Friday, March 29, 2013

My last day

It feels slightly unreal.

No, strike that, it doesn't feel real at all.

It feels like nothing has happened.

Today was my last day of work.

Technically I am now under employed.

I have a job working 2 days a week throwing newspapers. A job that the girls will be able to ride around in the car while we do this. It pays 2/3rds of what we need to survive. I haven't figured out the other 1/3rd yet. I'm hoping someone will finally answer my craigslist ad accepting my offer of childcare.

On Monday morning, I will not wake up and hustle us out the door by 7am.
That part hasn't sunk in yet. I'll be home, healthy, the kids healthy, and yet we won't be at work/daycare.

I had expected today to feel ... like something. But instead, it went like normal. Lots of work, a last minute hire, and wiping down my desk.
Nothing major happened. Until the last hour.

In the last hour an employee that had recently been terminated from his position came in to pick up his final check. He was in a hurry to catch the bus, but he wanted to schedule a time to talk to me. I had to tell him that was my last day so if he didn't talk to me now... So he glanced anxiously at his watch and then said "Let's talk now".

He came to my desk and explained what had happened the day he was terminated and then he told me the rest of his story. He's ready to give up. His wife has cancer in her lymph nodes. She's 31, has already had a least one surgery in Jan and they've already found it's returned and will  be doing another surgery. He's about to be evicted from his home, he's behind on his bills. He's ready to give up. He even admitted he'd taken pills... to no avail.

For the last 30 minutes of my day, I was able to tell someone point blank "You need Jesus."
Not just witness... but point blank. No beating around the bush. No suggesting that church might be a good thing. Not politely saying I'd pray. I was able to actually say "You do need help. You  need help. The only thing that will help is Jesus. You need Jesus. Your wife needs you to have Jesus. Your kids need you to have Jesus. You need Jesus."

And I just happened to have my Bible still at my desk, and I gave it to him. I'm praying he actually reads it. And doesn't just ... well.. treat it like most church-goers do.

And you know what I realized? Witnessing to sinners is downright wonderful. It's so... beyond amazing. I'm so used to talking to church-goers that are sure they are ok, and offended if you suggest otherwise. Talking to someone who knows actually knows they aren't ok - that's such an incredible feeling.

I need to find me some sinners.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A life that actually happens.

I posted something on my Facebook, and I wanted to convey in my "share" that this wasn't just a story, but an actual human being that had existed. But when I read my words later I realized how much they meant to me.

"This life actually happened."

I know a lot of people that have lives that aren't happening.

They have dreams they aren't following, plans they aren't making, goals they aren't fulfilling and, most of all, talents they aren't using. Their life, as God intended it - just isn't happening.

Her name was Irena Sendler.
She saw something bad happening.
She felt she had to do something.
And then she did something rare:
She actually did something. (click link to see full story)
...But in 1942, the Nazis herded hundreds of thousands of Jews into a 16-block area that came to be known as the Warsaw Ghetto. The Ghetto was sealed and the Jewish families ended up behind its walls, only to await certain death. Irena Sendler was so appalled by the conditions that she joined Zegota, the Council for Aid to Jews, organized by the Polish underground resistance movement, as one of its first recruits and directed the efforts to rescue Jewish children.

To be able to enter the Ghetto legally, Irena managed to be issued a pass from Warsaws Epidemic Control Department and she visited the Ghetto daily, reestablished contacts and brought food, medicines and clothing. But 5,000 people were dying a month from starvation and disease in the Ghetto, and she decided to help the Jewish children to get out. For Irena Sendler, a young mother herself, persuading parents to part with their children was in itself a horrendous task. Finding families willing to shelter the children, and thereby willing to risk their life if the Nazis ever found out, was also not easy.

Irena Sendler, who wore a star armband as a sign of her solidarity to Jews, began smuggling children out in an ambulance. She recruited at least one person from each of the ten centers of the Social Welfare Department.
With their help, she issued hundreds of false documents with forged signatures. Irena Sendler successfully smuggled almost 2,500 Jewish children to safety and gave them temporary new identities.

Some children were taken out in gunnysacks or body bags. Some were buried inside loads of goods. A mechanic took a baby out in his toolbox. Some kids were carried out in potato sacks, others were placed in coffins, some entered a church in the Ghetto which had two entrances. One entrance opened into the Ghetto, the other opened into the Aryan side of Warsaw. They entered the church as Jews and exited as Christians. "`Can you guarantee they will live?'" Irena later recalled the distraught parents asking. But she could only guarantee they would die if they stayed. "In my dreams," she said, "I still hear the cries when they left their parents."

The Snopes article was pretty fantastic too.
There is also a book on her work: Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project by Jack Mayer

I'm not saying we ought to do something terrifying and dangerous and in rebellion to the government. I'm saying that if you have something you're supposed to be doing - stop being afraid and go do it.
Be willing to risk failure, foolishness, laughter, mocking, and being wrong.

In a letter, read on her behalf during a ceremony celebrating her efforts, Irena wrote: Every child saved with my help is the justification of my existence on this Earth, and not a title to glory.

"Justification of my existence on this Earth."

We tend to be under the impression that we're here to live our desires out. Make money, get married, be superficially happy, buy a cheeseburger, go see a movie. Then die.

That's what happens when you take God out of the equation.

Instead, if we put God back into the equation we can realize this:

You have a purpose.
There is a reason YOU are here.
YOU. The person you are with the gifts, and talents, and tendencies towards science, or medicine, or computers, or baking, or cleaning.
The Creator of all things knew that YOU were a piece of the puzzle that He wanted put together for a beautiful picture of His creation that brings HIM so much glory.
He knew that YOU would find fulfillment in following Him and chasing the fullness of His built-in dreams.

It's easy to esteem things; to think of them so highly and celebrate their worth. But, far better would be to live those things. Live. Go to God and live.
Why do I say "Go to God and live?"
Becuase you won't find that 'goal fulfillment' in following your goals your way. When you go to God He moves you in places you wouldn't expect, He delays you when you think you should go, He adds details you don't think fit, and He speeds things up that you think should take a long time.

In other words - He doesn't do it your way. He does it better.

I had plans for my life, I loved kids so I was going to foster. I was going to foster and foster and foster until I was one of those ladies that had fostered 117 kids and had a thousand and one stories.
And God moved me to San Antonio.
And God handed me Precious.
And God moved me to Colorado.
And God handed me New Kid.
And God.... I don't know what's next for us, but I know that if I keep listening and waiting - that my world will simply continue to be something that amazes me.
If I'd done it my way?????  I get stressed just trying to imagine it.

Go to God.
Live your life His way.
Be amazed.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What's your dream job?

The other day at work, I asked my co-worker what his dream job is. His out of the blue response? I would like to live in Washington (state) and take people out for tours on my fishing boat.

It stopped me in my tracks for a moment because for the life of me, he didn't strike me as the "Skipper" kinda guy. But the more I think about it, the more I can absolutely picture it. White shorts, sunglasses, uber blond, and a warm gray day with him climbing into his boat. I can absolutely see it.

So I asked him: "What's stopping you?

He has savings, already has a boat, debt free, and single.

Fear of failure.

That was it. Openly admitted it.

"I could crash and burn and lose all my money"

I reminded him, that he could also be happy. He wholeheartedly agreed to that.
But still is scared to chase his dream job.

Seeing as I just turned in my 2 weeks notice to the professional world and am praying God will provide while I attempt to raise my daughters full time..... I'm becoming a bit of an experiment for him. Right now, all he sees is that I've quit my job, and am a little crazy with  happy right now.

Sitting in your cube, your desk, your construction site, your school is important. But what's more important is to be where you were created to be. God designed us with a purpose in mind and once you find yours it's time to go do it. That's where you'll find happiness and peace - even if you don't find fame and fortune.

But as I wandered over to Amazon to order him a captains hat so I can give it to him as a goodbye present on my last day - I started to wonder about others:
What job do you have, and what is your dream job?

The Tuesday after quitting

I've been busy. I've advertised a ton for childcare, baking cakes, and a laundry service. I wouldn't have thought of the laundry service except the lady who sold me my car had used it for her laundry service. So I just added it to the list of "What can I do?"

So tonight, I'm finishing up two cakes - I quickly got an order for a chocolate cake and a pineapple upside down cake. No one else has contacted me though so I'm not sure how ultimately profitable/busy this will be. Unless my customer really raves about it.

This morning I met with Zak. He handles the newspaper delivery for this district. I now have a two day route that goes out early mornings and I can take the kids with me. I'm praying that Human Services doesn't balk at this. It's going to cover a major chunk of my monthly $$ goal. I start on Easter Sunday. Sundays and Wednesdays.

This afternoon I got a call from a grandmother calling for her daughter. They're switching daycares and are interested in talking to me. She's the first one that I've talked to that I really thought would be a good fit. I'm  praying.

I love my daughters. One of the things that was running through my mind recently was the sermon of the talents. Right now, I feel that if Christ returned and looked at the two gifts He's handed me that He'd see the original two talents. And I'm hoping that these changes will multiply to my daughters so that I will be found a good steward bringing back to him 5 and 10 talents where He gives me 1. He gives the increase, but this is a field I pray I'm given a chance to labor in.

I don't have a clue what I'm doing.
But I feel really joyful.

And that pineapple upside down cake smells really good.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Saving money and making changes

Day 2 of "I can't believe I quit my job".

  • I spent tonight doing more math and being a little less frugal in my estimates so I wouldn't find myself surprised at the end of the month that I should have budgeted a bit more for the electric bill.
  • I checked out a 2 day a week paper delivery job that, after gas, would almost cover half of my monthly money needs. I was only able to leave a message.
  • I had a couple of emails about the "services offered" for childcare but nothing that will turn into anything I think. If I were available next week I could have had a kiddo for one week... but I am working out my 2 weeks of notice. If I bomb and this whole thing wasn't a God-thing and just a Jeanette-was-sooooo-stupid-thing, I want to leave my job with bridges that have flowers, shade, and fresh pavement. . . in other words as far in the direction of not burned as I can get.
  • I also looked at one thing that truly makes me shudder. I've cut so many costs there's not much left to cut but one large expense I have each month is diapers. So, *gulp* I'm looking into cloth.

This isn't going to turn into a mommy blog I assure you. It's a Jesus blog. This blog is titled "This Walk" for a reason. This just happens to be what I'm doing to try my best to be obedient to what I believe God is asking of me.  I truly, truly believe God has asked me to raise my girls primarily. That the raising of the girls has to come first. Currently we leave the house at 7:15am, I drop them at daycare at 7:45am, pick them up at 5:15 and we get home at 6pm. Such is the life for many kids and moms, but the last month I've felt a strong urging that God wants something different for me and the girls.

So... while I'm not a mommy blogger, I do have mommy specific questions. If you know of any cloth diapers that you've had that worked just wonderfully I'd appreciate your suggestions.

Have you ever used cloth diapers? If so, what kind?
How many did you purchase to have on hand?
Seriously... how hard and nasty was it?
Did you ever have an explosion?


Thursday, March 14, 2013

I quit my job today... what did you do?

Seriously... yeah. I quit my job.

To update you on my life right now, I am a single female, mom to 2 yr old Precious and future mom to 8 month old New Kid (she is with me as a kinship placement and I hope to have her adopted at the end of this year or early next).
The State is pretty strict about the fact that I can't become homeless or destitute before they let me adopt kids.

Didn't stop me though... I quit my job today.

And better still? I don't plan on getting another one.

I'm going to sit at home, advertise that I'm happy to watch kids in my home, and be a stay at home mom.
That's the plan until I go broke, or God sends me kids to watch.

I feel confident that I am supposed to do this. For some reason though, I'm absolutely shaking in my boots that it won't work out. I should have more faith than that by now right?
*** Deep breath ***

That done, I'm going to at least chronicle this craziness on my blog. I will open the blog to the public once again and maybe I'll become a famous "I can't believe she survived that" blogger. Or.. perhaps a "Whoa, did you read the blog about that lady that totally bombed!!!" blogger.

So to any readers that may have done anything similar - I'd love to hear your stories. Did you find a way to work from home? Did you quit your job to chase self-employment? Feel free to comment!