Wednesday, October 14, 2015

When Guilt Creeps In

I almost didn't blog tonight, but I am already behind. I am exhausted. I spent all day at a school function, attended a football game, helped a family with groceries and took a friend to work. It was just another day in our life. Glenn and I opted for a late night fast food dinner which we don't like to do, but we are flat worn out.  This is where bad eating options usually happen.  Glenn mentioned how he couldn't believe he was so exhausted and I have a similar sentiment.  I have a list a mile long to complete but I have hit a wall. I have started and restarted this blog twenty times because my mind just can't settle on anything and I decided..."oh well, I'm just going to be completely honest about where I sit tonight because this is real life."

It looks like a garage sale exploded in our house. I'm not sure that there is a single room in this house that is actually clean and organized right now. By the time I get around to it, I'm too tired to tackle it. There's laundry, donated items, things that need to be stored, dishes, bathrooms to be scrubbed, etc. There is also a tremendous amount of canvas, paint and various related items all over the dining room table because I'm trying to crank out orders before we leave on our vacation so we can actually have some spending money. It's the craziest thing because in order to get a break, I have to work extra long hours painting and doing paint parties to fund the break. So, I am imagining by the time I step foot onto the cruise ship, I may just sleep for a week. And then there's the guilt of actually going on a  cruise.

We are working with families right now that do not have food, are having their electricity being cut off or facing eviction and I'm counting down the days to our tropical vacation. I feel like no matter how much we may struggle right along with some of our families on a daily basis we will always been seen as the ones who have plenty. People around us think we are rich. We have saved our extra income from paintings and crafts for almost a year to experience a week of breathing room. Even now, I stress about it not being enough and worry about pinching pennies, but the thought of that even feels shameful.

I worry about people thinking their donations are funding our tropical getaway, which is totally not the case and in most conversations people actually say they are GLAD we are going, but it doesn't stop the voices in my head of guilt and fear of what others may think. It's stupid and it's ridiculous, but I'm just being honest.

There are days when I just want to keep the door closed and hide. There are moments when I covet a night without gunshots or sirens, a big comfy sofa to just binge on movies and dinner with my husband without a knock on the door.  Sometimes those thoughts can lead down a big path of "woe is me."

But then I look up and see this sign. I keep it in the dining room because this is where I spend most of my time working, painting, tutoring or eating and it is always in my view. These are the dreams of hundreds of kids in our community. When I think I can't handle one more knock on the door, I remember that we asked God to make this a place where kids could trust us. When I am just about over the constant sound of basketballs, yelling and requests to pump up balls, I remember that we made a court so there was a safe place for kids to hang out. When I feel the threat of guilt creeping in, I remember that breathing is necessary to a life where we are constantly pouring out. Sleep is good. Time away will keep us sustained for the long haul and ultimately remind us that we really aren't the ones in charge.

And just because God loves to give me winks everyone now and then, one of our students just video called me to say hello and tell me he got an A on his project we worked on together.

Thankfully...those moments outweigh any of the others.

*If you would like to learn more about our ministry, The Dream Campaign or to give a tax deductible financial gift to support our work in the community, please visit

** If you would like to start from the beginning of this blog series, click here.


  1. I know its human nature to feel guilt, but feel strong in the fact that you & Glenn are truly the hands and feet of Christ. Even Jesus had times he needed to get away to receive and re-energize. As Christ body we all are one & no judgements or accolades needed. No guilt or honor needed. Our rewards flow from God. It is a joy to see what Gods does through you & Glenn who through him, have not only changed the lives & paths of many kids, but have influenced sooo many adults to join in the never ending battle for Hope in Christ to a world that needs him so badly. Thank you for changing so many paths from paths of despair to the path of Hope through Christ our Lord. So go get re-energized & Peace be with you.

  2. So much I want to say to you, so much I want to tell you how I get it and I REALLY do... but I am exhausted from a kid running from the police right now who seems to think I am going to hide him out and tonight threatened to throw bricks through my windows, I have kid banging on my door at 9:45 at night smelling like weed because EVERYONE in his house gets high but him and he's starving because his mom sold his food stamps for drug money, and I spent the better part of the evening with one of my kids who has big dreams of going to college, becoming an FBI agent and never looking back at the life he has now... it's the end of these days where I lay in bed and cry myself to sleep full of so many emotions... full of anger, full of frustration and full of job.... it's a big ball of emotions somedays.... the great thing is NO day is EVER the same EVER.... :) I love my job even on the hard days, today I posted on Facebook, that there are hard days, easy days, days when I want to quit but every day is full of opportunity to help my kids dream big, see the world bigger and broader than they ever have and then go to bed and say Thank you, Jesus. I get it.... I'm praying for you tonight, I found your blog through Becca I too live and work intentionally in as people to refer to it, "one of those neighborhoods..." tonight as I read your blog I cried because tonight was one of those nights I just didn't think I could handle one more knock, one more phone call, one more police siren... thanks for encouraging my heart tonight. I am praying for your time away and would love to connect sometime.... :)