Todays post is not about a craft, or decor or Knock out Knock off you can do along with me- that will be tomorrow. Todays post is about Giving. I hadn't planned on this post, but the circumstances that are bringing it about have been dumped in my lap and I must share. At Christmas the 'giving' and 'Goodwill toward men' seems to take a step up, does it not? People are more willing to help places like Meals on Wheels and give to Food Pantries. Then theres the bell ringing in front of Wally World and well, practically every grocery in America! I love teaching my children what that bell ringer is for, and giving them money to put in the bucket. Or picking out gifts for Toys For Tots, or putting together that Shoe box for operation Christmas CHild. This year Jacksons class is doing 2 shoe boxes. The children are responsible for shipping costs, and were encouraged to do chores to earn the money. He winterized our sandbox and helped Grandad clean out the sheds. I was proud for my son to see that working to help others is something God desires. Then, on our way home from a wonderful trip to see the Bonsai exhibit at the Gardens/Zoo we saw something that still brings tears to my eyes. A little old lady down the street and around the corner from us holding on to her walker with one hand and a leaf blower with the other. It was a 70 degree day. Plenty of people were coming and going from their homes. Children were running and biking amok. And no one lifted a hand? No one? Not her neighbors on either side of her? How sad. No young man saw this as he was enjoying the day with his friends and insisted that he help?
Shaun promptly dropped me and my 2 youngest off at home and took Jackson to her home. An hour and a half later they came back. It turns out this poor dear lady has no children. Which of course equals no grandchildren. No family left alive, she takes care of her ailing husnabd who is 93. Who takes care of her? No one. Last year another man down the street snowblowed her drive, without asking, and then demanded money. What a pathetic thing to do- take advantage of an old lady and her ailing husband and for what MONEY?
As my husband was telling me about this woman and her husband my mind was spinning with ideas of GIVING in our own neighborhood! She is Japanese, he is German. Her entire yard is gardens- paved, railroad ties, cobblestone and gardens. She cannot find someone to weed, and she can no longer do as much. Enter my sons! My husband said they will be spending quite a bit of time down there helping. I wonder if she needs help going to the store, or someone to buy her items for her. As we were discussing this last night with my inlaws, and the advent family countdown we will be doing, Brian, My 16 yr old B-I-L mentioned wheeler mission and taking the kids there to serve for the holidays. I politely pointed out that many people get the 'help the homeless' bug around the holidays but what about the dear lady and her hubby down the street? I called another neighbor also doing the advent and suggested we get the children together and make cookies or something sweet, and cards, maybe even dinner for these folks and take it to them. I wonder- wouldn't the holidays be lonely? Or every day life for that matter, without family?
So- I would encourage you to give of yourself- not just at Christmas but throughout the year. Find a family in your own backyard so to speak, or a shut in at your church. Have your children step in and step up and teach them to be compassionate and caring and giving so that on a nice day when they are on their bikes and see what we saw they will automatically stop and help. What will you do to give of yourself this year?