With this post, I want to take a moment to thank the many subscribers I have that watch for regular announcements of my work. Your support has been amazing and helped me grow my writing business. I couldn’t do what I do without you, and I hope you will continue to follow this journey.
That said, I went quiet without explanation about August 2022. I want to apologize to all my fans for that abrupt pause, and I want to explain what happened here now.
When I started blogging, it was a side thing to help my students. In 2021, however, I left teaching to pursue other opportunities including building a full time writing business. I loved being able to travel freely and write all over the place. It was liberating to finally have control of my own time. But to be successful, I had to cut expenses, think outside the box, market myself like crazy, take on jobs outside my passion, and hope it all worked out. I was scared a lot but also building faith in God to be my provider.
I struggled financially a couple of times and by July, I cried out to God to help me because I didn’t see a way forward anymore. I was stressed and tired of trying to talk people into the value of my work. I’ve never liked sales, so the marketing side of my work was sucking the fun out of my writing passion. I was also growing anxious and living in a lot of fear. It wasn’t healthy for me.
Family suggested that I get back into teaching. I did not want to teach at all, but I went looking to appease them. I found a couple open positions in a nearby school and started applying. I got halfway through the process and talked myself out of it.
Then one day one of my writing commissions asked me to take a bus ride with the district’s superintendent. Not only was he a nice guy, but everywhere we went seemed happy to see him. That impressed me. One of the schools we visited happened to also be the one where I left a partial application.
I went into that school and met the teachers and administrators as a reporter. The next day, they called me in for an interview and offered me the job. Thereafter, I found out that the job wasn’t supposed to be listed and my application wasn’t supposed to be in a pool to interview because it was incomplete. The job came to me when it wasn’t supposed to be mine at all. I took that as God moving and orchestrating things in my life.
My New Chapter
I accepted the teaching job with great joy. I had a lot of support from my colleagues and comfort in the subjects I had to teach because I was already familiar with the material.
What I was not prepared for was the students. Teaching teens really is a lot different than adults. For one, they are not there by choice, so you are fighting uphill against apathy for their attention. The other thing is they are driven by their emotions. Teenagers love, hate, and fight before they even think twice about consequences. In my first semester of teaching them, I had more lockdowns than in all eight years of teaching adults.
Where I am now has been scary, but it is rewarding when even one kid feels safe enough to come to me with his problems and talk them out. Making a difference in their life will be a legacy of change I can be proud of. Teaching teens has started a new chapter in my life.
I’ve decided to stay the course with teaching, and that means I also have to become a student again to get my teaching license. Every age group has qualifications required to teach it, and I never pursued qualifications to teach kids before. Now I will have to in order to keep my job.
I haven’t stopped the writing business, but it has slowed down to give me room to focus on this new chapter.
The Good News
Expect to see new content on here starting on Mondays at noon this month!
As much as possible, I am building new content for you now. I didn’t have time amidst my other writing jobs and teaching, but I am working on all that now.
I hope you enjoy the new stories. Thank you again for reading.
In 1946, Frank Capra told a story about how the life of one ordinary man in one typical small town made a difference that impacted the world. This story went on to become an icon of the holiday season and a movie many of us watch every year, but this year became the year I lived it.
For eight and a half years, I taught proudly at Wayne Community College. It was a job I had prayed for and thanked God for daily. Then Covid-19 happened, and we all shifted to working remotely. I worked primarily from home but went into my office occasionally. When I did, everything had changed. Fellowship was truncated. Everyone kept masked in their separate offices and rarely socialized anymore. Covid-19 stole the heart of our connection to each other. That impacted me more than I realized.
I thought the grass was greener in other departments, but I had no opportunity to move there. Then I thought the grass was greener outside the pasture, and I left Wayne Community College.
It was a golden opportunity that promised to pay me double what I made teaching and let me stay home all day building curriculum. Within three months, I was putting down money on land and finally building my house. Before the land was fully in my name and the contractor was hired, I was fired.
Closed Doors = Opportunities
I didn’t see it coming, and I was in shock. Then I got angry. God and I had a few choice words as I walked my property and realized I couldn’t move forward with the dream and everything I had longed for was on hold once more.
I felt so foolish. If I had known it would end like this, I would have never left Wayne Community College. Sitting in a field full of weeds looking like I’d lost my mind, I cried out to God for answers.
God didn’t answer me in that moment or even the next ten, but He did answer. First of all, He showed me that the cost of building during Covid was so high that I would have been upended if I started the house build when I wanted to. It was better to let the ground rest for now.
Secondly, He showed me that He had to let me go through all that to pull me out of my comfort zone and into my calling as a writer. As a teacher, I didn’t make time for writing. I thought I would just wait till I retired. God said, “nope, I need you now.”
The Difference One Life Can Make
What proceeded to happen was a series of open doors that only could have happened by God’s hand. I walked into small businesses, corporate offices, and local government and found favor to tell stories about all sorts of people and places. The blog grew to an international readership in over 30 countries with over 10,000 views. That gave me a platform to talk about social issues and advocate for change on a national and global level. All of a sudden, this little ordinary girl in a little ordinary town was making a big world difference.
Doing the right thing doesn’t always pay you back monetarily. In fact, this year closes out on the lowest bottom-line in my bank. But what God and I have built together this year on faith is something I couldn’t have imagined with thousands of dollars and plenty of job security.
What God Saw That I Couldn’t
In the Fall, parents across the country were enraged with Covid-19 restrictions hurting learning for their kids, LGBTQ agendas forced into education, and Critical Race Theory being taught in school. Even at the college level now, curricula are being rewritten to divide people over issues of race and sexuality. As I watched the news unfold, God spoke to me:
I was contacted by a K-12 school in Minnesota. The administrator and I had met in a small group online, and she had been reading my work at The Bohemian Princess Journal. She called and asked me to write her school’s entire curriculum.
With 75 committed families on the line, it just got serious. God started putting people in my path to partner with me in the vision. All of a sudden, I knew what to do and who to pull in to help make the best curricula possible for them. The biggest project of 2022 will be creating this curriculum.
Simultaneously over the summer and fall, I was busy networking with small businesses, local government, and non-profit organizations. God opened doors for me to walk into places I never thought I would go, and He gave me favor with important people when I went there. Out of those meetings came paying writing gigs and networking connections that would build into 2022 and beyond. From those opportunities came bigger opportunities to help my town and community in tangible ways including partnerships with Wayne Community College to bring classes into the community. That’s when God revealed another truth.
This year didn’t start out to be anything I thought it would be and, like George Bailey, I had some dark moments where I didn’t want to be part of it anymore. But God saw me and all the talents I was hiding and called me out of hiding forevermore. Rebecca J. Whitman Writing Services and The Bohemian Princess Journal are here to stay. I can truly say, now, that it is a wonderful life in Mount Olive.
I am not sure about God’s timing, but this year has taught me to discern God’s voice and follow it no matter what it tells me to do because there is always a reason for it. God has sent me on some crazy adventures this year and shown His hand in more ways than I can count. Here are some of the adventures slated for 2022:
Build a non-denominational Christian curricula for K-12 instruction that is also applicable to Adult Education
Launch The Bohemian Princess Journal into weekly podcasts on Mondays.
Streamline the content and change the look of the website; make blog posts follow a theme and post once a week on Fridays.
Work with non-profits, churches, and small businesses to write promotional materials and branch into social media marketing.
Please pray for the success of these adventures and consider donating to keep the work going.
May you be blessed and may God shake your own foundations and send you on new adventures in 2022.
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed…
It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself.
All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
As I travel–and connect locally–I meet a lot of interesting people with stories to tell. They are independent business owners, artists, crafters, teachers, stamp collectors, etc. Some are single. Sone have been married for years. Then I ask, “what’s been the one secret to your success?” Most of the answers come back to this one phrase: follow your heart.
Follow your heart.
That means follow the gut feeling you have on the issue and trust it.
There is some science to this idea too. When we educate ourselves about anything, part of the process of learning involves thinking about how we think. This is called metacognition. We think through patterns; Metacognition is recognizing those patterns and learning to trust them.
There is some spiritual truth to this idea as well. If you are a Christian, and you are following what the Bible teaches, you have the Holy Spirit inside you to help you make decisions that follow God’s will for your life. Your desires and wants can still get in the way, but “following your heart” for a Christian should actually follow the spirit of God.
Regardless of how you approach this issue, we all need to become more self-aware and take responsibility for our decisions. Learn to be true to yourself and “follow your heart” into the good future God has for you.