Wednesday, September 26, 2007

how will we ever make time for work?

God is healing me, just thought you would like to know. sorry we're lame in continuing to provide up-dates, but life here has just settled and we're intentionally seeking to bask in it before the storm of employment begins next week - yes, next week.

presently jake bas been working mon. - thurs. evenings teaching at a local community college down the road. it has been such a blessing. enough to pay the bill with a little left over to spare. yet, being the stud that he is - he was offered a full-time position with Chicago Commons, one of the oldest social service agencies in chicago. he will be doing what he does best, teaching ESL full-time.

because we go everywhere together i was waiting in the car wednesday when he stopped by to fill out some paper-work. jake shared with his potential employers that i was reading in the car and they asked that i come up and meet the gathering crowd of employees (i believe 6 in total at his location). sugar, spice and sass were served up with a most warming welcome. God is so good.

i, on the other hand have been offered two jobs and will need to make the decision this afternoon by 12. one is with Youth Outreach Services as an addiction and life skills counselor for adolescents on the north-side - the other, with Garfield Counseling Center as a treatment counselor for adults at a methadone maintenance (mm) clinic located in West Garfield Park.

i think i'm leaning toward the mm clinic. it's where i'm feeling led to be - i believe personally it will be more challenging in so many different ways that i can feel my brain already start to take action, creating new ways of practicing and loving those I believe He loves best. I'm excited about the possibility of both but anticipating accepting the one that i feel best fits for where i'm at during this time of transition.

we've been so very much enjoying the time we have here, bathing in the conversations and opportunities for loving and being loved with our neighbors. Eddie, whose 9 years in prison and history of drug trafficking and use has lead him to take on the role as my addiction adviser, has been a God send. John & Elena, two hippies in their late 70's - well John actually is 70 while Elena is 79 with bright red dyed hair. we spent this past sun. afternoon talking on their front porch for hours and walked away with bags of fabric for crafts and "junk" they wanted to get rid of. p.s. Elena volunteers to work with the seniors at salvation army two days a week. yeah. Lani, a friend next door, started baby-sitting more to earn a little extra income, which is exciting. without papers, her ability to work is so limited. i've also met a great gal down the way... geeze louise, there are some many more most God given opportunities we have had... i must wait to share the rest.

and then there were kids. our numbers our ever increasing which is gladly leading to an increased contact with their parents/grandparents. Praise God! every day from typically 3ish to 7ish, our home and front porch are filled. in fact, yesterday Justin, who just last week told me i was ugly, stupid, amongst other choice words after i asked him to pick up the trash bin he pushed over, came over and asked when he could come over for dinner. I told him anytime. he asked if i would serve him ribs. i told him probably not. he asked about steak. i shared again, probably not. i loved him, he gave me a now & later and left. with a visible smile and kind words on his lips. in total, yesterday we had eight kids over. so many hands. so many feet. so much beauty.

the struggle - kids who don't have any boundaries, were born to mothers who smoke and drank when pregnant and the learning limitations that come with those two things. we're working on it, and thank God in the more pure sense for Jake. we trade kids often during homework time. lack of attention. lack of inability to care, listen and comprehend tasks makes it difficult at times. yesterday i almost lost it. Andre (5) pushed me, or truthfully speaking - i chose to be affected by Andre's behavior. I picked him up, had him put his shoes on, grab his unfinished school work and began walking him down the stairs toward home, where he wanted to go (to escape doing his homework for himself). mid-flight I sat him down, looked in his eyes told him (for my sake as much as his) that he was a beautiful child of God and lead him back upstairs. we finished our one page of homework, writing "G" & "g", one hour later.

so much work to do, inside me.


Indian Lake Papa said...

Thanks so much for the great update! Good luck and prayers will follow you both as you pursue your careers! We also reached a milestone last weekend!

we finally passed out the last can of soda we had left from the 204 cans!

Pray for Alan & Sherry! Alan is hospitalized for MS complications (urinary tract infection) and surgery for a serious bed sore.

God bless!
Indian Lake Papa

Alissa & Andrew said...

Yay!! Jobs! How exciting! It sounds like you guys are doing amazing things and helping out so many children. If only there were more people like you to help out the lost children and adults of the world. Be strong in Him and keep up the good work!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the glimpses into your lives, Jessica and Jake. Congrats on finding jobs! Keep loving those kids!
PS Any update on your landlady coming to grips with all the kids?

Robin said...

Wow! You guys are amazing! I'm so glad for the opportunities you've found in both the paid sector and the volunteer world. You guys are making a difference in the lives of so many people. God loves them and God loves you! Thanks for doing HIS work and loving HIS children.

Indian Lake Papa said...

Got your message's. Alan is back home and doing well considering. Sherry is well also.

I will be sure to pass on your condolences to Jim & Carol. Their loss yesterday (Saturday) was so sad and unexpected. The past couple of months have been tragic for them, five tragic losses in such a brief time. For those of you who do not know Jim and Carol, remember them in your prayers - they are serious Notre Dame fans!

Indian Lake Papa

jess devries said...

if i could pick, i would choose the garfield center because then we could have lunch together on some days. it takes about 6 minutes to walk from my office to "yours". and i think that would be marvelous. also that place needs a lot of love.