August 12, 2010

Thinking Some Things Through

Don't you just love the smell of burnt Pop-Tarts in the morning? I do! VBG!! I thought something was wrong when my toaster didn't pop them in it's normal time frame; but as I was thinking about other things, I went on my merry way trusting that the toaster would POP when it was supposed to do so. It didn't and I came back into a room filled with Pop Tart smoke! Even after I took them out and dumped them into the sink, my toaster continued to smoke. It is now out by the garbage can, waiting to go to the dump! Oh well, and happy morning to you too!

As I sit here and blog, my head is spinning with thoughts of inadequacy. I had surrendered that root a while back, but think it must had germanated another shoot because "it's BACK!" (echoing Randy Quaid's line from "Independence Day" - though he said, "I'm BACK!") I have felt inadequate all week long, but not in the normal way. Typically, I feel inadequate in the sense that I cannot do something mentally or intellectually. Rarely do I feel like I cannot do something physically. This new job, though, is taxing me physically, and I am getting down about it.

Yesterday, was a better day for me. I worked from 10:45-7:15 and wore my Clark's clogs. They didn't match my outfit; but so far, they are the best shoes going. My feet hurt beginning about 6 p.m. and even then, were more sore from standing than actually painful like the previous days. The other shoes rubbed me in the wrong places, or made my feet really hurt. My toes were numb and swollen and I had a couple blisters. These shoes didn't rub or anything, so it was just the pressure from standing all day long.

I have to work again today, 9:45-6:15, and I am tired and a bit cranky right now. I have just sneezed 10 times, and feel like more sneezes are coming my way. I am sure it is the smell of burnt Pop Tarts in the air that is causing me to sneeze like this -- so many times.

Last night, after work, I went out to the grocery store. I was lamenting my life, my lost life; and, cried out to the Lord saying I must have done something wrong. I mean, this is not the life I want nor I expected to have after 26 years of marriage. I don't mind working (in my head); but working in real life, well it is the pits. I have worked the past ten years from home, and I am settled this way. I do my shopping in the day time, I arrange my schedule around my son's life. I go to meetings or do work online when I decide to do it. I like it this way. What I don't like is not having money coming in regularly, and having to go out and sell my services. I never liked asking for a deposit on my work -- but I learned the hard way that I had to do that every time I met with a potential client. If I didn't do it, then I ran the chance that they would tell me two weeks into the job -- "Oh, we've changed our mind." Putting some money down on the work made sure that they were committed to the outcome of it. I also didn't like that I never saw any of that money. The checks came in the mail, were deposited into our joint checking account and I never had access to one penny I made. Sure the "bills" needed paying - but often the bills didn't get paid, and I was at the grocery store with $30 in my pocket and trying to feed a family of three for the week. It never seemed to work out in my favor, or in the family's favor. I worked very hard; but I never received any reward for the labor (monetary, that is). I got lots of praise from clients; but you cannot eat praise. You need money to buy food and medicine and braces and such -- you need money to live on -- and it always seemed like money was in short supply.

I begged the Lord for work, for a proper job. I asked Him, prayed to Him, and trusted Him to provide good work for me. He did just that, and He gave me good work at Macy's. I knew it would be hard on my body and feet; I knew it would be hard on my back. I know now that I need to be patient and wait -- it just takes some time to get used to this kind of work. I know all this; but last night, I asked the Lord whether or not retail was the "right" kind of work for me. I asked Him sort of tentatively because I was afraid of His reply. You see, I had an issue not long ago where I thought retail was beneath my abilities. I looked down on working at Target. Then when no other job presented itself, I resigned myself to working at Macy's. Don't get me wrong -- I have a fresh appreciation for the folks who work retail. They work hard and get paid next to nothing -- it is really unfair. I digress.

My thoughts were this: I am in the process of getting an advanced degree in English Literature. I have run my own business. I am very capable of doing all sorts of work; and my previous paid work was of a high nature -- stressful, and difficult. I am "used" to doing work that requires a great deal of mental capacity, and not necessarily physical ability. The tables are turned right now, and I am being asked to do a job that is manual labor at best (with some service tossed in). It is hard for me to do it -- I am bored once I finish all my work (and still have three hours on my shift). I need work that is more mentally challenging -- I guess that is what I am thinking and saying on the matter.

Anyhow, I asked this of the Lord because I feel like it is true, and while not wanting to complain about the work He chose to provide, I was questioning whether His choice was best. There, I said it.

"Lord, are you sure this is the best choice for me?"

I don't have an answer yet. I simply know that I need to wait until I move to my regular shift next week (12-4) and then see what comes to pass. The issue of my feet will not be so big when I am working a shorter shift. Also, the department is smaller, though still quite active. I am simply unsure if this IS the kind of work I want to do long-term (even through Christmas). I am in this quasi-land of needing work; but still being picky about the kind of work I do. I should be thankful, grateful, and at peace -- instead, I am just wondering if I am in the right spot. I need to remind myself that no other "spots" opened up, no other job offers presented themselves. This is what I have, this is that way that is paying me right now, and this is where I need to stay for the time being. Or, do I? I don't know.

Dear Lord,

I am confused on your will regarding Macy's. I know what you have said, about how Macy's can work for me toward fulfilling your over arching will. It is just that I don't like the work. That is the rub of it, really, Lord. I am confessing this to you because there is something in me that says "Carol, you and retail -- just don't mix!" I don't want to give Satan any inroad, so please help me to know that I am right where I need to be and that those thoughts simply need to be banished to the wayside. Thank you for the job, thank you for the opportunity to work at Macy's. I love you, Lord; and, I give you all praise today. In Jesus' Name -- Amen.

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