Sunday, December 21, 2008

Frustrations and Conversations of Love

Life is busy around here lately.... and I'm exhausted. I'm beginning to think I have some sort of sleep disorder... 

We had a graduation on Friday of last week, Julie, who'd been in the program for awhile, made it to the end of Shelterwood. She was one of the ones I'd had the most difficulty with. It was more of a power struggle than anything. I think with her, I really learned that strength and calm in the moment were the best thing... and then after that, follow up was key. I wasn't that close to her, but learned a lot from her. It will be cool to see where she goes in life. 

We have two graduations tomorrow. In the morning, we have a high school graduation, where only one girl will graduate. But, sadly, not from Shelterwood. She is leaving the program after almost 2 years. Then, in the afternoon, a girl I spoke about earlier, "Jenny", will graduate from Shelterwood. Its really exciting to see how far she has come. Please keep her in your prayers that she comes to know the Lord. Hopefully that will happen soonish. 

I had this past weekend off, and like always, it went by so fast. It was good, but sad that its not longer. Our weekends are Friday at noon to Sunday at 8pm. My "job" in the house is house chores, assigning and checking, and giving consequences when necessary. I change chores on Sunday evenings. So, when I got back tonight, I was switching the chores, and since we're losing 3 people in one week, chores are tricky! I almost had to assign double chores to a girl, lets call her "Kim", and I told her that I was going to do that. The two chores that I was going to double up are both relatively easy: Breakfast, which is preparing/serving drinks and cleanup of tables, and snack, which is taking down the snack items at mealtime and before bed. "Kim" threw a huge fit, like was ANGRY at me for doing that. I felt disrespected, and told her so. She told me she was trying to not be disrespectful, and had to walk away. AH! I let her go, but let me tell you, my blood was boiling! "Kim" and I have had something similar to what Julie and I had, a power struggle of sorts. But, she does have some major things going on in her I think. It hurts sometimes to think that they take out their frustrations on me, but I'm really trying to not make it personal. That is something you can pray for me about. THEN, ha, and no, it doesn't stop there. THEN, had to have a talk with one of my little's about a "rumor" that I heard. When I confronted her, she denied it. That makes my heart so sad. So so so sad. THEN... I'm on night coverage right now, and one of the girls in the room where I'm got angry at me for giving her early bedtime for being out of bed. The rule is black and white, not grey all over. She continued being disrespectful, and I tried to be so calm! AH! Sometimes all I wanna do are yell dollar words and 3 work hour words! 

So all that frustration to say that I don't know what kind of spiritual warfare is happening in this house, or what kind of things are going on in these girls, but its exhausting! I think that three girls leaving has something to do with it. It makes me super sad though that taking it out on me is the only way they see out. 

OH! I have a praise! On Thursday night, I had an awesome conversation with the house president, one of the girls, and that shes sick of how the little's treat me with disrespect. It sort of feels good to have someone on the other side that has our backs, but its also weird. I really like this girl, and I hope to have a really awesome relationship with her. She was the informant of the rumor, and I know it was hard for her to be so honest, BUT I LOVED IT! I love that she came to me. I love that. AH! So good.  

So, I hope that you see that all that junk that happened tonight was worth it already because of the one really, really good conversation I had on Thursday. I'm not trying to complain, I guess what my blog is for me is a venting system. I need one of those!

Break starts Tuesday, only two girls will be staying for Christmas. It will be so nice to only have 2 girls! So sweet. I'm looking forward to down time. I have 6 days off after Christmas! YAY! I don't know what I'm doing yet, but hopefully I will know soon!

Things you can be praying for:
1. My confidence level in hard relationships, hard conversations, and giving consequences.
2. My stress and anxiety level, that it drops dramatically. 
3. The hard relationships and hard conversations, that I learn something from both, and that I can learn to work through them. 
4. My own attitude, towards the little's especially. Its hard sometimes to have a good one. 
5. Encouragement. I need some. 

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


My expectations are constantly being eclipsed by the realities of life at Shelterwood.... Its been intense the past week or so, and I keep forgetting that we cannot hold these kids to a standard that we could hold to any "normal" teenager. I think I'm learning to not have any expectations because things can change in an instant.

We had what felt like a surprise intake, but in reality, I think I found out about it right after I blogged last. We got two new girls in the same week ("Anna" and "Taylor")... talk about chaos. More like controlled chaos. The rest of the girls warmed to the new girls, but were also on their "best behavior" as they got to know them right away. "Anna" is sweet, but I'm actually waiting to see her bad side. She is still sad and upset about being here, as it was a surprise to her. "Taylor" is almost the opposite of Anna, she is sweet though, but is more outgoing and sassy. She also didn't know she was coming, but since she is familiar about Shelterwood, she is more relaxed about being here. Having "levels" in the house is a different feel and different setting because they are foot restricted, meaning they have to be within 5 feet of a big at all times. It can be trying at times being fully and constantly aware of someone, but its also good that its their responsibility to move when you do, and there are consequences if not. The first three weeks are the hardest for these kids, so I'm asking that you pray for Anna and Taylor, and all of us bigs, as we're in for a long few weeks.

Christmas is coming so fast! I cannot believe it! It seems like it was just last year when I was in Maui for my last Hawaiian Christmas. I wasn't working, and it was glorious. I guess it seems like it was just a few months ago because I haven't really done much since then... well, okay, I've done a lot, but it feels like I haven't done anything. HA. I really do work a lot, so that's funny. Anyways, I am going to be here for Christmas, which is fine by me, I don't have the money to go anywhere. The two new littles are going to be here for break, and possibly a few more kids. Breaks are fun because we really don't have any structure, and get to just hang out and do fun things with the kids. I'm looking forward to that time!

Prayer Requests this week:
1. A stress free week ahead, like I said, its been chaos.
2. Safety of all the girls.
3. Again, for financial provisions, I'm struggling a bit.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Post Break... and a New Dawn

Sadly, Thanksgiving break has come and gone (in about 6 hours). I was lucky enough to get to actually leave for the break... something I'm sure the Lord provided. And, actually, I was lucky enough to have a friend lend me her car so I could leave.

I went to Joplin, Missouri for 5 days. Its only about a 2 hour drive, something that I'm not really used to anymore! It was a fun drive down.... in the middle of Missouri. I met Cassidy this summer at Hume... again, totally the Lord, providing a friend for me who would live close... how great! I had Thanksgiving with Cassidy and her family, it was so fun. On Saturday, we all trekked up to St. Louis for the State Football game at the Rams' stadium! Cassidy's younger brother plays, so of course, we HAD to go. It was another fun road trip, about 4.5 hours, and I read the whole way. Their team won, so that was awesome to be a part of. The bonus, I got to take some fun pics of the arch, which was right by the stadium. I spent a lot of time with Cass and her friends and family, and it was great to experience life outside of Shelterwood for longer than 2.5 days!!

Things in our house are in constant chaos. I received some disheartening information recently, and its still killing me. Its such a hard thing to process and live with, and I'm hoping that things don't get any worse or go south.

We're getting another girl on Wednesday. This hasn't really happened yet, so it will be interesting. We had an intake a few months ago, but she was going to our Kansas City property and stayed only 3 days. I'm interested to see how the girls react to her, and what she is like. It will be an adjustment, but hopefully an easy one at that.

A few things you can pray for:
1. A peace of mind for our house, for all the bigs and house directors
2. Our new little "Anna", that she be welcomed
3. Financial provisions looking into the new year
Thanks for reading... its such an encouragement! Keep in touch!