Spring Break and MJ’s Blossoming Career

Sorry it’s been a while. My work has kept me incredibly busy and I was knocked down hard with the flu the week before spring break. Before spending Easter in NJ, we packed ourselves up and took a long drive south. Given the talk of the bathroom bill issue in North Carolina, MJ was nervous about going to that part of the country. But we were in a more urban area of South Carolina and all was fine. I don’t think any of us felt uncomfortable at any time.

We had all been working so hard that I felt we needed to take a mental break and just enjoy each other as a family. So, we toured the city of Charleston and underwent a culinary adventure. No shortage of great eating there! One day was spent leisurely strolling through Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. I underestimated how intensely therapeutic this day would become. We completely slowed down, focused our attention on the beauty before us and literally took the time to stop and enjoy the glory of God’s creation. MJ treated it as a photo expedition and took thousands of shots, some that are so artful, they look like paintings.

In the 4 weeks since MJ started her internship, she has blossomed. Having a job she enjoys has definitely been life changing. Although she still struggles to get herself ready quickly, she wakes up and is genuinely happy to get to work. I never would have forseen how perfect this situation is for her to fuel her interests, sharpen her skills, and expose her to areas of business that she probably never considered. It’s a job that I think we will all look back on and describe as one that launched her life long career.

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.  You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
– Isaiah 55: 10-12

What appeals most to me, and to MJ as well, is that they are giving her tasks that she’s excited to tackle. They are not only giving her permission to spend time doing things like criticize, poke around and even break software, they truly appreciate her skills in doing so. In fact, her boss said that she is the only one he wants to do the beta testing because she knows how to do it right. On one particular evening they took her to a networking event. Her company was the host and she was the official photographer. Right now she is working on a promotional video. She worked on the script, took footage and photos and is putting it all together with motion graphics and audio. I’m so proud of her ability to do all of that. She is definitely uniquely gifted and technologically adept.

This real world experience has broadened her perspective and given her confidence. And the people she works with have been wonderfully accepting and seem to genuinely love her. However, dealing with the pressure to deliver on time is a skill that she needs to work on. But, it’s great that they are so happy with her work that they want her to do more and it’s good that they push her so she can grow. I think she’s learning a lot about herself and what she brings to the table.

What makes the situation particularly gratifying is that because the company is a start-up, everything she does for them has the potential to make a big positive impact. She has taken her place on the team seriously and even though it’s meant to be a temporary internship, she feels a strong sense of ownership. Seeing how she’s handled herself through this, I’m thinking that she’s got the right combination of skill sets for working with start-ups. She can fill in gaps with her strengths in several areas. She is someone who can bring a lot of value to a small business with few employees. Yes, I’m boasting about my child. But after years of frustration and disappointment, it feels so good to be able to do that.

MJ, my husband, and I are working hard in our careers. It’s been a productive time for all of us. As of this writing, my church has started a study about “personal calling”. I’ll be interested to know if each of us are operating in our sweet spots… doing the work that God created us to do. I think we are pretty close. We are so grateful that MJ has found work that is gratifying and fun. We had some great conversation around what might happen at the end of this internship. I’ll let you know how it goes!

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
– Ephesians 2:10


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