Thursday, October 30, 2008

What really is "social work?"

So i am volunteering at CPS for my child welfare class. Last friday, i went on my first home visit. First of all, the unit that i was placed on sees the most intense cases of neglect, no sexual or physical abuse because the unit receives funding to help provide their families, who are in extreme poverty for a variety of reasons, so they can use that money for rent, furniture, food, ect. I'm not even kidding when i say that these clients have nothing. So, anyways-i was pretty nervous about doing home visits with my supervisor. Not scared of the clients, but scared of the way the houses were going to be and my reactions to it, because EVERYTHING is written all over my face, and i keep hearing horror stories. But, Father just really gave me peace that He was going to take care of me and my reactions, and it ended up being really great. The client we went to see was a single mom who just moved here with her two young kids from Liberia. She shouldn't even have a CPS case one her, my supervisor was talking about the investigator and how this shouldnt be on our intense unit, but glad that it is because she is getting services she really needs. One day her little boy wanted to go across the street to play with a neighbor so she walked him over, and a couple of hours later came back to get him, but he wasn't ready. The neighbor said she would walk him over. So a little while later, the neighbor's 16 year old daughter was walking him across the street, he started running, and a car came barreling through and hit the little boy. He's ok, but she got a case opened on her for neglectful supervision, something that was a complete accident and could've happened to anyone. She lives in a really bad neighboorhood, but she is trying so hard. She is going to school and has a job to try and support her 2 kids. She's so sweet and such a good mom, and she just does not understand why she has a case on her, which is understandable. On friday we took her lots of clothes and toys for her kids, and i've never seen anyone so appreciative. She just couldn't believe all this was given to her for free. My supervisor was telling me that each client gets around $3,000, which seems like alot i know, but they need it, truly need it. And there is a ton of paperwork the caseworker has to fill out about what they spent it on and the clients have to sign all these papers, so it really is alot of work, and unfortunately, alot of caseworkers don't want to do the paperwork, so they dont spend money on their clients. That is such a shame! I love my supervisor because she spends every dime.

So people always ask me what im getting my degree in, and when i say social work, there are two types of reactions i usually get. The first one is usually, ew...good luck. Thats dangerous. The second one sociology, what's that? No, not sociology because sociology focuses on studying large groups of people. Social workers pull from sociology, anthropology, and psychology. We focus on helping the most oppressed and vulnerable populations, which are usually minorities, children, the elderly, the homeless, drug and alcohol addicts, domestic violence, people with mental illnesses and those who are terminally ill, adolescents, offenders, prostitutes, anyone with a big social stigma attatched, we help. I found out real quick, I am one of the only Christians in any of my classes. And you know what...i think that is pretty sad. And those reactions i get...are usually from Christians. I'm pretty sure that if youre a follower of Jesus Christ and a part of His body, you're called to do "social work." I'm getting a degree in this, and im very convicted at the fact that before i started learning about the profession, i realized i shouldve already been doing this for awhile now. I was "scared" of "those types of people." What is that? I'm pretty sure in looking at the New Testament Jesus crossed every racial, ethnic, social class, and social stigma possible to reach the lost. Why don't we do that? Why are we so scared? And in being in recovery, it has taught me so incredibly much about how we "rank" sin. My sin of bitterness is no different than the sin of the prostitute, because in reality i am whoring against God by putting my hope and trust in man rather than Him. So what, they may live in a different part of town that's "worse" than what most of us live in, but i'm pretty sure Jesus went into those "bad" parts of town to reach the people no one else wanted to touch. We weren't called to stay in a bubble, and i don't need or have to have a degree to reach the oppressed and the lost. As a believer, i should already be doing that. Just some thoughts, i'll stop preaching to myself and everyone else who reads this. I just really thought about that alot today. Enjoy :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

He got me flowers :)

So for those of you that know i'm going through recovery right now, we started our inventory last week. and inventory sucks. inventory means you go back and fearfully search your heart in the areas of abuse, sexual immorality, guilt and shame, resentment, and fear and anxiety (so pretty much everything). we have to write down in narrative form everything that we've done wrong in that area, what people have done wrong to us, and how we responded. so needless to say, i had a really tough week and this continues for the next month. well i talked to Lanny on saturday and he told me to look out for something that may make my day. i was like ok you're being weird. my roommate hannah called about an hour later and said that our apartment called and said there was a package for me but they close at 4 so i had to get it before then. i was like i didnt order anything, that's weird. so i waited around till about 3:55 and walked down to the office as they seriously were walking out the door with keys in their hands to lock it. i told them i had a package, and they said, "A package or flowers?" I was like no i dont think flowers, no one would send me flowers. I told them my apartment number and they said, "Yeah, flowers. Here you go." i just kept thinking wow this is weird. Lanny's not here who else would send me some random flowers? so when i got to my apartment, i opened the note, and lo and behold guess who they were from? Lanny! All the way from Kazakhstan! i was so excited-they were my favorite, daises of course, and it was just perfect timing! they're sitting in my room, bringing me joy every day! He's pretty good huh ;)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance! (said in a brittish accent) favorite tv show only comes on in the takes normal dancers, the best choreographers in every style of dance, put it together and you get this awesome show...So You Think You Can Dance! it's like american idol, just alot better and it's dancing instead of singing. (i think it would be alot more difficult...but im a little biased). so the top ten dancers from the show go on a national tour together...and of course, they had to come to dallas and of course, i HAD to go see them! so friday night at nokia theater, me and lacey went and saw our favorite dancers. it was bliss for me-just like one massive dance recital, except sad day i didnt get to be a part of it. it was actually one of the first "recitals" i've ever watched and never been a part of, kind of weird. so i took some videos of my favorite dances that they performed from the season. the first one is a contemporary routine by mia michaels, danced by katee and josh, two of my favorites (and josh represents texas so well). The second one is of my favorite girl (who shouldn't have been kicked off before Comfort, but i'm not bitter) Kherrington and second place winner Twitch. This is another Mia Michael's routine and was probably my second favorite of the season. The song is Dreaming with a Broken Heart by John Mayer. Now, Lanny and I LOVE J-May, and this song happens to be one of our favorites. Her creativity in this is insane-i love it.
And lastly, i wish this video would have turned out better. this was my favorite dance of the season, Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis. Tabitha and Napolean choreagraphed this lyrical hip hop dance. I seriously could watch this dance like 100 times in a row and never get tired of it. Chelsea and Mark do such an awesome job. Because of the lights in this one it is hard to see unfortunately, but you can still get the jist somewhat. I would've just focused it on the big screen, but i was too enthralled watching it i wasnt even looking at my camera. If you've never seen it, youtube it. Chelsea plays a wife (or daughter) who is mad at her husband (or dad) because he keeps leaving her for his job. it's awesome. the show was so great all together. maybe in a year and half when i graduate-i'll audition. probably wouldn't even make it past the first round, but it would be cool to try. so...enjoy everyone! And get hooked next season ;)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Oh the things kids do...

On sunday mornings i serve in Little Village-the kindergarten class. This morning me and the 2 other teachers, Josh and Jen, only had one little boy named Gabriel. He's quite the character...a little on the nerdy side, and totally believes that he is a super hero. This morning he came walking in with a superman shirt, but it had a g instead of an s on it. We have this cubby hole in the room that has a door on it, and the kids always want to get in there and hide. We never let them, but since Gabriel was the only one, we didn't care. I was turned talking to Jen when all of i sudden i hear the cubby door open and Josh say, "Where are your pants?" I turned and looked and there stood goofy Gabriel, with his super g shirt on and shorts. His reply, "I'm not in my underwear, i'm wearing shorts. Superheroes can't wear pants." Jen and i were rolling at this point. Josh replied with, "This is not a wardrobe change. Put your pants back on. Superheroes do have to wear pants. Look at me, Miss Christa, and Miss Jen. We're all superheroes and we're all wearing pants. Get back in the cubby and put your pants on." So reluctantly, he did. Oh my gosh i could NOT stop laughing the rest of the morning. I'm still laughing about it right now. If only you knew this child, it would make the story all the more better. I hope that put a smile on your face. I'm sure between Little Village, Stretch-N-Grow, and dance i will have plenty more stories to share.