my job ≠ me

thank you to everyone who sent kind emails, tweets and commented in person about my last post. it made my heart grateful and reminded me that faith is a communal activity.

i’m learning more about my faith everyday, and today i’m mindful that how i feel about my job is often a measurement for how i feel about my faith. i equate a large part of my identity and self-worth to how successful i feel in my job.

so in a season of feeling less than fully satisfied in my job, i feel less than satisfied in my faith.

i know that my job is not the whole sum of who i am. i am creative, and innovative and a team leader, and i like fashion and cooking, and decorating my house, and real estate, and telling jokes. but i forget that not all of that can be expressed in my job, it’s ridiculous really, but i still expect it. my job must be all and everything to me.

and when a job becomes a ministry it only makes faith more confusing, right? we work hard, and with excellence and sacrifice to serve and love others – often forgetting to serve and love ourselves.

what if we really did acknowledge that our job isn’t the full sum of who we are – and that ministry is a calling, and at the same time just a job in which we use our skills to get a paycheck.

my job ≠ the fullness of me

so today i’m committing to finding my faith in things that are lovely and beautiful and exist outside of my job.  things like shopping at anthropologie, and trying new recipes, and listening to my husband’s laugh, and enjoying the perfect cup of coffee, and babysitting my niece, and reading the absolute perfect book on a summer day, and volunteering my leadership skills at my church. because i’m determined to become fully me.


4 responses to this post.

  1. “ministry is a calling, and at the same time just a job in which we use our skills to get a paycheck”

    I think those of us in vocational church ministry forget this. I came to this realization a few years ago after seeing a number of friends get burned in CM and then it happened to me. Yes, being in vocational church ministry (whether in a church or parachurch) is a calling but so is any other job. Vocational ministry is still a job, too. It does not dictate who we are. For me… I love spending time with my best friend: my wife. And I love playing with my kids and seeing them grow into the people God has created them to be. I love being with people. I love being part of a team. I love working with kids (whether in church or not), I am creative, I’m a dreamer, and I love to observe and analyze trends that affect children and families and their spirituality.

    Thanks, Amy, for being transparent and reminding us that we are more than what we do.


  2. Posted by Larry Shallenberger on August 20, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    I am learning the same lesson, painfully. My job responsibilities have expanded. I’ve felt anxieties and fears that stemmed from a false believe that my value comes from my production. So if I fail, then I have no value to God or the community.

    Working to walk away from the lie, remember my childhood, so I can lead without fear. And if I fail, I fail.


  3. Posted by amyedolan on August 20, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    larry – thank you for sharing. i believe in you, and am praying god’s best for you today. if anyone can figure all of this out – it’s You!

    henry – thank you for sharing what you have already learned.. you continue to be a blessing to so many people. grateful for you!


  4. Love the honesty here.

    By volunteering in other ministries of the church (outside of children’s ministry) , I’ve found myself able to better navigate being a church member and a church employee. I’m better able to engage with the community in a setting where not everyone is looking to me for answers.

    But, at the end of the day, I think we all need to be able to say what Larry is saying.
    If I fail, I fail.

    Thanks for the post, Amy. This is a great reminder.


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