Saturday, February 17, 2007

Burritos and Big Plans

I am no longer teetering off the edge of my self-created unfit mother window ledge. Thank you all for talking me down. Thank you also, hubby dearest, for taking me out to dinner (sans Adelay!) and to the grandparents for watching her both last night and this afternoon so that we could get a little couple time in. Because today is the long-awaited couple's massage- a little pampering, plus a reason for my lazy self to shave my furry winter legs (you're welcome for the visual image.)
It is snowing again here, not a blizzard but just a peaceful snowfall, the kind I would have preferred around Christmastime. Then it would have been all "Silent Night"-ish and invoked thoughts of the simpler Christmases of yore, holiday-card style. Today the fresh blanket of snow is just a reminder that even though March is approaching, spring is not fast on its heels, Puxatawnee Phil's unseen shadow notwithstanding.
Also, I have an actual subject to discuss today, rather than my usual long-winded complaint list. Last night at dinner (which was fantastic, with all its limitless baskets of warm tortilla chips, giant burritos, and crispy chimi cheesecake,) Jim and I got to talking about how little we do for others. It was the annual Mission's Festival this week at our church, and there were medical missionaries speaking about their work in an African women's and children's hospital. It made both of us wish that just once in our lives, we could do something that actually mattered to someone besides ourselves and our own little circle.
Now, neither Jim nor I feel that we are anywhere near being ready to go abroad trying to convert anyone to anything (we enjoyed a nice long laugh imagining people's reactions to our hypothetical announcement to become missionaries: "You two? Who still have not curbed your swearing habit and who do not have strong beliefs in any particular doctrine and who enjoy driving everyone in your church group crazy by questioning any and everything?") But I don't happen to believe that you need to have a religious creed set in stone to extend love and compassion to your fellow man, and I was practically drooling, imagining myself tending to orphans and whatnot.
We both agreed, however, that at this point in our family and financial life, we are not ready to go overseas for any length of time. We did agree, however, to look into local volunteer work, possibly with Big Brothers Big Sisters.
So, the point of this post is two-fold: 1., to keep me accountable, so that if in a few weeks I haven't informed you of my work with local underprivileged kids, you can comment and ask me if I'm all talk or if I'm actually going to do it, and 2., because I am curious what you guys feel about charity and volunteer work. Do we have an obligation, as citizens, to reach out to others? For those of you who are religious/spiritual to any degree, do you think you feel a particular responsibility to help others as part of your moral code? Weigh in!


Swistle said...

I think it's a good idea to contribute in whatever way suits the person's situation best: some people have extra time, some people have extra money, some people have extra possessions, and so on. Also, different people are suited to different things: some people are great at living in other countries, and some people would run screaming for the sea at the sight of a large beetle or outdoor toilet. Some people are good at working with people, and some people are good at doing the behind-the-scenes stuff.

Um, to be a little less long-winded, yay and go for it! Whatever seems the most appealing way to make a difference to others, do that.

desperate housewife said...

Hmm, I hadn't thought about the large insect part. Yes, I am definitely not ready to go overseas yet.

Mommy Daisy said...

Maybe a short-term mission trip will suit you two some day. I know Matt would love to go on one. He will probably join in one in the next few years with the church.

If you're interested in helping school-age children for an hour or so a week, I can hook you up. We always welcome volunteers at the Learning Center. I think you could even bring Adelay along. I take Zachariah with me for a little over an hour each day (Mon. - Thur.). He does pretty well, and the kiddos are used to him by now. Anyway, we can always used extra hands to help kids with homework or just read books to them (or listen to them read). Let me know if you're interested.

Anonymous said...

I believe strongly that the very best way to begin "serving" is to be obedient to that "still small voice" that prompts us to act on needs that cross our paths. For example, I just felt TOTALLY unsettled until I was able to buy a few things for the Romanian children's project this weekend because I KNOW it is something I have to do. Just keep your eyes, ears and hearts open and the thing(s) you are meant to do WILL be clear. Whether they are "big" or "small" things, they will be the "right" things to do today. It has to be a "heart" decision, not a "head" decision!