Be Jesus.

I was chastised this week. On several different occasions by several different people. It was hard to handle. The things they were angry about were their own doing and yet, it fell back on me.

Hi, I’m a social worker.

I found myself very frustrated with situations that were out of my control. I wanted so bad to yell at these clients, “This. Is. Your. Choice. Not. Mine” . And worse off, the kids are the ones who are getting punished.

Then I remember the blood of Christ. His Father sent him directly to us in flesh. He didn’t do anything wrong. He went through pain and agony we will never understand. And He did it willingly. He could have, as the devil said, made it all go away. He did not. All for the Love of us. All for our broken, sinful, selves.

We are to be Christ-like. I will prayerfully never have to go through the physical pain Jesus did. But, I will be blasted for doing what it right. And as a believer in my Jesus, I will continue to fight for what’s right. I will continue to fight for these children. I will give forgiveness to all of the parents. Why? Because, WWJD.

In this line of work, we are to be set aside from the rest. We are to offer our clients redemption. As most should know, parents don’t start out this way. They usually learn from their surroundings as children and continue the patterns as adults (thus the vicious cycle that is job security for me).

We don’t work with parents. We work with children trapped in adult bodies who have no idea how to rise above their situations. We are to come in, not as a drill sergeant, but as the body of Christ. Loving. Caring. Open.

Just imagine…

If our clients understood what Jesus did for them. They wouldn’t need the drugs, the alcohol, the empty relationships, the abusive relationships, the anger, the victim mentality. They would fall into His arms and forever be changed.

1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most Highdwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.

Psalm 46:1-5

I will continue doing my job. I will continue fighting for the children. I will continue fighting for the parents. If even one life is changed, it’s God’s work and I’m blessed that he has used me as a vessel for Him.

Amen.

Day in the life…… Social work style

So. Just another day in the office, right?

Wrong.

I start the day off searching for a mama who got out of jail and began twisting through the family like a tornado.

Then I make it to transport a kiddo for a 4 hour visitation because I know how important family is and the state can’t seem to see fit that we pay for providers to do it.

Then I make a pit stop at court. Tear it up as usual. Got some kids back with parents. Praying they continue on the path they are on.

Then I remove a child from a family that can’t handle him due to life and health issues and place him in foster care.

Then I go get groceries and come home to a house that appears to be barely standing, with laundry piled up and dinner to be made and children to be gotten ready for their first day of school tomorrow.

Bottle up ALLLLLLLLLLLLLL the emotions of this one day and you could probably use it for jet fuel to finally get to Mars. And back. 3 times.

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”

1 Peter 4:10

I. Am. Blessed.

Self Care

A supervisor once told me “don’t wait until you’re 20 years in to realize what you should have done 20 years ago.”

Social work can take a lot out of you. Matter of fact, it can take everything you have. Approximately 30-45% of child welfare staff leaves within two years (scribd.com). It will do the same to you too, if you aren’t aware and prepared.

Social work isn’t the only job like this, of course. Some others are law enforcement, nursing, and pastoral staff just to name a few.

Helping people is exhausting. It isn’t numbers. It’s people’s lives. It isn’t the same day in, day out. It’s different every time you get to work. It doesn’t end when you leave work. The big man wants more of you than you can ever give. Nothing is ever good enough. Someone, somewhere, needs your assistance.

Take a step back. It’s OK. You need not feel guilty. You actually help your cause when you take a break every once in a while. Let go of the guilt and let go of the day. Don’t plan much. Just be. Be you. Do you remember who you are? If not, find you.

I take a day off here and there. No big plans; just to have a day. A lot of times I spend it with my kiddos. Some days I send them off to school and I may not get out of bed. Or I may reorganize my closet. Or I may go grocery shopping and actually get to think about meal planning while I do it.

The key is to not feel bad about needing a day. Self-care. Care for yourself. Who else is responsible for getting that one job done? No one else but you. Take responsibility and DO IT!!!!!!! I’ve got my day scheduled for July. Do you?

Perspective

Im bubbling over with anger. I’m in a funk. I’m so frustrated and there’s no simple end to my current issues. I’ve read my Jesus Calling book. I’ve prayed about it. I still dont feel great. I’m still so frustrated.

In comes a man… legs cut off from the knee down. Paying restitution for something he didn’t do. Struggling to get in the door and struggling just as much to get out of the door.

Take that Pattie.

God says………

You whine and complain about your first world problems. You pray to me but you don’t listen. Let me slap you in the face.

Yes, Lord. I hear you Lord. My problems are not worth a day ruined. I am thankful for my health. I am thankful for my career. I am thankful to be alive. This will blow over. It is not the end of the world.

Amen.

Foster isn’t fun.

Look here. If you are looking into fostering, this isn’t exactly to deter you. What it is is to be raw and real with you. Don’t become a foster parent for superficial reasons.

1 John 3:17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?

Don’t become a foster parent because you think the parents suck beyond repair. Your MAIN job is to love these children unconditionally, through all of their brokenness, and to be patient while the parents work hard to try and get to a safe and stable place in their life. Your job isn’t to belittle them while they work. They aren’t you. They dont have the knowledge and resources you do. They are not where you ARE. Your job is to meet them where they are. To respect them as human beings. Can you do this? Yes. Then you have my full support!! If no. Go back to the drawing board and give in other ways. Offer assistance in any way possible.

Acts 20:35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

Life on the road.

This is my office.

My office has unhealthy fast food. My office has randomness threw around. My office is lonely.

I drive. I drive to home visits. To facilities. To hospitals. To schools.

I drive to broken homes and pray the whole way there. I drive away from those homes and pray even harder.

I love it. I love being away from the office. I love getting in there and working as hard as I know how.

I ask that if you are out there reading this, please pray that I make the best choices in all of my cases. Pray for my clients. All the family members. Pray for the clients to find healthy support.

Amen.

Fail

I come in to work free as a bird. I sit down at my desk and instantly become chained and gagged. I have so many desires for my job. I have so many ideas. None are accepted. The system is broken. The government has an agenda and it isn’t to give the people success.

I KNOW what these clients need. I cannot give it to them. I KNOW what it would take to get these clients the help. I cannot give it to them. I AM sorry clients. I let you down daily.

You yell at me. You curse me. You tell me I don’t care. I care. I promise. I care too much. All I can do is give you the resources I’m allowed and believe me when I tell you this….. I pray for each and every one of you. I pray for your family. I pray for your well being. I pray you accept what help IS offered. I pray that you find your worth. I pray that life works for you. That’s all I can do. I’m sorry I failed you.