Saturday, July 9, 2011

I Just Want To Fix It

Lupe was hired on full time at Garden Plaza around the end of January. Some of this brought much relief and also brought some unease. Lupe was heading into a very new position, with very different (and some similar) responsibilities and expectations. He was working less hours, but managing a lot more people, and instead of feeding 1000's of youth and children- he was feeding 100's of Seniors. Anyone who has worked with Seniors knows that they can be very rewarding people to work with, and they can also be the most difficult and trying people to work with. Seniors have a tendency to complain, are bitter, lonely, bored,cheap, and critical (to name a few). Some of them are not that way, but for some reason it's hard to let the 75% of non complainers outweigh the 25% of complainers (and why is that?). Now, Lupe is a very positive person- one of the qualities I admire about him- He likes to uplift people, make each person smile, and make a difference in every persons life he comes in contact with.
As Lupe began this new job at this Senior Living Community- these wonderful qualities in my husband began to be "challenged". It was difficult to walk into that dining room every meal shift and be called to table after table hearing complaint after complaint (again, it's hard to hear the many positives over the fewer but louder negatives). I'm not talking about things like, "the meat was a little tough tonight"- I am talking about degrading, "can't you do anything right?" and "I wouldn't feed any food from here to even my dogs", etc. That's not to mention the typical demands of learning a new job and  managing over 30 employees.
It was so difficult to watch Lupe come home every day, his face was drawn and he just looked tired- not physically tired (although he was) but emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually tired. He had even lost, at times, his admirable ability to let things slide of his back and to look at things positively. I wanted desperately to save him, fix it, and make it better- and at times made me want to go beat some of those old people in the head with their canes and walkers. How could people be so insensitive, so degrading, so self centered, and just act so ugly- and some of them ALL of the time! There were some very difficult things that Lupe dealt with out at the ministry- but this type of negativity was rare.
One night, I asked Lupe- Has it been worth it? Do you regret leaving Texas? Did we make a mistake? Is our "New Life" a big flop? He looked into my eyes, and the look in his eyes immediately reassured me that it was all worth it, then he assured me he would of done it all again.
The next morning, I started pulling out a bunch of scriptures to pray over Lupe in the morning and throughout the day. Lupe started really tackling things at his job differently, not to say things weren't difficult- but there was a difference. Lupe was seeking wisdom, not just in his job- but in everything concerning us and the challenges and opportunities we were facing.
I have always admired and respected my husband, but I was given a new respect and admiration for him. I remember reading in 1 Kings where Solomon asked God for wisdom instead of riches and fame. I believe in a positive confession and God blessing us- but I believe God blesses us out of our obedience and heart after him- not because we are entitled or demand it. As things started (and continue) to fall into place, I thought back to Lupe always having a heart after God, and not always choosing the easy/obvious thing- but choosing the "right" thing- that is what God honors.
Lupe has now been in this full time position about 6 months, and the favor and respect he has received from his coworkers and employees is nothing short of amazing. Lupe has, and continues to, earn the right to lead his employees and to speak into their lives. When they call in sick, I smile with pride as I listen to him pray with them before he hangs up and then calls back before days end to check on them. He never asks one of his employees to do anything he hasn't done or wouldn't do. Even just yesterday, he spent 3 hours of his day off to go help one of his chefs move- not because he had to but because he wanted to. Lupe (and I) did not leave the ministry when we left Texas, we've just entered another aspect of it.
This part of our walk, has helped me realize- once again- that I can't do it! I can't! When I try to fix it, I fail miserably and become frustrated and angry- because I wasn't created to fix it. Once I sat back and realized that I wasn't capable- and looked to God and allowed Him to take control- things started to fall into place. So, I learned here, to STOP trying.......................................


  1. Since I didn't type that above comment, I think it's safe to say my husband did! And YES, he's a keeper!