Hey…..I’m curious, is there anyone else out there who is struggling with what to do with their lives? I am. Here’s the thing, I’m just an aging wife and mom who is faced with losing the one place that provided the miracle grow I needed to maintain my strong roots and even bloom from time to time. Now what, rot? I mean I’m already wilting…but I wont go there. Most of you who know me may be used to me serving you a plate of God with meatballs or a Godtini straight up. I’m sorry, I’ve got nothing yummy to bribe you with any more. All that’s here for you to eat are my words. And If you don’t eat them, I may have to….yikes.
I’m gonna start out with the turmoil going on in my head at this moment. You know how God closes one door, only to guide you through another. Well, the hard part for me is knowing over which door He’s hung the big welcome sign. I keep second guessing myself. I trust God 100%. It’s me that I don’t trust. I pray for Him to give me a sign, one that I can see, but it’s really up to me to rely on my own judgement. What would be great is if He could stop by for coffee and from across the table explain to me exactly what He wants me to do. Obviously, that’s not gonna happen. I have to trust what feels right. The question is, Do I? I think so. I have discernment. I mean, I may not be able to invite Him for coffee, but I have certainly invited Christ into my heart and when you have the desire to live for God and ask for his guidance, he gives it. It’s the Holy Spirit, the gift Christ left behind to live in all believers. I call it my internal navigation system. But, boy do you have to really be sure you’re tuned in to the right frequency for it to clearly map out your route. It sometimes acts like mapquest and sends me on a wild goose chase. I’m to impatient to get lost. I want to know what God wants me to do now! But, it’s on His time, so I have no choice but to be patient. Perhaps His way of teaching me?
Ok…. Am I lost? I no longer have a job because my families restaurant of 16 years closed it’s doors for good. Spasso’s Grill and Martini Bar was in Laguna Hills. A few South OC’ers may have heard of it or even eaten there. If you are one of those great, loyal customers that we grew to love, let me just say, thank you! You contributed to the greatest 16 years of my life. I have been telling people that I feel like Spasso’s is ending on a high note and comparing it to a great sitcom that ends just when everyone wants more…you know, like Friends, or Seinfeld. We certainly were not that popular, but for those of you who experienced it on a regular basis, you know what I’m talking about. We had a lot of wonderful people who stayed with us a long time. I personally feel like I grew up there. I started out young, single, and in school for what I thought would be a great career. I graduated, got engaged, started my new job, got married, ended my new job, had a baby, started the new job again, ended the new job again, had another baby, started other jobs and ended those jobs, grew in faith, matured in spirit and found my place all in the 16 years I worked at Spasso’s. No matter what I was doing, I always had Spasso’s there. Every time I thought it was time for me to go, God brought me right back. As my goal in life became more about God’s goal for me, I became desperate to discover where He wanted me. I always say, God can’t drive a parked car, so I was scared to put it in park at Spasso’s. I felt like my refusal to leave there was because I was selfish or lazy or stayed out of convenience. So I continued to seek and look and apply for other jobs and work them for a little while, but I never left. Spasso’s was where my heart was. Finally God made it real clear to me. I was exactly where I was supposed to be. He opened my eyes to the ways I was already being used for His glory right there where I was my happiest. DING, DING, DING!!! It felt so good. It finally felt right. I could have both. I could have the place I loved to be at so much and I could also have the fulfillment of knowing I was being used. What an amazing feeling. And now it’s gone. I always knew that it wouldn’t last forever, and I always felt like God had other things lined up for me, but I was just getting comfortable. I suppose through this little family restaurant God did His work in many of us and the work is now done. I thank you Lord for putting Spasso’s in my life. It is there that I have memories that I will cherish forever. It is there that I became the woman I am today.
Thank you to my sister, Tonya, and Dave for working so hard to keep it open for so long. I have so much love and respect for you both. Also a big thank you to my Mom, Dad, sister Tori, my brother John, and T who also contributed time, energy, love and support to this restaurant. To my nephews and niece, Tanner, Chance, and Karly, working with the three of you was truly a gift. Never forget!!! I know I won’t. I love you all so much it hurts. Enrique, you are forever my friend. Thanks for not only providing great food for my belly but also great food for thought. Yo te quero, amigo! Holly, Spasso’s brought me you, my spiritual soul sister. This is only the beginning. I love you. Rachel, you’ve learned enough; it’s time to live. You’ve always been special and you are always in my prayers. Tricia, continue to be the amazingly strong mother that you are. I have so much respect for you. Jackie, we will always be here for you. Spasso’s may be gone, but we haven’t left. Mark, I’ve truly enjoyed working with you and wish you the best. I guess I’ll have to check in on you at Oggies to see if you‘ve popped the question yet. Michelle, My Michelle, you may act shy, but you have a great sense of humor. We got each other……it was fun. You have a sweet heart and God’s got big plan’s for you. Sean, any question, any time, you’ve got my number. I’m not through with you yet. God’s knockin on your door, and I pray you open it. Woolsey, wow, what a passionate heart. Don’t let the junk get in the way. Beautiful Brianna, your talent is a gift, use it for the right reasons and you will for sure be blessed. Juanito!!!! I will miss you! I am going to miss all the amazing people I worked with and grew to love.
Ok, God…..I’m ready!!!! Now what????
Is this it? Am I supposed to be here in front of my computer writing down my thoughts? I’m feeling a little over exposed. My one and only desire in this life is to make God proud. Do I do that by stressing out and rushing into the first job I can land at some restaurant working for strangers that could care less about me and vice versa? Do I feel like a lazy loser and not look for a job? Or do I trust that if I’m doing something that I’m passionate about, even though it doesn’t pay a dime, but because it is to glorify God, He will bless my family with the income we need to get by? That’s all I want is to get by. Maybe my husband will start selling a lot more cars!!! Wouldn’t that be great. Hey…if anyone out there needs a new or used car, my hubby works at Capistrano Toyota Scion. A plug for Fred : )
Any way, you’re probably wondering what I’m doing. Well, I enjoy writing and I’m sure you can already guess what my favorite topic is. I have even started a book, but I am so stinkin impatient that there is no way I will ever finish. Well, my much younger and hipper friend Holly has been encouraging me to do a blog. This is where I can get it all out, that is if anyone cares to read. The nice thing about this is I don’t feel like I’m annoying anyone because I know that I am one click away from disappearing for all those who may be turned off by what I write. That makes me feel better about this. It’s your choice. I’m very new at this. The place my voice was being heard before was behind a bar at Spasso’s. I really enjoyed it. People seemed to like the subject of God, but my one rule was to never bring the subject up, unless someone asked me a personal question about myself. Most of my answers include God. That’s what happens when you invite Him into every room of your life, not just the church room. And you wouldn’t believe the conversations that I’ve had. Most of my regulars know my heart and my passion and would come in and immediately strike up conversation about faith. The ones I enjoyed most were the atheists or the agnostics that would try so hard to make me question my beliefs. I don’t think so. Never ever has my faith been shaken. Here‘s the secret, when you accept the truth, you will feel the truth and then you will know it’s the truth. And that, my friend, is the truth. The problem with most is they don’t allow themselves to accept the truth without questioning everything; and then, they require perfect answers that make sense to them for the truth to even be considered. They let their own intellect get in the way. Why do you think God talks about those who have faith like a child will surly inherit the kingdom? It’s because kids don’t question what their parents tell them. They have no reason to. Their parents love them and would never lead them astray. Well guess what? God is our parent. He is our heavenly Father who created us and loves us. Why would he lead us astray? He wants you to believe Him like a child believes his parent. And I do! I believe every word of His.
My last days of Spasso’s were filled with validation. God made sure to speak to me through some of our bar patrons assuring me that I had let my light shine. Just a couple examples that blew me away: First, a fellow Christian that I grew to know and enjoy his company informed me he was no longer medically able to partake of the drink. He would call me his favorite Christian. I asked him not to be a stranger and reminded him of our great food. He then proceeded to say “I can’t stay away from here. I can’t stay away from God.” WOW…..I have to tell you that filled me up with so much joy you have know idea. Bar and God are like oil and water. Was I able to make it mix? Who in the world says they go to a bar to feel closer to God. I’m not trying to float my own boat, but it feels good. One other thing; on the last day when we were moving out, someone who has been coming in a very long time asked me where I was going to go now. I told him, “Wherever God takes me.” And he said, “ I knew you were going to say that, that’s why I asked.” I didn’t let him down. I have gotten my message across and the people who knew me there, really knew ME. Thank you, God, for giving me that on my way out. You reassured me that I did my job and made you proud.
Now, I have to tell you, I am not a Bible scholar. I haven’t read it from cover to cover. There are many books I have yet to read. Everything I say is obviously opinion and comes from my heart. I rely on God to give me the words. I can’t remember scripture for the life of me. But I can soak in the info and spit it back out in my own way and it tends to have a lot of passion behind it. I enjoy breaking things down and making it simple. That’s how it makes sense to me, I just hope it makes as much sense to all of you.
I am putting all of this out here because I know that God has the power to work through anyone who surrenders to Him. If these words touch anyone in a way that may bring light and hope to their lives than I thank God for it. I am me, and me alone isn’t much; but me with God can be something great. I trust Him to do His work. “Now, use me, God!”
Until next time, go enjoy this life God gave you……