We take so many things for granted each day. Without thought, we tie our shoes, brush our hair, and get dressed for the day. We read our Bibles, drive cars, and go to work. Rarely do we think about any of those things. It’s almost an automatic daily response. Are you aware that the act of just making your bed each day requires more than 15 separate steps to accomplish that one task? I often take for granted my daily routines and thoughts. I forget to be grateful, and when I do, the Lord usually sends a reminder to me. Those reminders are sent to me through the residents of New Hope and Riverwood, and often end up with tears and a repentant heart. I want to share with you what I’ve been “reminded” of most recently.
I had the opportunity to travel to New Hope just after the first of the year. During this visit, Becky Ritchie, our House Manager, and myself we’re talking. I asked her how Deb was doing at her job at Quality Industries. With tears in her eyes she says this:
“Carol was noticing that Deb had been assembling quite a few respirator straps. The average for most of the clients is about 50 a day. At the end of the day, Carol decided to count exactly how many Deb had done. Are you ready for this?”
I said “Yes.“
Becky said 2000! She bagged 2000 pieces in a day!”
I said. “WHAT? 2000 pieces? WOW—really?
Becky said,” Yes, and Carol told Deb that they were going to give her a raise.”
I said, “Wow that’s great! What did Deb say?
Becky said: Well, Deb said…”WHAT’S A RAISE?”
Then we both started crying.
“What’s a raise?” Those 3 words managed to hit me straight in the heart. I was humbled and ashamed to admit that it NEVER occurred to me that she wouldn’t know what a raise was. EVERYONE knows what a raise is right? Obviously, not everyone. I simply took for granted that she understood the basic concept of working and getting a raise. Deb goes to work every day simply because she grateful to have a job. At the end of each working day, Deb says to Carol, “Thank you for letting me work”
I do enjoy my job, and I wouldn’t want to do any other job but, I have to admit, I sometimes forget to say “Thank You” to God for giving me the opportunity to work each day. Since this “reminder”, I start my day by thanking God for the opportunity to work. I ask Him to not let me take anything for granted.
In August of 1989, Rhonna was hired by the as a part-time resident manager and has worked her way up to the position of Director of Residential Services of the Riverwood Campus. Before coming to Riverwood, Rhonna attended Johnson University where she became involved in the Disability Ministry program. The residents of Riverwood refer to her as “Momma Rhonna” or “the other mother.”