I probably won’t know for 10 years – if I’ve made any difference at all.
The hardest part about my job is probably the lack of funds to do the job and then the lack of getting paid to do the job, if I’m completely honest. My job is not rewarding in the way that people who don’t work with kids think it is. They think the kids are so cute and cuddly and the parents appreciate you and the kids tell you every day how much you’ve changed their lives.
I probably won’t know for 10 years – if I’ve made any difference at all. I just hope that I have.
So one of the big sacrifices I have is that my husband who is a lawyer, who works 70, 80 hours – he gets paid to work those 70 or 80 hours. And even if someone is rude to him at work, he’ll say, “That’s why I get paid the big bucks. I get the gratification of making good money.”
Whereas if someone is rude to me at work, I can’t exactly go look at my bank account and I can’t say, oh, I can go on a vacation and forget about this.
My husband and I have not gone on a vacation in 3 years. Not that anyone is owed a vacation but we haven’t. We don’t do a lot of the extra fun things that his other lawyer friends do because I don’t have any income.
And yes, I get the joy of helping, but sometimes it doesn’t pay for dinners out or going to the orchestra, etcetera.
So a reward looks like a kid coming to Teen UpRise every Monday and Wednesday and not hanging out on the street corners with their friends.
A reward looks like a kid moving from a D to a B in a subject.
A reward looks like a kid that I’ve known has smoked pot for years and is now part of Teen UpRise where they get drug tested regularly, and tests clean every week for 2 months. That’s a reward.
If I do nothing else in that particular situation I have helped to stop the cycle of drug abuse (and the idea that pot is a gateway drug is very true). So if I can stop a freshman from engaging in that kind of behavior at least for a little while, I’ve made a difference.
“The simplest way God shows up for me is that when I’m with the kids I’m 100 percent present pretty much like I am nowhere else. Even when I spend time with my husband, there’s still that track going on in my mind of all the things that I have to do. When I’m here with the kids it is for100 percent. I exist purely for this moment, purely to enjoy this moment, purely embrace where they are at. And it’s a huge, huge gift to me, as well as I think to them.
I think they can feel that I am not distracted by anything else. They are my sole focus.
Other ways are when a kid who used to wear all black and would say he would never go to church ever because God hates him tells a group of kids after he’s – he took that last cookie. And a kid says, “You’re going to hell; you’re going to that bad place.”
And he shouts back, “No, I’m not. Because even though I’m not so sure about him, Jesus actually likes me. And Amy told me (and this makes sense to me, says the kid) that when we die, if we are happy with our lives, and we want God to shine a light on our lives, we get to go to Heaven. And if we are ashamed of what we’ve done, that’s when you go to Hell.
Pretty cool for a sophomore? Not perfect but not bad.
8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist
9:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist with music
10:00 a.m. Parish Forum & Kairos
10:15 a.m. worship.together
Holy Eucharist for families with young children
11:15 a.m. Choral Eucharist
Silent morning meditation is offered at 8:15 a.m. weekdays, in the Mary Chapel.
We would love to have you join us.
This Episcopal church is located in the heart of the historic neighborhood of Chestnut Hill, five blocks west of Germantown Avenue at the corner of St. Martin’s Lane and West Willow Grove Avenue.