Whitney is a member of a group that I’m part of on Facebook. I describe it as a group of 2,200 people who are not happy with the status quo. The “where” and the “how” varies but we all believe things could be better.
Whitney recently shared this with the group and I asked her if I could share it with more people. She agreed to let me do that. So, without further ado, here’s Whitney……
My kids go to a small new classical charter school. No busses. Most of the students have highly involved parents who are fed up with the public school system. A (15) has a girl in her class who started mid-year. D doesn’t quite fit the “mold” at the school. She’s outspoken, more mature, a little rough around the edges, her uniforms get her demerits regularly because she does her own laundry and doesn’t iron. I’ve gleaned through conversations that she has a high school boyfriend. They have sex, and she sometimes shares her worldly wisdom with A and the other girls. She’s a latch-key kid.
Over the last several months, I’ve given D a ride home several times. Her mom is a single mom, her dad died years ago, and it’s just the two of them. Her mom works 3 jobs. D is always grateful for the snacks we have in the van because they don’t really keep food in the house. She waits til her mom comes home with take-out. She left her “lunch bag” (a plastic grocery sack) in the van once – it had a half-eaten package of dry ramen noodles. On our last ride home, she nonchalantly mentioned that her mom’s car had been repossessed the night before.
After maybe 10 rides home, her mom, S, finally texted me to introduce herself and thank me. She asked if I’d bring D home with me sometimes after school so she wouldn’t be home alone. One of these times, I finally got to meet her mom. She’s like 30 years old. She could be my daughter. She’s a fun, sweet, overwhelmed girl doing her best and she’s so grateful and gracious and happy that A is D’s friend and that I am willing to help out.
S texted me a few days ago. She has to go out of town for training for work, and asked if we could keep D next weekend and drive her to school on Monday. I said we had J coming home, we had a full house because we were getting ready to go on vacation on Monday, we were running a 5k as a family, we’d be packing and cleaning and running around, we had hair and nail appointments, dress fittings, it’d be a total madhouse, but if she was okay sleeping on an air-mattress and watching us possibly melt down, she was welcome.
See, when I was 30, I’d been a single mom for 10 years. I had passed J around from sitter to sitter, moved from apartment to apartment, switched jobs and boyfriends countless times, prepared bologna and macaroni 19 different ways, passed her off to friends, family, neighbors, day cares so many times that my broken, bruised heart had callouses and her lonely, longing face was blurry to me.
Yeah. I’ll take this little girl into my home and feed her and hug her and include her in our impromptu dance-parties and sing-a-longs. She’ll run a 5K with us, I’ll include her in my grocery runs, and I’ll bring her to church on Sunday. She’ll have a mani-pedi. I’ll listen to her giggle, I’ll cover her up while she sleeps, I’ll strip and bleach and iron her uniform for Monday, and I’ll send her to school with enough lunch to last all week. Yeah, I’m busy, but I remember feeling how you feel and I KNOW how important this village is.
I don’t know where their family and friends are. I don’t know why I’m the best option for them right now. I do know that I’m grateful I’m here for them. I’m grateful that my crazy, disorganized, overwhelming life full of struggles and chronic illness is still together enough to be a blessing to others. I have had a soft-spot for single moms for 27 years. I used to tell myself and God that once we *finally* got my life together, we’d bless single moms every chance we got. And God saw us through, and He holds me to that promise.
As much as I’m DYING to get my business up and running and making a profit, I see more and more that this kind of thing is my real hustle. It may not put dollars in my accounts, but I get to make deposits into the lives of people every day. My people. God’s people.
I know this borders on cheesy and braggy, but I can’t help it. I don’t deserve my blessings – if I did, they wouldn’t be blessings.
I’m a health and wellness coach, a writer, and a speaker. But my best and most important coaching and speaking is done at home. My best training came from my own kitchen. This business of mine is first and foremost a ministry and I’ll give my content away all day for the rest of my life if I can bless anyone as profoundly as I’ve been blessed.
Compensation for content and work performed takes several forms. Be encouraged, friends. When people trust you and depend on you, that responsibility is a blessing. You’ve earned something so much more valuable than what your accounts receivable statement shows.