Posted by: Robin~AllThingsHeartandHome | October 29, 2008

Work I’ve done for actual money…


Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that.” Galatians 6:4 (Message)

That’s what I’m doing this week…making a careful exploration. Today I thought about some of the  jobs I’ve had over the years. Jobs that actually paid me real money. I wondered if I could find some common theme.  Some insight into the passions God has given me.  I asked myself what I loved about the job and what I hated…this won’t take long 🙂

I was a first grade teachers assistant for seven years at the private school my children attended. During that time I took over the responsibility of the art and decorations in the classroom.  I wrote and taught extra curriculum units on space  and geography.  I also had forty-five minutes a week when I took the class to the library and read to them. We went through all the E.B. White books, Charlotte’s Web, Trumpet of the Swan, and Stuart Little and lots of others.

 I loved making the classroom pretty and festive. I was energized by trying to give the kids a love of learning and a love of books.  What I didn’t love however, was the math. Even first grade math made my stomach turn! I also tutored kids who had trouble reading.  Break a bottle and I’ll walk barefoot on the shards but please don’t make me teach a struggling child to read!

Later, I worked for Clinique cosmetics. It seemed like a good idea at the time.  My favorite thing to do there was to clean and organize the showcases. I also loved giving women makeovers and pointing out their strengths. So many women feel bad about themselves. I loved connecting with them, sometimes our makeover sessions would last an hour as the conversations got deep and personal. (Not generally smiled upon in retail!)

What I hated were the sales numbers. I felt like the ‘powers that be’ wanted me to sell people products they didn’t need. And I just couldn’t do it. Also, I hated being away from home at night and on weekends. When the fam was home I wanted to be there to make sure everybody’s fun meter was in the red!

My last (paying) job was bookkeeping at Chick Fil A. I love Chic Fil A. It’s an amazing company. But me, bookkeeping?  Seriously.  (Remember, I have an aversion to first grade math, who was I kidding?) I was drained after  entering a million numbers  into the computer. But I quickly found a way to bring some life to my days. I would come in with books on tape. I listened to the beautiful language of E.M. Forster and Somerset Maugham as I entered the boring data.

  As I made this list, I felt joy bubbling up, when I touched on something I loved to do! It was fun to look back and see the common threads.

 I know, by the way, the above job list isn’t impressive.  I had my first baby at twenty years old. I never wanted a career.  Just wanted to be a mom.  What I forgot was that one day my little chicks would fling themselves out of the nest!   

How about you? Have you made a careful exploration of who you are and the work you’ve been given? I’m pretty sure yours would look a lot better than mine!



  1. What a great post! Your heart shines through as you write. Your jobs don’t look unimpressive. I did a list like this once. I went through 48 Days to the Work You Love with a professional life coach. He did an amazing job. I left the class and within a year went back to college to become a Physician’s Assistant. I am taking a year off to homeschool, and considering switching my major to nursing so I can work on my next break from school, should I need one. I have said from the beginning if God was having me take two steps forward so I could take one to the side, that was fine with me. Who knows what I’ll end up doing!

    What common thread do you see in your job list? I think I see one, but I’m wondering what you see.

  2. Hi Robin,

    Our comments are always so close together on Sara’s blog I thought I’d pay you a visit! Of course I instantly LOVE your blog… its so warm and inviting and thought provoking!

    I have been at home with my two boys for 8 years now and sadly they will be in school all day next year. So I too am in the process of figuring out what my next big step will be!

    Can I just make an observation? Raising your family is a VERY impressive career! I for one am in awe of your talents from decorating to crafts to party planning! And then I saw the comment from your daughter that about brought me to tears… because that is the one thing I so hope my own kids will say about me someday! Right now I am just their mess-cleaner, chauffeur, meal-maker, time-out-giving, occasionally cool mom!

    I once read a story about a women who said she found her “purpose” when she was in her 80’s… and she realized her “purpose” all along had been “To serve others.” That was it! And she too discovered joy when she reflected how she had served all her life (never having a “real” job) and just didn’t realize that was what she was supposed to be doing.

    Anyway this is far longer than I had planned! Kindergartener just got home : ) Blessings to you! Feel free to come over and visit too!


  3. What cool insight in your life… the thing I loved? That no matter what you did you found a way to make it enjoyable or found a way to help someone else. You have a good soul, lady.

    Ever look into working at a library? Lots of books, lots of kids, lots of people contact, lots of decorating for holidays.

    Just a thought.

  4. You took each job and made it your own. Someone else would have accented things differently. You have a theme that runs through your life, you make things beautiful and feel alive. Whether it is a person’s face or a childrens book or decorating a classroom you make them all come alive and make people feel good inside. Your loves and passion oozes out in everything you do. You are amazing! I am proud to call you my best friend! See you in the a.m. for that cup of mesto!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: