Facing the military retirement transition Part 1: Are you ever going back to work?

What are you passionate about?

Wouldn’t it be great to get PAID doing what you love?

I have a lot of interests. A lot. But when I narrow down what might work for me as far as getting paid in the future, I’m thinking of writing and being on church staff. Yes, I’d be willing to “make it work” if I could get paid doing these things that I love!  There are a lot of roles in the church but not many who are on church staff and actually getting paid.


This is Part 2 of my “Facing the military retirement transition” series. Click here to read Part 1: Are you ever going back to work?


I know being paid depends greatly on the size (and mission) of the church.  (Note: please don’t misunderstand me – Personally, I’m not overly concerned about the “being paid” part but realistically speaking, my marriage to my soon-to-be-retired from the military spouse would feel a whole lot better if I was bringing home some bacon to supplement his retirement income as he takes some much needed time to figure out what he’d like to do and be during his transition in a few short years!) If you have not read my initial thoughts on this, please read Part 1: “Are you ever going back to work?

A mom and wife’s role is never done. Forget that these past 10 years since leaving the Army has been filled with raising and teaching 2 beautiful children while completing my graduate degree, managing the household during all of our moves and contributing to our communities and local churches through various volunteer works….never mind all of that cause it’s time for me to “go BACK to work!”

This saying is always funny to me.  I’ll try and explain what I mean.  Last year when we got our taxes prepared by our local base tax office (thank you God for this great free resource for our Veterans!) the tax preparer asked me if I was unemployed. I said, “No, I work.  I just don’t get paid to do all that I do. I work for free.” He laughed and said, “Yeah, you’re right!” Yeah you bet I am. Hmmmph.

Anyway… I love my various roles. I would not trade it for anything. I know that my contributions have helped our entire family in immeasurable ways. I feel the need to remind folks that forget every now and then the contributions of the stay at home mom (SAHM).  But now, I’m in the midst of changes as we all are adjusting to our new life living overseas.

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I was honored to have been selected by our church as volunteer of the month. This happened the month we hosted the #IFGATHERING2018 simulcast for the first time for our community. We saw God work to raise up new leaders and provide in various ways.

What should you do?

I mentioned passions in the beginning of this post. I believe that God put within each of us certain gifts and talents to be used for the building up of His church. Mine seem to be a great interest in seeing and helping others get connected to our Savior, Jesus Christ, and to grow spiritually in various ways. I use music, writing, spoken words of encouragement and exhortation both in person and through various online groups and social media. I try to use my whole self and my time actively serving the church and community (hands and feet) doing whatever needs to be done. (Please pray with me that we would find our church home soon!)

For me, I love helping others grow into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ through whatever means is effective and fun!  If I were to try and translate my interests and passions into job titles, I think it would narrow down to worship leader, women’s ministry director/ leader, religious education coordinator, small group or Sunday school leader/ coordinator.  However, I’m not God so I really need to slow down and wait and see what God has in store for me and for our family.  (I say ‘slow down’ because I tend to be a “run off and do” type of person…can anyone relate!?) Which roles peak your interest?  I know not everything that I am interested in doing means that I can or should pursue them. For me, it’s not about what I want, but what God wants and has prepared just for me. (I hyperlinked this verse just now but I want to actually type it in here just in case you aren’t able to click on it. It is worth reading. Ephesians 2:10 says “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Yes, that is what I want right there.)

Input is needed from others!

Start getting input from other leaders around you. I say “leaders” because since everyone has an opinion and there isn’t enough time in the day, you might want to limit just what you take in.  I give more weight to people who have some kind of skin in the game. These are people who are out there, doing something. I also give weight to those who have the same value system as I do -aka- highly regards the Word of the Lord.  Finally, I give weight to those who care for me and ultimately want the best for me. Of course, it would be hard (at least for me) to say something to someone when you think they would be offended or if it is a correction of some sort. However, anyone who genuinely loves me would or should risk offending me in order to try and help save me.  (Wow. Even as I write this now I am remembering my own hesitations in sharing the gospel with strangers without my first thought being fear of how they would react. Note to self: start memorizing 1 Cor 10:31-33 & Colossians 3:23-24)

Asking for input requires vulnerability. What if they laugh at you? What if you hear something that you weren’t prepared to hear? Hopefully, you have already put yourself under the leadership of someone else – at minimum your pastor (of course), but also your worship leader, education or ministries director, club leader, small group leader, mentor… somebody.  Be a (Jesus) team player. Offer input and help wherever needed.  Don’t complain (without being willing to help change things). Pray.  Then after some time has passed, ask to meet with your leaders to get their input about you and about opportunities for further responsibilities.  Find out directly what they think you’d need to do or work on in order to be a great fit for a specific role in the future – either at that location or perhaps somewhere else.

My personal regret is that I did not make it known that I desired more leadership opportunities until it was time for me to leave over 2 years later.  I did lead as opportunities arose but maybe there could have been more mentoring in this area if I had requested time to sit down with my leaders bring the subject up.  I didn’t because I- let’s be honest here didn’t want to be rejected.  I didn’t want to hear someone tell me that I wasn’t good enough. (gasp) There I said it. (Yes! I know I know! I need to really keep at the forefront of my mind those verses above that I said I should memorize as this is not right thinking!) So, what I ended up doing was, I just worked hard. I was present. I was a team player. I helped wherever there was a need. Not because I was hoping to land a spot to get paid in the future but because of my love for the church. I was doing what I loved to do.  I actually DID end up asking for input from a couple of leaders mostly it was right before I moved overseas. I mean RIGHT BEFORE. I mean as my husband was driving away and our bags were in the car and after our house was packed and empty.  (Maybe I really do need to work on this “being vulnerable” bit don’t i? Yikes!)

Thank you to all the leaders out there!

I am so very grateful for the time that different leaders poured into my life.  I hope to become that leader that encourages and gently pushes others to grow and lead, even when/if they didn’t come to approach me about it first.  I am hoping to use the information and experiences that I have gained thus far in my life to guide me as I begin to establish my roots here in our new location overseas.  The guidance, advice, words of encouragement and prayer that I received was invaluable to me and I hope to continue to pay it forward to anyone else who is interested.

Maybe right now…this is you.


Click for Part 1: “Are you ever going back to work?”  Spouse facing military retirement, entering the workforce after homemaking and homeschooling.

Check back for Part 3 (to be published soon!): “Thoughts on going back to school and gaining experience” Going back to school, gaining experience, and reviewing job listings.

Check back for Part 4 and more: “Job fair preparations, oh my!” “Realignment by trusted friends who have walked the walk.” … stay tuned for more! (Let me know if you like this series by commenting or sharing these blog posts with others!) Thank you


Subscribe to follow our journey as a family of four moving for the first time from the United States to South Korea! I also blog about other things like foster care, military life and growing spiritually. Look around and click on the categories all the way down below to read the blog posts that might be of interest to you. For example, the blogs filed under the “military life” category is here:  https://sejana.wordpress.com/category/military-life/. Feel free to share your thoughts with me as I’d love to hear your experiences and how they relate to mine. See you online!

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One comment

  1. Living out my salvation AUTHENTICALLY… I think that’s what I’m MOST passionate about …along side raising my children (family life) . If I could I’d live on a compound with other “AUTHENTICS”…filling in where needed…encouraging, praying, worshiping, weeping, and celebrating together. But since that tends to lead to crazy …lol..not ever really gonna be a thing. Sooo..Marriages…I really want to help Families. I know , I know…. I. Can’t.Even….lol..but it’s such a HUGE need in the Christian community and everyone just asks like they don’t see it…but again …not a happening lol..I really gotta find some realistic options #IceCold

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