Saturday, May 26, 2007

What If...we released this sense of entitlement?

Okay. I know I'm posting out of turn but it's Saturday morning and I have something to say.

Many of you know that I have taken on a position outside the home to help alleviate some of the financial pressure from my husband. The work environment is really toxic. I'm struggling...really struggling. Mostly to keep my big mouth shut. (Hence, the post on the Monday Mutes.)

I was reading an article yesterday about the rise and fall of the creator of Veggie Tales. He speaks very poignantly about the time when he came across the passage in the Bible on the fruit of the Spirit and he realized that he wasn't bearing this fruit. He realized he was in trouble.

So, before I went to work I began to pray fervently. Holy Spirit, be with me. Bear the fruit for me. I'm lost. I'm struggling. My heart is not right. I cannot do it on my own. It must come from you.

Then, I went to work. On to the next subject...

I work with a group of young ladies with a real sense of entitlement. They rarely work but they expect reward. The "rules" don't quite apply to them. They are the exception. ( If there is one area where my parents exceedingly excelled was in teaching me about work ethic. I know how to work.) I keep telling myself. They are young. They simply don't know how.

So...I was leaving for my one hour lunch break yesterday, making a mental list of notes in my head of all I had to cram into this one hour. (By the was not on the list) Go home and feed the dog, make 2 return phone calls for the PCC, stop by my PO Box and pick up the mail, pay the water bill, etc.

I'm clocking out when one of these young ladies walks up to me at the desk. Uh, hon, I need you to go pick me up a cup of ice for my bottled water. And, your best bet is to go to QT not MacDonalds because the line is too long and you'll be waiting too long.

My immediate (and flippant) reply: No. My best bet is for you to get your own ice.

Of course, the whole group was at the desk and heard my reply. After the initial silence was the various comments on how much of a {BLANK} I was.

So much for my witness (again). So much for staying mute. What about love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness....Remember the old commercial: Where's the beef? Yesterday, I was kicking myself in the tail asking:

Where's the fruit?


Anne said...

Randee, you're not out of turn in the least. Weekends are just for posts such as these; musing on whatever is in our hearts.

Actually your response didn't seem "fruitless" to me. The young woman was rude in her delivery and rude in her sense of entitled expectations. Yes, perhaps you could have said, "I'm sorry, but I don't have time to do that." But perhaps God knew exactly what she needed, and perhaps what she needed was someone being forthright in their response. Just hearing that you were within earshot of people commenting on what a ***** you were, shows what a negative environment that is. Toxic indeed. I'm going to be praying for you as you struggle in such an environment, but I so wish I could do something tangible as well. Please let me know if there is anything at all I can do!

Shalene said...

Randee, I feel your pain more than you know! I'm no longer in the workforce, thank the Lord!, but when I was, it too was extremely toxic for me. I'll be praying for you as well. I had a thought though, and I hope I'm not out of turn here, but have you prayed to God, asking Him what His purpose is for you in this setting? I'm sure you have, but the reason I ask, is that I'm thinking that a part of your bad feelings about the environment might stem from your unhappiness at not being at home? I know I'm making a presumption here, but please don't take offense. I've just attempted to place myself in your shoes, and this would be one of my issues. I would resent having to go back into the workforce, if that was not my wholehearted willing choice. And my resentment would create even more negativity than I might otherwise feel. I am by no means saying that the negativity is your doing. However, I've been reading a lot of information by the Smalleys (Gary, Greg and Michael) and over and over again they remind us that we are in control of how we feel, no one else. No one else makes us feel the way we do. It is our beliefs about a person or their actions that cause our reaction and emotion. Perhaps you could try one of their suggestions and try to envision these young women the way the God sees them. Perhaps that will make it easier to "hold your tongue" when they are thoughtless and unkind. They are obviously not believers (and if they are, they need some serious convicting- by someone other than you, I think would be best.) :) Your peace about who they are and why they are in your life at this precise moment may be the witness that they need to become believers- or at least begin searching. Again, please do not take offense, just thought I would share my thoughts too. The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you. 2 Tim 4:22

Randee said...


I don't take offense at anything you've said. How can I take offense at truth?

You're right. I don't want to be there. I am resentful. I am responsible for my own feelings. I do have issues with many that I work with.

As I said...where's the fruit? I see my shortcomings. I see my sin. I feel the bitterness. It's all there front and center. And, quite frankly, the negativity IS my own doing.

Having said all that, I do see a glimpse into God's purposes for my being there.'s more than financial. The problem is that I am failing over and over again.

Failure...tough for me. There has not been a day that has gone by that I haven't asked for forgiveness for some word, action, or feeling that I've had.


Thank you for your encouragement. The most tangible thing you can do for my is pray for my bitter heart. It's ugly.

No "inner beauty" awards coming to this woman.

Anne said...

Randee, I understand a bitter heart, or an ugly one, as I possess one. I read this quote today by Shane Claiborne: "...The tax collector teaches us, as does Jesus, that his is a gospel for sick people, not righteous people. When we become aware of our own brokenness, we begin to see God's image in every human being, be they soldier or centurion, tax collector or stockbroker, zealot or anarchist. We judge less. We leave room for grace. We understand that no one is beyond redemption, including ourselves."

Perhaps we both journey on a path right now to seeing our own brokenness, and by doing so cultivate more love and grace for others.

And when we need to vent, a psychologist told me a good trick once that works well - Go throw eggs at a tree. The tree can be whomever you want. The number of eggs is up to you.

Love and grace and a carton of eggs for you, my sister.

Shalene said...

Hey Randee, just make sure that if they are rotten eggs, that you don't throw them at a tree in your own yard. :) Anne, I like your response much better than what I started to write earlier. I do think though, that perhaps you both are being too hard on yourselves. Obviously you have some inner beauty because to see the ugliness that we (and I'm including myself) spew regularly and acknowledge that it's wrong requires beauty of a kind. I think that may come wrong, so let me say that I'm not saying you spew often. :) Just that we (humans in general) think things we shouldn't, feel things we oughtn't and want what we can't have, as a rule, not an exception. I think the thing to remember is that God made us this way- Imperfect. I know that doesn't excuse the behavior, but it does require that we not beat ourselves up over it, once we've asked God for forgiveness. You can't give it to Him and then take it back again. But you ladies know that. I'm gonna stop now, before I start sounding sanctimonious. :)
Love In Him

Anne said...

Shalene, you don't sound sanctimonious! You sound loving and lovely. You're right - we can't beat ourselves up about how imperfect we are. What a balance between seeing our brokenness and also seeing Christ in us. Shalene, I'm so grateful for your participation here. Thank you!

Randee said...


I agree. In no way, do I think you sanctimonious. Look, this is a "get real" blog. That was the point. To open up discussions that are real. I appreciate your honoesty and willingness to "preach the Word", my sister. I really do.

Now on to funny things...As I was reading about the rotten eggs, I just laughed and laughed. You see, my little Joseph loves to throw broken eggs at our tree. I don't even remember when it started but everytime he sees a crack in an egg, he excitedly asks...Can I throw it at the tree? And, we let him. With all his power and might, he'll hurl the egg at the tree...completely triumphant.

Maybe I'll give it a try!

Shalene said...

Ohhhh, that was too funny! FDLOL (Falling down laughing out loud!) I can just picture it! ;) I wish I had a tree big enough in my front yard to hurl eggs at. (Our neighborhood is a relatively new tract, so we don't have any mature trees on our lot, and probably won't, if my husband has his way- he wants to move within 10 years.) Oh well, hurl some for me, will ya? :) I had another What If thought for you ladies....What If We "Killed them with kindness?" or "Lured those flies with honey instead of vinegar" (whichever you prefer.) My mother was a very confrontational kind of person, and she and I used to disagree completely on this point. I finally refused to go to a store with her, if I knew she was returning something. :) Anyway, just another thought for you ladies for some other day. Love In Him

Randee said...

Now that's a great topic, Shalene. Killed them with kindness. Perfect.

Yesterday, I approached the young woman to whom I was so rude and apologized. I took the opportunity to get to know her asking her questions about herself, her plans, her life. I felt the bitterness in my heart melting a bit.

Back to the basics, eh? Along with your idea for a post, I'm mindful of the power of life or death in our words. I "coach" this concept frequently in the Pink Collar Club. As I said...back to the basics!

Shalene said...

Randee, because I am still young (33), it's a relatively new feeling for me to view people younger than me and just that "young people" but I think somehow God managed to place some discernment and wisdom into my thick skull on this count (not that He's not capable no matter what, just that I had to have been difficult.) :) (Hence, my life's pains, you think?) Anyway, I've found that if I place myself in another's shoes, and/or view them as I would one of my children in the same circumstance, it's much easier to be gentle in my deliveries. Definately back to basics. I think so many times we make things harder by forgetting to be "as a child" both in our faith and our love for others. How many small children do you know that don't honestly have a genuine caring for the people around them? A caring that shows no limits, boundaries, prejudices or any other roadblock that we, more and more- the older we get, seem to build up around ourselves? Blessings to you!

Shalene said...

Oh, and one more thing, Randee, good for you! For what it's worth, I'm proud of you! (I hope that sounded only like a sincere praise of you and not condescending in any way.) :) Written word is so hard to convey the sincerity!

Randee said...


This is the firt time (atleast that I can recall) that I have really "seen" the age gap that I've spoken of. I'm not much older than you.

I remember when I was a young girl and wanting to be all grown up, I would ask my mother: When will you consider me an adult? To which she replied: When you have children. That's when you grow up!

Now, this may not be the case for all but it certainly was the case for me. I grew up when I had children.

Now, I have a profound confession to make. (This is my day for confession...I've made 3 on my PCC blog today.)

As I was pondering why this young woman (18) really got under my skin so much, I realized this:

She reminded me of myself at 18!

When I came to terms with this realization, I felt ashamed and awakened at the same time. Do you get what I mean here? I'm not even sure that I do...fully. But, it's been a few days of reckoning with my past, my present, and my unknown future.


Shalene said...

Yes Randee, I know exactly what you mean. my eldest daughter is 14 and so much like me (but different enough in the scary areas- that it's ok.) More than once, I have gotten unbelievably angry at her for things she has done that were the same things I did at her age. And what is it that I'm actually angry about? Not so much her behavior, but the fact that I react in the same way my own mother did, and I "hate" it when I get placed in my mother's shoes. I like to think that I'm a good mom, but for many years, I didn't think of my mother as such. Can you imagine how that feels??? My only regret in this is that I can't tell my mom all this (hence "Dear Mama" poem I wrote to her on my blog just before Mother's Day.) Having said that, perhaps that is God's plan for you there. For you to have a chance to "look in the mirror" and make amends while you can. If you see a behavior that is like one of your own as a younger person, maybe someone would appreciate an apology. I did just that a little over a year ago with my favorite aunt whom I once told in jest that she was getting bigger around the thighs, when I was about 14. (I've lost 65 pounds since that phone call- I just got put in her shoes that time.) God does have a sense of humor, and unfortunately for me, it's much like my own, I think. ;)