RSS

Category Archives: Giving

Tips

Seeing yet another “tip jar” in some establishment is enough to make me want to boycott that business. Being served at a table is one thing, but feeling obligating to tip when you go through a drive through, or when you go to a counter to order is pushing the limits of what you are asking the customer to do.

One of my jobs involves busing tables and doing some clean up in a hotel. Tipping is NOT requested, nor expected (at least, I never expected it). We aren’t taking orders or bringing food to the table. Guests serve themselves from a buffet.

This morning at work, I was feeling a bit frustrated in dealing with the fast pace of the job, especially with one person short on our shift and the manager on duty having obligations in another part of the hotel. Towards the end of the shift, I received a $5 tip from a man whom I’d helped earlier. (He showed up after breakfast had ended with his two sons. They got drinks from the soda machine which is open all the time and I got the feeling they were hoping that food was still available. I was able to catch his attention before he left and tell him that we make up plates for latecomers and that he was welcome to them. I also went to the kitchen and got a couple blueberry muffins and doughnuts for them. The boys’ eyes lit up. Just a kind, sweet, polite family. They were a joy to serve).

After thanking him, I went back to my sweeping. I lost my battle in the fight to hold back tears, I was so touched by his kindness. Thankfully, I was in a quiet corner working and I don’t think anyone could see me.

After this morning, I still don’t want to see a tip jar, and I still don’t agree with establishments putting them out. However, now more than ever, I see what the gesture of a small tip can do to lighten someone’s mood and lift her spirits.

Whether someone is rude, coldly polite, or full of warm smiles, we never really know what another person is dealing with in his or her life.

patricia grace

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 14, 2015 in Blessings, Giving, Jobs

 

Discipling

My church has no formal setup for discipleship. I am so lonely and in so much need of help, wisdom, and instruction. The especially frustrating part is that many in my church are older, seasoned Christians, no longer raising children and no longer holding formal jobs.

As my 2nd job has me working many Sundays, I attended our prayer service last night, since there’s always a chance I may not make it to Sunday service. Once again, I met kind, warm Christians who inquire after my welfare and tell me that they are praying for me. I need the prayers! But, I have concrete needs as well.

I am in danger of falsely judging my Christian brothers and sisters. I don’t know what is going on in their own lives, but our Pastor, taking a break from normal expository preaching, has been teaching through our church covenant–which includes much about the “one anothers” of Scripture and about discipling–and I know there is much agreement about these commands, but I don’t see it in action. Lots of “amens” heard during the service, but I don’t see how it’s lived out.

I asked a lady at church with whom I’ve gotten closer about whether or not she had a disciple or was discipled, or had an accountability partner. She said she had partnered with another lady who attends our Wednesday evening service, as her own church doesn’t hold a prayer service, and they encourage one another, memorize Scripture together, pray together…She confirmed that there is no formal process at our church, just an expectation that we should be doing things like this with one another. *sigh*

I’ve put it out there several times, to several people, that I am starved for fellowship. I’ve opened my home to others, offered help to others, and made it clear that I am in need. (True, I’ve shunned opportunities for fellowship in the past, and I regret doing so. Lord forgive me. I see the need now, and now that I am lonely, I see how I should have taken opportunities to foster community long ago, before I ended up in such trying circumstances).

One thing that has got me confused is that I’ve learned that several people in my church own multiple properties and are landlords, but no one seems to have a place for me. It’s widely known that after my house sells, I do not have a place to live, other than moving back to my mom’s house. I have made clear that we don’t have enough equity in the home to be able to profit so much that I could secure another home.  I have, however, made clear that I am willing to work, that I am working, and that I am seeking more work.

I can’t say that we should all be giving away our property–I won’t go that far, and I don’t expect free housing from my brothers and sisters in Christ. However, it is troubling that none of these has even made a temporary offer. PLEASE note, I am not asking for free housing, just someone to say “We can help you until the Lord makes clear the path you should take; pay what you can, take care of the place, until you can afford to pay us market rent prices or can move elsewhere”. Perhaps their properties are already under leasing contracts.  Again, I know I shouldn’t judge, as that may very well be the case.

Mostly, I’m just discouraged and hurting and tired of holding it all inside where it’s festering.

It IS still confusing, however, when the majority opinion is that we should not be seeking government assistance, but should be working and earning our own bread. But, when the work doesn’t earn enough to pay bills….then what? Shouldn’t we be filling in the gap for our brothers and sisters?

One lady, the one I mentioned above, has opened her home to me. I may have mentioned before, that I stayed with her for a weekend. Delightful home and delightful lady. But, there isn’t really much room for me. The bed I slept in “has issues” she told me, and asked that I keep to one side of the bed.  The bedroom door doesn’t shut all the way. There are no blinds or drapes that completely give privacy in the room; in fact, other than the bathroom, the windows are not covered throughout the house and all is visible from the outside after dark. There was no empty closet to use and the bedroom has all available spaces filled with her own personal items and toys for when her grandchild visits.

This dear lady, who became a widow not long ago, has opened up a modest space to me, while the wealthier among us have remained silent.

I am being selfish? Am I missing something here? What would you do if you were in my situation?

How wonderful to be in a place where you can give to others. I look forward to the day when the Lord may put me again in a position to be a giver and not the one with so much need. I love to give and I know that is a gift and power from the Lord. I know another thing for certain–my circumstances have caused me to be more sensitive to others who may be in need. Instead of so much judging of others and allowing envy to overtake me, I suppose I should ask the Lord for opportunities to be serving others even in my needy state. That certainly seems more Christian. Now, if He will just give the power and strength to do it. Believe me when I say (er, write) that I know how ungrateful this reads. Will you pray that God help my tired, ungrateful, confused heart?

 

So Tired,

patricia grace

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 12, 2015 in church, Finances, Giving, Trials

 

Tags: , , , ,