocking on my door, I couldn’t just say, I’ll get back to that later. I had to get it done, and I’m not willing anymore to be engaged in something else if one child or another decides they need me at just that particular moment.

But that’s not the only reason I quit. I need time to hone the talent God gave me. It was 40 years ago that God showed me that He wanted me to be a writer. For 40 years I’ve been wandering in the wilderness, trying to find my way to the Promised Land that God had given me. I’ve worked as a journalist, an editor, a production manager and a copy editor, all for the same publication, for almost 28 years. For the past 17, my writing has been sporadic as I’ve taken on the role of mother. My time to sit and think gets stolen by a laundry list of other tasks. And frankly, I haven’t installed the security system to keep that from happening. So even as I pledge to be all there for my kids in these dwindling days that they’re beneath my roof, I pray for opportunities to write as God intended me to write.

It’s easy to leave that pot on the burner, never really tasting what’s inside, only catching a whiff every now and then of the delicacies it holds. But I’m going to do it. I’ve taken that first step of pulling off the lid of the bubbling pot to see what’s been simmering inside. Am I courageous enough to add some spices and take that first taste?

Or will I stay hungry?

What simmering pot do you need to start stirring in your own life?

photo from: http://www.idealhomegarden.com/recipes/simmer-pot-recipes-for-fall/

Truth, if you Dare

There’s a saying in journalism circles: If your mother says she loves you, check it out.

Years ago, I was assigned a story about a man who was then very old living in Phoenix. Apparently, he had been a gangster in Chicago way back in the day of Al Capone and his ilk. But God had gotten ahold of his heart and he had experienced a dramatic change in his life.

So I was sent by the magazine to check out his story. What I heard was an amazing tale of organized crime activity and redemption. But, of course, being the good journalist that I was, I had to verify these stories.

This was in the days before the Internet, so a simple Google search for any corroborating newspaper articles or anything was not possible. So I went to the library and did things the old-fashioned way: microfiche.

Boy, was that painstaking–and fruitless. I simply couldn’t find any evidence that what this sweet old man had told me was true. It made me feel a little better that his family wasn’t all that sure it was true either.

Nowadays, with all kinds of information right at our fingertips, we still have to be careful about what we believe. Websites like truthorfiction.com and snopes exist to help dispel erumors, but not even they can catch everything.

And wonderful tool that it can be, Photoshop has made even the statement “pictures don’t lie” untrue. Just take a look at the National Enquirer if you have any doubts about that.

So, when Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth and the life,” how can we trust that? Check it out. Read the Bible and test and see if anything He’s ever said has not been true. Joyce Meyers says this, “Believing what others say rather than exploring God’s Word for yourself will actually limit you and even keep you from doing what God created you to do. But, if you will contend for the truth, embrace it and build your life upon it, you will succeed in every endeavor.”

“O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” (Psalm 34:8)

Thankful today for:

255. a fun field trip to Green Meadows petting farm

256. sweet baby goats, ducks and chicks

257. goats that will push each other out of the way just to be petted by you

258. cold water

259. so many teens going on misson trips this summer

260. good mid-term reports for my kids

261. a two-day work week

262. my identity in Christ

263. digital photos