Friday, March 30, 2007

Tough love and lots of burritos

While reminiscing I rarely enjoy stopping in the years between 1993 and 1996. But like anytime of challenge or growth there are always lessons to be learned. So let me share with you the burrito story.

I was working at Dillards in the mall and had recently decided that I was going to make a career of it. I had already quit college and made some irresponsible choices with credit cards. At this point my parents had bailed me out of credit card debt and paid on my student loans to help get me on my feet with this change. For a kid with little responsibility, I was making a good salary at Dillards. I was living with my best friend, Stacy, and spending money like crazy. So you can imagine everyone's surprise when I just decided to quit my job with no real OTHER plan. I called my mom with expectations that they would again support my delinquency until I came up with another hair-brained idea for existence. I told her that I had no money for my half of the rent, no grocery money, and (thinking that I could really get her here) no money for gas so I couldn't come home. I still remember exactly where I sat in my apartment as my mother taught me a very important lesson. She asked if I had any food and I said only beans and tortillas. She said, "well I hope that you like burritos." That was it, no getting sympathy this time. I know that it must have killed her (or maybe not), but it was the best "spoiled-brat killing" technique ever used. Thankfully my precious Stacy paid all of the rent and I did eat burritos for about two weeks until I got another job and slowly regained normalcy. The best part is that I have never quit a job since without having another one waiting. Do you have any "burrito" stories?


Chris said...

Wow, what a lesson! Don't you know your parents were sitting home praying that they had made the right decision? I know I would have been had I don't that to one of my children. And, I know I will one day when I utilize that incredible line - "I hope you like burritos!"

So, who do you think was the driving force behind the statement - mom or dad - and who do you feel was the first one to question what they were doing? Just curious.

Mommysmart said...

Hey Chris,

I really don't know if they thought so much about what it was doing to me at the time as what it was going to do to me if they didn't let me struggle. My parents have always had great perspective for the bigger picture. As for the driving force behind the decision...probably Mom. She and I have laughed about it a lot since then and talked about the impact that had on me. Unfortunately, I don't think that parents use this technique enough.

Stachia said...

What a great story. I needed this story to help me with Katie.

Chris said...

I agree, we parents don't use it as much as we should. I guess we are afraid of the possible law suits! LOL

Have a good day.


This is another great story from Monica. I love it. Knowing your mom and dad, I can hear your mom saying that. You know those Jouett girls are all pretty tough gals :)

Thanks for sharing. I know where I'll look for wisdom in a couple more years when I get two of mine up about that age.

Neva said...

So, do you still like burritos? My son, to this day, will not eat Ramen noodles (he says anything that sells five for a dollar cannot be fit to eat) :)
Just wondering--thanks for sharing this story.

Mommysmart said...

Stachia and Trey,

You can always ask the Pierce duo if you need instructions about the balance between love and discipline. I felt so blessed to be raised by that thinking.

I do like burritos, but not ramen noodles. I think that your son has a great point. We have a saying around here, You are not poor until you are down to the ramen noodles for lunch. And trust me we have been there before.


Good point. There is a lot of outside influence to lack of disipline.


The first year I went off to school by myself was tough. Going to school in Lubbock seemed like a thousand miles from Amarillo (where my home was). I was so immature (insert joke here) at the time. I didn't know how to manage my money, figure my check book or even do laundry.

I remember my mom writing me nearly every day. And every letter had at the end, "Don't forget to pray for wisdom."

I still have most of those letters and I look back now and the one thing I do remember was my mom thinking that more important than anything else was that I pray for wisdom.

Anonymous said...

I don't really have a burrito story. I actually had a problem from the other end of the spectrum...I always thought I could do it all on my own.

From the time I was about 17 I became super responsible. I believed I could take care of everything myself. And I did. My motto was "Never ask anyone for anything". I thought I managed my life pretty well.

Then I came to my thirties. Even though I was doing all the right things, my life began falling apart. One bad thing after another began to happen and there wasn't anyway I could fix it all because I had not caused any of it. No one had. But I tried and tried and things got worse and worse. Just when I thought things were looking up and I had it under control, I was involved in a car accident. I suffered very serious injuries and was unable to care for myself or my family.

God forced me into a position to have to accept help from others. I remember the day that my church family began showing up with meals because I was unable to do anything on my own. My husband and I couldn't understand why anyone would do this for us.

Even then, had they first asked if they could bring meals, I would have told them we were doing fine. They didn't ask. They just did - every night for two months! It was something I could have never asked for (but was desperately needed). It was then, that I realized what it meant to have a church family.

Since then, I have been working on learning to ask for help when I need it, and learning to depend on God by letting Him be in control. So I guess this is a burrito story, only, my lesson in tough love came from God.


lisa leichner said...

Wow! Great story! I think when we (as a nation) tried to move away from the less affectionate parents (or at least fathers) of the 1950s (sorry for the generalization, but I've heard it was like that for most families), we almost went to the other extreme of over-spoiling. I think your mom was SO wise!

NB, that's a tough lesson to learn too -- to let others help. I have a tendency to believe (probably from my parents' influence) that "we're all in it together," but I know my husband and a friend of mine don't have that same mindset and have a difficult time asking for help when it's needed. They're willing to help others, just not to accept it. But we're all in it together! We help each other here on earth, and we help each other get to heaven. You have a great church family, NB. I'm glad you're so blessed.

Thanks for sharing, Monica & NB!

Anonymous said...

How long did you stay mad at your mom before you could admit that she was making the best choice by not helping you? What made you realize that what she was doing was for your own good, not just to be mean?

I know right now, my oldest son thinks all of my decisions are "stupid". Sometimes I tell him not to worry because as he grows older he will find that I will get smarter. :)

Lisa, I understand your husband's viewpoint. I never had any trouble helping others either...but being on the receiving end makes me feel very uncomfortable. Now that I have been attending a church for a few years, I am trying to look at things differently. It's a slow process.