I think my husband was going to rename them: How Our Family Went Broke.
I was in a particularly dark time, both in my head and in my job. I am a high school,teacher in a small school and the dark time in my job was taking over my head; I just couldn't see a way out. I contemplated quitting my job, but didn't want to leave my students (that I adored) behind. But I couldn't keep going to work crying everyday either.
Now for the irony. Remember I am doing the Made To Crave Bible Study over in Proverbs 31, and it is about getting healthy and moving closer to craving God instead of food. Well, this was before all of that. I was having another miserable day, we're talking one of those days where I knew that the moment I got home, I was going to crawl into bed. And I might not get up in the morning to go to work. So I headed over to Taco Bell for lunch. As I was in the drive-thru line, I decided that I needed to get my focus on something other than my miserable day. In a split second I bought lunch for the entire car behind me. I don't remember how much it was, just the look on my students' face when they got to the window. And you know what else happened, my miserable day wasn't that miserable anymore. Sure, I was still having to put up with a lot of garbage and I wasn't happy about things, but I had perspective.
And that started a long line of Mrs. T-sometimes-buys-lunch-for-the-car-behind-her moments. Sometimes it was kids that had a special place in my heart. Other times is was students that didn't know by name, or a complete stranger from the freeway. And every now and then, it was students that drove me crazy earlier in the day or that I just didn't care for. Not all of them said thank you, some did. Once in a while, someone would by me lunch. I will still head off to one of the drive-thrus in town, just to buy the car behind me lunch.
But then this year the garbage came to a head. I was getting nasty emails and face-to-face barbings. It was NOT fun, and while the tears had stopped, I was spending a lot of time being angry and wanting to say something to shut these people up, even though I knew it wouldn't help. At one of those times that I was ready to fire off an email, I distinctly remember hearing "Stop" but had no idea why. But I dug around my desk and found a note card, and wrote a quick note to our school secretary. She takes so much of the front line garbage, and just wanted to thank her. My heart was released from the anger, and I found myself re-framed again. I was reminded of what really matted to me. So I went and got some more notecards and kept writing to people: coworkers, people from church, students... Lots of students.
My not-so random acts of kindness started out of sheer desperation, but I still think that it was born out of God's love for me. Because I was confident in His love, I did not hesitate to share it. I never checked our finances before acting because I knew that I was in God's hands. And I was never let down, not monetarily and not by the feeling I got when I saw other people's faces. And it never ceased to make me stop wallowing in my own problems.