Advent Blog Day 12 – One year at CMS

It’s a year today since I started working as the Communications Officer at CMS. As I reflected in November 2011, I started in the job with a great sense of God’s leading – it wasn’t my plan, but his.

I had to hit the ground running when I started, and though I’ve taken some holidays along the way, it is by far the busiest job I’ve ever had. The deadlines just keep coming! Quite a contrast to my experience as a solicitor – when I would often have to drag my feet around the office asking for more work, which was actually quite demoralising. Busy is definitely better – especially when the work is varied and fulfilling!

I have spent a large chunk of the year working on CMS’s quarterly publication, called Checkpoint – and along the way have learned a lot about working with and communicating with people. Like how do you tell someone you’ve never met in person that the article you have already asked them to re-write once is still not appropriate? That was not my favourite day, but I have learned from the experience.

Some of my favourite times this year have been training new missionaries in how they communicate with churches and supporters, when missionaries have popped into our office to say hi, and the opportunity to spend time with some missionaries in Spain when we went there on holidays. In the last few weeks I also got to try my hand at writing kids’ activities, which has been a new and satisfying

There have been some challenging times over the course of the year. Sometimes being the one female on a team with two guys can be hard – but I have learned to expect the weird looks I get from time to time! I have no doubt that there are more challenges and opportunities for growth to come.

As I look back over the last year I am deeply thankful for a job that’s usually not hard to get up for in the morning, where I can serve God using my passion for writing and editing, and also help others as they reach people for Jesus all around the world – from Germany to Cambodia, Namibia to Chile and many places in between.

my editor's sign-off!
my editor’s sign-off!

 

on writing

My husband just sent me this article on 15 famous authors and why they write. I could read the rationales of 100 great authors on why they write and not get bored.

Judy Blume says:

Those of us who write do it because there are stories inside us burning to get out. Writing is essential to our well-being.

I get this. Sometimes the ideas are nothing but a wretched muddle of my fragments in my head but writing can be healing. The words belong on the paper. Getting them out is good for me (and for the people around me).

As Joan Didion said:

write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.

Writing is a voyage of discovery into one’s own soul. I rarely know where my blog posts are going when I start them. The process of writing can be deeply revealing about what I think and feel and why.

Stephen King captures the two-way nature of writing:

In the end all writing is about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well.

I often wrestle with the question – why would anyone want to read what I say/think? I pray my writing enriches other’s lives and I’m thankful that since starting this blog various friends, colleagues and acquaintances have encouraged me with their feedback. Most of the time I have no idea if what I write helps or hinders other people’s lives but the truth is – I would write even if I knew no-one was reading.

I am a writer.

My husband gave me a hat for Christmas just because he thought it looked like a writer’s hat. He has been ascribing me with the title ‘writer’ for a couple of years, but I’ve only recently settled into it.

the writer, the hat and the husband, January 2012

Writing makes me ‘come alive.’ In writing I learn more of myself and more of my maker. The more I write, the more I want to write. I hope and pray this passion only ever grows.