Book Review: Your Vocational Credo

your vocational credoMy dear friend Deborah Koehn Loyd has come out with her first book, Your Vocational Credo: Practical Steps to Discover Your Unique Purpose (IVP). While I’m very proud of her and the things she’s accomplished over the last few years, Deborah has mostly inspired and challenged me, both personally and through this book. If you’ve read my blog once or twice you may have read that I struggle with my sense of calling and purpose, mostly floundering between projects and finding it difficult to identify the common themes that make me ME. I’ve had a few conversations with Deborah about this (and can recommend her for vocational counselling!) and this book has just taken those discussions further and given me the time to process through her insights.

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Visiting Deborah & husband Ken in 2010

To be perfectly honest, I’ve not made my way through the book entirely as I’ve encountered some reasons that I have struggled to identify my strengths, weaknesses, emotions and calling, so these need working through in parallel. But the book speaks for itself with its insights and stories from Deborah’s own vocational trajectory and that of others generous enough to share their journeys through her book. Deborah uses humour, compassion and issues challenges through these stories and pointed reflective questions at the end of each chapter.

 

I particularly have identified with her labelling of ‘toxic skills’ as I have settled into many jobs I should excel at due to my skill-set but which have robbed me of life and fulfillment. Knowing that this is what I’m experiencing and not just my own struggles with bucking the system or laziness is like a paradigm shift. I look forward to pressing into her questions in due course but thought it would be good to get word out while it’s hot off the press.

You can get this gem via Amazon (US or UK). Please do write a review when you’ve read it!

Book Review: Your Vocational Credo

2010 and already a month gone by!

Leave it to me to find a quality way of sending out 2009 with a bang- or rather a crunch! Rob and I were in California, 8 hours behind Big Ben, and I was shopping at a particular strip-mall in my hometown. Just before heading into the shop I noticed that it was about quarter to 4 in the afternoon and that our friends in London would be ringing in the new year in just minutes.

I headed into the store, didn’t find what I wanted, walked back out and carefully put the car into reverse. I was backing out like nobody’s granny (overly cautious not having driven in the last 15 months) under the watchful eye of my husband as well when all of a sudden I find myself engaged with a gentleman’s passenger door. Happy New Year I tell you. Thankfully insurance covered it all and nobody seemed too bothered, aside from yours truly who was and still am quite convinced he was at fault for driving too quickly. Eight hours later we celebrated our own new years in the safety of my mom’s home, cozy with lots of food to munch.

If you’ve followed my blog you’ll know that last year was a struggle. I’m content to see it leave it’s dusty footprints on the way out and looking forward to getting dug into 2010. Having only returned from our trip the first week of February it seems like we’ll have an 11 month year rather than the traditional 12. Fine by me.

I’m in the process of resolving some things. I’m not into resolutions because I don’t have the resolve to stick to a year’s worth of rules and don’ts just because ‘they’ say you should make them. Yet I am aware of the great opportunity to make things different in returning to London after a good deal of time away. If only I hadn’t been fighting a terrible cold for 3 weeks once we returned I might have made a better start of this. But nevertheless I’m going to start a rough sort of list of things I’m intending on for 2010 and beyond.

1. Having fun. I love fun. I’ve never been particularly un-fun. But I think my fun was spoiled last year and this year I refuse to give up my fun and I’m going to look at ways of creating fun every day. At least every week anyways. As a matter of fact, I’ve already applied for a fun job- playing games with adults (www.thefunfed.com)!

2. Creating. Not only will I create fun but I will make many more things- baked goods, meals, needlepoint, clothing, furniture, photos, things for the house, and a whole lot more. I’ve got off to a decent start having turned Rob’s old leopard print laptop case into a cushion, framed a pic we brought back from Venice Beach, begun a needlepoint project with dear ol’ Frankenstein and the phrase ‘What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger’, and I’ve cooked homemade soup nearly every night for a few weeks. I’ve altered some clothing that’s been on the back burner for a while and I’ve got a jewelery project waiting for my attention on behalf of a friend.

3. Relationships. I majored in marine biology partly due to the fact that I’d rather hang out with fish who can’t complain and get all complicated on you. Clearly God has other plans for me and wants people and all their complexities and dirt and wonderful goodness to rub off on me. And I think I’m feeling more prepared to get dirty, with the help of both numbers 1 and 2. I am determined to make this work come riches or poverty!

4. Spend less time online. EnergySuckingLifeDrainingTimeConsumingMachineOfEvil. I love the internet but I spend half my time on it doing jack squat. I check my email wayyyyy too much, act as if Facebook is the ‘real world’, and just lose out on a lot of 1, 2, and 3 as a result of being online too much. I need restrictions. See my previous blog post on the matter.

5. Find Shalom. As stated a couple posts back I’m really aching for some serious shalom to park itself in the centre of my life. I want to learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I want to live freely and lightly. All this is found with the Divine Him and within my enhanced relationships. I’m endeavoring to do the Prayer of Examen every night for Lent in an attempt to evaluate my day’s successes and failures so that time doesn’t swish by so quickly and so that I can find that place of rest each day.

6. Get a haircut and get a real job. Why yes I did just use a George Thorogood song there… my apologies if that offends your musical sensibilities. I have, in fact, owned the cassette single of that song in my lifetime. Yikes. Anyways, yes I need a job to maintain my haircut, my household, my social life, to care for the people I love (the known and the stranger), to help my church grow, and to get out of friggin debt. If you’re hiring, I’m really lovely, quite employable, and fairly desperate.

7. Read more. There’s an awesome bookshop here called Daunt’s. There’s one up by Hampstead Heath that I love because of it’s location especially. Their books are all arranged by world region, as it use to be a travel bookstore but now it hosts other literature as well. I said when I first moved to the area that I’d like to some day read one book from each section at Daunt’s. I got about half way through Notes from the Underground by Russian author Dostoyevsky but it was a bit too bleak for me so I need to get back on that bandwagon. And armed with my library card I don’t see why not. Presently I’m reading Eyeless in Gaza by Aldous Huxley. I can’t say I’m making my way through it too speedily but I’m going to stick with it.

I’m sure that I could add several more to that list but seven seems like a really good number and a great start for the year (off the top of my head I could easily add ‘drink more wine’ to that list!). I welcome suggestions on crafty projects, recipes, good books, activities to do with friends, people with money to give/pay me, and just general hellos and relational type greetings of the interweb and non-interweb sort :0) Have a great year!!

Tea Towl image: dollarstorecrafts.com

2010 and already a month gone by!