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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

determined joy.

Dear FH,

(Who will have to either deal with my stubbornness or learn to manipulate it to your own advantage).

There are two things I am a strong purveyor of: joy and truth.

One day, maybe, if I'm brave enough, I'll get a tattoo on my right foot.  It will say "rejoice in truth."  After all, it's what love does.

I'm beginning to find, unfortunately, that there are more things in this life to become bitter about, rather than rejoice in.  Bitterness is such a strong seed, it takes root in even the most brittle places.  It quickly squelches, obliterates any traces of joy.

We have a little term for this in the restaurant industry.  It's called "being in the weeds."  This happens to the best of us.  Guests keep filtering in during the afternoon lunch or evening dinner rush.  You literally begin drowning in coffee and ice tea refills, picking up empty plates, greeting new guests, cashing out old ones, keeping food balanced on trays above your shoulder and praying that you don't slip and fall (something that, you will learn, is in my nature).

It's a whirlwind of welcome, thank you, how may I assist you?, it would be my pleasure, the restroom is right over this way, our lunch buffet is 16.95, yes gratuity is included, no beverages are not included, do you need change?, have a wonderful day, come join us again soon. 

And there is little time for thinking or doing anything else.

Similarly, you can slip into the weeds of bitterness in your own life.

It would be super easy for someone, for me, for you, to just sort of melt into a habit of looking at life through bitterly-rimmed glasses.  I was prepared for a day at work "in the weeds," just yesterday.  I was running a few minutes late (proof of my aforementioned need for a five minute buffer) because I was sitting in my little red toyota in the employee parking lot.  Praying.

"Lord, give me grace among the fire of this day.  Either that, or make it a super easy day." 

FH, nothing in this lifetime will ever be super easy.  But grace is always there when you need it the most desperately.

As soon as I breezed through the employee entrance, the madness began.  I smiled at my boss as I tied my apron and prepared mentally for the day ahead.

"Good morning!" I said with all the enthusiasm I could muster.  I was in a good mood.  I began praying a lot more when I began working here.

"Our buffet runner isn't here, I need you to help set up the buffet outside," my boss said to me in a near panic.

I smiled back at him, and gave him a second chance.

"Good morning" I said again.  My only reply.

He stopped, looked me in the eye with a short smile and said, "Sorry, good morning."

I turned and began brewing coffee for the lunch hour.  And so it began.

And, FH, I wasn't perfect.  I may try to convince you that I am in the beginning of our relationship, but you'll very quickly come to find that I am not.  I was impatient, I lost sight of joy.  My fuse line of patience ran rather short. 

Nonetheless, I worked the rest of the day, clearing tables, resetting silverware, counting money and listening to my dear coworkers as best I could.  Trying not to fall into the weeds of bitterness, and searching for joy in serving.

I was determined to find joy in the midst of stress, pressure and doing the dirty work.

I hope you'll trust and fight for this determination for joy by my side.  That our love for one another will rejoice in truth.  Together.


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