New title! “Adventures of a Christian Librarian”
Over the past year, I’ve realized that this blog has been moving away from its previous story / fairy-tale focus, and becoming more of a place to share what God’s been doing in my life. Thus, I’ve made a bit of a title and design change. You will see, however, that “adventure” is still a part of the title, as I believe our days here on earth are an adventure!
While the content of this blog will still be open (meaning, I will continue writing on any topic as I feel led to do so), I’ve decided it would also be helpful to provide semesterly updates on my life and work, with an emphasis on what God is doing in my life and related prayer requests. The goal of this is to 1. share my experiences and stories of God’s goodness as an encouragement to readers, and 2. to ask for prayer in specific areas. I believe it’s important to be vocal about the many ways God provides every day, and that it’s also important to publicly express thanksgiving and prayer requests. So, with all that in mind, here goes my first “Adventure Update”!
Life as a Librarian:
It seems like only yesterday that I was offered my new position at MidAmerica Nazarene University – but already, my first semester in my new role is about to come to a close! It’s been an incredible first semester, and I’m constantly so thankful to God for providing me a position and work environment in which I am encouraged to grow professionally, personally, and spiritually – and to live a fully integrated life, where there is no “work/life balance”, but rather work/life integration. My life, my work, my worship, and my ministry are all interconnected!
God has already provided numerous opportunities for me within this position. My main responsibility is serving as the distance librarian for the Nazarene Bible College (a duly online school) from MNU – however, a significant amount of my work is still for MNU. I’ve been able to do a bit of everything – from teaching, to design, to daily reference and ILL work, to grantwriting, to supervising student library workers. Recently, I also inherited technical services and cataloging responsibilities, as our technical services librarian moved on and we were unable to fill the position.
God also has provided a number of additional opportunities related to my work at MNU. This semester, I was asked to join the Honors Advisory Committee, which is an area that is especially on my heart as a former honors student. I’ve also been asked to lead a Kansas Library committee to develop open access digital research modules. Finally, I’ve been working on my MBA (Master’s of Business Administration) through MNU, since they graciously are providing full tuition remission for the program!
There are also other things, but those are the main ones – and that probably already sounds like a lot! But even though there is a lot to do, I have loved every aspect of my work at MNU. Even so, I would appreciate your prayers that I am able to balance each of my responsibilities and perform every aspect of my work with joy, diligence, and excellence to be an example of Christ through it all!
Since January, I’ve been praying for God to provide new opportunities for me to serve him through music – and this semester, He did. MNU’s music faculty asked me to play upright bass for several MNU music performances, which has been wonderful. I especially enjoyed playing in the orchestra for their theater performance of “Into the Woods”. Though it was a week of hard work (and blistered fingers!), plus a very full schedule with the combination of work + rehearsals/performances, it was an incredible experience that I wouldn’t trade away for anything. Even better, I was blessed to have many family, friends, and colleagues come see the performances!
Such a wonderful group of people and musicians!
This semester, God has also provided several incredible opportunities for ministry, both local and global.
First of all, I’ve been collaborating with my brother (Keifer) and his wife (Caity) to lead a ministry at the local juvenile detention center (read more about their long-term ministry in the Czech Republic here). The focus of this JDC ministry is to minister to the youth relationally, simply through playing board games and through teaching them about story (our official group’s name is StoryBoard: Games and Storytelling Club). God has led a number of wonderful people to join us in this ministry, and I’m very excited to see how it continues to progress!
Also, I’ve been able to join WHDL (the Wesleyan-Holiness Digital Library) team through my work at MNU. This ministry is focused on creating a massive open-access digital library to provide biblical and educational resources to pastors, missionaries, students, teachers, etc. globally. Also, WHDL team regularly sends out a team of librarians to various parts of the world to assist in setting up library systems and catalog books for Nazarene colleges and universities. The next WHDL trip will be to South America, this spring!
Family and Friends:
It has also been so wonderful to spend more time with family and friends (new and old) this semester! I’m so thankful to have such incredible people in my life. While I’ve enjoyed
the time spent with everyone, I’ve especially enjoyed spending some more extended time with Keifer and Caity while they’re here in the States. I’m also looking forward to spending even more time with them and other friends at the OYAN Winter Workshop next month!
Specific Prayer Requests:
- Pray for the JDC ministry as it’s just getting started, and for everyone involved.
- Pray that I’m able to move into my new townhouse soon. I’ve been waiting four months now, which is much longer than expected, but I know it will happen in God’s perfect timing!
- Pray that God will continue to sustain me through His presence and provide the ability, motivation, and joyful energy to excel in all that He has given me!
Thank you for reading – I’m looking forward to another semester after the holidays, and to continuing to share my thoughts through this blog!
“But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” ~ Isaiah 40:31