Everything was different when I returned to class in August of 2017. I began the history and doctrine sequence with Dr. Beckwith’s Patristics class. I started Greek with Dr. Todd and Pastoral Counseling with Dr. Bals. I wrote my spiritual biography for Dr. Gaston in Spiritual Formation as well. I continued to produce 4Memphis and commute to Tennessee each month. Janie taught preschool and piano. As is usually the case, we learned that we could live on less. The boys started public school in Trussville and settled into Christ the King thoroughly. Dr. McDermott, the Anglican chair at Beeson, had returned from sabbatical and made my commitment to Anglicanism official by enrolling in the certificate of Anglican studies program. I attended weekly morning prayer and Evensong services. I began the semester telling people that I had tried really hard not to become Anglican in response to the incessant denominational question that you hear daily at Beeson. By the end of the semester, I had acquiesced. I’m an Anglican. Janie and I officially joined the church and I attended the synod meeting in Atlanta for our diocese.
This post is the sixth of six posts about making our way to Birmingham, Alabama to attend Beeson Divinity School.
A job is work but work is not always a job. That is true for anyone who does something that requires discipline. Artists work, even if they aren’t paid. For my kids, playing is work. When you think about it, you only get paid for a fraction of the work you do. If you don’t count mowing lawns, I took my first job making pizza at fifteen. I sold fried chicken at sixteen. I rented movies at seventeen and eighteen. I sold CDs at nineteen and books at twenty-two. I taught Photoshop after art school and entered the cartoon world a few months later. From that point on, I’ve been an independent contractor.
At first, this didn’t mean much to me. I made a great deal of money working on the Jimmy Neutron film in Dallas, Texas, so filing self-employment taxes with H&R Block was a walk in the park. When I entered the magazine publishing world at twenty-six, I was still single and had minimal expenses. It was when I got married and started a family that self-employment became a bad idea. Janie quit her job and I went from supplying half of a two-person budget to providing for all of a three-person household. I didn’t do this by getting a better job. I did it by starting my own business. That means you work but have no job.