There was once this time, when I decided to do this thing, I knew it was a really important special thing but no one understood or seemed to care that I was doing it. It went on to be to be one of the most critical and formative years of my young adult life, and I met my husband that year, so I'm glad I chose to do it anyway, in spite of how much of a struggle it seemed to be to do so.
If you wonder what exactly I mean by struggle I'll just sum up three ways, the pastor of the church I went to thought I was silly and self indulgent and was the exact opposite of supportive and made me feel small and stupid with his words. (In his defense I probably was silly and self indulgent, but I considered his criticism to be an obstacle.)
The second two ways involved a guy we trusted stealing all our money and being turned away at the border for 2 whole days.
That story is only one example of several times when I have been disappointed by the lack of support from the people around me when I try something.
While that isn't always the case it has happened often enough to breed in me a touch of cynicism, a loner sort of devil may care "I'm doing this and you can't stop me" sort of attitude. I've gotten used to being the only person carrying my flag in my one girl parade down the center of the street, waiting for the folks to rally that never came. In some ways that a good thing, but not always.
So imagine my surprise when last week an idea that I, and a few others, have worked really hard on developing to the point where we were ready to share that idea with others and when we did and they all took it seriously. It's embarrassing to admit, but I was really surprised.
You can work really hard on something while keeping your expectations super low in order to not have your heart broken when it doesn't work out. I know this, because I do it all the time.
So I am pleasantly surprised by all this, and really happy. It's like that time a few years back when I told all of you about The Charis Project and you responded with cash. It was just surreal. You thanked me for the chance to be a part of it, and for the chance to do something! You, thanked me! That part was unexpected. I never imagined that people would say thank-you to me when I asked them to give money.
That's just not what people do right?
Last Thursday, when we got to the end of our presentation, there were people asking how much they needed to make a check out for. Blow my mind!
These past few weeks have been a blessing, in the form of people like Leanne who actually do stuff, and then do some more and do it really well, and Emily who is pulling up the slack for me on all the little details I haven't had time for and William who is using his considerable expertise to put together something really cool, and Doug who uses his gift of knowing and connecting people to make all this happen and my MIL and brother and sisters in law who gathered for pizza and a mass collate and binding of 100 presentation booklets and entertaining the kidlets. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's really great to be part of a team for a change. It's a bit of a learning curve this, learning to work with others, but it's so cool compared to going it alone.
So here's a big Multitude Monday thank-you to everyone who is part of this community, this team. I'm learning, at last, how truly valuable that is.
Also on my thank-you list for the week.
You guys, for being my online community.
Megan, for lending me clothing to wear, again!
The Girl for taking it upon herself to start getting her baby brother changed and dressed in the morning. She's 7.
My kids who last Tuesday pitched in and made peanut butter and honey sandwiches for dinner while I tried to meet a deadline.
Ashley, for coming early on Thursday, cleaning the kitchen, tidying the kids room and then taking them off to Beema's house early so I could have the morning to get ready and prepare.
Alex and Levi for being the best uncles ever.
Ana, for unswerving kindness.
Milly for holding the baby and walking him to sleep, even though she missed most of the presentation as a result.
Karen for proofreading and notes.
and Jellybean for reminding me to smile every day.