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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Truth Is...

The truth is...I spend time thinking about what is hard in my life, with no real perspective on what hardship really looks like.

The truth is...I convince myself that helping those in need a couple of times a year is enough, even though I have so much more that I could give.

The truth is...no matter how many things I buy, I will never be satisfied.

The truth is...I have never really been hungry or cold or alone. Sometimes I see a person on the street, and I tell myself stories of how they got there. Stories that make ME feel better about ignoring them. Their needs...so immense...that I feel afraid of the sacrifice it would require.

The truth is... I know there are kids not more than a mile away that don't have enough to eat everyday or enough volunteers at their school and yet I find reasons not to contribute.

The truth is...right now all around the world there are people living without ANY hope. They endure unfathomable mental and physical pain. They have no medical help and no education. They desperately want to take care of their families, but are unable to rise above their circumstances. They are far away, and so I pretend they don't exist.

The truth is...I don't want to continue living my life like this anymore.

From time to time I have to put on my rubber gloves, get down on my hands and knees, and deep clean my soul. Today, I'm looking at my privileged life. I can afford the things we need, and most of the things we want. The plans I had as a little girl to find a wonderful husband and be a mommy at home with my kids all came true. I have time to think, workout, be creative, see friends, and plan for the future. In my comfortable life, with my blinders on, I can live in a world that doesn't expect anything of me. The sacrifice...is personal growth! Because, God works best in me when I am out of my comfort zone. He longs to wake me up, teach me how to see the world through His eyes, wrestle with the injustice and sadness, and take action. That's a tall order...am I willing to give him that?

I guess this is a good time of year to "clean house" so to speak. I'm looking to approach this season with a renewed mind. I want to honor my faith and celebrate the people in my life...not charge headlong into senseless spending and ridiculous schedules. This year I'm shopping for treasures made by beautiful people with hardworking hands that long to change their circumstances. I'm dipping my big toe into the waters of compassion. Maybe someday I'll have a story to tell about the day I took a risk and dove in.

-Trade As One



-Heavenly Treasures
"Our mission is to serve together with others worldwide to support the Christian micro enterprise network through product and project development, market placement and distribution. Heavenly Treasures partners with others to help the poor through Livelihood Projects. Get Involved!"

If this interests you...click on the links I've provided and shop their online stores.
We've purchased gifts from both organizations in past years, and have always been impressed with the quality.

Leave a Comment, become a Follower, tell a Friend about us today.

38 comments:

Cynthia@RunningWithLetters said...

I love everything about this post--in it, you echo a vague feeling of discontent with which I have been wrestling for sometime. Not discontent with my blessed life, but a dissatisfaction with myself over what I don't do, working at a high-end private school and living in a comfortable house with, frankly, plenty of everything...

I also like that you offer an opportunity to do something, to make a little step out of complacency. I am looking forward to checking it out.

Thanks for giving us something to think about as we approach this crazy season!

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

Great and moving post.

Frau said...

Great post and you are so right, gonna dip my toe in also.

Matty said...

This is a side of you I hadn't seen before, since finding your blog. I'm more than impressed. Thanks for opening up what I'm sure will be a lot of eyes.

Rook No. 17 said...

Powerful Post! You so beautifully articulated some very hard-to-hear truths that I think we can all relate to. I feel inspired to make some changes, and hope others feel the same way too after reading your post. I look forward to checking out Heavenly Treasures. Thank you!

Tiffany said...

Love the post...I am going to go check them out.

Daffy said...

For some reason the box is blank for me but I wanted to share about Operation Christmas Child through Samaritans Purse...fantastic organization and wholey awesome idea. We've prepared boxes for children every year since we've married. Its a wonderful experience that even the kids can get involved with.

www.samaritanspurse.org

kys said...

I do Operation Christmas Child every year with my kids. It's a great way to give.

Raoulysgirl said...

What a beautiful and inspiring post!

I never know what emotion your posts are going to bring out in me...but they always touch me in some way!!!

ModernMom said...

It is so hard to feel lke you are doing enough. great post.

Erin M. said...

I feel like I could have written this myself. So powerful and thought-provoking. I couldn't get the video clip to work, though....

I definitely don't do enough. And I constantly feel the need to do more.

But you're right---I have so much. And so many others have nothing.

Corrie Howe said...

Wow! What a powerful post. We have friends who are in India fighting sex trafficking. When they come back to the U.S. for a mandatory respite, they bring incredible handmade gifts which cost them very little money.

I'm going to check these sites out for gifts. Thanks!

MJ said...

First off, thank you for the wonderful links. I am in love wiht Trade As One and will definitely be purchasing some gifts from there.

Kudos to you for taking note of the areas of your life that you feel "safe" in. As humans, we have become use to staying in our comfort zone. Why step out when everything seems "perfect" in our little world. With your realizations over the last few weeks you are taking the baby steps needed to open the door to a whole new world. It is scary, however the overall feeling you will acheive definitely compensates for that and before you know it, it will be second nature.

Thank you for your support and stopping by Dirty Little Confessions

our b life said...

Very inspiring post. Cleaning out the sole, it love and have been working on that just recently.

I Wonder Wye said...

Beautiful post. Thanks for writing. And thank you for your sweet note.....

Traci said...

I have tears in my eyes. Thank you for reminding of how AMAZINGLY blessed I am!!! While I can get lost in what I don't have -- the truth is what I don't have is any real hardship. I have been blessed with two beautiful, healthy children and I have never known hunger or need. I allow myself to feel too busy to volunteer more than I do but I have plenty of Facebook time. I allow myself to feel too poor to give more than I do but then I have to clean out my fridge of wasted food. Thank you for sharing this -- my heart has been spoken to.

Cameron said...

great reminder that we can all do more --- and more than that WE SHOULD DO MORE. I always stay involved in charity but there is still so much more my family and I can do, and I need to renew my effort in a big way. I'm so glad you posted this!

thanks also for stopping by ConquerTheMonkey
Cheers,
Cameron
www.conquerthemonkey.com

Jennifer Juniper said...

The truth is, I often feel the same way. I also, need to make others a priority. Thanks for the reminder.

By the way, I guess I need your sister's email so I can send her my tutorial to make a flower for you. Hee hee!

Stephanie Faris said...

Beautifully put...and something we all grapple with. Someone once told me the reason we put down the homeless, saying they're just alcoholic losers who are too lazy to work, etc., is to reassure ourselves that it won't happen to us. We figure as long as we can put them in a different category from us, that means we'll never find ourselves in their shoes, but we're wrong. Because it could happen to ANY of us.

Ed Adams said...

I think I've heard of this program before. In fact, I think the wife looked into doing some distributor work for them.

April said...

I wish everyone would realize that if we each gave just a little more, our own neighbors would be so much richer... with friends, good neighbors... those who help in times of need. What happened to the days when EVERY neighbor in a neighborhood knew each other? And were willing to help just because?

After I had been homeless (you've read my posts), the one thing I vowed to do was open my own shelter. When my fiance gets out of the Army, I want to get DEEPLY involved with helping those in need... those who need homes, food, clothing, etc. On a much larger scale. I already do as much as I can right now to help. But after being through what I'VE been through, I want to do a GREAT deal more. I would LOVE to be able to own apartments in which I'd rent to low income families who need subsidized housing. I want to have a large shelter where there is counseling (even for those who are not homeless) for addicts and alcoholics as well as job counseling for those who are unemployed and looking for work. I have some serious dreams! :-D I'm hoping that at my young age of 32, I still have time to fulfill them! :-)

Project Survive said...

Thanks so much for your post!! It really meant a lot.

Emily

www.projecticansurvive.blogspot.com

Tami G said...

WOW - what a wonderful post and nice eye opener for us all!
Thank you for this... I tend to get bogged down from time to time in "MY" problems and forget there are people that have REAL problems.

we could all use a little house cleaning I'm sure.

Tami G

Holly said...

You have outdone yourselves!

I have chills. I know I am so very guilty of doing this as well. I find myself complaining, and always catch myself....I have nothing to complain about. In the real world lack of sleep (due to blogging into the wee hours) and not being able to escape for an hour to get a pedicure are ridiculous "problems" to have. I am blessed with a wonderful life and really need to get back out there and contribute more. Most of my contribution currently comes from teahcing my children to be responsible, compassionate, generous, and caring, and that, I realize is very important too. I used to be a Big Sister in Los Angeles and it was a rewarding experience that really put things into perspective.

THANKS!

Holly

ScoMan said...

I don't think any of us do as much as we could or we'd like to.. and I think I'm not the only one who feels a little guilty after reading this.

But hey, guilt works. It gets people to do their part, so good on you.

My name is PJ. said...

I am inspired. My favorite line? "From time to time I have to put on my rubber gloves, get down on my hands and knees, and deep clean my soul. "

Wonderful!

Fairy Footprints said...

Oh wow I am glad I came across your blog. I will try out the links thank you.

Happy HOlidays,

Stop over and see me sometime.

Blessings,
Heidi

Martinis or Diaper Genies? said...

you got me on the buying stuff thing.

SPEAKING FROM THE CRIB said...

i think many of us feel like you peered into our hearts too. so many excuses. this was a good wake up call. great post

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

There is no better feeling than helping someone and expecting nothing in return. I don't seem to have the opportunities I used to have to do that...in part because of our move. I still try, but not nearly enough. Sometimes I realize that we throw away enough food to feed a family. I have a turkey from last year in the freezer that I'm not going to cook...I'll be getting another one in a week. The question is, how to match up the turkey with the hungry person. It isn't always easy to do that. This post was excellent.

Sue

Kristin said...

What a beautiful post. As I sit her wallowing over my "problems" it's nice to be reminded how good I have it!

LMJ said...

I love this!

Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

I've tagged you as THETA moms, come by my blog and pick up your tag :)

hurstburst said...

Comfort zones can be so dangerous; thanks for reminding us to get out of ours!

Midday Escapades said...

Wow, thanks for this reminder. Those truths are so true. Thank you.

Two Normal Moms said...

Last year I vowed to always give food to the homeless when I saw them on the street. The first time I was uncomfortable (didn't want to insult the man if he wasn't really homeless) so I prayed for a sign. I ordered an extra meal at the drive-thru and when I paid, I saw a picture of Jesus abvove the cash register. That was my sign! God will guide you. Thanks for your inspirational post.
-Lela

BrightenedBoy said...

It is good to help others, but don't set expectations for yourself unreasonably high. You can't help every homeless person you see, or every underprivileged individual you encounter.

Doing what you can to provide light for a handful of people is more than many ever accomplish. The world is often helped best through millions of people committing small acts of kindness every day.

The girl with the flour in her hair said...

Wow. Good post. I could hear myself in it. It's so easy to get wrapped up in my own life and not spare a second thought to those that are actually in need. I have a feeling I'll be doing a lot of thinking tonight...sigh