Fulfillment

Commentary on educational and other enriching activities that cause me to grow in knowledge and skills

The Ideal Job

What is the ideal job? As one who continues to work although she has passed the age at which the typical American retires, I have given a good deal of thought about this matter. My current position provides me with a great deal of personal satisfaction and enjoyment, more than any other I have ever had. So, what makes a job ideal for me?

Education & Strengths

For me, the ideal job is one for which I have the requisite education. It is important to me that I have the knowledge necessary to excel in the tasks that my job requires. I can still remember nightmares during my years of public school teaching in which I would be assigned to teach classes in subjects about which I knew little or nothing.

It would be accurate to describe me as a perpetual student. I love learning! My choice of subjects has been eclectic:

  • Major in history, minors in music and education for my A.B. from Oberlin College
  • Secondary social studies education for my M.Ed. from Wayne State University
  • Curriculum development for my Ph.D. in Education from Wayne State University
  • Computer programming and desktop publishing courses at Macomb Community College
  • Biblical Greek and Hebrew, biblical studies, and church history courses at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Classes in Microsoft Office programs, PhotoShop, PageMaker, Quicken, and HTML at New Horizons Computer Learning Centers

It is also important that my interests and preferences are consistent with the requirements and duties of a job. One often hears of individuals who have what would normally be considered “good jobs” but are deeply unhappy because their temperament and interests do not match up with the requirements of the job. To love what one does is necessary for a job to be considered ideal.

Experience & Skills

The ideal job also is one in which I can employ the expertise and skills I have developed through my previous work experience. At each position that I have held during the more than fifty years since my first job as band librarian at age sixteen, I have gained valuable experience and learned important skills. My employment history evidences a great deal of diversity:

  • High school band librarian
  • Hospital dietary aide
  • College/university research assistant to professors of government and statistics
  • Statistics tutor/consultant
  • Secondary Social Studies teacher
  • Computer programmer and flowchart designer
  • Bible institute instructor
  • Church volunteer/office assistant
  • Professional technician doing billing, budgeting, and photo editing

The ideal job would allow me to use as many of my skills as possible for the glory of God.

Environment & Style

Recently I have come to realize that the work environment and style of leadership in the work setting are significant factors in determining how close to ideal a job is. As a Christian laboring in a Christian workplace, I would expect to find a microcosm of the Body of Christ, as the Apostle Paul describes it in Romans 12:3–5 and 1 Corinthians 12:12–27. Every member is valuable and contributes something necessary and vital to the functioning of the body; even those of lowest status (“more feeble”) are both necessary and worthy of honor.

Similarly, in an ideal work environment all who labor there view one another as valued and essential parts of the team. Although each one has a different role to play, with specific duties and responsibilities, each is esteemed and appreciated for the contributions he or she makes to the overall functioning of the organization. Status differences exist, but are not emphasized. No one disparages or ignores another’s role.

As Head of the Body, Christ is our model for the Christian style of leadership. Scripture portrays Him as Shepherd, Servant, and Savior. Of course, no human boss can fulfill the role of Savior; that position is Christ’s alone. A Christian leader can, however, model himself or herself after the shepherd and the servant.

A shepherd leads his flock with strength, love, and compassion. He provides for, protects, and is willing to sacrifice himself for those under his care. We can see these characteristics of the shepherd in Psalm 23:1–6, Isaiah 40:10–12, and John 10:1–15.

The servant leader ministers without selfishness or self-aggrandizement. He is cognizant of the importance of his leadership role, but approaches his duties with humility and recognizes that God has called him to his position (Philippians 2:3–8). He models humble, self-sacrificing service to those under his authority in order that they will likewise serve one another (John 13:3–17).

Endowment & Service

Ultimately, it is God who guides the Christian to the place He would have him serve. No matter what field of employment one enters, his job offers the opportunity to meet people’s needs, employ his God-given gifts and the skills he has acquired, and express (or explore) his deepest desires. For me, it is important to feel that God has placed me where He wants me and that I am able to serve Him and others through my job.

Evaluation & Summary

In light of all this, have I ever found the ideal job?  I would have to say, “No, but my current job comes as close as is possible in a fallen world.”

2015 in the Rearview Mirror

On this last day of the year, I look back on 2015 as if it were an object in the rearview mirror of the orange Dodge Dart I usually drive. The year has had more ups and downs than usual, it seems.

The Good in 2015

I am pleased to say that there were no losses in our human family. I still appreciate sharing a home and companionship with my mom, who is the best in the world; and working with my sister Melissa on two jobs and my cousin MJ on a third.

What is more, I am feeling better than I have for quite some time. A decision to take my thyroid problems to a new doctor led to a change to Nature-Throid and a new vitamin/supplement regimen which has improved my energy level quite a bit. I am still not a “morning person,” but I am able to arise at 7:00 AM and make it to work by 9:00 AM on a regular basis, for which I am truly thankful.

I have very much enjoyed my work at church and at Birmingham Bible Institute. I love being the webmaster of three websites, accomplishing tasks in the church office, and teaching adults who want to know something about biblical Greek and/or Hebrew.

I am also glad to be back in the church choir again. I joined up on a whim in the summer, but have continued faithfully since then. I have always enjoyed singing (even when it is with only the cats as my audience), but choir is an opportunity to “make a joyful noise unto the Lord.”

My long-standing friendship with Nancy continues to be important in my life. Even when we can’t get together for several weeks at a time, I know she is there for me (and I am for her).

I have also enjoyed learning more about WordPress. I have taken–and continue to take–a number of online courses through Udemy, a great resource I discovered early in 2015.

The Bad in 2015

Probably the worst part of 2015 for me was the loss of four beloved cats: Revelly in March, Patch the Pirate in May, and both C. P. Pirate and Allicat (aka Googlie Girl) in November. Googlie was the oldest of my kitties; she had been with us since December 1998, when we adopted her as a one-year-old stray.

 

Googlie Girl says goodbye at age 18.

I also miss my chat buddy, Karen. We used to meet up on Yahoo Messenger for long talks on a regular basis, but since her granddaughter was born we no longer do.

Coming in 2016

I am assuming new responsibilities and more hours per week in my job at church. I am honored and humbled by the confidence placed in me, and desire to glorify God by doing my best in every task. I know I can rely on Him for strength and guidance.

 

Rascal Spatz
Seeing double? Yes, you are. This is Rascal Spatz times two.

I also have a new feline family member to get to know in 2016. His name is Rascal Spatz, and he came to us in December as a nine-month-old kitten. He has already managed to terrorize and harass several of the other cats with his rough play habits. He seems to lack the “fear gene.” He does loves his humans and has a loud purr.

Back Again!

It seems like quite a long time since I posted here, but I’m back again. Lots of interesting (and not so interesting) things have been happening in my life.

I Have a New Doctor

I owe some thanks to my former endocrinologist. It was bad enough that he kept prescribing Levoxyl for my hypothyroidism, despite the continued worsening of my symptoms. What was worse was his constant tardiness to our appointments…EVERY TIME! The last time this happened, I walked out and have not been back. Instead, I tried a new doctor; actually I have had my first two appointments with a knowledgeable physician’s assistant. I am now on Nature-Throid, which provides me with some T3 as well as T4. I have dropped many of the supplements I was taking and the antidepressant that was supposed to help me with sleep (but quit a long time ago). I am getting Myers’ IV restorative treatment weekly to boost my absorption of nutrients and taking some different supplements. My adrenal function proved to be on the low side of normal in the morning and on the high side at bedtime, so I am now taking supplements to help balance me. I am feeling somewhat better and am working more hours without ill effect.

I Am Working More Hours

I am amazed that I am able to get up at 7:00 AM many weekday mornings and make it in to work at my church at 9:00. Of course that means earlier bedtimes for this night owl; I surely am ready for “lights out” earlier than I used to be. More important, I wake up with more enthusiasm to face the day ahead. My job has many enjoyable aspects, not the least of which is working with my youngest sister, Melissa. I like what I am doing, and take satisfaction in keeping busy with tasks that will benefit the church in some way. I continue to work with my cousin MJ, the staff photographer at Wayne State University, although I am on campus only one afternoon a month. I do the rest of my job remotely from home. The Wayne State VPN is a wonderful thing!

I Am Taking More Chances

One thing I fear is speaking in public. That sounds strange coming from a teacher, I know. Despite this, I was able to present the minutes I took during our church’s last annual business meeting and subsequent church meetings at this year’s annual meeting without appearing very nervous (so I am told). I also had to give highlights of my report on Birmingham Bible Institute and Grace Bible and Book Store, two ministries of our church. I have also recently rejoined the church choir. This may seem like a small thing–and not too risky–but it could only come about thanks to a certain health improvement that seems to be associated with my new medical regimen, including the Paleo diet that I am (mostly) following now. This past Sunday morning I also sang in a ladies’ sextet (as a substitute) for the service’s special music.

I Am Enjoying Life More

It goes without saying–although I am saying it anyway–that I love spending time with Mom, my sister Melissa, and my feline family.  I still get together with Nancy, my BFF of about 25 years, as often as our busy schedules and conflicting work schedules permit. I am also enjoying my role as webmaster for the Grace Baptist Church and Birmingham Bible Institute websites, as well as my own personal sites. I have found several online WordPress courses I have taken through Udemy very helpful. Designing the fall brochure for BBI was a bit more challenging than usual because of a layout change, but I am happy with the result (and hope it will attract students to the Institute). Life is good!

Still Learning about WordPress

I had a request not too long ago to enable people to subscribe to this site. Trying to find an easy but effective way to do this in WordPress was not a simple task. Many options are available, and I tried more than one. I hope the method I have settled on, using Google’s Feedburner capabilities, will work successfully. If you subscribe, please let me know of any problems you encounter.