A Perfect Moment in an Imperfect Life

Once in awhile, my life lines up in such a way, I can’t help but wonder what is going on. Don’t get me wrong. The Lord often answers my prayers, but to say there isn’t a regular amount of begging, well….That just wouldn’t be true.

Ever since Chef and I broke up, I’ve found myself without 3 things that really made a huge impact on my life:

  1. A legal, reliable car
  2. An income that could pay all the bills and still leave a little for us to be able to eat
  3. A safe, clean home

All these things I had when Chef and I were together, but soon after the break-up, my car broke down, I never made the right amount of money, and because of these things, I had to live in subpar housing.

When I first moved to Austin 2 years ago, my friend Exodus helped me get into a nice apartment. I’ll forever owe her a debt of gratitude because this was a huge step towards me feeling safe and independent.

Next up was the car. My Dad, Rebekkah and I tried finding a car in my budget by going to auctions.

Ok. Go ahead and laugh. Get it all out. 🙂

Dad has had some incredible luck with this method for years….I do not have my father’s luck. I ended up with two vehicles that couldn’t be inspected, one with every problem imaginable and the other one with a transmission problem. Finally, my Dad and my Aunt Cindy decided enough was enough and they went out and found me a clean, beautiful, reliable car. When  they were doing this, I refused to be involved because I wanted to just trust the Lord. He knew what I needed better than me, and seriously…I couldn’t pick out a good car if my life depended on it. What they brought me exceeded anything I could have asked for! I love the color gray on a car…mine is gray. I love stick shifts…mine has a stick shift. I love good gas mileage… mine has excellent gas mileage. It had only had one owner, and every receipt for anything ever done to it was in a white envelope handed to me, including a Car Fax. I genuinely could not have asked for a more pleasing car. Best of all, I own it outright.

Over my time here, I took some questionable jobs. Being a single woman supporting myself, I didn’t have the luxury of time. I had to have a paycheck. So, I took positions I knew I’d never be happy with and tried to force myself to be satisfied. They were largely based more on how much they paid, and because of my car situation, where they were located.

Turns out, I’m not designed that way. I can’t play politics, I can’t be impressed with wealth or titles, and I’m not able to stay somewhere that oppresses people who work for them. I ended up working for less than honest, dysfunctional families. One place tried holding my paycheck hostage until I would agree to let them shave some of the hours off. Another place was so cheap, we were required to buy our own office supplies. It was madness. But hey. I needed a job.

Over the last few weeks, I found myself getting more and more irritated at work. I get being frugal. I don’t get being cheap. The owners were getting rid of key positions and then dumping the work on those of us who remained, telling us they weren’t going to be replacing these people. This included the receptionist, and for those of you who don’t work in an office setting, this is a KEY position. These people answer phones, greet visitors and applicants, and are the first face of a company. They are important, and they are often under-appreciated and under-recognized. When we lost ours, the COO decided she could do her work and that of the receptionist’s as well. What a disaster! It wasn’t working because the HR department had to cover the desk when she had meetings (every day), took a vacation (2 days), or had to do her own work (every day). When HR had to sit at the front desk, it meant their own work was suffering.

I don’t like my own work to suffer.

Despite not agreeing with almost any management method they employed, I was trying hard to “play the game”. I spoke in length to Exodus about how angry and discontent I was becoming, and she gave me some good strategies to try to disarm the level of discord I was feeling. It worked for a little while, but it seemed the more amiable I was, the more management felt they could demand unreasonable things from me. I won’t go into the extremely boring specifics, but needless to say, last week, I’d finally had enough. I had been applying for other jobs, but this time, I was careful. I turned 2 positions down that looked like they would just be different versions of the same thing, and then Monday, I went to one that was different.

What should have been a 30 minute interview lasted 2 hours. Scriptures were written on the walls, and philosophies about how we should treat the poor of this world were discussed in length. I decided to be more honest in my interview because I didn’t want to give the wrong impression of what kind of employee I am. I’m not one to be happy with just taking home a paycheck. I need my work to mean something, and I love helping the poor. I’m a results-oriented person, and the more you try to micromanage me, the less you will be happy with the results. They got excited as we talked, even at these kinds of explanations and honesty, and that in turn, really made me excited about the kind of work I do. It was amazing, frankly.  The company was stable, the pay was more, and it was located by my house. I was walking on air.

By the time I got to work Monday, I had a job offer. I turned in my notice, and wiped the dust of this latest mistake off of my feet. I’ve spent these last few days in a bubble of joy. It’s so rare for things to be so perfect, at least in my life. I’m enjoying this.

Over the years, I write a lot of complaints and misery on this blog. Life seems to hand us more crap than not, but this time, I wanted to say, God did come through in a huge way for me this year. He fixed all of my major problems, almost all at once, and I’m speechless at His grace and His mercy. I’m not so naive to think all my problems will disappear from here on out, but I can say, I have an intense trust in Him, and a true feeling of being loved.

I just wanted to say Thank You to the Lord. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.

I hope you all feel that same trust and love today, no matter where you are or what you are doing. 🙂 God is truly good.

~Bird

 

Embracing Your Curse

Rich people who see a brother or sister in need, yet close their hearts against them, cannot claim that they love God.
(1 John 3:17)

It seems such a non-issue to me when it comes to helping out a fellow human being in need, yet daily, I’m faced with the fact that true justice seems to be disappearing. There is no justice or mercy left in our justice systems, in our government, or in our privately owned business sector. There are assumptions that justice is for sale, and the person who has the money gets to decide what is right and what is wrong. I have a very hard time with this. Just because you can buy a favorable decision in court does not mean you should have been able to. True justice is blind, and she can’t be bought off.

I guess I expected that this world was not going to get better, but I am surprised how the heads seem so disconnected from the bodies now, in every form of leadership. I have worked for the rich, fat, lazy, and entitled, and I’m finding a true sense of disbelief in myself that this could truly be going on. I’ve watched the rich steal money from the poor; I’ve seen the entitled scream at people asking for what they have already earned. I’ve watched people use their positions, authority, and titles to strip away what someone with very little had. I’ve had to listen to rants about how important people with so much money think themselves to be, and I find myself biting my tongue constantly. What good will it do for me to throw pearls before people who are so clearly swine, no matter what lipstick they are wearing or what kind of car they drove themselves late to work in that morning? None. People so clearly disconnected can’t see how they look to those of us still plugged in.

Compassion and empathy are fast being lost in this culture of ours, and we seem to no longer find shame in worshiping wealth. Some who call themselves followers of God insist He is blessing them with this wealth, and it is clear in their words that they believe themselves to be favored by Him just a little more than the poor. Your money doesn’t hide your ignorance.

The supposed devout turn the poor away, insisting that should they help, they would only be setting up the “poor soul” to learn how to live off the system ad not become independent and self-reliant, like a good citizen should be. Like they are.

Seasoned Christians spew nonsense about “giving the poor a fishing pole instead of a fish”, and think that this gives the excuse they need when God will ask them, “What did you do for Me?”

God is the one judge you won’t be able to buy off. 

I don’t like this era, and I don’t like what we are becoming. I don’t like the selective memories of those who lead people,  struggling and working underneath their authority in order to add to their coffers. I don’t like that when you ask for justice from someone in authority, justice goes to the highest bidder. I don’t like so-called Christians who abuse, steal from, or despise those who don’t have what they have. But most of all, I can’t stand people that say they follow God, and point to their wealth as some sort of proof He approves of them just a bit more than the rest of us. It says the opposite to me. God never seemed all that impressed with the achievements of man.

I can’t change any of this. This is so rampant, repugnant, and all-encompassing, and it smacks you in the face wherever you go, no matter what you may be doing. I can only ask God to keep my eyes clear, and to let me see this sort of thing for what it is…. a dying world whose days are numbered.

  • If you have power, and you don’t help someone who has nothing, your power is not a blessing from God, but is instead, a curse.
  • If you have money, but you don’t help someone who needs it, your money is not a reward from God, but is instead, a curse.
  • If you have authority, but you let yourself be swayed by money, then your authority is not a gift from God, but it instead, a curse.
  • If you call yourself a child of God, but you treat other people less fortunate than yourself, with arrogance, deceit, and without kindness, compassion, or gentleness, you are not a child of God at all, and you are the curse.

The days are coming when the children of God will be tested, and if you are already failing this very basic, and simple test, you are screwed. You won’t be ready to stand against antichrists, or refuse marks of beasts, and your money won’t help you at all.

~Cathie

Learn to do right. See that justice is done — help those who are oppressed, give orphans their rights, and defend widows.
(Isaiah 1:17)

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has chosen me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind; to set free the oppressed and announce that the time has come when the Lord will save his people.”
(Luke 4:18-19)

Don’t take advantage of the poor just because you can; don’t take advantage of those who stand helpless in court. The Lord will argue their case for them and threaten the life of anyone who threatens theirs.
(Proverbs 22:22-23)