I have to admit that week one has been hard, but awesome. I love that sense of urgency about something that actually matters. Instead of that inner alarm going off (forcing my head to pop off the pillow in a panic) because I forgot to call someone back, or buy dish soap, or switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer, or a million other things that won't really have any significant impact... It is really nice to feel an urgent sense that I need to serve someone else!
Today was one of those days, a rare day that we had a few lollygaggin' hours with no place to be, so we went to my in-laws for the afternoon. Those kind of hours can pass so quickly, and before I knew it, my kindness alarm went off! Blaring, "I have to do something kind for someone!!!"
We recently heard that neighbors down the street from my in-laws received news that their 14 year old son has cancer. He just started his first round of chemo, and bringing a meal had been on the fam's to-do list.
We brought muffins and white chili and some porch-front prayers. It was emotional and heavy, but I am so thankful that we didn't try to "protect" the kids from that experience. It was good for them to see real life and real pain, and the meeting of real needs.
I want my kids to see that in this life we will surely have heartache, but that everybody else has a story too... something they are struggling with or going through. I want them to view others through a lens of compassion, understanding that every person has a proverbial cheese vat to clean.
In an effort to give my kids the kind of life and family I wanted, I fear that sometimes their life is so charmed (not
with material things, but with security and stability) that they can't really appreciate how rough life is for some.
Don't get me wrong... I am their mother, so they get plenty of crazy in their lives! But they are blessed to have a two parent home where both of us are not only engaged in their lives, but are also relatively awesome. And by relatively, I mean supremely.
I am hoping that this month of kindness will teach them to be compassionate, but also thankful. Seeing a mother weep over her son's battle for life was a great reminder to me why I started this project 7 days ago. I saw my own mother weep for her son's life, and I remember the meals and groceries people brought to meet the most basic needs, so my mom didn't have to think about anything other than surviving.
I am really glad that my kids haven't seen the things I have seen. I am thankful that, so far, they have been spared from great heartache and they get to be on the meal-bringing side of the tragedy.
But someday, they will know that deep pain of tragedy, and they will need help. And hopefully then, London will finally understand why so many years ago, we had to say goodbye to those delicious muffins.