Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I Laugh In The Face Of Fear ... Then I Usually Run Screaming

Well, I didn't make it to the Rescue Mission Monday night for orientation so I‘m signed up for next Monday. I started my new ... and second ... job this week. Bob arrived home two days ago right at five to find me sitting at the kitchen table crying like a little baby. That's right, just like an orphaned calf, a stuck pig, a trapped goose, a wounded goat…. you get the idea. Both my jobs are work from home and require equipment that WORKS! My brand-new headset decided not to work Monday. The trainers could hear me but I could not hear one word they said. Well, that is not totally true, either, I could hear about every tenth or twelfth word when I wasn't listening to what sounded like a wind tunnel. After nine hours of this including all the tech trips, I was a blubbering idiot, literally.

I got to thinking about why something like that would send me over the edge. The answer was really easy to find. First, I am under more stress than usual right now which is saying a lot since my life seems to be fueled by stress normally. I like to think of it as the gas that makes me run. Second, I am an extremely competitive over-achiever. I can never be happy to just succeed. I have to be the top of the heap. How stupid is that? Yeah, I know! Anyway, the last two days have been great and I am back to breathing ... and writing.

So, last night I went back to The Refuge to hang out. Everyone that lives there is young. Twenties and thirties young. Some single, some married, some with little babies and small children. Even though I was definitely the old gal in the group, I felt very welcomed and invited. We had a relaxed dinner together and shared some of the most wonderful conversations. To hear the vision these people have for their community is simply awe inspiring. Two of my daughters went with me, Miranda age 11 and Belen age 25. I have a strong suspicion Belen will be moving into The Refuge sometime in the near future. I am okay with that. The thought that my daughter would choose a life of sacrificial living over an easier life is very humbling. In fact, it makes me weepy. When Bel first mentioned the idea to Bob and I, we were not for it…at all! As parents, we want to protect. Bel doesn’t need our protection anymore. Someone greater has her back. I know this is true and I can relax. Remind me of that periodically, please!

Tim, the crazy young man that started The Refuge, shared some great hopes for the city with me last night. One of them is to have a vegetable garden that draws the homeless into community with others. Well, it just so happens that I am a veggie gardening, farm living, home canning, farm girl from way back when. It also just so happens that I had already talked to some others about possibly doing that very thing at The Refuge. When Tim showed me the gardening boxes that were already built and waiting, I knew I was in the right place! So a spring project is on the calendar. I can hardly wait. Just picture it. A garden inside the chain link fence that is surrounded by hookers and drug dealers. Do you have any idea how something so simple and yet so crazy can change a community and the lives in it? It can. No, really, it can. Just watch.

When it was time to go, the girls and I did a quick loop through the area looking for Nikki. I think I might have seen her under the bridge however it was dark and there were a bunch of men over there also. I’m crazy not stupid so we just kept heading for home. That, and I know Bob reads this and would have killed me if I had stopped. Not that I would have. I had my girls with me. Not that I would have if I was alone. Thinking about it doesn’t mean I would actually do it. Relax already! You’re stressing me out!

Anyway, I am going to head back down there on Saturday just to hang out and see if I can find Nikki. I want to have lunch with her if she is willing. She’s scared. That’s ok. So am I.


Amarja said...

I can totaly imagine you in the gardens in spring with the hookers and drugsdealers.. Mmhh.. I heard somebody else did that also!? Was it Jesus doing the same thing? Hanging out with the lonely and the hurt ones? God bless you Marla! Love from Amsterdam!

PS My prayers are with you and Nikki

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

I WILL watch. I want to see what happens with this. You're very inspiring!


Parsley said...

Okay for some reason, if I put myself in the rough neighborhood, I see myself acting like Ferris Bueler's sister when she thought Mr. Rooney was a murderer who broke into her house. She screamed while she hit him and ran for her life. If you've never seen the show that makes NO sense. Sorry about that.

Two Shades of Pink said...

First of all, I just love reading your posts. It's like you are on my couch chatting with me.
The image of a garden with street life is just too beautiful for words. It is like a metaphor for New Life. Just beautiful. And Marla. Your beautiful comment on my blog almost made me cry. It was the most perfect thing to say and if I could hug you I would. And I laughed too. About the bigger boogers. Which is making me laugh now because someone reading this comment may get very confused. Much love right back to you!

MindyBB said...

OM- sister Thelma- Marla...I am getting the overachiever thing beat out of me whether I like it or not... Why are we like that? insight plz! I am the best at EVERYTHING and I know it- just wish everybody else would get the memo already, LOL! It's all Lain's fault he fuels that fire and knows it ;-) I love reading about the refuge can't wait to read more and hopefully will be visiting soon? Farmboy is fishing w/ his Pap Paw so maybe when he gets back? Love you dearly!

Boomer Pie said...

It's still a long time til spring so stay safe. And listen to Bob...occasionally.

Nancy C said...

No accident, these coincidences.

Oklahoma Granny said...

This whole saga is a multitude of God things all rolled into one.

Blessings to you!

Auntie Cake said...

Sounds like you are really in the place that God wants you to be. I can bet that you already have that veggie garden planted, mentally. Know just where each little seeds are going to be planted.

Bummer about the equipment, hope tomorrow is a better day for that.

So exciting about your daughter possibly moving to the Refuge. My oldest daughter went on a 2 month mission trip this summer, it was hard to give her up, but what a wonderful and life changing experience for her. And you will be close by, I can just tell!

Sarah said...

yes, i believe it will change the neighborhood. i've read stuff like that in the news. you sound a little stressed out though. get a massage from bob or something.

honeypiehorse said...

How stressful! I admire how you define yourself through your outreach to others but with two jobs it sounds like you might need to take back some time and energy for yourself.

Sonya said...

The gardens are going to be beautiful! If you ever want some dutch seeds, let me know:) might be fun to grow something from all over the world.

Im just so amazed and proud of you for everything you are doing. It' so easy to turn your head and ignore everything you see..but you are running straight in,asking what you can do to help.

I cant wait to hear what happens next!

Rae said...

Sounds stressful and a bit overwhelming. You are amazing. I don't know how you manage to do it all.

Tater Tot Mom said...

The gardens sound amazing! Can't wait to hear more about them!

Matty said...

Sounds like you are the Type A person. Nothing wrong with that. I hope you can get a handle on two new jobs. That's a tough balancing act. An old canner, eh? My grandmother used to do that too.

Joanna Jenkins said...

You have a great way with words and are a wonderful storyteller. I'll be holding good thoughts for you an Nikki.

Be careful out there.

Mama Zen said...

The garden is a fabulous idea!

Pearl said...

You're incredible. Do you know that?

Totally impressed,


The Duck Herder said...

yay! go the gardens! go the fruit trees and veggies and flowers!!!!!!

what a lovely idea. Just go and do what you love to do - grow stuff!

Every opportunity to great beauty and abundance is a wonderful thing.

angie said...

I love the vegetable garden idea and that you are so willing to help with it!

Anonymous said...

Breathe in slowly, and exhale even more slowly....or maybe I have it backwards?? Anyway, I hope you become "less competitive" because I would hate to lose a contest to you of some sort...I don't like losing!

Blasé said...

"anonymous" was ME. Not sure what happened with that one??

Brian Miller said...

lots of cool stuff here. love the ideas. will defintely be back.

Unknown Mami said...

A vegetable garden sounds wonderful. People change when they help things grow.

ModernMom said...

Oh what a hard day! It is so frustrating when technology doesn't co-operate.
Your garden sounds like it will be a gift to the entire community:)

gayle said...

Wow!! I so admire you!!

Blasé said...

ps- thanks for the emphasis on my last post.

" Blog"

I thought I made my intention clear..oh well!

Marla said...

Amarja ~ Love and miss you. I believe I also know someone in Amsterdam that hangs with the down and out, correct? :-)

NGIP ~ You are too kind. No, seriously, ask anyone that knows me.

Parsley ~ I have seen the movie and you made me laugh. Come with me. I want to see that.

Two Shades ~ A booger always knows another booger. :-)

Mindy ~ You are asking ME for insight? Have you lost your mind??

Boomer ~ Bob said he likes you!

Nancy ~ Agreed! I don't believe in coincidence.

Ok Granny ~ Oh, it's a saga alrighty. :-)

Kate ~ You know me so well!

Sarah ~ I think I will go with the "or something". Did I just say that outloud?

honeypiehorse ~ I hope I am not defining myself through outreach. You are right however, I have never been good at "me time".

Sonya ~ Dutch seeds!?!?!? That would be awesome!!

Rae ~ It is. I'm not. Who knows.

TTM ~ I think it will be a lot of fun if nothing else.

Matty ~ I told you I have to get an A in everything. Canning is a blast. Wnat some applesauce this summer? :-)

JJ ~ Thank you so much!!

MZ ~ Wanna come plant a tomato or two?

Pearl ~ I'm really not. I really do. Really, don't be. You, on the other hand, are snort-face funny!

Duck Herder ~ There is something so healing about working the ground, right?

Angie ~ It's easy to do something you love.

Blasé ~ Lose my edge? Unlikely. Wanna race? I love beating boys.

I was talking about YOUR post. Did I not make that clear in my last comment to you. I'm so confused!

Brian ~ Thanks and welcome!

Mami ~ I so agree!

MM ~ I am definately NOT a techno babe.

gayle ~ Thanks but the ones that I really admire are the ones living down there. They are walking the walk daily.

UberGrumpy said...

Phew. You are one tough lady. Best of luck

Amy said...

I knew you would come around about Bel...I can't believe I was patient enough to wait for it to happen without opening my big mouth....can you??? :) I love you!

DeLinda said...

Miss Marla,
Your words and conviction continue to amaze me, and the 'irony' and 'metaphore' of a garden being planted inside the fence near the drug dealers and hookers is amazing! I know that many lives will be touched and changed as a result!

It's very inspiring to read and listen to you fulfill your 'purpose', and to witness the continued life-changing experiences that you write about.

Thank you for sharing your gift of writing, and allowing others to be inspired to seek our own purpose inside. ;)


Lily Robinson said...

We know there's no need to worry, yet we worry. Very true.

What an awesome project! I wish I lived near you and could work elbow to elbow with you on this.

You will have many jewels in your crown.

Marla said...

UG ~ Thanks!

Amy ~ Yeah, I'm a little slow on the uptake. Love you!!

DeLinda ~ What can I say? I love you, girlfriend.

Lily ~ I wish you could too. I truly do