Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Next Steps

Recently, I sent out a request to a select few people that have worked, served, or been acquainted with me in some way over the past few years. My request was if I could use them as a reference and if they would consider writing a reference letter stating how they know me, in what way we worked or served together, and list any strengths that may be an asset to a prospective employer.

By the way, it's so humbling to read what someone says about you. Thanks to you, Libby, for loving me for who I am and seeing more in me than what I see. Love you.

I am getting ready to head back into the workplace and it's a strange thing for me. You see, I've done alot of things.

I began out of high school working as a reporter and writer for a small newsletter that was distributed to a non-profit agency and it's volunteers and employees.

That Fall, I got married, and began my first and only year of higher education in secretarial sciences of all things. Half of what I learned there became irrelevant in the workplace within a couple of years. yes, I was an ace at shorthand.

I had my first child, Kristina Shay, at 19 and didn't go back to school. When she was 1 year old, I began working at a weight loss company and within 6 months was promoted to manager, then I was overseeing customer service and sales in other stores in the district , then was managing my own store. It was too much too fast. People saw leadership ability in me, but I lacked training and it was a miserable failure. Recognizing that this wasn't for me for that time, and the pregnancy of my second child (Zachary Jay), I found myself at 23 making the decision to stay at home with my kids. That was really the best choice.

I didn't pursue an education, career, or anything, but being Mom. I loved it and have no regrets.

I began to work part time at a local YMCA because I could take my kids with me and they got to benefit from the facility. Started out as front desk receptionist, began taking exercise classes, got some training and before I left there, I was a certified personal trainer and manager of the fitness center. Once again, the leadership and management ability came in handy. I was a little older, wiser, and it was a good experience.

I had really been thinking of a business. I have been an artist all my life, but never really pursued working on it until I was in my late 20's. I had always done it for fun, but my work gained in popularity and people began paying me for it and ordering things and bringing things for me to paint. So, I started The Painter's Loft and did custom painting work for many years. That very small business grew into partnering with a friend and creating a small store where I continued decorative painting and branched into furniture, murals, and accessories for the home. From there, I began decorating and designing for more clients than ever. Color schemes, furniture and accessories selection and consulting. Things were really growing....

At that time, I was serving on two design committees and involved in a building committee at our church where I learned and grew so much from the people and experiences there.

Then I began working for a local furniture and gift store and was hired as the design coordinator and floor manager and had the amazing opportunity to work with my friend and mentor, Miriam. she taught me so much about being an effective leader and I am still learning from her.

I left there after returning from a life changing mission trip to Cairo, Egypt, where God has laid on my heart to become a communicator and speaker. (I'm still confused about that one, but the message is clear from Him, so I surrender) We then made the decision to move to Charleston WV with my husband's job and Now.......

For me, it's what's next? Where's my niche? What do I pursue now? Career wise, service and ministry wise, and what is my first step?

I walked this morning 2 miles at a local state park. Beautiful, perfect temperature and inspiring as I breathed in the freshest air ever, I began to pray for a church member who is going through a surgery today, moved on to the small group and family and friends, and then I asked God...

What is next for me? Where do you see my niche? What do I pursue now? How can I effectively serve you? I pray...this prayer is my first step.


  1. Tina, God will do something amazing with you,I know He will because you have amazing Qualities.Your gentle heart and great leadership drew me to you, to Want to work with you. God is pushing me out of my comfort zone,and don't be surprise if you are next. I love you,

  2. God is opening BIG DOORS for you!! When you are willing and step outside your little box, He'll meet you in ways you never imagined!!!

    Love ya!

  3. Interesting to see just how much of a background in art you have. It doesn't surprise me. Your stage sets were awesome.


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