I get paid to read! (And how you’ll grow from these stories too)

CarolDuerskenTreePurposeEven as an adult, Carol loves reading in a tree.

By Carol Duerksen, Editor of Purpose magazine for MennoMedia

As I child, I loved to read. I read everywhere. At the supper table, until my parents told me to “put the book away”. In the car. In a tree, sitting on a board, leaning against a strong branch. I loved to read, but I never dreamed that someday I might get paid to read. That I might actually have a career … reading!

But I do! And I have a Purpose in life that is so rewarding, inspirational, and spiritually uplifting.

For example, this year, as part of my life’s Purpose and just in time for New Year’s resolutions, I read an article by 89-year-old author Katie Funk Wiebe on what she would have done differently in her life journey. As someone who is celebrating 60 years of life this year, I just wanted to soak up Katie’s wisdom and carry it with me.

Then, quite recently, I read stories from young adults Travis Duerksen, about volunteering at a homeless shelter, and from Esther Harder, about working in a library. They confessed to not always having the heart of Christ in those settings. They realized their opportunities to see Jesus in everyone. And I gained insights for my Purpose in life.

Being an animal lover, when I read the story of Angel the beagle who “decided to take a walkabout” and was gone for 18 days, my heart ached. I cried with the family when she “climbed the creek bank and fell exhausted into my son’s arms.” And because God’s spirit spoke through the storyteller Jennifer Stultz, I learned more about my life’s Purpose.

Editing this powerful little Anabaptist magazine called Purpose has blessed me beyond measure. I get to read stories, poems, and reflections on our monthly themes. I get to laugh and cry, smile and celebrate the God-moments in people’s lives before those stories are shared with the readers of Purpose. I get to witness writers sharing faith stories that span the generations and communicate inspirational lessons to readers of all ages.

How lucky can a woman be?

No. It’s not called luck in the Kingdom of God. It’s called “Thanks be to God.”

MennoBytesBlogPostBuilding 020Thanks be to God, there are at least 5400 other people who have a Purpose in their life too. And there’s room for more. There’s room on the subscription list for more readers who want to read for the sheer joy of it, and for insights and inspiration.

There’s room for writers and stories too. If you have a story to tell, or would like a writing assignment, let’s talk.

In the meantime, it’s spring. We have a tree house for children that visit our farm, but today it’s calling my name.Time for a good read.


Let us know if you’d like a free sample of Purpose, for yourself or several to share! Several online articles available here.

Purpose is a monthly inspirational magazine with moving and informational stories, poems, regular columns and a guide to the newest resources from MennoMedia and the broader church. You can subscribe as a church, group, or individual. Check out how to do it, or call for current prices, around $23 or $25 a year depending on whether you can order bulk subscriptions of five or more.

DuerksenCarolCarol Duerksen, Editor

For a beautiful true story about an amazing donkey from Carol’s own farm read by Carol, listen to a special edition of the former Shaping Families Christmas radio program here. (You can read a transcript or listen to podcast.)