Autonomy

The five moral principals of counseling,  the pillars of the counseling  faith, if you will (too much?),  are Non-Maleficence, Beneficence, Justice, Autonomy, and Fidelity. 

 

It’s a fun banner to wave. Difficult to live, but nice as a tagline.

 

Today’s buzzword shall be autonomy.

 

Today’s example shall be chirrens.

 

Read on.

 

 

As a friend, lover, sister, daughter, I often fail at supporting the autonomy of the other. I tend to be a swooper. The Dancer called me out on it once. “You can’t just do this, you need to back off. You can’t just swoop in and try to fix everything just because YOU see a problem.”

Ouch. Good ouch.

 

As a group, counselors tend to be those who parentalize. We see a problem and we want to fix it. Usually out of the good, tender parts of our hearts. But to really support the other, most often “fixing” is detrimental.  For unless the other is completely without resource, someone coming in and fixing everything for them is  a crutch, a temporary fix, and worst of all:

 

it can contribute to the belief that without others to save them, they could not  successfully navigate through whatever is happening.

 

 

This is especially true with children. You know the kids who are never allowed to struggle and work through difficult situations because THESE are the kids who face an unknown and break down. They are never given the chance to face a challenge, and are therefore never given the privilege of seeing that they can conquer the challenge.  You see it in adults, later. Those who just BELIEVE they cannot do it. Whatever IT is.

 

I was this child.

 

I was NOT this adolescent.

 

I am NOT this woman now. Around about age 8, my living situation drastically changed so that I was faced with continual challenges that I needed to navigate on my own. Andplusalsotoo, a lot of time I had a 2yr old to accompany me on these misadventures. And you know what it produced in me? The belief that if I want to accomplish a thing, I damn well probably can.

 

Like the three year old who wants to brush his own teeth, I may get messy doing it. I may miss a few spots. Surely I’ve things left to learn but I’ll figure it out.

 

Problem-solver, yo. I LOVE IT. I thank my mama and daddy (really, out loud, I do) that I was given life skills really early in life, so that I was able to have grand life adventures before the dismay of “real life” set in and squashed my spirit.

 

So, my point is, in theory, I really really really support whatever is necessary to help others gain and keep their relative autonomy. (I DON’T mean outside of Jesus, I mean in the sense that when they see a problem, they view it as an opportunity for success.)

 

TO THAT END, while watching my little dudes last week, I supervised for safety but otherwise let them handle a lot of the tasks that i REALLYREALLYDESPERATELYWANTEDTOTAKEOVERBECAUSEOHMYGOSHYOUMISSEDASPOT  would otherwise have been more actively involved in.

 

Like washing bodies

PUBLISHED WITH PERMISSION

 

BODYWASHAGGEDON. Did you know that soap is surprisingly more difficult than shampoo to rise out of hair? Maybe it was just HOW MUCH he used. :)

 

 

Also, picking out and putting on of jammies:

YOU SAID I HAD TO HAVE UNDERWEAR!

Shirt-as-pants and underpants-as-a-hat to satisfy my requirements of “at least bottoms…WITH UNDERWEAR.” (cause they are vehement protestors of the underpant) Let me say: points for creativity.

 

 

Anyway, I get that when you let people struggle through something, it doesn’t always go as smoothly or get done as well or as much as you’d prefer.

 

But I also get that when you let them, people will usually surprise you. And then you both get to learn.

 

What have you had to struggle through in order to learn, to master, to grow?

What I Need

This was sort of a weird week, fundswise.

Let me back up.

I knew this semester I was going to need more money than last. I live on$750/month (pre tax) and I budget it. I didn’t budget in anything frivilous, so I use all my money each month. But I knew I’d need more. For a couple of reasons:

I knew I’d be driving more. A LOT more. Round Rock once more a week plus all the driving that comes with supporting a growing ministry.

Then gas prices happened.

And some of my supporters simply weren’t able to commit past Dec. (Thank you so much for any amount and any time you could do!) meaning that this semester was going to need more cash than last.

 

All of that came to a big head on Wednesday, when we had a support mtg. Now don’t freak out. For now (until april) I’m good. Good as in I wont take a pay cut. But still wont be making enough to cover new expenses.

And this month car insurance is due.

And by April I have to find a new phone plan.

And I’m taking a trip next week to Tennessee to see my dad (which no, i can’t afford, but if ever there was a sacrifice worthy of figuring things out or going in to debt, seeing my dad once a year is it).

So, as you can imagine, I was concerned. I thought of the different ways I could get this extra cash

1) cut out a lot of food. basically eat nutritional crud. cause crud is cheap.

2) donate plasma::shudder::

3)start babysitting again

4)find some other job

5)do more fundraising.

 

Options 1-4 all meant  one big thing: NOT TAKING CARE OF MYSELF.

I can honestly and openly say that I’ve budgeted my money and my time prayerfully and well. That I am not wasteful with either of them. So to take any of the measures listed from 1-4 would mean running myself down. Not being able to work well, study well, and care for myself. I don’t want to make a decision that means not caring for myself. That’s not noble, it’s disrespectful to and dismissive of the one beloved by my God.

So i considered fundraising again. Passively. As a thing I’d do when I got desperate cause it’s not exciting to me and I’m busy and I am a  complain-y turd some times.

All of this in the past week.

 

THEN:

Saturday a dad from KidStuff meets with a friend and me because God has moved his heart to start supporting us. He looks at me and says,”What you do is valuable and God is moving through it. I love the honesty in your blogs and that’s good too. But you have to tell people what you need. You have to tell them.”

okay. i get the hint. the over-my-head-with-a-2X4 hint.

Then yesterday at work, I get an email from the online donation site telling me a couple from church has decided (without even talking to me) to give me a one-time gift of $250.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Later in the day, feeling rather encouraged and like God is telling me to get off my tail and do the dang thing, I see the ONE PERSON I’ve been thinking promised to support but never did. And by i see I mean he texted/called/searched me out cause he was at the Stone and wanted to see me. “How are ya, darlin’?” “I’m good but i need you to support me cause you said you would and never did!” “Well, send me the link. Done.”

wow. just wow. Okay. I get it. I need to let people know what I need. I need to take care of myself. I need, based on the over shoot of taxes and admin, to raise another $250/month.

 

So can you help me do that? Can you help me quickly bring in another $250/month?

 

If you haven’t already supported me, ANY AMOUNT of monthly donations from here-August would be SO appreciated. Seriously. 25 @ $10 a pop and I’m set.

If you already do, but are interested in supporting me more, that’s great too!!

And if you are one of those creative supporters who can’t contribute money but can look around for things, i need: size 10 curvy jeans, food, COFFEE, gas cards.

I don’t need: much of anything else really. I’ve scoured my expenses and I spend on: food, gas, giving, and a  bit of entertainment/art supplies. That’s it! I’m easy!

 

okay. that didn’t kill me. I can tell people what I need.

Neen-jah!

Sleeping child on couch needs to be in bed.

 

this requires skills.

 

Scoop up child-
child stirs. I still. Child stills.
walk to stairs.
count stairs.
check hold on blankie.
walk up counted stairs.
did i count correctly?
carpet – I’ve made it!
traverse through room.
avoid all legos, books, dinosaurs.
Ah! nerf bat. my eternal foe. you will not defeat me.
child throws head back!!
down! down, smooth but quick.
WHERE IS THE PILLOW?!
head on pillow. Child stirs.
shhh-shhh-shh-shh- shh
child stills.
why does that work?
for the love…child’s bottom is on blankie…
lift and shift.
cover.
tuck.

child now sleeping in bed.

 

I have joined the ranks. I am a ninja.

The Run Down is a Beat Down

THE hardest posts for me to write are the Wednesday run downs. Because it’s just hard to sum up all the things that happen in a week. Here are some pictures of what I’ve been doing.

We were studying together. ;) I watch a lot of kids.

Somehow finding time to hang with friends. Usually a lot of them at once.

Childcare all the time! We've even started worship!

When i can upload more from my camera (these are all from my phone) you'll understand what's going on here.

Birthday present from Daddy- new wheels and tires!

I've been having a lot of nightmares. That's what's up with the bed-a-shambles.

Scholastically: still not putting in as much effort as i’d like, but getting better. I’m very grateful for the little assignments often given me- they force me to make sure I’m doing work for the classes, and right now, I need that. I’m learning a lot and sometimes it’s too much for my little brain, and heart, but…

Support: I’m now half way to my fundraising goal- which means enough is coming in for me to cut back on all these outside jobs and have more of me to give to school and…

Service: Work at the Stone is great. There is always so much going on, and I’m very much seeing how God has grown me to be a self-directed worker. I’m tackling new stuff all the time and He’s giving me the wisdom and strength to do it well – and the insight to know it’s only by His grace. Which leaves…

Social: I’m trying to limit my getting-together-with people to just once a week. I’m failing miserably but I am doing better than before. It’s hard because I’m also trying to keep in touch with all my supporters/ let people know that the cards they got from me this summer are now incorrect. It’s a lot of phone calls to make. Also, C, the “i-thought-love-of-my-life” finally moved. I know, I haven’t told you anything about that but suffice it to say that I will one day and when I do it will make more sense but for now: I’m just having a lot of nightmares about loosing people I love, probably because somewhere in my heart/brain I’m registering that he’s actually GONE now. Though I’m well on the road to healing, there’s still some junk there.

Not that that’s going to keep me from sleeping at his house (where he moved from on MONDAY, where his mom, dad, and six siblings all still live) on Thursday because my relationship with the other family members is as good as my relationship with him is non-existent. Read: extremely.

Also, I’m trying to learn how to play guitar.

I'm concentrating inordinately much for a simple strum exercise.

Oh and yeah, I know, I owe you those posts I talked about last week. But you’re not doing a very good job of keeping me accountable. ;) What do you want to read about?

BURF!

There is a line in To Wong Foo, Thanks, Julie Newmar where Chi-Chi says, “I wanna see the place where Miss Vita was burfed!” Since I saw it, I’ve usually said “burf” instead of birth when referring to days of out-of-the-womb-life-beginning.

Based on track record, an enormous amount of people are going to wish me happy birthday. It’s just what happens because I AM LOVED. (can’t help it, it’s in the name, peoplefriends)

Anticipating this, I’d like to give you a few recent photos.

on it's own, my computer named this "007"

one day i experimented with smokey eyes. You know what's NOT alluring? getting glitter in your eye and walking around with it scrunched up all night.

snapped this on my own. was SUPPOSED to show that the kid will just start gnawing on you, given the chance. Looks a little like I'm holding him hostage. Sowwy Emmy.

don't be fooled by his aloof act. he loves me.

Now, there is no theme or direction to these photos, it’s just friday and I know you like pictures.

BUT IT IS MY BIRTHDAY!! And I’m not going to write the “25 things I want to do while I’m 25” post that would be a great idea for goal setting and probably be entertaining to read. Instead I’m going to tell you what I want for my birthday and direct you here.

Yep. I'm resorting to giving you PUPPYDOG EYES.

Because if even one half of the people who usually read this blog gave me just $10/ month, i would be DONE fundraising and be able to quit the side jobs that are keeping me from sleeping/sanity. Don’t feel bound to that small a number, though. ;)

So do a girl some good and guarantee yourself some more interesting stuff to read. For my birthday: go donate. Thanks.

Oh yeah and remind me to blog about my first kiss, why i have nothing to offer, the powers of yes, and being a pretty pretty princess. Trust me, you want to read those.

Rundown Wednesday: Life Works

Wednesday on my new blog schedule is Run-Down Wednesday: when I give you the quick-and-hopefully-funny rundown/update on what’s going on. (I feel like run down isn’t actually the word I want here, but until I figure it out I’m going with it.

So every Wednesday I’ll do my best to tell you what’s going on with me socially, spiritually, scholastically, and in service (the “s” word I associated with work – I’m trying peeps!).

Social: I have been SO blessed with requests/invitations to do things but, as you’ll understand in a moment, don’t have a lot of slots to say “yes.” I’m trying to put things on the calendar, even if it’s a month away, so that I don’t lock myself in my room and read all the time, and so that I get to experience my friends who I love so much. And so I have random adventures about which to blog.

Last Monday I got to hang and do art with the V family.

On Thursday I had dinner with the Gs. This is Josh. He's 10. Or 40. Whatevs.

Spiritual: I’m at the beginning of a year praying for a teachable spirit. As you might expect, I’m making a PLUM FOOL of myself most days. I’m also having rather disturbing dreams. I might try to convince my friends to have more impromptu worship sessions. To which the Holy Spirit immediately responds, “Or, your life could be a worship session.” Geez, HS, it’s like you think I’ve got the power of God on my side. Oh, wait….

That's me with Creepy Jesus, a statue back in TN.

Scholastic: My second week of classes was a little harder to sit through. I honestly think it will be wise to invest in some silly putty to help keep me still and attentive. Seriously, 6 hours is a BEAT DOWN to pay attention for me (I have back-to-back classes on Wednesday afternoon/night).

Studying Tuesday night. I see a lot of this table setting in my future.

Service: Work is fun. I love the office. I’m “office-ing”  from all over the place except for meeting times, since sometimes it’s just more efficient that way. John’s great about understanding and trusting that I’m working, wherever I am, when I need to be working. But I try to be in the office whenever I can because I LOVE MY COWORKERS.  I’m still trying to set up The City software in a productive way for childcare (I barely understand it myself) but until that’s done I send about 50 (literally) emails a day, confirming, planning, updating supervisors and workers.

Some ADORABLE kids I got to watch last weekend.

THAT JUST TOOK 400 WORDS. Wow. How did you like this? Seriously, you’re the one reading (hopefully) so how to you feel about the new schedule here and on my support blog? What do you like? What would you change?

Overrides and Overdrive

If I remember anything that happened in the last three days, it will be a miracle.  Let’s start with the overdrive.

As I’ve mentioned a few times before, I live an AMAZING life. I never go hungry, have a bed and a car and more accessories than one girl can REALLY justify.  Friends, clothes, adventures, I’ve got in stockpiles. What I DON’T have much of? MONEY.

Every month, I have just enough to tithe, pay for expenses (which aren’t much for a gypsy) and support a few good causes (including my sanity via a lunch out at madam mam’s or something.)

Then, when I have bigger needs, God just PROVIDES. Like when I needed a computer for grad school, and my daddy (a man who lives off meager disability due to various illnesses) bought me one.

keep reading: it'll make sense. via googleimagesearch

Anyway, right now, God’s choosing to provide for my monetary needs (admittedly greater due to starting grad school) with lots of opportunities to work. I’m booked every Friday and Saturday for weeks.  Which means that this week  from Friday through Sunday, with babysitting and the events the church had me manning, I PUT IN FORTY HOURS OF CHILDCARE IN THREE DAYS.  I also got about 7 hours of sleep in the two nights of the weekend. So I know what you’re thinking: I must’ve been a mess. Must’ve hated life. Must’ve been really run down by the end of the night last night.

Nope.

I mean, I wouldn’t call it “fully functioning,” at least not high-level-thought processing, but I ENJOYED the whole weekend. Even when I’m in overdrive, God’s graces abound.  It just strikes me as so very kind to not just give me a chance to work and say “Suck it up, I’m providing a way.” But to give me work and also say “Here, baby, I’m going to give you energy and happiness to boot. You’ll be busy, but you’ll love it.”

bouncing off the walls - via Michelle Peters photography

And then there’s the override.  So TXSTATE (where I’m pursuing my grad program) has this amazing schedule tool.  If there is a class you want, but can’t get in, you just submit an override request. It gets sent to an administrator and the professor and poof: you get an email saying if you get the class or not. No schlepping around campus from office to office, feeling like a mooch asking for special treatment.

I USED to have a monday, wednesday, thursday 330-630 schedule.  But I dropped my monday class like a ….thing you drop with a quickness… because it was 40 miles away in traffic and though it was doable- I DIDN’T WANT TO DO IT.  (And since God didn’t say I had to, that was reason enough for me.)

But I really wanted to add this Weds 630-930 class. Which, of course was closed. So I submitted the request and prayed and knew that it would be fine either way.

But it’s not fine either way.

I know it’s not, because this morning I got up to an email saying I’m in the class I wanted

AND STARTED RUNNING THROUGH THE APARTMENT LIKE A SQUIRREL WITH A MOUNTAIN DEW HIGH.

i get excited (like C.A.) googleimagesearch again

i get excited (like C.A.) googleimagesearch again

And now- Sabbath. :)

The Effs

I was supposed to blog yesterday. And by “supposed to” I mean I set for myself that goal without actually praying about it but because it “made sense” to me (how many stories start that way and end in a way I can’t put into the blogoverse?) based on readership trends.

You seem to want to read on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, so I want to give you something to read then. Or Maybe MWF because I’m university class trained and I like symmetry.

But yesterday I was busy cleaning, organizing, setting things on fire (a later post) and going to grad school oreintation.

There are SO MANY things to catch you up on that I can’t pin which one to talk about.

But this morning, I got a very sweet surprise in my inbox. I’ve already been uber-honest about needs and spending amounts, so I’m just gonna put this out there: A sweet family, The F family who just-so-happen to be my first internship supporters ever (back in the fall of 09) decided to give $500 as a one-time gift!

Woot! That’s a LOT of money, peoplefriends! And I am grateful because I just moved and this week and I wanted to support a friend on his trip to an unreached people group…but I also wanted to buy groceries. And at this moment, those two options were mutually exclusive. So, now (although I won’t start getting paid for another week) I can do both!

Also, God saw fit to give me two more tutoring students and two extra babysitting jobs this week. Which I’m PRETTY sure means I can pay for my car insurance and not have to worry about budget for that for another six months.

Basically what I’m saying is long term, I still need a lot more support. But God has given this lily her sunshine and food and clothes  for the day.

Yay produce!
Yay supporting missionaries!
Yay Eff Family. ;)

I have no pics of them because -though I LOVE them, I’m  trying to protect their anonymity!

Peddle Faster, Girl

Monday is the day of my highest readership.

I’m writing this on Friday, but I’m going to post it on Monday because of that.

On Monday I will be off at a staycation, hosted by some very dear people who are gracious enough to offer up a room and some sanctuary.  I’m STOKED.

Back to peddling. I recall a few years ago a friend going through a crisis. Literally, she wanted to change majors because although she longed to produce theatre, she couldn’t fathom asking people for their money her whole life, peddling out some product.

I told her, “Liza, everyone spends their life asking people to buy into something. You’re just doing it more directly, and for something you love.”

But its HARD to believe that, even though I know it’s true. Visions of vagabonds and gypsies with tonics and relics to sell dance through my head. Usually I like dancing gypsy imagery, but not when it means I’m hawking myself out.

Anyway, that’s NOT what I’m doing. I’m not peddling! Not really. Here’s what I AM doing.

I’m letting you know, my friends, that I NEED more support. I am so attached to what I’m going, because it’s fun and nice and I like it but primarily because IBELIEVE in it. I BELIEVE that kids need to hear about God, that He loves them and that He died for them and that because of that, they can live for Him. That he washes away sins and inequity and gives eyes to see the beauty of creation crying out His name.

I BELIEVE that kids NEED this. They NEED to know about Him. It’s the best thing you can ever give anyone, the Gospel is. And we’ve got to build up childcare. I don’t want to settle for “There were no fires and no one broke anything.” I want to give all of me so at the end of the day I can say, “We prayed for Him to come move and then we did everything we could to honor that request. And hearts changed, because such is the nature of our God.”

And to do that, I need support. I need at least $800/month. And I only have $250.  So that’s a lack of $550/month! Please help if you can. The biggest help is recurring donations, monthly. Can you give $100/month? No? Okay, can you do $50? $20? $5?

I’m not joking, $5 a month HELPS!

Some of us can more easily give our time and energy. Some of us can more easily give financially. Neither is better or worse. But if you are in the latter category, I’m asking you to help, to be part of this, to give the Gospel to the little ones.