Crazy Love

I finally finished this book. Ask me on any given day what I am currently reading, and I will answer with two or three titles--all of which I am genuinely currently reading. It usually works well, but sometimes I end up re-starting the book every time I pick it up because I cannot remember what previously happened. Such was the case with Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I recommend it. It was not life-changing, but it reinforced and brought to my mind several thoughts and ideas, mostly related to my last post.

At some point in the book, Francis Chan described a moment in his life when he felt totally prepared and pumped up to go serve the homeless people where he lived at the time. He got everything ready, and to my understanding, basically hopped in the car and was on his way when he realized he had no idea where to go. He had no idea where the homeless people were, and did not even know any poor or needy people he could help. As I read this part, I just thought wow, now that's something, and continued reading. He eventually made the point that he then realized his circle was too small...and so forth and so on.

Fast forward to the end of the book, where he tells stories of sacrifices that people have made. There were several incredible stories, but one stood out to me more than the rest. I read and reread this one story, cried about it (duh), and shared it with Ryan. From the book:

The Robynson Family
This family of five, with three kids under the age of ten, chooses to celebrate the birth of Christ in a unique way. On Christmas mornings, instead of focusing on the presents under the tree, they make pancakes, brew an urn of coffee, and head downtown. Once there, they load the coffee and food into the back of a red wagon. Then, with the eager help of their three-year-old, they pull the wagon around the mostly empty streets in search of homeless folks to offer a warm and filling breakfast on Christmas morning. All three of the Robynson kids look forward to this time of giving a little bit of tangible love to people who otherwise would have been cold and probably without breakfast.

The tears ensue. :) I immediately knew that I should do something similar, but I came to a startling thought: just like Francis Chan, I have no idea where to go. I do not know where to even find the obviously needy. I try to justify it by saying that "I would know where to find them in Little Rock, but since I'm new here..." blah blah, a bunch of bull. I have not seen a homeless person since I have moved to northwest Arkansas, and I doubt there is any shortage of them. (Did that last sentence sound weird to you? It did to me, too.) It's not even just about the homeless. I'm dumbfounded that I don't even know someone I can help. I know they are right under my nose, which makes it even worse. 

Nonetheless, I finished this book 3 weeks ago, and I still can't shake the magnitude of "giving up" a Christmas morning to serve someone else. It definitely puts a fresh perspective on Christmas. What would a homeless person think if a Christian took time away from opening presents to lovingly serve them a warm meal instead? 



My last post about work was unnecessarily negative. I considered editing or deleting it that night when I went to bed, but it embodied what I was truly feeling. I think, to a point, that I just needed to say it and get over it. Every day since then has been good. It is not my favorite, but it is good, and I will count my blessings. :)

Ryan and I went with our church to see Courageous last Thursday night. I am not big into movies, but I do like them more than I used to. The movie, company, and whole experience was fantastic. It's a crying movie, but I bet you anything in the world you'd never guess what part I cried over. It'll mean nothing to you if you haven't seen it, but I cried over Javier eating a tortilla for lunch one day on his way to work.


And I cried about it again later. I can't stop thinking about it. Ridiculous, right? I'm trying to make sense of it, but I am irrationally sensitive to situations like these. I cried one time at Wal-Mart because the custodian in the bathroom was so incredibly nice. I remember crying and crying at home, telling Ryan, "he is just so nice, and he is working so hard. I'm sure he doesn't get paid much and probably struggles to make ends meet...I don't know how people can do that; how can people live comfortably when..." It went on and on. You can't even imagine.

So, when we got in the car after the movie, I asked Ryan if he cried. "Not really, but I think I teared up a little" he said. When I told him that I cried over Javier eating a tortilla, he sweetly smiled and said, "I'm not one bit surprised." Ha!

I have this weird heart with a giant  soft spot for the hard-working but getting-nowhere person, and I don't know what to do with it.  That description is way too specific because it is so much more than that, but I think you get the idea. The overarching thought for me is that I have always looked forward to Ryan finishing pharmacy school and getting a job. I have always known and deeply felt that it would give me a sense of freedom to do what I want to do without having to worry about income. However, not everybody has that. Many people will work hard their whole lives and never make ends meet. I just don't get it. I don't think it's fair. I don't know what I can do about it. Just watch Courageous, and know that my heart is for the Javier's of this world.

At the end of the day, this is what I say to myself: how dare you complain. I actually have said that out loud to myself several times. The job I have this year has been a good source of discipline and humility, for sure! :)

I will post again in the next couple of days; there is so much more I want to say right now! I have been reading more than I have in a long time, and I am learning and re-learning many things... probably because I now have the time.

God is good. ALL things from Him are good, even when I'm too stubborn to admit it.


Don't Worry

Yesterday my pastor's message was about worrying. Nobody likes to worry, but we all seem to do it, just because. It is harmful, and also sinful. Ever thought about it like that? Easier said than done, so don't choose to be weak. I have to tell you what my pastor said (my paraphrased version, of course):

Worrying is an issue of obedience vs. disobedience. God commands us not to worry in the same way He commands us not to murder, or not to steal.  

It certainly is stated as a command in Matthew 6, so why do we ignore this command while upholding others? I had never thought of it that way. But DUH. There is no rationalizing that I should be worrying about something; it's disobedient to God. So now that you've read this and been taught what I have been taught, you're also held accountable. No excuses. It is sin.



I don't love my job.

My old job stressed me out, but I was guaranteed to laugh, cry, get angry, find joy, feel loved, and be despised all in one week. I loved it. Now, I don't do any of those things at my job. I simply come and go. I can perform my job duties while being brain-dead and distant. It requires nothing of me. Even when I'm teaching all day or part of a day, the same rules apply. It's the easiest thing I've ever done, and I don't love it.

It is boring and easy and dumb...

And I'm just ranting at this point.

I like the teachers, and I like the kids, but it doesn't even matter. The other day some people around me were talking about the X-Factor and Idol, but I just remained silent and acted like I had never heard of them. You, my readers, know I'm obsessed with singing competitions on television, so it was so out of character for me. I'm just not connected to this job in any manner.

It's quite strange. But I don't care. The reason I go is so I can leave. You know? But it's ok. :) I considered not writing about this, but it's my blog, and I don't care at this point.

In other news, I got to go to central Arkansas this weekend to see some friends and my old students at homecoming. I really enjoyed that! I'm also looking forward to this weekend; we are going to a local corn maze with my family. This was one of my favorite things to do in Little Rock, so I hope this one can compare!

Anyway, if you're of the prayin' type, send some my way--specifically that my days at this job will go by quickly and that I'll daily be reminded that it's only temporary. Most importantly, that I'll receive some direction as to what to do next year. I'll work at Taco Bell before doing this again. Not a joke... at least not tonight. :)

7 weeks down, 29 to go.