Tuesday, April 14, 2015

New Adventures

A few things have been going on in my life and the life of our family, especially as it relates to my career.  I've waited to share what God is doing in this area until I thought it was time.  Today, on my Mun's birthday, it seems like a good day.  As you know, I've been on an extended maternity leave since Clayton was born.  This fall Clayton entered the 6th grade, Jack started 3rd grade, and Andrew started preschool.  I remember when Andrew was born, thinking in to the future and wondering what life would look like.  I wasn't afraid, just curious. My teaching license is current, but for several reasons I just did not feel God calling me back to the classroom.  I talked to Fred about this in the fall and he encouraged me to pray about it and see where God would lead. 
I began praying in August and by November I had a good idea of a direction to go.  I love to clean and organize.  So, I had business cards made and started a small business called Household Helper.  I go in to peoples' homes and help them for a season. God has brought so many people in my path and I have loved it.  I wake up on my Household Helper days and just look forward to the people I'm going to work with on those days.  Doing this allows me to drop the boys at school and be back for pick up.  It affords me the opportunity to continue to volunteer at Jack's school, at an afterschool Bible club and at church.  I am amazed each day at how God has proven faithful.
The second part of what I felt like I was supposed to do was create a blog.  I started the process for this in February.  To say that I am technologically challenged would be an understatement.  I cannot tell you how many tears have been shed over this new venture.  (I know I have a blog, but this is different. I'm creating it from scratch.)  This new blog is a lifestyle blog. (That's what "bloggers" call it.  Who knew?!?)  It is in very early stages...as in I have 7 or 8 posts. 
What does this mean for you?  Well...two things.  First, I'm still going to keep Good Times with the Shacks.  I will share more personal, family things on here that I don't want to advertise. (Obviously, when it's on the internet anyone can access it. But still...) If you read it, nothing will change.  I started this blog in 2008 when some of our family moved overseas.  It started as a way for all of us to stay connected.  Today, it is a treasure for me to look back through.  When the boys were born, the overwhelming piece of advice that we received was to write everything down.  Boy, am I glad I did.  I treasure these priceless memories.  Nothing will change with Good Times with the Shacks.  I'm so delighted you share in these memories with me.  The second thing I would ask of you is to go over to www.chaos2peace.com and check it out.  I'd love for you to become one of my first followers.  I'd love to hear your feedback.  If something needs to be changed or added please email me at jdshackelford@Hotmail.com.  I'm going to make the new blog public in a week. 

So many people have encouraged me during this time:
Annie told me I could do it and have an audience.  She has encouraged me along the way.  I've sent her countless messages.  I could/would not have done this without her. 
Melanie prayed with me as we both navigated a new season of our lives.  We have been in this together...me, Melanie and the Lord.   
Stacy, you saw the new blog before anyone else.  I was so nervous to tell anyone about it.  You, as always, sent me a message with nothing but encouragement.  I treasure our friendship and miss you on a daily basis. 
Fred, my best friend, you sat by me when I was ready to throw the computer.  You are the best.  I love you more than all the words in the Bible...Greek, Hebrew and English. 
My mom and Aunt Janice listened to me as I dreamed.  It seemed like this would never come together, but it finally did.  Thanks for believing in me and loving me. 
Elizabeth took my pictures.  She's the best photographer I know. 
There are a handful of other people that have encouraged me and checked out the blog.  You know who you are and I love you lots. 
And finally, my Mun...Today is her birthday.  She reads my blog every week and never fails to tell me how much she enjoys it.  I know she prays for me and my family every day.  She has never given up.  She always sees the positive. She teaches me, by the way she lives and the things she says, how to love Jesus with "all my heart, all my soul and all my strength". She loves unconditionally.  I will be forever grateful for the heritage of faith she passed on to all of us.  Her impact will be felt for generations to come.  Happy Birthday, Mun. 
Okay, now that the tears are dried in my eyes, I can remind you...go over to www.chaos2peace.com and check it out.  I appreciate your support! 


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