He who has promised is faithful.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Posted by Cady Schmidt at 12:11 AM
Monday, March 16, 2009
Posted by Cady Schmidt at 10:00 PM
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Sometimes I look at the kids that I work with and I wonder about their lives. I wonder how it must feel to wake up in the morning, put on the clothes that someone else paid for, eat breakfast prepared by an adult, go to preschool and spend time with incredible teachers, color some pictures, play on the playground, take a nap, go home, play, eat dinner cooked by an adult, play, and sleep. Sometimes I’m jealous of my kids. I wish I could trade places with the little four year old goobers. I wish I could have their innocence, their blind faith and their positive outlook on life. It’s hard for me to look at these kids and see past their sweet, hilarious, huggable exteriors. I like to imagine them all as happy little creatures who skip merrily through their perfect little lives. It’s much easier for me to sleep at night when I picture them all in their carefree, safe little bubbles.
But then, there are other times when my idealistic picture is shattered. There are times when I ache for my kids and the hurt that they are experiencing in their young, sweet hearts. There are days when I cry for them and I sit dumbfounded, unable to come to grips with the fact that all of their lives aren’t perfect. Some of these kids are dealing with things in their fourth year of life that I have never had to encounter in all of mine.
I had a conversation with a little girl on Monday afternoon. She is four years old. She loves the color purple and REALLY loves her guinea pigs. (She has two. Their names are Guinea and Pig.) I have gotten to know this little sweetheart over the last year on a deeper level than most of the kids because she sometimes stays late after all of the other kids have left. I sit with her and we talk while she waits for her Nomi (Grandma) to come. Usually we’re laughing about her guinea pigs or talking about what she did in school, but Monday night was different. As we were on the playground my little friend started talking to me about her parents. She told me that they live in different houses and that they are never going to live together again. She explained to me that her mom and dad had to move away from each other because they were fighting a lot. Then she told me that she really, really, REALLY wants them to live together but knows they can’t. She goes on to explain that it’s scary to sleep at her dad’s house because she only has one stuffed animal there. She likes to sleep at her mom’s house because that’s where the guinea pigs are and they make her feel braver. “I’m braver at that house,” she says. She talked for about five minutes or so as I blinked away my tears. I could hardly look at her precious little face as she talked so innocently about the pain she was feeling inside. I could tell that she was really conflicted. She loves both of her parents so much and it is obvious when I see her with them that they love her too. But this little girl is heart broken. She’s confused about why she can’t live in the same house with both her mom and her dad (and her guinea pigs). The worst part about all of this is that there is not one thing I can do to fix this for her. I can’t tell her that it’s going to be better soon. I can’t tell her that her pain will eventually heal. I can’t shelter her from the tough world that she lives in.
This is where I lose it. I understand that we live in a sinful world and that because of that sin we have pain and trials and consequences on this earth. I also know that God is perfect and that He has a plan and a purpose for everything. But it is just so hard for me to wrap my mind around situations like this. I would so much rather take the pain and the hurt away from these innocent kids than have them experience it themselves. This little girl didn’t do anything to deserve this pain.
I look at her and think about so many of the other kids I’ve worked with and I am reminded that this is why I’m here. This is why God has allowed me to have this job, serve in this place, and minister in the way that I do. This is my calling. This is who I am, what I love and where I want to be. I look back on painful situations in my own life like losing my mom and losing my relationship with my little brother and I know that God has allowed me to go through those things for this exact reason. I can hurt with this little girl. I know what it’s like to be confused and angry and lost and sad and how tiring it is to attempt to keep it all together. I understand what it feels like to want to be safe and oddly enough, I understand why those darn guinea pigs are so important to her.
Sometimes I think about the kids that I work with and I cry. I cry because of their pain, because of the fact that they’re scared, because of the way that they don’t understand their own hurts. I cry because it’s not fair and I cry because I want to save them. I don’t envy their lives. I don’t feel jealous. I just want to make it better.
Then I remember that, as with everything in our lives, there has to be balance. I love that I can laugh with them, play with them, run with them, sing with them and act like a kid with them. I love that the world changes when I’m with kids. Suddenly it goes from a dark and lonely place to a place full of color and laughter. At the same time I love that I can pray for them, I can speak truth to them and I can teach them about God. I can listen to them and I can comfort them. I can give them big hugs and kiss their sweet little heads and know for a brief moment that they are safe.
I’m learning that I can’t fix everything for them. I can’t take away their pain but I can pray for them and care for them with the gifts that God has given me. I can show them His love and pray that somehow it makes a difference in their lives. I can trust that God is faithful and that He is going to care for them in the perfect, unconditional way that only He can.
And then I realize that I’m slowly getting there. As hard as it is I am slowly finding the balance between sympathy and celebration, between silliness and seriousness, between anger and confusion and peace and trust.
My job is to teach these kids. But the ironic thing is, I learn something new from them everyday.
I experience God through them.
Posted by Cady Schmidt at 2:10 PM
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I'm sure you have all been sitting around at least once in the last two weeks and thinking to yourself, "I wonder what Cady is doing right now?" or "I wonder who Cady is talking to right now?" Well, you can breathe easy because I am about to tell you.
As a single 22 year old woman, living in a thriving metropolis, one would think that my social calendar would be bursting at the seams; full of dates, fancy parties, spa treatments and more dates. Oh how I wish that were true for me.
You see, the reatlity of the situation is that round abouts 73% of the time I am having a conversation with a human under the age of 10. I affectionately call them my little goobers. Working at a preschool and running a children's ministry allows me to have some pretty hilarious conversations.
For example, in the last week I have been greeted like this:
"Hi Miss Cady."
"Hey Miss Tady."
"Hey Chapel Girl."
"Um....um....wait. What's your name again? Uh...Teacher?"
And last but not least, "Hey Tootie Tot."
How am I supposed to respond when a 3 year old girl calls me, "Tootie Tot"? Am I supposed to take her seriously when she follows it up with a question? I think not. I laugh. I laugh a lot.
Here is a snippet of a conversation I had with a five year old boy recently. And by recently I mean every day for the past month.
Goober: "Miss Kay-yee? You are married."
Me: "No, Goober. I am not married."
Goober: "Yes but Miss Kay-yee. You have a boyfriend."
Me: "No, Goober. I do not have a boyfriend."
Goober: "But Miss Kay-yee. You kiss a boy."
Me: "No Goober. No kissing for me. You are a goober."
Goober: "Miss Kay-yee. Am I your boyfriend?" (huge smile)
Me: "I don't know, Goober. Do you want to be my boyfriend?"
And then....Goober runs away, leaving me in the dust, on the mulch filled playground, with nothing but a broken heart.
Posted by Cady Schmidt at 10:50 AM