As I sit here typing away with my big mug of tea, tunes blasting out of my laptop (the most favoured position to blog or scribble ideas down in) I am comforted by the knowledge that at least a few pople will be giving this a read. Which, following the title of todays bolg, brings me to the first level of gratitude I wanna talk about. I’m grateful to you, yes you, person who is reading this! I thank you that you are interested enough and obviously care enough about me to read my latest ramblings, it makes me feel cared for, loved, valued and thought about even though I am many miles down the A34. It also satisfies the frustrated writer inside me, so thanks for that too!!
As you will all know, I’m sure, it was the Children in Need campaign on Friday…What less of you will know is that Weston Church Youth Project (where I work) recieves the majority of it’s funding from Children In Need. It is, therefore, so wonderfully ironic that on the night when people all over the country were pledging millions of pounds to projects like us; The kids at our project, recieveing so much of people’s hard earned cash were the worst behaved I have seen them yet!! Now I’m not blaming them, it goes with the current time of year, we get lots in to all the clubs in the winter months which inevitabley means more trouble. And they weren’t doing it out of spite or irony at all, they don’t know where any of our funding comes from so they are intirley oblivious that they can come and play on the playsation 3 every Friday because of Sir Terry Wogan and Pudsy Bear. And to be honest, I think it’s better that they don’t know where our money comes from because im sure a few of the older ones would get quite offended if they knew they were considered a “child in need”; even though they so obviously are in need! So regardless of what the kids were saying, I want to say a massive thank you to anyone who pledged money on Friday or did anything at all for Children In Need. Our project is grateful, because without that money we couldn’t run.
It has got me thinking though, about where I recieve the gratification for the job I do from. My first week here I knew it was not gonna be coming from the kids any time soon. There is no thanks from them for anything we do. Even though Phil has given up his life to work for these guys, they really don’t seem bothered. There is just an assumption that it will happen. An assumption that they will get all this brand new stuff to trash to their heart’s content. An assumption that week after week Phil will open up his house to them and let them do whatever they want. An assumption that they can abuse us without getting anything back. An assumption that we will work and work, and prepare endless things for them to do in the knowledge that we expect nothing in return. Funnily enough though, I’m not having a go, or moaning. They wouldn’t be the same if they thanked us all the time; if they felt like they had an obligation to be polite then they wouldn’t be as honest with us and tell us exactly what’s on their mind or ask us the questions that they actually want answered. Them assuming so much of us is such a good thing, it shows that they trust the project enough to assume all of those things. So I don’t get gratitude from the kids, and am working with no thanks from them at all, does it matter?
The answer’s no. I know that Phil values me being here, because they didn’t have a Careforce worker last year I think those feelings of gratitude from him are a little heightened. It’s like he forgot how good it is to have someone around helping out. And I’m getting the same feelings from the church as a whole. They realise how much it benefits the project having a careforce worker that really fits. But does it even matter that I’m getting thanked by them? Is it them that is keeping me going when I want to run away back to MK? (because even though I am starting to feel more fulfilled, ofcourse it is still a massive task down here and results in me wanting to run away A LOT!!)
No, It really isn’t. Ofcourse it’s great to be thanked and feel valued by my boss and the church I am part of. But I am no longer working for gratitude…I’m working out of gratitude to the Big man.
In all I do, in the life I live and the job that he has called me to I want to thank him and show my gratitude to him. For the grace he has shown in giving me the gifts that I use for my job. For giving me such a clear desire and call to what I am supposed to do. For giving me such obvious pointers to where he wants me. For remaining faithful in times when I haven’t seen those pointers. For giving me amazing opportunities. For the awesome privilege that it is to work with the young people of his church. For being all that I have ever and will ever need.
For all of this and so very much more, I live and work out of thanks and gratitude to my Creator Father.