Saturday, October 23, 2010

Little bits of thankfulness

My job has proven to be even harder than I'd imagined it would be. I'm battling my anxiety more than ever, and thankfully God has given some sweet victory in that battle at times. But at other times, I'm pretty overcome by the amount of things to be accomplished, and the IMPORTANCE of these many things. So couple my perfectionism and desire to do all things well with the fact that these things MUST be done well or people in my care will suffer...and you have a Krista who has to beg the Lord daily for a calm, peaceful, trusting heart and the ability to do hard things.

Management was never in my plans, and yet here I am. But what GOT me here was a sincere desire to help people with disabilities, and I have to constantly call that to mind. When I'm pushing paperwork, disciplining staff, dealing with pharmacies, and attending meetings, it's easy to forget. But this week, when things were probably at their hardest (and an on-call weekend loomed in my future), God was so gracious in providing these short, amazing moments with the clients themselves. It was very much like He was saying, "I know THIS is hard, but you love THIS."

On Tuesday, I finished my grocery shopping for one of the houses and was exhausted. I came to the door of the house with my first load, and was greeted by one of the clients, with a HUGE smile, and the most excited little squeal ever. Granted, I think he was just as excited about the groceries as he was about my arrival, but he assured me that he was excited about both. All of the clients were super happy that day, and it was great to walk into a happy home and have a sense that I'm contributing to its happiness, even if it doesn't always feel that way. The smiles and the energy from all of the residents was contagious even to my weary, stressed-out soul.

I manage 2 different homes, and according to my schedule, my time is split evenly between the 2. One of these homes, though, has demanded much more of my attention in recent weeks, and I'd hardly been at the other home at all in about a week, with the exception of stopping by briefly. On Wednesday of this week, I was finally there in a mid-afternoon, following another stressful meeting that left me feeling like my plate was just too full. The clients came home from their day program, and one of the clients smiled a big smile when he arrived and saw me. He immediately signed, "I love you." He then made sure the staff with him knew that he loved me also, signing this several times and pointing to me. Then a big hug and another big smile. I really almost cried. He'd never told me this before, and he chose THIS day to tell me, when I so needed to hear that.

Yesterday, I was determined to get off early since I'd stayed til 10 pm the night before and have to be on-call all weekend. But my plans don't always work out - one of my guys neeeded to go to urgent care. I had one of our drivers drop him off w/a staff, but I needed to go pick him up and get to the pharmacy and get instructions to the staff for administering his antibiotic. So as to not leave the house with too many clients and not enough staff, I brought one of the guys with me for these errands. I was exhausted but strangely happy, and this guy was glad to get out of the house and sit shotgun. Some dance-type music was on the radio in the van when we got in, and we both started dancing along. I am NOT a dancer, and have said before that the only time I dance is with my clients. It was so freeing and fun and altogether fabulous, and again, the smile on that guy's face made my day.

Our small group is studying Colossians 3, and it's so full of mentions of thankfulness, thankful hearts. I praise God that I have an underlying thankfulness -for His gospel and His goodness, and even for this job - even on the hardest days, I'm thankful for it. And this week, God gave so many little gifts to help me with my thankfulness. He is GOOD.

Colossians 3:15-17 "And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."