Monday, September 22, 2008

Praise You in the Storm

Hooray! Guests are gone. It's a great feeling. Today was the first day of work for the off season. I get to watch Steph's kids, which is great fun. Maggie, 3 yrs old, led a yoga class for us. Ella, 6 mos, has spent most of the day sleeping. Right now they are both down for naps, and I have some blessed free time on my hands.

Everyone had yesterday off. I went to breakfast and church, then spent the rest of the afternoon lying in bed watching special features from The Office. I napped somewhere in there, but I was lying in my bed until about 9 pm. I felt complete apathy toward anything that needed to be done, or the fact that I wasn't getting anything done. I didn't even have to shove the guilt under the rug--I just didn't care. I wondered if I'd ever want to do anything or be with people ever again. Today is better, though. It's been great playing with the kids, and I'm so glad I don't have to try to key up again for more people. Just people I already know and physical labor. Resting from the strained smiles, the forced cheerfulness when someone is snapping at you that you tried to kill them by serving them nuts (when it was only artificial almond flavoring), taking the blame for things that are not your fault and trying to look happy about it when all you want to do is tell them right where they can go--it's all over for two blissful months.

I do want to ask for prayers for Anita, the new head housekeeper and one of my closest friends here. She went home last Friday because her dad was in the hospital after suffering a massive heart attack, and he passed away Saturday night. It seems like she is doing well considering the circumstances. She's planning on coming back pretty soon after the funeral. Please send up a prayer for Anita and her family. Today's Melodic Monday goes out to them.

"Praise You In This Storm"
by Casting Crowns

I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to you
And you raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Decisions have been made. I'll be here again for the winter. It's been a huge back-and-forth process. But there are some changes that make me really excited for the winter. It looks like I'll be able to take some intro counseling courses through Denver seminary while working. Also, I'll be switching to housekeeping. I need a change from the dining room. I am really excited for the opportunities you have to build relationships while housekeeping--you can actually talk while you work, not just run around like a chicken with its head cut off with four different chefs yakking at you. There are also regular hours, and evenings off, which will be great if taking classes pans out. Also, I have come to a place where I feel like I recognize that my gifts lie in behind-the-scenes work. I think it was good for me to be out in front for a while, to show that I could do it and that "gifts" wouldn't be something to hide behind, but now I realize that's really where I'm gifted, and I'm excited to have the chance to use it.

There are two more weeks of guests. Then staff starts to trickle out. I feel really fortunate to be able to stay here for the off season. I'll be heading home for a few weeks in November around Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to that, too. But mostly, I'm looking forward to things dying down around here. Life has been crazy since about half the staff left to start school again (haha, suckers!) and the rest of the staff has been trying to patch things together. It's been really hard in the kitchen because we've had a ton of people in and out lately, and everyone is on a different learning curve, and sometimes people forget this. I've really been struggling this past week--there's been a lot of tension. But I had a really good conversation with Ben where he told me, "Don't define yourself by what happens down there. That's like defining the cleanliness of your entire house by the toilet." I've also been reading Romans 8 and praying that the Spirit of Christ alive in me would put to death the misdeeds of the body, and that my mind would be controlled by the Spirit and be a mind of life and peace.