This time of year is always sentimental to me. I guess it is because it so clearly marks the passing of time as each child completes and moves on to the next grade.
I find myself really dissecting emotions and doing some deep thinking.
To magnify this I have just finished reading 2 really good books that have caused me to ponder even more of this life that I and my family are leading.
The first book "Love Does" by Bob Goff is excellent as it simply states that well, love does.
This has had me examining how and what I actually do to show love.
The second book is by Richard Stearns, president World Vision US, "The Hole in our Gospel".
This book has really challenged me to take another look at how well we are helping the less fortunate.
I have struggled for years with the notion that we have so much while others in the world have NOTHING.
What am I/my family to do about this?
Mr. Stearns has embarrassing statistics in his book that should make each of us cringe.
Our pets live better than most of the world! I know our two furry canines do!!!
We in America, and other more wealthy countries, live in a bubble.
Our children are raised in this bubble.
Safe neighborhoods, comfortable homes, educations, loving families, pantries bursting with food, toys overflowing, clothes spilling out of closets, electronic gadgets in their hands as soon as they can hold them.
Is this good?
Well, of course we all want to provide the best for our children!
Who would want to take any of the above mentioned away from them...ok well maybe the electronics.
Who among the adults would want to do with out any of the above mentioned?
(bursting of the bubble)
Most of the world does not live like this.
I want my kids to know this. Yes, even the 3 that started from this reality! Who by the way, are totally spoiled rotten bubble dwellers!
As I hear their squeals of laughter coming from the aqua blue pool in our backyard, my heart hurts.
As, I watch them lick a cold sweet ice cream cone, my heart hurts.
I think about all their honors and awards received during the school year and my heart hurts.
It hurts for all the children in the world who are NEVER given the opportunities that mine/ours/yours are.
By the grace of God we were born in the bubble. By the grace of God 3 little people that call me Mommy, were NOT born in the bubble, but were plucked from poverty and placed inside the bubble.
I can not in good conscience close my mind and heart off to the billions of people who live life everyday just surviving their hellish reality without food, water, medicine, ravished by disease and war, and deprived of opportunities you and I take for granted.
Sure I would love to forget and stay in my lovely bubble.
It is nice here.
But years ago I laid in a hospital bed after birthing our second child and was told I couldn't have anymore kids.
I was devastated!
My husband suggested we could always adopt.
I didn't want to hear such nonsense. I just wanted to wallow in my self-pity. I wasn't ready to hear that.
Then God, in His perfect timing, laid the orphan crisis on my heart at a dinner party.
This time I was ready.
From that point on I was introduced to "the other part of the world" and the way they lived.
I am ever so thankful and grateful that God showed me this harsh reality.
It is at times painful and troubling, but it has taken me out of my bubble and helped me to see that this life is not just about my comfortable existence.
I have challenged my family to come up with more ways we can serve, assist, aid those that are in need.
I challenge you to read "The Hole in our Gospel"
And then I challenge you and your family to find a way to make a difference.
Maybe it means for every Starbucks delight you purchase this summer you put a dollar in an envelope. At the end of the summer send the money collected to World Vision to help a village dig a well for clean drinking water.
Maybe it means collecting loose change at the end of each day and giving to an organization that helps stop child trafficking.
Maybe it means actually going to one of these places on earth where you witness the downtrodden face to face.
Sponsor an orphan or a child.
Give to a mission team.
No act of kindness and love is too small.
Especially, when almost a billion people in the world live on less than $1.25 a day!!!
Have your kids sell lemonade and send the proceeds to the shelter for abused women.
Each act will look different for everybody and every family but I promise you, you won't be sorry.
Even if it means your bubble bursts and your heart hurts.
It is a good hurt.
And someone somewhere will be the receiver of your love and kindness and that is ALWAYS a good thing!