Hope for your financial life and beyond

Personal Update: A Stay At Home Dad Goes Back to Work

Some things you simply don’t see coming.

That passing car in your blind spot.

The identity thief who messes with your life.

A certain reality star/business man being a leading candidate for President.

binocularsEighteen months ago I decided to quit my job in education. The reason was so that I could stay at home and manage our household. In addition to my home duties I’d continue to grow this blog and venture into freelance writing, both of which have happened to varying degrees in 2015.

With my freed up time, I was able to accept a part-time youth pastor position at our church in September of 2014. Having been around teens all through my years in education, this seemed a good fit for a way in which I could give my time and energy to the church.

Now, after a year of interaction with the group, my team of leaders and I are seeing great enthusiasm from the young people for the program we’ve put in place. It’s exciting to see them engaged with each other and growing in their faith.

This past summer when we took our high school youth to summer camp, I developed a distinct feeling inside that I could (and should) be more involved and engaged with our church. What happened when I returned and talked with our pastor was nothing short of extraordinary…and completely unexpected.

I Didn’t See This Coming…Ever

When you go to college the goal is for your chosen major to secure you a job in that specific field once you graduate. My undergrad was in psychology, with an emphasis on counseling and child/family issues. So presumably I would spend the rest of my working career being a counselor helping children and families deal with a wide variety of problems.

Well, I didn’t become a counselor per se with clients reclining on a couch recounting all their problems to my listening ear. What I ended up being was a teacher and principal for 17 years in a private school. Oh, wait…think I did any counseling there? Haha…Everyday was spent listening to and dealing with a child or family or teacher or staff issue! So I guess that psych degree came in pretty handy. Who knew?

During my years as principal specifically I developed some talents and strengths necessary to adequately fulfill my role. I learned and studied principles of leadership. I learned how to develop a team of people to build out departments and handle specific duties. I learned how to be organized and see minor details while still focusing on the big picture. And I believe I grew to understand people – their dreams, their needs and how to relate to them in a better way.

So I bring all that life experience into a meeting with my pastor several months ago. I share with him that I’m ready and willing to do more for the church than simply my youth pastor duties. I’m not really expecting anything to happen immediately, just want to let him know that I’m ready to serve if the situation presents itself.

It was obvious he’d been thinking about this (and me) for a long time because he laid out a vision for me to become executive pastor of our church.

What’s an executive pastor? Well, think administrative duties. Overseeing the entire church program so that everything fits neatly together in a cohesive way. From church vision and purpose to the needs of the congregation to maintenance to outreach…an executive pastor works with the other church leaders to ensure nothing falls through the cracks that might hinder the church experience for the members. This is what he wanted me to consider.

I didn’t accept immediately nor did the other church leaders approve it on the spot. But, after some more discussion and prayer by all parties, four weeks ago I started as part-time executive pastor.

So part-time youth director…part-time executive pastor…yes, you could say I’ve gone back to full-time work.

What Does This Mean For Luke1428?

The short answer to the heading above is “I don’t know yet.”

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed giving personal finance advice and sharing my faith on this blog for three and a half years. Since I’ve been thinking about and heading in this new career direction, my writing has slowed. I’m down to one or two articles a week at this point. There is simply so much to do in this new position. Plus, it’s brand new and my schedule is still in a state of flux so I haven’t settled into a routine yet. I don’t know yet how much time I’ll have to continue my writing.

But it’s not only about time. It’s also about desire and family priorities. Where should they lie at this point? I know my mind is beginning to think more and more about church responsibilities and less about personal finance. Plus, as I’ve always said here, next to my personal faith my family is the #1 priority in my life.

I don’t want the website to sit here without content being posted. So as I see it the options are to continue writing several times a month as time allows or sell the site. Both options present positives and negatives. So I simply need to give it time and think that part through. If you are a blogger I’d welcome your advice on the matter.

What I’ve Learned From All This

The timing for this opportunity couldn’t be any better. And I know it’s the right thing to do because I have peace about it. When you put timing and peace together, that’s a winning formula for making the right decision.

What I’ve learned yet again going through this transition is that it’s fruitless to try and manage the future. We simply can’t. Never in a million years could you have convinced me five years ago that I would start a blog and meet so many incredible people. Or even two years ago that I’d be stepping into a pastor role at a church. The future is 100% unpredictable with certainty.

The best we can do is plan for the future with the knowledge we possess in the present. Then when “it” comes – whatever “it” is – make the best decision possible based on the timing, the present need and your feelings about it. Any other attempt to predict or manage the future only invites worry and distracts us from so many precious moments in the present.

Questions: Have you had an unexpected event recently? Are you presently thinking about changing your life direction? How do you decide the path to take when life throws you a curveball? What advice could you give me on what to do with Luke1428?

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  1. Brian GO for it.Congratulations I’m sure its well deserved. Now maybe the time for another to step up, who knows. Good for you

  2. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank says

    Grab this opportunity, Brian, if it does feel right thing to do. Whatever your decision is, I think it’s best to keep this website updated and maintained because I am one of the readers who keep looking forward to reading your best as it contains bible verses and it educates me on something I lack.

  3. Congratulations on your new job and new life phase! I would be sad to see you exit the PF blogosphere, but you have to do what’s best for your family.

    I stumbled into self-employment a few months ago. I really didn’t see it coming either! I might go back to traditional full-time work, though, after I accomplish a few business goals.

  4. Congratulations on the great opportunity! As far as the blog goes…..if you’re ready to let it go, let it go. but if you’re not, it can be whatever you want it to be. If you want to turn it into something you do just for fun whenever you have time – that’s OK too!

  5. Everything happens for a reason, when you feel at peace with your choice then you know it’s the right choice for you. I wish you every success and happiness for the future. I have really enjoyed reading your posts, you have a unique gift and a fantastic engaging personality which is very present in your writing and now that gift is needed else where.

    • “…feel at peace with your choice then you know it’s the right choice…” For me the calming peace is the big, maybe the biggest indicator this is the right move. Hopefully I can carve out some time to continue my writing. I’m thankful to have readers like yourself who appreciate the things I say.

  6. Life is unpredictable. If you decide to leave the blogging world we’ll be sad, but at least you’d be leaving for a great opportunity!

  7. Congratulations, Brian! The new gig sounds perfect for you. I am one of those people when opportunities like this present themselves, I take it as a sign that I need to pay attention. It doesn’t always mean the initial opportunity is right, but maybe I need to change direction. In your shoes, I’d probably hold off making any big decisions with Luke 1428. My assumption is that any money you earn from the blog is appreciated but not income you need to survive. If you still enjoy blogging, than I would probably continue to blog for fun and enjoy any extra income it makes. The only reason to sell it now is if the blog is worth a substantial amount that will decrease because you are focused less on it.

    • “…hold off making any big decisions with Luke 1428.” That’s good advice Shannon and something I’ve realized as more and more comments and emails have been sent my way. There’s no rush to make a decision now. I just need to let things play out for a bit and see how I feel about it.

  8. Sounds like a wonderful opportunity!

    Personally, I have taken a step back from blogging. I still love it, but it has been hard to balance everything in life and the blog. So the blog has not been priority.

    It’s life. You have to live it.

    • “…it has been hard to balance everything in life and the blog.” I completely get that. And in truth, unless blogging is your full-time job that secures money for you to live on, it can take a back seat.

  9. Congratulations Brian!! I sent you a separate note with my thoughts but this is just life. We may have one set of plans, but something different and better always has the potential to be on the horizon. Over the past two years since I started my company, I have seen this happen with more frequency and I accept it as part of my journey. This opportunity sounds very exciting and exactly where you are supposed to be even though you may not have seen it at first. I hope you will continue to blog and share your thoughts on your life journey.

    • I hope to continue blogging. I think it will come down to managing time as I develop a new routine. I’m still unsettled at this point and things feel a bit disjointed.

  10. It sounds like a wonderful opportunity, and it would not have been there for you had you not made your original decision to leave your last job eighteen months ago. Glad to hear. I hope you continue to keep blogging, your voice is definitely a value to the blogging community, but if you find you can’t, it’ll have been great for the time you were able to put forth.

    • “…it would not have been there for you had you not made your original decision to leave your last job eighteen months ago.” That’s the really interesting thing, isn’t it? When I stepped away from education 18 months ago I had no idea it would lead to this. That’s why I say the future is not worth predicting…we can only see what’s right in front of us now.

  11. I did have an unexpected event occur this year. I lost my job after 20+ years. I’m using it as an opportunity, on to something bigger and better. I don’t see any issue with scaling back the frequencies of posting, having the full time work may lead to more insightful topics to write about.

  12. You are absolutely correct about unpredictability!, i too had some unpredictable moments recently, what i am today is totally different from what i planned years ago, and now i totally stopped managing the future, now i just do what i can with best efforts, and keep my plans in mind (prov 16:3) if God approves the plans, it could happen, even if it dont happen i think there will be something better that could satisfy me. God wants to do good to everyone and wants to satisfy everyone, as long we dont take any bad decisions, we will be on the safer side.

    The best think i like from this website is, you give many practical and genuine advice from your experiences based on Bible.

    So for me, i would like if you keep this website and not sell, even if you are not able to post many content, i think, a few quality content from you would be sufficient and it could maintain the theme of the website, may be on a later time you could spend more time? but if you still want to sell, then you really have to find someone who can think more closely like you. just my 2 cents.

    • OR, you can partner with someone instead of totally selling!

    • “…The best think i like from this website is, you give many practical and genuine advice from your experiences based on Bible.” Thanks for that Jake. I do enjoy weaving topics of faith into my writing. Perhaps as the site evolves I’ll end up doing more of that.

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