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Life Update: New Spaces and New Starts

The Bookworm's Table by Claude Raguet Hirst
Claude Raguet Hirst, The Bookworm’s Table, c. 1890 | via Wikimedia Commons | public domain

I’m back!

In January, I chose a word for the year: space. I promised to give myself space to process, space to be in progress, space to be messy and imperfect and uncertain. Even space to take two weeks off blogging while I move to a new house.

I do have an actual space in my new house, though: an office just for me. Even though half the house is still a mess, my books are lined up behind me and I have my own desk and my own cozy chair and my own window. A room of my own, which is making me very happy.

Moving may be the worst — I hate the total chaos and disruption — but I’m also very happy to be in a place where we’ll stay for a while. I want to put down roots and grow into this space, instead of feeling like I can’t take up too much space because it belongs to someone else.

Because, of course, giving myself space also means taking space, acknowledging that I can have the room to take deep breaths and to be honest about what I need and want. I’ve spent too long giving space to others without asking for space myself. An office may be a small start (and to be honest, my husband had to push me to take it), but it’s a wonderful start so far.

And thinking of starts and spaces, I also started a part-time job at my church as Coordinator of Children’s Ministries. Anyone who knows me may be slightly puzzled, and it’s certainly true that children’s ministry has never been my passion. But as I’m taking space to figure out my life post-academia, this opportunity for ministry has dropped into my lap, and I’m excited to move from informal and volunteer service in my church to actually being on church staff.

(As a side note: I’ve been bothered for quite a while that the only position for women on many church staffs is in children’s ministry, so it’s pretty ironic that this is where I’m starting. But I’m blessed to be in a church with women in a variety of leadership positions, including assistant rector; this job is far more likely to be a starting point in ministry than an ending one for me.)

I’m also just happy to be working again, even if it’s only a few hours a week. Writing is great, and I’ve been happy to be around more for my girls, but I’ve missed being part of a bigger organization. I miss sharing ideas with and being challenged by others who share my passions, and I’m looking forward to having that type of work community once again.

Springtime has finally arrived, with a new house and a new job, with literal and metaphorical space to explore new directions and to grow in my family, community and church. I’m excited to see where this growth will take me even as I practice giving myself the space to grow.

Tagged: personal | ministry