Best Job Ever!
My pastor often tells the congregation that he has the best job ever because he gets paid to study the Bible. I get that. But I also realize that everyone has his/her own idea of “best job ever,” based on their likes and dislikes, preferences, personality type, etc.
I’ve had many jobs in my lifetime. My first job was selling popcorn, candy, and soda at the local movie theater (well, unless you count babysitting). My senior year of high school, I got a job as a secretary. That became my career for many years, when it eventually evolved into the title of administrative assistant. When a company I worked for sent me to be trained to do computer graphic design, my job kinda morphed into that. My last office job was designing restaurant menus.
When I lost that position due to tendonitis issues, I took a leap of faith and tried freelance editing. (If you’re interested, you can read a more detailed account of that story on my website at http://kathyide.com/about-me/.) God blessed that “leap” abundantly, and after a few short years, I thought, I have the best job ever! I got to work for myself (truthfully, I worked directly for God—best boss ever, for sure!). Set my own hours. Took trips whenever I wanted. Got paid to read Christian manuscripts and tell the authors how I thought they could be improved. When I started speaking at writers’ conferences, they were paying me to travel and hang out with my favorite kind of people: Christian writers. Could it get any better than that?
I told my husband, and several of my friends, that I didn’t think I could ever work for someone else again after getting a taste of the freedom that freelancing offers.
Two years ago, God led me to launch the SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference. Shortly after that, He made it very clear that He wanted me to direct the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, an event that has been very dear to my heart for twenty years.
Freelance editing is still my “bread and butter,” and I thoroughly enjoy helping writers hone their craft and polish their manuscripts for publication. But I’m finding that I love directing Christian writers’ conferences too. After all, I get to connect with writers at all stages, including super-well-known, best-selling, award-winning authors … and they come to know me, by name and by face. I even get to invite some of my writer friends, who I know would be great to have on faculty, to serve at my conferences. How fun is that?
At Mount Hermon last month, I got to spend time with two of my all-time top favorite authors: Liz Curtis Higgs (of Bad Girls of the Bible fame) and Francine Rivers (of Redeeming Love fame)—or, as they let me call them, Lizzie and Frani. (I get goose bumps just writing that!) I’ve exchanged emails with them both, and they are dear, wonderful, beautiful women. And they call me “friend” and “sweet sister.” Wow.
I still can’t believe I get paid to help put together the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, and go there a few times a year to connect with my incredible, amazing coworkers. Don’t get me wrong—it’s a ton of work! But I totally love it. The people I get to work with have welcomed me like family. The teamwork and support they offer me is far superior to any job I’ve ever had. I get to do most of my work from home, and the rest I get to do … at Mount Hermon! The most inspiring and inspirational place I know.
So now I get to work as a freelancer and be an employee—of Mount Hermon. Talk about the best of both worlds!
Right after the Mount Hermon conference is over, when I’m starting to miss all the fun and excitement of that amazing event, I get to dive right into the final push of planning the SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference! Last year was our first time, and we had 200 attendees. And I kept hearing from them the same kind of thing I always hear at Mount Hermon, about all the divine appointments, great instruction, encouraging faculty members … and fun! (After all, our tagline is “Come for the Conference, Stay for the Fun!”) If you’re interested in finding out about that conference, visit www.SoCalCWC.com.
Every time I look at this picture of me with Lizzie and Frani, I can’t help but smile. And think, Yup. I’ve got the best jobs ever!