oh boy. it has been a while, hasn't it? it's not that i've been busy. things have been really slow at the wesley. i've been here every day, but most days i set my alarm for early and snooze for a few hours (not healthy, i know this) because there's nothing to do really during the summer. i get here and sit on facebook for quite a while, then paint things and do art projects, then eat a hot pocket and drink a dr. pepper and/or diet coke, then leave. not too productive. it's dangerous for someone to tell me i get to "create my own schedule." because i'll probably never do anything. so i woke up an hour earlier than usual today and got to work quite a bit earlier than i have been.
speaking of work. i took care of a very difficult and interesting man this weekend. four days in a row, same routine every time. make his bed (no wrinkles allowed), fill his water glass with 5 cubes, go on a 1.5 hour walk (one day was the hottest day of the year, no biggie) outside the nursing home and stop every 2-3 minutes to breathe, crack jokes that he doesn't think are funny, ask him questions that he doesn't really get excited about answering, feel silly, go inside, more cubes in the water, prepare a salad with 8 maraschino cherries and slices of fruit propped vertically against the bowl, put in tv dinner with oven 50 degrees hotter than the box dictates, let cool for 2 minutes, sit at table while he eats in front of the TV with for an hour headphones on, give him medicine during commercials, bring flag inside, close blinds, clean kitchen, leave.
two things about me:
i am not patient. and slow-moving productions irritate me more than almost anything.
i am not good at cooking. even/especially tv dinners.
okay, maybe three things.
i hunger for people to like me/approve of me. to walk in and have an old man tell me i've failed him is extremely alarming and discouraging.
especially because i love old people. and usually, they love me.
this has been refining. God was teaching me. he was teaching me to pray for joy and patience and to pray for this old man's heart to soften and for him to be able to show grace. he was preparing me to maybe one day cook for another man. even a tv dinner. and to clean up after myself and to clean up after someone else and do things the way they like it just because. to serve someone and love someone with nothing in return.
He was teaching me to grow up.
i thought i had it rough walking outside beside an old man who didn't like me when it was 98 degrees. then i remembered the 4-year-old bengalis working in battery recycling factories. and the christians in north korea who are imprisoned because they have Bibles. and the homeless guy right here in lubbock outside walmart who doesn't have a job and is diabetic and doesn't know Jesus and has to beg for food.
someone always has it worse. i am privileged. i deserve to suffer for eternity in hell, but that problem has been solved for me because of Jesus. i'm good. i'm going to Heaven, but not everyone else is.
He was teaching me to find joy in what my flesh declared a "trial." i think it was more of a blessing. i'm seeing this world is bigger than me. after i leave this old man's apartment and drive off to hang out with my friends, he's alone. those walks and tv dinners are his life. i have a whole separate life to invest in. but for him, that's it. i want to bring him joy in it even though i'm getting paid minimum wage and even though i feel like i can't do anything right. i want to show him Jesus.
the other day i got really overwhelmed. i realized this was my life and lubbock, tx isn't vacation for me. i was sick of being around people and burned out from trying to make friends and find people who love me. so i left work early to spend some time by myself and just drove around listening to Jesus music and talking to Him. that night i felt plagued by loneliness- even though i have tons of people here who love me and know me, i felt like there wasn't anyone who really knew my heart. i know I have that in Jesus, but i just long for a group of girls to invest in me and tell me truth and show me more of Him. i went to a park by myself and journaled as the sun set. then i drove around this neighborhood called tech terrace at dusk and looked at all the cute houses. i just was. it was so good. what i needed. the next night i went to a small group and met some awesome girls, which was another answer to prayer.
the other night i woke up to bass shaking my bed from the apartment below me. i waited for like 45 minutes, but it still didn't go away. so i called the police. whoops.
in other news, i think i'm going to read at a poetry reading at sugar browns (a real trendy coffee shop in lbk)in july. texas tech professors will be reading too. so i think it's a pretty legit deal. i always feel so funny reading my poems, but i guess that's the way it goes.
i am being provided for and thought for by the God of the universe, so i feel pretty good about things.
p.s. i really want a stray cat.
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