Lessons from the Soup Line

Men Waiting Outside Al Capone Soup Kitchen

Four weeks ago yesterday, I lost my job.

Happy unemployment-versary to me.

So, while I sit here fielding rejection emails and eating chocolate chips out of the bag, I thought I would share with you some things I’ve learned:

October is a terrible time to look for a teaching job.
No one is hiring teachers in October. Seriously.
I’ve gotten on a few substitute lists for schools in the area, but do you know what also doesn’t happen in October? Sickness. No one is missing class!
Is it terrible to pray for the flu to hit a faculty? That’s bad, isn’t it…

It takes about a week and a half to watch all six seasons of The Good Wife.
Trust me. I know.

Forgiveness is a choice.
Leaving the school was not entirely my decision. Some people said (and are still saying) some ugly and hurtful things. And I’ll be honest, for a little while I was rather defensive and indignant about the entire thing. For a few fuming days, I wondered what I could do to plot their destruction and my revenge. But eventually, I realized that I wasn’t responsible for their actions, just my own.
Every moment I allowed anger and resentment to cloud my judgment was a moment I gave up control of my own choices. I was allowing their actions to dictate my attitude.
Instead, I chose to forgive – to free myself from the bondage of their decisions and allow God to use this situation for my good and His glory.

And sometimes it’s a hard one.
Giving up on resentment and revenge is only the first step of forgiveness. And it’s a relatively easy step. Moving from bondage to blessing is the really hard part.
David’s imprecatory prayers for his enemies are much easier to pray than Jesus’ prayers of blessing on His enemies.
Holding my tongue when I want to be unkind about those who wronged me is easy. It’s passive. I don’t have to struggle…much. But speaking words of kindness and blessing instead – that’s the hard part.

You can do without a lot of things.
I’ve lived on a budget pretty much my entire life. But I’ve always had income to budget. When there is no income, only outgo, you learn rather quickly what can be trimmed from an already slim plan. If possible, I’ve become even more frugal than I was before.

Toilet Paper isn’t one of them.
I may be able to do with out pedicures, haircuts, meat, and food that is within its expiration date, but there are some things you just have to break down and buy.

My family is pretty amazing.
Actually, I already knew that. My family is super cool. And the way we all step up when one of us is need doesn’t really surprise me. We’re just awesome like that.

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