I get asked this question often. See, I knew I would be a teacher since elementary school. Writing on chalkboards was my JAM! My sister and I would play school ALL.THE.TIME. I probably made her more often than she liked, but I always loved to learn and then go home and teach it to my siblings.
In 2002, I graduated with my Bachelor of Behavioral Science from Hardin-Simmons University and received my teaching certificate. I taught 3rd grade for four years. At this time, I already had two kiddos and we were praying for child #3. So, we took a leap of faith and I decided to stay home with Conner who was 4 years old. On Memorial weekend, I found out we were expecting baby #3! For the next few years, I stayed home with Conner until he started Kindergarten, stayed home with Carson (baby #3) and was blessed with Cutter (baby#4). I was blessed with the opportunity to work from home during those five years as a medical transcriptionist. LOVED.MY.JOB.
In 2009, my Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. Over the next year a half, I was able to help take care of him, take him to doctor appointments, chemo, medical procedures, etc. Dad lost his battle to cancer in December 2010. I am forever grateful in God's timing of having me working from home and blessed with the flexibility of my schedule to care for Dad and have that extra time with him.
In 2011, with changes to the medical care industry, my job was no longer able to be done from home. I had two kids in school and two babies 2 yrs old and 4 yrs old at home with me. Mark and I prayed about the next step and God opened the door for me to teach at a private school. The school started with preschool for 2 year olds so this was perfect because Carson and Cutter were on the same campus with me.
As much as I loved teaching again, the schedule became more difficult for me as a Mom. It was hard to balance teaching with my older kids' schedules of sports games, field trips, and events. And if you have ever taught, you understand that you cannot just take off an hour to run a kid to the dentist or leave an hour early to attend a child's basketball game. Our four kids have an age span of 11 years so Alyssa, our oldest, was beginning high school varsity sports where they played out of town during the week. It was impossible to make these games. Mark and I knew that these years would fly by and we wanted to cherish every moment watching her play her passion. So, again, we began to pray about other doors God might open.
One of my very best and dearest friends, Shawna, is a Realtor. When my Dad passed away, I was executrix of his estate and needed to sell his home. Dad had passed away at his home and I was the one who found him. Therefore, it was extremely emotional for me to go back inside. My two brothers were a God send and did a great job of quickly getting the home empty and ready to sell. Of course, I called my friend. Shawna did everything to help me. She went ABOVE and BEYOND meeting carpet people at the house, cleaning lady, etc. She knew I couldn't emotionally handle going back to the house so she took care of EVERYTHING. Y'all I can't begin to tell you HOW GRATEFUL I am to this day for Shawna Abernathy! She blessed me greatly during such a difficult time.
So as Mark and I began to pray about opportunities, I began to ask Shawna questions about being a Realtor. I wanted to know the good, the bad, the ugly. As I learned more, I began to see how God had used Shawna to bless me but I realized Shawna didn't go above and beyond because I was her friend. She went above and beyond because that is who she is! I have always loved looking at homes (we built our home in 2008 and loved every moment of it!) and I love people, and I am a nerd who loves paperwork so it all made sense! Teaching is an extremely rewarding occupation where you are able to serve. You are blessed SO MUCH by your students and their families and I pray I was a blessing to them as well. It was very important to me that if I was going to work outside the home, I wanted it to be my ministry. I wanted a way I could still serve others. As we prayed through, Mark and I both agreed God was opening the door into real estate.
I have been a Realtor now for six years and am so GRATEFUL for each client and family God has given me to serve. It is a pleasure to help buyers whether purchasing their first home, a new home for a growing family, downsizing once retiring, finding investment properties, or relocating to the Abilene area. It is an honor to serve sellers as it is emotional to leave a house you have made a home. I am especially honored when I can help a family sell a home for an estate or aging parent. I know the emotions behind those decisions and I pray God uses me to ease some of that stress.
This is my story. The journey that brought me to be a Realtor. I am blessed every day to do something I am passionate about and absolutely LOVE!