Friday, October 31, 2014

A Very Brief Update!

Today I am celebrating because I finally feel like my cold is going away for good! I’ve been battling this darn cold for a week and a half and am just now starting to feel back to normal. Looking back at October I realize the reason I probably got this cold in the first place is because I spent basically every single day running around like a crazy person while being pregnant and working with germ-infested elementary school kids. Roughly three out of my five weekday mornings were spent shadowing at the agency I will be completing my internship at in the spring—Minnehaha Health and Human Services—and then running off to class, work, and school. Ben and I also took a childbirth class on Monday nights during October, which was hilariously and awkwardly fun and informative, and on Wednesday nights I headed to my church to work with 6th and 7th grade girls at youth group. It was no wonder I got sick—literally every minute of every day was full and I finally broke down. However, I am down shadowing and my mornings have been freed up to catch up on some much needed sleep and allowed me to spread my workload out more evenly throughout the week.

Regardless of how tired October made me feel, I am at the point of my pregnancy where I realize I should have been more thankful for the second trimester! My schedule has been freed up considerably and yet I feel even more tired than before! That dreaded exhaustion that I left behind from the first trimester has returned with a vengeance, but now all the fun things like a constant backache have also crept up, and I am just plain tired. But so very, very excited!

I have never been more excited for any aspect of school like I’m excited for my internship. For the last month I have simply been watching case workers handle cases and I have very much enjoyed interacting with clients and learning the ropes to this agency. Going in, I had the misconception that clients would come in “living” off the money from the county and never making changes to improve their lives. But I was wrong. Minnehaha County Health and Human Services isn’t a free for all where people can come in and get a handout. The assistance given out to these people is a loan that is required to be paid back, and if caseworkers have a suspicion that assistance wouldn’t really help the client—that they’d just be back in the office a month later asking for more help—the help isn’t given to them. There are strict income guidelines that case workers have to adhere to, and the goal is to simply help struggling people get back on their feet and to give them the tools to be successful after the county has given them assistance. I’ve learned about all kinds of agencies in Sioux Falls doing wonderful things for people, and it makes me thankful to live in a community that cares about “the least of these.” There is good help available in Sioux Falls for people who desperately need it, and the biggest thing I’ve learned throughout the last month is that it is dangerous to write people off as lazy before you know their story. It is not up to me to decide if someone is “worthy” of my help. It’s my job to listen, to offer them the help available to them or point them to a place that can help them if I am unable to, and to NOT judge them. I have come face to face with my faith, realizing how unworthy I am of God’s love and acceptance when I have done nothing to prove to him that I am worthy. If he can give me grace and forgiveness when I least deserve it, I can give understanding and assistance to people too—even when I feel they least deserve it. I could go on and on about this, so if you want to talk to me about exactly what goes on at Minnehaha County Health and Human Services and why I love it so much, please ask me about it!

And of course, I am so excited to welcome our baby into our lives so soon! I have roughly 11 weeks to go and I am both elated and terrified. I won’t get as much maternity leave as I would like because I need to be back at the agency by mid-February, so add me to your prayer list if you would! I am going to be relying on your prayers to get me through the first rough months of parenting and trying to balance my professional life. It’s going to be a very emotionally trying time for me, and know that your prayers and words of encouragement impact me much more than you will ever know.

That’s my brief update on what I’ve been up to in the past few weeks! Thanks for partnering with me in my whirlwind life.