Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Best Job of All

I have held one job or another since I am ten years old. It sounds ridiculous, but it's true. Each 'occupation' taught me something new whether it was some form of trade or just how to manage people. All of it together has worked much good in me. Here is the 'ridiculous' list of jobs:
  • I started babysitting at ten years old for a little boy who lived about twelve doors down from me. I babysat him every Thursday and Saturday night for about a year.
  • During the summer I 'sat' (not babysat) for an elderly woman all the way at the end of my block. I would go into her home every morning at 8:30am, clean her breakfast dishes, wake her up from her morning nap, make her lunch and sit and talk with her until 2pm. (I would also do her food shopping, via my bike, once a week). 
  • My next job was babysitting a little girl and her baby brother, who lived across the street, the same two nights of the week, Thursdays and Saturdays, for the next three years.
  • During the summers I worked at a beach club babysitting a particular family from 9am - 5pm, two days a week.
  • After that I worked as a cashier at a local supermarket, Dan's, for a year, while continuing to babysit. (Both wonderful and horrifying tales to tell from the Dan's experience). 
  • During the summer I worked at an ice cream shop called Carvel. Now that was fun! I learned how to make the ice cream, lolliploozas, flying saucers, and how to decorate ice cream cakes! The best part was when little kids would come in with change for an ice cream cone or cup to share. I would go the soft ice cream machine and spiral the ice cream as high as I could before it would fall over. Nothing was better than seeing those kids eyes huge with excitement.
  • During my Junior and Senior year of High School I worked at a supermarket called Waldbaums with my best friend Marla. (Now, there were some funny stories!)
After I graduated from High School I worked for the department store Sterns part-time while attending college. But soon the commute to school in one direction and my job in another was too much so I decided a job en-route to college would be more efficient. I landed Domino's Pizzeria as my second home. This job was great fun too. I was hired to be just the receptionist to this little pizzeria, but soon that bored me so I had them teach me how to make the pizzas and on slow nights how to deliver them. I was noticed by management and the "higher-ups' and soon they had me teaching classes on how to multi-mange: the phone, the ovens and the drivers! (I seriously had a real future with Domino's- they begged me to stay!)

During the summer I always tried juggling school, and two jobs for extra money. I was paying my way through college and used the time to work. I worked with a temp agency and tried alot of different things. I was a receptionist for Chrysler Credit Corp., Citibank, law firms-you name it.  I loved it! I loved getting to know the city better, meeting new people, managing people, organizing, filing, etc. Everything I put my hands to I loved. I loved that I, Ellen, could do something and something worth payment! I loved that I could go to school. I loved that I was going to graduate without any debt. I loved learning so much from every job.

I graduated college in three and a half years and landed a teaching job in the Catholic schools a few months later. I worked in education for seven years. During those years I also worked summer school and summer camps. After having my first children I began creating my own Pre-K 4 Christian curriculum and soon after opened up a little school, Joy School, in my home. I have been teaching Joy School since 2004.

Once I became a Christian I got involved in ministry.

  •  In New York I was the Bible School teacher during the years that I was in college.  
  • After college I began my own ministry called, "Beautiful Feet" with a friend. Two Saturdays a month we took a group of people from different churches into Manhattan to share the gospel. We also went to different ministries in Manhattan to help out. 
  • After that I became one of the Youth Group leaders at my church and worked in that ministry for at least five years. 
  • When I came to the South I was a leader in the Mother's Group, a Craft and Children's Coordinator in M.O.P.S., Nursery Directory, Kingdom Kids teacher, VBS Director and Mpact Girls Director.

I have worked for many years and have found it all thrilling. One funny story:  I remember, after working for two weeks at my first teaching job, finding an envelope in my school mailbox. I opened it up and there was a check for $372.00. I walked over to the secretary and handed it to her and told her someone must have put this in my box by accident. She said, "No, dear that is your paycheck." I was honestly confused for a few moments. I loved what I was doing so much that I forgot that I was getting paid for it!

For me I love the challenge of learning something new and trying to make it great. All my jobs had their difficult moments, but by and by and all in all I felt very special at each job and very grateful to be hired.

My most recent job, a job that I will hold on to until I go home to be with Jesus, is my mommyhood job.  This has been the best job of all. There are times when I really can't believe that I am some one's mommy. Sometimes I feel and have felt too young to be a mom - and I'm not particularly too young, but I have asked myself, 'what do I really know about raising children?'

With all my other jobs I had a manager or a boss that directed me and told me what to do. I was trained and excelled. But with mommyhood- it's hubby and me. People can share their experiences and ideas for your parenting, but ultimately you have to hear from the Lord and  make the decision for your own lives.  I have felt alone at times, wishing I had a mother or a grandmother in my life that lived two doors down or so. A mom who could come and sit in my home, advise me, teach me, talk with me. A mom who would fold clothes with me, organize the drawers, closets, paint bedrooms and bathrooms, furniture. Someone to go clothes shopping with or food shopping with, someone to share my mommyhood days in and days out with. The Bible talks about how the older women should train the younger, but I haven't had that in my life and many times it has felt hard.

One thing I have learned to do is pray. I'll say, "Lord, come into my home and show me what you would do if you were right here."  I know it might sound crazy, but He has shown me how to organize, change furniture around, how to order my day, how to have courage to try new recipes, how to handle being dogged in morning sickness and still homeschool, how to manage my home, how to lead a life of righteousness and integrity that my children will follow. I have had the honor of seeing five of my six children love Jesus and ask Him into their hearts. I have learned more in this one job than all the others combined. I have learned who Jesus really is and how to rely on Him. I have learned how to surrender my will and desires for God's will. I have learned the beginning of dying to self- I still have a lot to learn. My children have pushed, just about every 'button' I have and it has forced me to deal with my 'issues' so I can be a Godly role model for my children. I have learned how to be humble and how to laugh even when life is tough. The rewards of this job of motherhood are never ending. It truly is the best job I have ever had and it is a job that will never end-and I couldn't be happier about that.

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