Green Woman - I LOVE RAW!!!
Today I Met God's Grace (short story
First, let me affirm the following (THEN I will write the story!!!):
Refocused on being at peace with God...
Refocused on letting go of hurts and wrongs... even when there are those trying to force me back into the midst of the pain. My life is in my power - and God's - and neither of Us choose this chaos to rule... He has a path for peace, and I choose to take it.
Refocused on working again!!! I put in a 6 hr. day on cleaning today (for my first client with Green Woman Cleaning... I am so thrilled to have this new client and plan to cultivate their neighborhood with referrals. I did a bang-up cleaning job! It's not a wealthy section, but it's NICE middle-class, honest people and those are the kinds of people I would love to work with, as they appreciate a clean house AND my rates.
Refocused on being in-love with Joy in my life!!! Joy is a glorious thing to cultivate and keep - like a garden that is eternally producing beautiful, full, vibrant blooms... Joy is mine, if I accept it. And I do accept it.
Refocused on working job #2 the best I am able and BETTER!!!! I am going to be a waver for Liberty Tax Services!!!
Refocused on daily RIGHT choices... for my health, my finances, my family and my future.
a short story by Martine
I was frustrated as I whipped around the Williams' (name changed) house.
The 700 sq. ft. dwelling according to my original price-quote should have only taken me 3 hrs to clean thoroughly. But it seemed like everytime I turned around, a new upright cupboard heaped with nick-nacks and tiny Buddhas had sprung up out of the wall.
My brand-new vacuum cleaner was the perfect tool for tackling the floors and corners, but I had to dust every shelf and item by hand - and it was becoming an agonizing task after about 5 hours.
There is no end to this dust. My nostrils are thick with it. I'm choking.
And then a clod of dust falls into my eye and the stinging pain of dust on eyeball sends me into a rush of tears and I race to the bathroom sink. In panic, I throw handfuls of water into my eye and pray that the dust won't cause any damage.
Drama over. Eye clear. Moving on... but slowly.
It's 5pm. I've been at the Williams' house since 11am. I've taken one break - of about thirty seconds - to sip some water. I'm running on a liter of green smoothie, nothing else. My emotions are overwraught - both with excitement that, at last... at long last... I have WORK and can pay my bills! and with exhaustion, for last night was a place for dark dreams and waking nightmares plagued even my early morning hours.
The tensions, fears, devastations, struggles, and losses of 2008 are rushing out of my system, like bad blood seeping from a poison wound... and the pain of them leaving me is almost equal to the pain of them entering.
I am learning to let go. For what other choice is there?
Finally, I am done. Last cupboard dusted, last mirror washed, last lint ball tossed, last pillow arranged... and I rise to my feet, gather my cleaning supplies, and leave the house.
The job that should have taken 3 hrs has taken 6.5, and the $79 which was lying in my car is now looking like a poor man's hard-earned wages, instead of a wealthy woman's dream-coming-true.
I don't feel negative. I just feel drained. I drive home in a stupor, unsteady at the wheel from hunger and exhaustion, and looking forward to spending a few minutes to unwind with my dogs before tackling the budget for the night.
I pull into my front driveway, and begin cleaning out my car.
It's around 6pm when I have finished unloading all my gear, and open the trunk of my vehicle to find out what's left there from the yard sale.
A single box lies open in the trunk, overstuffed with fancy clothes I paid way too much money for over the last few years, and wore far too infrequently to justify the cost.
I have decided to take the clothes to Buffalo Exchange and get a few bucks back on them, if I can.
I shake my head and reach for the box. As I lift it, a wide-brimmed gray hat topples out of the box into the car trunk.
I set down the box, pick up the hat, turn it a few times in the fading sunset light and smile. Behind me, I hear someone walking in front of the house.
I turn, and see a tall, straight-backed African-American woman dressed in a tidy sweater and black pants, toting an Albertson's grocery bag. She smiles at me and says, "Happy New Year!"
"Happy New Year to you, too!" I call back, returning her warm smile. I notice now that she's wearing a wide-brimmed white hat very like the gray hat in my hand.
"Hey... would you like a new hat?" I say, holding out the hat so she can see it.
"Would I like a new hat?" she repeats in a thick accent I cannot quite place. "Why, of course I would. What a Happy New Year this is, indeed!"
I beam and run to give her the hat. But she meets me halfway, walking steadily on old legs that have seen many miles of walking and will be strong for decades to come.
She turns the hat over in her hand, laughing a funny, short, chuckling laugh that warms me inside and makes me want to call her "Grandma".
Then, inspiration strikes, and I pull her over to the box of fancy, brightly-colored clothes and begin taking pieces out one-by-one, holding them up, and convincing her to add them to her wardrobe.
She's not dressed poorly. In fact, she's dressed very nice... but something in her voice is weary, and something in her eyes is distant, and her hands hold the tremble of years of hardship and hard work, and no returns. Except perhaps that warmth that lights her whole being - call it Joy... deep rooted and untiring Joy.
We begin to chat while she rummages through the box and she tells me her name is Grace.
Grace is from Gana, Africa... that her six children were born there, 32 years ago... that she has over a dozen grandchildren, and doesn't see them very often.
And what her words don't say, but her eyes confirm, is that she has been lonely and alone for a long time, but has never lost her Joy, or her Hope, or the deep Peace that radiates from her warm, throaty chuckles of laughter.
Finally, she has decided - she will simply take the whole box!
But it's too much to carry, so I give Grace a ride home.
Home is only two blocks away. I feel cheap in my gift, but I know Grace isn't counting crowns. She's simply wearing one. She adds to this image in my head by asking me very directly at one point: "Martine, do you know Jesus?"
I am taken aback, clouded with guilt and fear instantly, but I say quietly, "Yes, I know Jesus..."
A whisper in the back of my soul answers back hollowly: You sure don't act like it.
We arrive at her house, and Grace chuckles again as she points out the drab green dwelling with a gravel front yard. "Here we are - at my ugly house!"
"It's not ugly, Grace!" I exclaim quickly, but I don't mean the house. I mean it for her, because I am convinced she is a very special person, and I feel as if I've been gifted to meet her this way.
I tote the box into her house, and Grace - perhaps out of shame at the drabness of the place, or simply because she doesn't want a guest, I think - shuffles me outside just as quickly. But she grabs me in the doorway, embraces me firmly, places me back on my two feet squarely and says:
"God is going to richly bless you in your life. But you need to read your Bible every day, you need to live right. But God will richly bless you."
She then pulls me close a second time, and this time my eyes are welling up with tears.
She kisses my cheek, I thank her from the bottom of my heart, and she is gone.
And tonight, much later in the day, I am deep in thought as I stand here warming my cold thighs against a humming heater, listening to the dogs' banter and the printer churning out business brochures... feeling all the emotion come piling back on me, flooding the dark things out of my system with the simple order: "You need to live right."
I know now why the cleaning job took 6.5 hours, not 3.
I have never before taken so long on a task - but neither have I before met God's Grace.