Hello fellow fans of Allison Siburg!
My name is Grace Duddy, a friend of Allison’s and a fellow Master’s of Arts graduate from Luther Seminary. Like Allison, I am in the midst of figuring out how to live out my dreams after graduate school as well as how to be fully and authentically myself as I live into God’s call for me. This week we decided to blog swap! So Allison will be guest blogging on my blog Frugal-Community, a blog with tips on how to live a fun and frugal life on a graduate student’s budget, and I will be blogging here.
As I reflected on the tagline of Allison’s blog I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes by André Gide: “It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves – in finding themselves.” I have found in my 24 short years that I have learned the most about myself during new adventures. There have been two specific adventures that I believe have defined my life: 1) working at a bible camp and 2) working at the Center for Stewardship Leaders at Luther Seminary. I want to tell you a little bit more about the second.
I came to Luther Seminary in the fall of 2010 straight out of college where I studied math and religion. I was really struggling with how to combine these two very diverse passions of mine. I was looking for a part-time job that would help me build my resume as well as sort out these two passions. Through an interesting turn of events, I came across a job at the Center for Stewardship Leaders. At that point, I knew next to nothing about stewardship but I was intrigued. As I met with the then Director of the Center, Jerry, something struck a cord in me. He told me that stewardship was not just about giving money to the church but also about recognizing God’s abundance that we are entrusted with. I was fascinated by this emphasis on abundance as well as the way that stewardship integrated my passions for math and religion so I took the position. What at the time seemed like a trivial student job, was an adventure in God’s grace that changed my life and allowed me to realize God’s call for me. Over the past two years I have fallen in love with stewardship and the work of the Center. Everyday my work challenges me to remember that all that we have and all that we are belongs to God.
After graduation this May, I was hired as the Assistant Director of the Center for Stewardship Leaders. I have embarked on the second phase of my stewardship adventure. For the first time in my life, I am out of school, working full time and trying to live authentically in my new role. I was terrified of beginning this new position, I couldn’t imagine my life without school. But now, I can’t imagine my life being any different. Through this position, I am able to use my seminary education as well as my gifts and passions to serve the church and the world. I still struggle with how to integrate my passions for math and religion, how to find time for myself in the midst of a busy schedule, as well as how to assert myself without fear of judgment. The nice thing is, it is still an adventure. I am still learning about myself and finding myself anew every day. Thanks be to God that you lead us on new adventures changing our lives and teaching us how to be fully ourselves!
Grace Duddy holds a Master of Arts degree in Congregational Mission and Leadership from Luther Seminary. She is the Assistant Director of the Center for Stewardship Leaders and lives in the Twin Cities.