podcast

sleon productions Podcast #34: Nancy E. Head, Author

Nancy E. Head attends the non-denominational First Church of Christ. Nancy is a lifelong resident of Blair County in central Pennsylvania, dwelling for most of her years in Altoona―with a brief interval in Logan Township. She is a graduate of Penn State and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She teaches Advanced Placement English at Great Commission Schools and composition classes at Penn State Altoona. Nancy is a United States Armed Forces Mother and a member of the Blair County Republican Committee and Toastmasters. Nancy worked in both radio and print journalism before becoming a high school and college-level teacher. She blogs about Church and social issues twice weekly, and CBN.com has published several of her devotionals. Her experiences as a single mother raising five young children showed her how poverty alleviation is an issue for the church and an issue requiring a Church in accord.

Book: Restoring the Shattered: Illustrating Christ’s Love Through the Church in One Accord

https://amzn.to/3bRiCwh

Transcript

Santiago Leon
Hello, hello. And this is the sling on productions Podcast, where we interview entrepreneurs, authors and changemakers history makers that go out and influence other people and other people’s lives. Today we have a guest, a author, the book, we’re starting the shattered, illustrating Christ’s love to the church in one accord. And see he had she is a author, Nancy, welcome to the Selena productions podcast.

Nancy E. Head
Thank you so much for having me. Appreciate it.

Santiago Leon
Nancy Kito audience a little bit about yourself.

Nancy E. Head
Well, I am the mother of five children. And during most of the years they were growing up I was by myself. And they’ve now grown up and married I have 10 grandchildren and As we speak, I am awaiting the second great grandchild. So I spent 11 years as a single mother. And during that time, friends encouraged me through some very lean days. And I went back to school, got a degree at Penn State, found a job in radio, which was very enlightening and interesting. And this is the kind of job that really raises your passions, news, radio for, for doing local news, I hadn’t really been interested in local before. But, you know, showing the example of my kids to find a job and work and support ourselves and become independent financially. And we did that through a lot of encouragement and help that people in the community gave us people in our church. And that really is made a difference. So I really want to bring this message that communities can lift people up out of poverty

Santiago Leon
and keep those your journey of how you got this book out.

Nancy E. Head
Well, the book came about, because I realized that so many Christians misunderstand other Christians. And we have these oftentimes distortions, sometimes authentic disagreements. But even in the authentic disagreements, there’s a lot of misunderstanding about why we disagree. And I look around my city and I see 36 pastors who meet at 6:30am every Sunday and praying for each other, not necessarily checking doctrine at the door, helping each other out encouraging each other and praying for our city. I see the difference that’s happening with ministries move into the low income town, the low income neighborhoods. There’s a food pantry across town next door cap Like church, there’s a shoe ministry next to the within and Methodist Church, and at my church non denominational, we collect peanut butter and march for the food pantry. We collect shoes in July or August for the shoe ministry that gives shoes to low income kids 18 years old and younger, they get a free pair of shoes and two free pairs of socks twice a year. And just trying to invite the community to come around these ministries to they’re making a difference for people really helping each other inviting individuals to find someone in their neighborhood, in their town, somehow connected, you know, through their church, perhaps encouraging that person to lift that person up helping that person find financial independence, and then encouraging that person to become someone who lives other people up.

Santiago Leon
One thing that I really really liked about your book that you talked about being independent From being dependent on other people, can you tell us a little bit about that?

Nancy E. Head
Well, there were times when people were dropping boxes of food off on our doorstep. a knock on the front door and there’s a Christmas card with a check in it to help out with our Christmases. A Sunday school class filled up a laundry basket with a turkey and all the fixings for Thanksgiving dinner. But she can’t stand still in life. And you can’t just show that to your children year after year that we just actually sit around and wait for somebody to knock on the door and give us stuff. So I, my father encouraged me to go back to college. And I met a you know, it’s funny how God orchestrates things. Right, right around the same time there was a girl going to my church, single mother, two children, and she was already enrolled in classes. And I went over to her house and we were talking and I thought, Oh, this is exciting. And I could really do it too. And at the time, I was a part time bank teller. So I was earning some of my own money, we were relying on child support.

Nancy E. Head
But as I watch those days and unfold, and it was, you know, partly people giving me fish, and you know, the old adage of if you give a person a fish they eat today, and if you teach them how to fish they can eat for a lifetime. And it’s partly people giving us fish and partly people showing us how to fish and the encouragement of, you know, hey, hang in there. This has to be hard working, having a house and kids and, and taking on a full full schedule, a full credit load. And my last semester, I had 18 credits, and I was commuting an hour each way every day. So it That was a tough semester, but I know I only had to do it once. When I got out. I didn’t you know, of course I didn’t exactly have a job waiting for me. It was a couple months until I got a job and that’s when it really got tough. You know, what did you think people think you’re done and so all over and like, Yeah, but I still need to get a job. And it got very difficult then. And there was this miraculous thing where you know, we’re starting to use up the store, the peanut butter is gone, the hot dogs are gone when you’re single mother, peanut butter used to be cheap. That’s why we collect peanut butter for the food bank now because it’s not cheap anymore. It’s still good source of protein. It’s so a source of a good source of food. So, you know, we’re really running, I was running out of teabags, we’re running out of sugar to put in the tea, all kinds of just paring down to the basics. And it’s really getting low, and I open my Bible one day, and there’s the this passage from Habakkuk. And I’m not even sure if I just opened it by chance or if I was reading a devotional with the third chapter of Habakkuk contains these verses that say something Like, when the stalls are empty, when there’s no fruit on the vine, when there’s no crop in the field, we I will rejoice in the Lord. And I thought, okay, the stalls are empty and there’s no crop in the field and we don’t have anything and I will you know, I said, I rejoice anyway Lord, and kind of went about my day not expecting anything exciting to happen. And the next day when I got the mail, there were two envelopes from Penn State where I had just recently received my degree, and one was 1300 dollars leftover from my student loan account. I had just gotten this check for 1300 dollars and I had by this point in time established wonderful relationships with several creditors first name basis. And I was able to satisfy to a certain degree every every creditor took kids out to the grocery store, and everybody got to pick something they wanted your favorites Do your favorite candy something. So that got us through there was in the other envelope contained to check for $50, which was actually slightly disappointing after the first one. But that was my deposit on my my application from four years earlier, which of course, I’d completely forgotten that they had intended to give me that $50 usually, usually don’t get money back from the University at the end. So, so that was very encouraging it. Shortly thereafter, we had a support hearing. And we established monthly support and I got a job that was part time that eventually turned into full time and we began to find our feet financially. When we began to not wait for somebody put a box of food on the front porch anymore. And eventually you get to the point in life where you’re wondering if there’s somebody you need to put a box of food on their front porch or you know, get them a grocery gift card or something that you know, that might my children will call us up every so often say, Mom, I heard about this. You have given a gift card And you know, so that they can help somebody and they of course contribute to but it’s, it’s just wonderful to watch this heart growing in somebody who knows what it’s like to sort through the box of food on the front porch. And, and then to figure out how to be able to give that to other people. And that’s the idea of just not just not standing still in life. One of my favorite stories to tell is the story of the guy who wants the food pantry. He’s a retired Marine, Lieutenant Colonel, you imagine the type and all the veterans out there going, Oh, I know who that is. I know that kind of person. Well, he’s just a great big teddy bear inside with a heart of gold for the needy. And he runs this food pantry. And he told me this story. I love this story because it’s a picture of exactly what I’m talking about. There was a young woman who comes to the food pantry with three young children. She is still a teenager. Now, out there. Everybody’s making stereotypical assumptions. Same assumption I made. She keeps having the same. No, she was married. She was married to the father of the children. They were still teenagers. He couldn’t find full time work because he didn’t have his GED. So my friend, the retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel encourages him, Hey, you know, the GED program. But what are the chances this guy didn’t know that existed? He needed someone to encourage him to pursue this. And he did. And he passed the test. And he got his GED. And then the marine Colonel calls up the employers and said, Hey, I know you’ve employed this guy part time. You know, he has his GED, you pass the test. He did everything he needed to do. Those people don’t come to the food pantry anymore. They just needed not the fish for the day, but the fish for the rest of their hairs how to fish they are fishing. themselves today. And that’s what you look for when you’re doing a ministry like this. Yes, you want to feed these people today, when you when you go in there to this food pantry, if you go in with a child, you walk out with a whole lot of stuff for that child because he has such a heart for children. But that’s, that’s the idea is to get it to the point where these people don’t have to come here anymore. And where they can be part of the community lifting up other people around them. And another little story there. A couple of examples of this in the book. But I took one of my children with me to the bank where I was an employee, and not at that branch though. So I walk in the door. I have one of my children with me, it’s the middle of the day because of the schedule was part time. And it’s the summertime because the kids weren’t in school. Like when I asked for my food stamps, and the teller behind the counter had been very good morning, how may I help you As soon as I said food stamps, Mm hmm. I got nasty looks and glares and and curtness and I was getting ready to say something like, do you realize I am a fellow bank employee? Do you realize that I have not chosen this situation for myself. But I looked down at my son and I realized he’s not paying attention to her. He doesn’t see how she’s treating us. And if I call her attention to it, I will call his attention to it. There was another example of this that happened with one of my other sons. When I gave him food stamps one day he had been assigned to bring some sort of chips or something to the school party the next day. So I sent this for the very first time he was allowed. All his older brothers and sisters had done this before. He wanted his chance to go into the store, just like grown ups to pick out what he wanted to buy, and go check out all by himself. And I allowed him to do that while I sat in the car, looking through the glass with the watchful Eagle Eye on my baby. Watching him do this, and he just enjoyed the daylights out of it. I could tell when he got to the counter, and he presented his food stamps. I saw that same look in the eye on the clerk. And again, wanted to go inside and say, Hey, not his fault, by the way he needs this isn’t junk food that we’re going to go home and watch rented movies or something. We’re, this is for school tomorrow. He was assigned this. So he sadly the teacher did not assign him fresh vegetables of which you might approve of him buying with food stamps, but again, my son didn’t notice. He’s so thrilled with his newfound independence and majority of being away Go into the grocery store. I didn’t call it to his attention. But that is when it occurred to me that people using food stamps and on on assistance of sorts, they get this look all the time. And when you’re on there for a while, you’re going to look up, you’re going to see that and you’re going to think to yourself, maybe I’m not worthy. And then maybe you stay there you stand still, maybe you don’t become independent, because you’ve seen that look in somebody’s eye looking at you one too many times. So that I think is is simply put, if you’re put on the other side of the counter, then you have to watch how you’re looking at people. If you’ve been on that the front side of the counter, you know what that is already. So when we look down on people who are in need, we haven’t walked a mile in their shoes. I think that’s why a lot of homeless people say homeless veteran and Maybe they it’s very likely that they are but I wonder if some of them aren’t. But they get more help and more assistance just by saying, Hey, I’m a veteran. It was we actually understand it and heard those stories. And we know what some of those guys at least in our heads, perhaps not, but through our own experiences, we understand what they’ve gone through. And we, of course, feel gratitude. But you know, anybody out on the street, you don’t know what they’ve been through. In just a few you know, missing a few paychecks for us would put all of us on the street. I have to rely on

Santiago Leon
you when I first heard you and this other podcasts it I mean, I always had a independent spirit, always believe you got to go out there and go to the next level as much as you can. And for you, it just reinforced what I believed, you know, it feels like I was like the only guy that believed that around my hair. Yeah. Um, in your book, you talk a lot about marriage and kids A little bit about that portion of the book.

Nancy E. Head
Well, that was a, you know, there I was with five children. My baby was seven months old, my oldest had just turned 10 when we found ourselves alone, and three years later, because I wasn’t willing to rush into divorce, I had, honestly, practically speaking, no way to benefit from pursuing that at the time. And I wanted to see if the family could get back together for the sake of the children even though you’re not supposed to talk about that so much anymore. That my husband chose to divorce me and remarry. And the 11 years I spent by myself, I spent at the time it wasn’t a really big thing in churches to have the single the single parents Sunday school class. I was sat in the married couples class for years. Because I was married once I got divorced, I felt like I didn’t have a home. And it was a beautiful thing that happened that there was a college and career class. Well, I’m 30 now and everybody in that class is 20 or fish at least. Now I don’t really think I fit they heard that even though you may want I went back to college I still don’t fit there. And this one friend of mine kept inviting me please just come back to the Mary class. It’s okay, we still love you Please come back. And finally I did. And that really was worth what have you. These people had children, the ages of my children. And there’s there was still a lot in common even though I was a single person. Shortly thereafter, they started the single parent, divorced persons Sunday school class. And I felt that I had a greater advantage though because Sometimes I spent my share of time doing this to that single people will sit around and talk about how their lives would be better if they were married, or how nasty their ex husband is. Or, you know, here’s the latest thing that happened to me. And you do need some of that. How let me share my burden with you, you do need that. But my two best friends were both married. And the beauty of that was that, you know, one of my friends, my, I call them my best friends, which I understand. Typically that means one person but I have two. So one of them was dealing with her husband’s chronic illness. And that made her life not very easy, made it very difficult. She became the primary breadwinner for quite a period of time. And, for example, when the state of pencils she was a state employee when the state of Pennsylvania does not pass their budget by June 30. You don’t get paid. In one year, it was six weeks that they went with no paycheck. So just because I was a single mother didn’t mean that my Life was harder than anybody else’s. The other woman who’s my best friend, her husband was police officer. And she watched him put on his capital R every day and go out and work between 8pm and 4am. and deal with the worst of the things that were happening. And believe me the worst of the things that were happening in our city at the time. So I do remember also making my wedding dress as I’m approaching remarriage. And I put my dress together and I went over to this friend’s house and I asked her to pin to pin my hem for me, because I knew that she would know how to do it correctly, that it would look right. But I arrived on the evening that she and her husband were having conflict. And as she’s sitting there with pins in her mouth, she’s saying, Are you sure you’re really want to do this again. So I’ve actually thought of that a few times in the ensuing years of her, warning me so to speak, because there’s that tendency is this single person in a difficult situation to say, here’s my way out. And it’s really your way into a new set of circumstances that might be just as hard, just as challenging, more challenging in some ways. So, you know, you especially when you’re I was alone for 11 years, I used to being alone, I got used to making decisions that I didn’t have to ask somebody permission or we’d have to sit down and, and work this out with you know, we have an extra hundred dollars, what are we going to do with it? I’m just like, No, I just decided before. So there was a big adjustment in that. And I think having had married friends as opposed to simply surrounding myself with single people really helped me to see that you know what, life’s hard the whole way around, and expecting something to come like a magic wand and make everything all better. is probably not realistic. And so when you’re in that difficulty, then later on, you can say yeah, and that watching them stick through one of them. My friend whose husband was chronically ill, they’ve been married 45 years. So watching people stick it out like that. And for better for worse, in sickness and in health, and for richer, for poorer, because everybody’s times go up and down. That really makes a difference. And that’s something that that we need to be showing our children. Whether in I liked that my kids had these places to go and play with other friends where they were seeing a mom and a dad together. So not not everybody gets to see that. And I think that’s, that’s crucial that that you put your kids in a position where they get to see other people interacting that way and you know, working the thing out in the kitchen with what are we going to do today or how are we going to do that? How do we handle the situation. And if you spend enough time in somebody else’s house, you’re going to see that kind of situation and you’re going to say, wow, these, these people have something that’s not happening at my house. But Hmm, there’s, here’s a situation that that becomes reality to them. It’s not just something they see on TV, that that appears to just be fantasy.

Santiago Leon
If you had to give general advice to 20 year old, and also to a 30 year old. Well, what would you tell them?

Nancy E. Head
Wow. So the 20 year old, that’s kind of interesting, because that person’s either in college or getting training or in the workforce already. And I remember when we went to Asia, on a trip with a team members that there was a young man there, who asked me he was there, working as a teacher. We were teaching English as a second language. He wasn’t a career teacher. He was there because he felt he was supposed to be God had been leading him to this, knowing it was not his career path. And he came with his girlfriend. And he asked me at one point, how do I know she’s the one? And I said, Oh, that’s pretty. That’s an easy question for me to answer. wait two years, is it in two years you either have already broken up, or you’ll know you can’t live without her. And the last time I saw them on social media, they were they’re happily married parents have two little children and seem to be doing very well. 30 year old, that’s kind of interesting. And because they’re we’re dealing perhaps with someone who’s finished going out into the career, perhaps married or contemplating it, perhaps has already has children or contemplating that. So that’s, that’s an interesting place to be and I would, you know, always, of course, tell people to follow God’s leading and in His provision, I would ask, you know, what was really nice For me with was the one friend of mine, The Dressmaker with the pins in her mouth telling me to be sure I knew what I was doing. She, one of her, her kids were a little bit ahead of my kids. And she had navigated some of the school programs, and some of the ways to do things. And she shared this with me and then go find that person who’s a step ahead of you. Just a step ahead of you, whether it’s raising children, whether it’s already being married, whether it’s in your career path, find that person just a step ahead of you, because they’ll either know how to do it right? Or they’ll know what to avoid to do it wrong. And you know, somebody was asking me about being you know, in that middle age years, you know, what would my advice be is find somebody who’s already in it. If your nest is about to become empty, go find somebody nest who is MP and ask them how they dealt with it. You know, and, and always, I think it’s also crucial to maintain a varied kind of community where you you’re inviting the single person in if you’re a group of married people, sometimes people feel threatened by that. I remember having a conversation once where I thought some of the men were being rude and I said, you guys make me glad I’m not alone. Ever You make me glad I am alone. And just that sense of seeing the reality of how people are sometimes and but being part of the group and not as a threatening member, either just to have the, the unmarried person in your group to have the married person in your group, if you’re unmarried. To have the person that’s just a little bit different from you are or as I said earlier, a little bit ahead of you, perhaps somebody a few steps behind you in life, that that so you can receive mentoring, but you can give out mentoring, you can receive discipleship and you can give out display worship and a mentor is kind of a practical sort of, you know, here’s how, here’s how to do something you haven’t ever done before. Here’s how to use Skype. So, use one of those today. But here’s here’s how to do the thing you’re not familiar with. And then somebody, somebody you can say to, hey, here’s how I can help you do the thing you haven’t done yet either. So somebody that can give to you, somebody you can give to I think that’s, that’s a great rule for life, no matter what age you are.

Santiago Leon
Are you ready for some random questions? Sure. What would you tell your 15 year old self?

Nancy E. Head
Oh, my God, don’t be so stupid. I’ll be so stupid that and it’s funny because I have I have grandchildren a 14 year old almost. She’s She’s a little precocious. So we kind of bump her up sometimes a few months, but to 13 year old granddaughters and every so often I want to take them aside and say look, do you know what you’re getting yourself into To hair. Here’s the way boys think at this age, I tell these girls and so my 15 year old self I would say, Take it slowly. Don’t rush. Be wise. It don’t we always feel like that sometimes when you get through gotten through a season of life, you said, Boy, if I had that to do over again, I would have done. Yeah, so, though that that would be a long conversation me with my 15 year old self was the worst pet to have,

Nancy E. Head
I would think a snail although a snail can be necessary if you have a fish tank because the snail will clean the fish tank. The best pet of course, is a dog. A cat is close behind. I had a cat once that I believed not believing really in reincarnation. But honestly, this cat had been a dog in a different in a previous life and had done something dreadfully wrong. Because typically you don’t find a Siamese cat with the personality of a dog but

Nancy E. Head
yes, that is the cat that we had

Santiago Leon
was snail us now? Yeah. What’s something that cannot be bought or sold on the internet?

Nancy E. Head
can’t be bought or sold on the internet. Gee, well, perhaps true love. Although I suppose there’s somebody out there who’s founded on me on the internet. But be careful on the internet. It’s a dangerous place to be.

Santiago Leon
Yeah, it can’t be you got to be careful. You got a you know, do your background checks.

Nancy E. Head
Oh, that was another benefit. By the way. When I started to date my husband, my friend, who’s married to the police officer, her husband offered to do an NCIC, check for me. Make friends with Police Officers Wives, and then you can check people out for real

Santiago Leon
serious ways. Oh, yeah, there’s a benefit to be a friend with a cop. He tells about your book and where’s the best place to buy it?

Nancy E. Head
Okay, restoring the shattered illustrating Christ’s love through the church in one accord available on Amazon available Through if you go to my blog, Nancy had calm down at the bottom of every blog post, there’s a link that takes you to the Barnes and Noble page. And we’re on Barnes and noble.com

Santiago Leon
as well. A website address is Nancy ahead calm and

Nancy E. Head
see. Nancy had is my husband would say that’s like the one on your neck. Everybody always wants you to spell your last name.

Santiago Leon
And what is the best way to reach you online?

Nancy E. Head
Um, you can contact me through my website, or you can contact me at Nancy head@yahoo.com. There you have it. And if I’m on, I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, all of it.

Santiago Leon
Yes, I’ve added her on all the platforms. She’s really accessible if you have any questions, and if you want to know more about the book, you could look at our show notes. There’s an Amazon link that could take you directly. I highly encourage you guys to purchase it. Well Nancy, I really appreciate you coming on to this Leon productions. Bye Cast

Nancy E. Head
and I thank you so much for having me. Appreciate your time.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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