I hope that many had a bright and fulfilling thanksgiving this past weekend (if you celebrate it). My family and I had something very different. With my grandmother gone from this world and my sister now making a new family of her own (someday they will get married...till then we just wait :P), it was just my mom, dad, and I. At least thats how we thought it would be. Long story short, it just seemed like we were trying too hard, or that it shouldn't have been so hard to spend thanksgiving day together. Complications and doubts made the morning give insight to an unsure afternoon. I went over to my dad's, who was helping my mom, then my sister called, she came over, we set out...and as a family, praise God, we saw Beowolf and had a meal together at Village Inn. The movie wasn't that great, neither was the meal, but that didn't matter. We were together as a family and thats the important point.
It's been a while since I've chit chatted about personal insight and life on this blog. Thought about starting one just for that part of my life, but I have nothing to hide or to separate from. My work is connected to my life...my integrity is as honest as I can possibly give. So I'll continue with that said. :)
Yesterday was a great day as well. I'm a greeter at my church, here in downtown Des Moines. As I was saying good morning to folks walking in, a familiar face stepped up. His name is David and he works at Hope Ministries (the organization I'm donating to with my "Bookmark the Season" drive). Then everything made sense. There were tons, and I'm talking tons of plates stacked near the auditorium. Right now in Des Moines one of our grocery stores has been advertising a fundraiser/drive for Hope Ministries called "Scan Away Hunger, fill a Plate with Hope". For every plate donated, a person in need gets fed at Hope Ministries. Jason, our pastor, encouraged our congregation to donate sometime this week as our church has given $2500 to Hope Ministries. And the church did, yesterday.
A small team of us, after service, drove down to Hy-Vee (the grocery store campaigning) and scanned away some hunger. David took a picture. Far left is Bill, the man handing the scan code to the manager of Hy-Vee is my pastor Jason, then me, Jason's wife Andrea, their three children, and unfortunately (I'm HORRIBLE with names...I just met her) I don't remember her name. :( I should too, she's one of the elder's wife. I'm sure I'll get it next weekend. :)
It felt SO good and I felt SO blessed to be in that moment and to offer more money after Jason went through. I have been able to give this season and I do not mean to boast, but to boast about what God has given so gracefully and full of love. My life has been the usual, ups and downs, but this church family has become so important to me. I'm involved, feel loved, feel wanted, and know I'm part of a group of people doing something. I never thought the day would come that my selfishness and pride would dwindle enough for me to be so awestruck and needing to give back. I love to give, gifts, affirmations, etc., but like most I complain when it goes unnoticed or I don't receive anything back. That emotion is slowly fading and I bow praising God for His grace.
Not only did the day go beyond my expectation, but I got to talk to David a bit and was telling him how important it was to me to spread the word about Hope Ministries. I mentioned to him about "Bookmark the Season" and he's going to spread the word. I'm excited about this more than anything, and not because of the traffic I "may" get...because that is God's work, but that by working together people will see how little it takes to give so much! I am learning quickly that just a simple prayer while passing someone can make a world of difference to them, and in turn to your heart.
I pray that the Lord warms your heart, not just because this is the season to be giving, but because His love, in us, is an eternity of giving.
In closing I encourage you to visit David's blog. His words are heart felt, honest, God driven, and full of grace. He has inspired me, and I know he'll inspire you. Words of Hope and Promise