December 15, 2011

Days 3 and 4

We are continuing to work our way through our 12 days of Christmas Kindness projects.  Every year, I think that it takes us a few days to hit our stride- for the kids to get out of "me" mode and get into servant mode.  I'd like to be able to say that they are servants everyday.  Heck, I'd like to say that I'm a servant everyday, but way too many times I make it all about me.  Or they make it about themselves.  It's hard not to.  

The truth is, servant hood doesn't come naturally.  It seems like there is never enough time, or enough money or enough motivation to always be living a life of servitude.  In all these years, I've realized that if we don't make it a priority, it won't happen.   

Day 3 was one of those days that we didn't make it much of a priority.  With pneumonia in the house, we've all been awake a lot at night so on day 3 we laid around. (excuses, excuses)  We talked about doing our project for the day and it just seemed like we couldn't get it going.  By bedtime, we still hadn't done our good deed for the day and had to resort to our trusty freerice.com to get in some giving.  If you've never played on freerice.com, I'll give you a little rundown.  You answer trivia questions and for every question that you get right, the United Nations World Food Program donates 10 grains of rice to hungry people.  10 grains doesn't sound like a lot.  But if you play for a while, those grains add up.

Sadie and Noah (well, mostly Sadie because Noah kept guessing the wrong answers!) played for a long time and gathered up several hundred grains or rice to donate.  We talked about how when one of us plays and gets a few hundred and someone else plays and gets a few hundred and then another plays and gets a few hundred, how we can ALL work together to make a difference.  These little side lessons are one of my favorite bi-products of doing these projects.  Somehow we saved day 3 by the skin of our teeth.

Today was day 4.  My sweet friend, Elizabeth, is one of the most awesome people I know at seeing a specific need and finding a way to fill it.  She knew a family in our community with three kids and a single mom who needed some help making Christmas and meeting some basic needs happen.    Elizabeth put the call out for help for this family on Facebook.  It was the first thing that I saw when I woke up and I knew that this need had our name all over it.

The family needed basics like coats and toothbrushes and soap.  As a mom with three kids myself, I can't imagine sending my child out to the bus in the morning without a warm winter coat.  I take for granted that my grandmother buys my kids new coats for their birthdays every fall. After having traveled to Africa and seeing the screaming need there, it's so easy to forget that sometimes those basic needs exist in our own communities.  I felt so much in common with this mom that I'd never met because we both have three children (two of whom are the same age as my kids).  I think that's one of the best parts of being a mom- you can instantly connect with other moms.  I loved this woman for the strength it must take to be a single mom and for the lack of credit and appreciation she probably gets for juggling a hundred balls in the air at one time.  Single moms are heros in my book.

The kids and I went and picked out some new coats, soaps, toothbrushes and a few things that were just for fun for this family that looked a whole lot like ours.  We're all in this together.  We're all on the same journey.  We are all one.

Buying an itty bitty baby girl outfit made my whole Christmas! 
We are boy heavy in our family and shopping for baby girls is SOOOOO fun!

Noah picked out the coat for the boy that was the same age as him. 

Dropping the gifts off to our friend Elizabeth to take to the family. 
The kidlets must have wordlessly conspired to make these weird faces.


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