Thursday, February 11, 2010

perfect love drives out fear

Last night I hit the highest point of frustration in my time being here - my first observation shift in the kitchen! :) As Bigs, we are responsible for working in the kitchen. We are responsible for preparing breakfast everyday and cleaning up after, serving lunch and then cleaning, and then preparing dinner and cleaning the entire kitchen and dining hall. The kitchen is a large, industrial kitchen with a good size dining hall. I've been learning what all the responsibilities of the kitchen are over the past few weeks. The kitchen manager here works really hard and we have to meet government standards for everything. So the work in the kitchen is tedious and extensive. Last week I did breakfast all week with another Big, but it wasn't too bad - I actually really enjoyed it. Monday and Friday we have hot breakfast, and are in the kitchen by 6:30 am making food. We made bacon and eggs one morning, and then muffins. The other morning we get to the kitchen at 7:15 am to serve cold breakfast, like cereal, yogurt, bagels, etc. We have to count everything we serve and measure it, There is a lot to remember so I won't explain it all - its a complicated process. And then there is dinner...

Dinner involves 2 Big and 3 Littles each night. Last night was my first time, and the kitchen manager was there to help observe and coach us in what to do. We have to make dinner, clean/sanitize every surface, scrub, rinse and mop the entire floor, clean the bathrooms - everything needs to be spotless. At the same time, there are Littles who can help, but we have to watch them and make sure they do it right and just get to know them. I like hanging out with the Littles and don't mind cooking or cleaning, but I didn't know where anything was, have no flow of how to get everything done, I worked with guy Littles who I don't know very well, and the guy Big who worked with me was on his training shift, too. Needless to say, I felt overwhelmed. Dinner was 20 minutes late, the Littles weren't excited about working and I had to consequence one of them for using inappropriate was stressful. I wanted to break down and cry, but I didn't somehow. Afterwards, the kitchen manager coached us, encouraged us in what we did and showed us where we went wrong. I got to the kitchen at 4:30 and left at 8:40...with my plate of  dinner I didn't eat when we served cause I wasn't hungry from being stressed. I have another observation shift next week. Hopefully it will go better. I just need to be patient with myself as I learn it all and I think I will eventually enjoy it. I mean we can play music the whole time - and if I have good music - then whatever I am doing is usually good. :) I also remind myself of Colossians 3:23-24 - "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." I remember my mom putting that verse on our chore chart growing up - comes in great handy now. Thanks Mom! :)

We have rooms changes on Saturday. I am moving across the hall to a room with another Big and one Little. We have a new Little coming next Wednesday, and she could possibly be in our room, too. I think I would like that a lot, but we will see. Room changes could be a bit crazy and intense - I think some girls are going to be frustrated...but I know God has a purpose in it all - but I am worried about how some of the girls will respond. They know we are changing rooms, they just don't know who they are with yet. Change is hard, too, but I know the Lord works in it all.

As for my heart, I feel strengthened and renewed. However, I see areas of fear that hold me back. I have been learning how God desires me to be who He created me to be - to not hide parts of who I am because I am afraid of how people will respond. I have felt comfortable here, but I haven't fully been all that the Lord has made me to be. I have tried to contain my passion and depth, which I think needed to happen at first - the Lord has taught me a lot about myself and I think I needed that time to deepen my security in Him. I feel like I need to step up though and really allow Him to use me and all He has made me to be. I feel like I need to stop holding myself back and allow my heart to love deeply, to speak the truth and wisdom the Lord has given to me, and to freely be all I am in Christ. The Lord has created me to be deep, passionate, and loving. He has given me wisdom, discernment, and truth - which I need to speak.

I kinda feel like the Lord is calling me to be a leader. I am comfortable as a follower. I like to have someone to look up to who I try to be like and seek for what I am supposed to do and for feedback on how I am doing. I have been blessed by people the Lord has brought into my life to teach me and lead me towards Him, showing me more of who He is and how to be like Him. However, He has taken those away from me, and I am left with only Him to look at - which is how it should be.  He has been teaching me how to look only to Him now to follow and to know how to be like Him. There are people here who I have been learning from, who speak truth and wisdom and encourage me. People reflect God, but it is only a poor reflection and so I need to look directly at Christ. I have been reading the gospels more lately and examining more of who Christ is and how He leads His disciples and interacts with people. It's been incredible...

And I think He wants me to step up and lead. I mean I am in LeadTime. Now is the time to lead right? But that scares me...and leaves me with so many questions and doubts. I think one struggle is having confidence and courage to do so - but He has faithfully been growing me in confidence in Him. And then I am afraid of becoming prideful in that - like who do I think I am that I can lead? There are Bigs that have been here for 6 months - I have been here 1 1/2 months. How am I qualified? What do I know? There is a lot of responsibility in being a leader - what if I lead people the wrong way or wrong direction? I think of Moses in this, and Jeremiah. Moses didn't understand God when He spoke that to Him, and Jeremiah questioned God when He told him to speak. But God used them in mighty ways to lead His people. The people didn't always respond well to them - which is another fear I have. Giving consequences to the girls is not fun. So far when I try to redirect them in inappropriate conversations, or correct them on something - they usually get frustrated and upset. But I know I need to seek the Lord and follow Him and be obedient. I have been placed in authority over them, which I need to embrace, but I also want to love them and let them know I care. I have been learning that discipline is a form of love if its done right, and I pray that the Lord will teach more how to love like He does. If He calls me to lead, He will provide what I need. So I pray for clarity, discernment, wisdom and boldness. Sometimes I feel like I have no clue what I am doing...but I just need to trust and follow Christ. I have been reflecting a lot on God's love, and it has been healing and freeing.

Thanks for reading my blog. I have been so encouraged by prayers, letters, phone calls, messages and texts from y'all. The Lord is faithful, and I know He has great things in store. I pray that you may be blessed wherever you are and know more of the Lord's deep love for you. May Christ be glorified in all things! Hallelujah and amen. :)

There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear... 
1 John 4:18  

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