Did I Mention…

A couple of months ago the director of my preschool asked if I would be coming back next year and if I was interested in the possibility of being a lead teacher. Those who think just anyone can be a preschool teacher are sadly mistaken. It takes a special person to be a good one and I was flattered she has that kind of confidence in me. I, knowing myself better than anyone, understand my gifts lie elsewhere.

I told her I would talk to Todd, pray about it and get back to her. So I talked, prayed and got back. It wasn’t an easy decision because: a) I love those kids. Each one of them has wormed his or her way into my heart; and b) I hate to disappoint people. But my reply was that I would neither be a lead teacher nor an assistant next year.

I’m blessed in many ways and one of those ways is that I don’t HAVE to work. The extra money is nice – and with college looming ahead it would be helpful – but at this time it’s not a necessity. Another way I’m blessed is I have a husband who supports my quest to be an author and a speaker. In fact sometimes I think he wants to see me published even more than I do.

So I told Kelly I wouldn’t be back next year because I wanted to concentrate on writing and speaking. It seemed like such a ridiculous reason. For one thing I’m only working 7 hours a week. For another thing it sounds so pretentious. It’s very easy to start thinking how ridiculous my desire is and who would ever want to read anything I write or listen to anything I might have to say.

To actually acknowledge these things as a career is almost embarrassing and to me it just sounds like an excuse. But each and every time I start thinking that way somebody – many times one of you – says just the right thing to encourage me and make me think that maybe I’m not crazy. Well, not in this matter anyway. I’ve finally come to the place where I truly believe with all my heart this is the path God wants me on. And because I believe this is where I’ve been led it’s starting to be a little easier to say.

There’s another reason I have decided not to work at the preschool next year. I’ve known this in the back of my mind, but didn’t want to admit it to myself because it sounds so, I don’t know. Whiney? Definitely pathetic. But the gig is too physically demanding. (I’m sure you can now see why I didn’t want to admit this.)

I spend a lot of time standing up, dancing around with the kids, sitting in very tiny chairs which means trying to extricate myself out of very tiny chairs, getting on the floor to play blocks or trains or whatever and struggling to get up. This never used to be a problem with me and it sure is humbling now. My body behaves as though I’m an elderly woman. I thought I would get used to it, but even now I’m fatigued and sore by the time I get home.

So I’ll continue working at the preschool until the middle of June and then I’ll be done. Part of me is very sad because, as I said, those kids are just something else. Even the little rascals are precious. But I truly believe God is leading me down a different path. And writing is so much less strenuous.


  1. His Girl on March 10, 2008 at 10:50 am

    Even in my youth as a preschool teacher, I used to get wiped out. I tell myself that it’s a sign of a good teacher. If you’re not pooped by the end of the day, you didn’t really do your job!!!Good for you for making a firm decision- may God bless your writing and speaking!

  2. Becky on March 10, 2008 at 11:05 am

    I let out a little squeal when I read this. YAY!!! *clapping hands in tiny, excited claps* Get that book published, girl, because I think they’re going to be needing you on the next “Women of Faith” tour… =)Oh, and believe me when I tell you I perfectly understand the physically demanding part,and I have only one preschooler, and I’m plum tuckered out at the end of each day. In fact, I think I need a nap just thinking about how much energy he’s had lately…

  3. Amanda on March 10, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    I just stumbled on your blog last week, I believe from Swishy’s page. Just want to say after reading quite a few of your recent posts, I can’t wait to read your book and hear you speak. You’ve obviously been gifted with a creative spirit!! God Bless!

  4. Jenster on March 10, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    His Girl – Thanks! My mom was a preschool teacher for years – one of the best. Even with hip problems she did better than I do! LOLBecky – You’re so silly. In fact, when I wrote many times one of you I was specifically thinking of you! LOLAnd the next Woman of Faith tour??? Oh my! You have much bigger aspirations for me than I have for myself!! ROTFL!!!!

  5. Jenster on March 10, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Amanda – Wow!! Thank you so much!! And I’m glad you came to visit from Swishy – definitely a one of a kind gal, no??

  6. KATE on March 10, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    I am a firm believer in “being prompted, or led in the right direction”! So, I’m sure there is a reason why you’re being led down a different path!Way to go for listening to the prompting!!

  7. Tanya on March 10, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    I’m cheering for you, too. There is nothing as wonderful as following what God wants you to do. (Bigger picture wonderful of course, because sometimes it really stinks in the short term.) I look forward to seeing a church sign promoting “Jenster” coming to encourage. 😀

  8. Cheryl Wray on March 10, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    I totally agree that teaching preschoolers takes a VERY special gift. I led children’s church yesterday and, let me tell you that just that one hour with the young kids about wiped me out!! It takes an incredibly special person to teach them!And, I am SO proud and excited about your decision! I know you can meet your goals!!!I also love to write and speak. I speak at several conferences each year and always come away energized that it’s what I’m supposed to be doing. But I want to do so much more of it! I just need to get more energized about it!And, the writing! I do plenty of nonfiction writing and have had plenty published, but…I still dream of writing and publishing a novel. Some day maybe…So…Keep at It!!! We all know you can do it!!!

  9. Stacy~ on March 10, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    Jen, visiting your blog has been quite inspirational for me, so I think you would make a wonderful writer, and speaking would just seem like a natural extension of that. It’s not always easy to make decisions to leave behind something you love, but there is a greater purpose, something you are meant to do. It it were easy, it wouldn’t be quite as rewarding. I’ll be looking forward to the day you get published, because everyone should have a copy of Jenster’s musings 🙂

  10. Jodi_Lee on March 10, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    Our lives are very parallel in so many ways that, at times, it freaks me out! It really does!

  11. Jenster on March 10, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    Kate – I just hope it was the right voice I heard! LOL BTW – I love your avatar picture! Silly girl.Tanya – That would be a pretty funny sign to see!Cheryl – So basically I want to be you when I grow up!! :o)Stacy – You’re another one of those who ALWAYS have the nicest, most encouraging things to say! Thanks!Jody_Lee – Maybe we can have a double book signing/speaking engagement together in Cape May someday!!

  12. Travis Erwin on March 10, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    The only thing is fictional characters rarely behave either. Trying to herd mine has left me longing for a room of toddlers on more than one occasion.

  13. Gretchen on March 10, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    Hey Jenster,I think you are definitely on the right path for you. I can so totally relate with the wanting to please others issue, though. I guess we could be worse: not caring at all what others need or think. You’re right to look to God on this one, though. You’re so ready. You are.xxxooogretchen

  14. Connie@Little Red Hearts From God on March 10, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    I happened upon your blog via hisgirl… which I think oh well anyway…smileI noticed you are a breast cancer survivor…I am a Hospice Nurse… which has nothing to do with what I am about to ask…but I ramble when I am nervous….I just got a call from my doctor today and he said they found cluster calcifications on one side on my mammogram so they want to do further studies… I am 48… so I guess the Hospice part throws me for a loop bec. I see the end results…however, I also know how much is being done to survive this IF I even have something to worry about…I have done some research already on that part…I do have an aunt, my mom’s sister that had breast cancer at my age with one recurrence.can you or would you mind sharing how you / yours came to be?I’m just on this journey now of finding peace… And of course, the Lord is providing such…My appt is not until next week…Thank youConnie

  15. Connie@Little Red Hearts From God on March 10, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    ps.. my email is fishnparrots@comcast.net

  16. Drewpy Drew on March 10, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    Of course you are crazy to want to be an author. In a good way. No sane person would put themselves through the rejection that comes before being published. But sane people have ‘No scope of the imagination’. I’ll take crazy over sane any day. Rock on!

  17. CindyS on March 10, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    Jenster hon, I have honestly been waiting for information on when your book was going to be published. I swear I’m obtuse but I have always believed you were an aspiring writer. I’ve been very eager to read your story because you have so much humour AND information to give women!So, even though you just came to the decision, I have always seen you in the path you had been praying on. I wish you so much success and I can only believe it will truly happen for you.I think most people who start on the path of writing think of it as ‘indulgent’ because most people (those who think it’s a luxury) under estimate the work, sweat, blood and dedication it takes to sit your butt in the chair and make something happen.I bet your ‘homies’ are super excited and know what kind of work you are about to embark on. And like others have said, you might wish as times you were back playing blocks with the kids ;)I wish you every success and you have quite the fan group already!And to Connie,I hope that it isn’t breast cancer – I don’t know enough about mammograms etc to know what I’m talking about but I wish you great health.CindyS

  18. Jenster on March 10, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    Travis – Yes, but do you end up being snodged upon by your imaginery characters??Gretchen – I am ready, aren’t I?? Thanks, man. I love you!!Connie – Thanks again for your visit. And you’re on the right track for knowing indescribable peace regardless of what they find. But we’ll still pray it’s nothing. :o)Drew – I do believe you’re spot on. Thanks!Cindy – Thanks, friend. Believe me – you all will be among the very first to know if – I mean when I publish! lol

  19. Penny Kendall Photography on March 11, 2008 at 12:34 am

    Hey Girl … just checking in after a very long time. I’ve got you on my tool bar now so I can take a peek each day. Thinking of you and praying you’ll get back up on your feet soon. Sounds like you’ve been fighting hard. Love ya, penny

  20. Mama P on March 11, 2008 at 2:20 am

    You are a great writer, so congrats on a sane decision. I can’t wait to read and promote your stuff.

  21. Jenster on March 11, 2008 at 7:14 am

    PENNY!! I think of you and pray for you guys EVERY SINGLE DAY! I see you’ve started something new. I also see an email in the very near future!Mama P – Thank you! :o)

  22. Rosie on March 11, 2008 at 9:57 am

    Jen, even your words on your blog affect people. Look at all these varied reactions. The one thing they all have in common is to encourage you to write more.For me what’s inspiring is the courage it takes to do what you really want to do. Every dream starts with the dreamer saying “yes”. Good on ya, Jen!

  23. KT on March 11, 2008 at 10:38 am

    One of the elders at my church told me, “God puts you where He needs you to be” and she is so right. You needed to be at the preschool, for them and for you, so that you could have some time to pray about and realize where He needs you to be next. I am sure that makes absolutely no sense, but I hope you get the gist of it! Jen, I am so happy for you! I am going to keep your emails so I can say later on that I knew you before you were famous. Would you mind if I auctioned them off and used the money to go back to visit Scotland? Take care, Katie

  24. April on March 11, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    Jen, It’s no secret that I love the way you write. I think you made a wise choice. The Lord has definitely gifted you in that area. That is why I love your blog so much.

  25. Shauna on March 11, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Jen, I’m glad you’re following where you feel God is leading. I have no doubt that you will succeed at both the writing and speaking. You have a charisma that flows out of your writing, drawing people to you… and this blog. Your book will be awesome, I know it! I, for one, am looking VERY forward to seeing your name on a front cover. I agree with Becky, you’ll soon be part of the “Women of Faith” tour. And if your writing shines this much, I can only believe that you are more beautiful and magnetic in person! One day, hopefully before heaven, we will get the chance to coffee face-to-face!

  26. cubmommy on March 11, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    You are not whiney! Kids are exhausting. My three 6 under wear me out every day. I look forward to sleep. I have great respect for teachers. I don’t have their patience. Don’t feel bad about doing what God leads you to do. You are pretty awesome.

  27. Eileen on March 12, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    Jen,I think you are making the right choice. You need to follow your dreams. They are taking you in another direction, and in my opinion, writing and speaking is the perfect path for you to be one. You definately have a gift/talent for writing and you need to explore this. Working with children all day is rewarding, but it is draining because you have to “be on” all day. I think putting all your energies into your writing, and where your interests really are, is the best thing you can do for yourself. I will be the first in line to buy your book!XOXOXO

  28. Sing4joy on March 12, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    I want to read what you write. I want to hear what you have to say.

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