Right now, I do freelance copyediting and proofreading of ancient Near Eastern and biblical studies monographs. I also edited a couple of DMin dissertations and I did some stuff for Baker for the Cook/Holmstedt grammar. Those all bring in money to live on, but most of my time right now is tied up in the cabins, which gives us a place to live, but no cash. So, how do I describe that?
I do a lot of different things: maintenance, repairs, painting (although Max does most of that), lawn mowing, laundry, housekeeping, and on and on it goes. But, the one thing that none of these really mention is that I clean toilets. Somebody has to, you know! Hi, I'm James and I clean toilets for a living!
But, if the creator can become human and stoop to washing the feet of his betrayer and denier, surely I can clean toilets and not let it define who I am. That shouldn't define who I am anymore than, "Hi, I'm James and I just copyedited a Dead Sea Scrolls Hebrew Grammar." Which one sounds better to our ears? But neither of them should define us. In God's eyes, the toilet cleaning is just as important as the book I'm editing. Both are what he has called me to do right now. Both should be done with rejoicing and to his praise and glory.
But I still would rather say, "Hi, I'm James and I copyedit academic books...!" Although, the "Hi, I'm James and I clean toilets" does have a nice shock value to it...