Daddy’s (Hard Working) Girl

If I shared my resume with you, you probably wouldn’t believe it.  The Variety is astounding and the length?  Ridiculous.

Okay so I was never Flo...

Okay so I was never Flo…

Are you ready for this?

First I carried out groceries (1)
Then I was a waitress at a Dutch restaurant called Russ’ (2)
Then I went back to the grocery store as a Cashier (3)
After that I worked at Build-a-bear workshop as a party bear and master bear builder (4)
While I was doing that, I also delivered newspapers. (5)
Then I landed a job as a secretary at a driving school. (6)
To make some extra I $ worked at a pizza place on the side and then switched to delivering at  Pizza hut. (7 & 8)
When I went back to school I trained as a server at On the border, also on the side. (9)
Because I was worried about making rent I picked up a 3rd job as a 3rd shift barista (10)
(my plan was to not sleep at all Wed – Sat… this also did not last long)
When co worker issues at the restaurant I switched to working at the planner store. (11)
(still a driving school secretary at this point)
When we moved to KY I quit both jobs and scrambled to find a new one, which I did, at a deli. (12)
After a while I moved up from that and worked in the Alumni office at Kel’s seminary (13)
When we moved to Oklahoma I took a job at a local bank, in the new accounts dept. (14)
I quit this when we had Noelle and then started helping at Kel’s ministry a bit. (15)
And then after Caedmon was born I took a break, and haven’t worked formally for 2 yrs.
But I did sell crochet baby hats for a while, as well as appliquéd onesies.  (doesn’t count)

I told you, it’s ridiculous.

Do you want to know why I worked at all those places?  For the most part, it wasn’t because I was a flake who couldn’t hold down a job, it was because I needed the money, to live on.

And because as the situations of my life changed, the jobs needed to change as well.

24242_507268922987_7207055_nMost women have different moments in their lives when they feel like their father’s daughters, like Daddy’s girl.  As for me?  It’s hard work.  My dad was a hard working guy and for a long stretch in my life he worked three jobs to keep our family afloat.

While he was doing that he was practically running our household, due to my Mom’s depression.  And he was also managing my sister’s care as well, forever on the phone with a therapist or specialist, or my sister herself.

Yes, I feel like a Daddy’s girl when I bite my bottom lip and work my tail off.  But it took me a really long time to be okay with this.  For so long I wanted to be a bit more pampered, with less responsibility, I thought being spoiled would be nice for a change.

But that’s not me, and that wasn’t my Father and it wouldn’t have served me well in the long run.

Because in real life, when the going gets tough, the tough work their fingers to the bone for a while, for a season… or two.  It’s true what they say about hard work, for the most part it pays off, those who refuse to quit… they get somewhere, someday, usually sooner than later.

This week I added two new jobs to that long resume (16 & 17)  the first I’ve had in over two years.  I’m working two days a week as a pre-school teacher and cleaning houses here and there, it’s only about 2 or 3 days a week and I get to take the kids with me to school for no added cost.

Honestly, it was a hard transition to give up my alone time on Tuesdays and Thursdays while the kids were at school in favor of working with MORE kids at a neighboring preschool.

I was worried about telling you, I was afraid that you’d think less of me, or Kel, because we have to work for the money we have.  I was scared you’d think we were doing something wrong because I needed to work a bit to add to our income, to keep us floating.

For a while Kel’s income was enough, until suddenly it wasn’t anymore.  We hung our heads in shame, we were debt free, with no car payments, we were canceling cable, Kel has a Master’s degree, how are we scraping?  We must be doing it wrong.

But we aren’t, and so since the going got tough, this tough girl is earning some money, because it’s the right thing to do, because we need to bank some money, not live on our emergency fund.

I was worried it would be the end of Leanne the writer, that these jobs would steal all my writing time.  But these new jobs? They can’t kill who God says I am and he says that I’m to write, so write I will.

Where there is a will, there is a way, and as my resumé reflects, I’m no stranger to hard work… who knows what good will come from these new experiences?

No matter where I work or where I do, I still ultimately work for the God who wastes nothing and that is very good news friends.

How many jobs on your official resumé?  What’s your most interesting one?  Has anyone been in a chicken costume on the side of the road?

Have you every felt ashamed for having to work to keep floating?  (let’s agree to stop doing that, shall we?)

  • Lisa Colón DeLay

    They never count food and fuel in gov inflationary numbers. We’re getting killed too trying to make it and being very frugal. There is some beautiful stuff written on the Theology of Work…. Essentially working is part of what God has for humans to be human. (hence Adam and Eve didn’t lounge in paradise but tended it.) It too seems that our culture…and co-opting with it perverts work but making it seem foolish unless it seems to help our status. Great job/great title, =worth …etc.

    This Theology of Work stuff is something I really keep in mind with my son who has special needs. In working, however he can, he steps into greater dignity. Not because the work is “vital” (being a doctor, fireman, etc) but because he becomes more fully human in “toiling”. And work, of any kind, needn’t be a drudgery either as the word “toil” is wont to mean. Because all that we do is an act of worship, the sacred and secular merge.

    Plus, I sold Honey Baked Ham for a while…girl, I know this stuff too :)

    great post. keep on!

    • Leanne Penny

      Thank you Lisa! I love the idea of the concept of theology of work, I must must look into that. Thank you for sharing these thoughts… also I love honey baked ham… no shame there either! 😉

  • Mark Allman

    There is no shame in what you do Leanne…. Only admiration! There has never been a time that I remember not working. From a small boy working on our farm to working on the farm and having a job outside of the home starting at 12 and keeping up with the farm stuff after work and on weekends. I do not think I could not work. :)
    I do admire that you do what you do Leanne. I wish you did not have to live on the edge on finances. I wish you well. I would imagine your work will be a place to mine stuff for your writing which you do so well.
    As Lisa says work allows to worship God with how we go about it.

    • Leanne Penny

      Thank Mark… I’m mining a little from the preschool I know you’re right, I know it will be used but yet… I don’t wanna… 😉

  • Danielle | from two to one

    Leanne, I’m really curious about this since I will likely work even if I don’t “have to” (i.e. my husband will make enough that we can live comfortably on one income). I understand that for some in the Christian community, that would make me “selfish” since if it’s not necessary, I should be the one staying home with the children or at least having the more flexible career. Do you feel like that expectation plays into your struggle here? Same with thinking about writing — do you feel like you can’t still pursue your writing goals now that you’re working part-time?

    • Leanne Penny

      Danielle, my main struggle is that I was loving the staying at home, writing while the kids were at preschool, it took us a long time to figure out a rhythm that was working and now I’m losing it. My struggle with most of this comes with having to admit the fact that we can no longer make it on my husband’s income alone. It feels embarrassing somehow, like we failed.

      and the writing thing? it is a lot harder to pursue those goals because I am now working in the space that I previously had freed up by sending the kids to preschool. IE Tu/Th I would go and write at a coffee house, now i have taken them out of preschool and I am bringing them to another daycare center and working during that time, and beyond it. So the time where I had help and was freed up to reflect and write is gone.

      • Danielle | from two to one

        Thanks for clarifying, Leanne. I understand more of where you are coming from now, and want to reassure you that in no way have you guys failed! Over 70% of families in the US need to have both parents working to make ends meet in this depressed economy, so you’re definitely not alone let alone a failure.

        I have no idea how bloggers/writers with families do it if they don’t have extra help (a nanny/babysitter who comes so you can write for a solid block of time), but that’s really not that feasible if both parents need to work. I’m bracing myself for that season of my life…in due time.

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