Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I Don't Deserve This!

We were beginning to feel the effects of the broken furnace and so we triple covered our slumbering children in their beds. It was eleven p.m. and I was shivering. My husband stoked the fire and all I wanted to do was sleep but my clattering bones were drawn to the only soothing place in the house.
Once I had nearly burned my back right through my jammies, I felt I was ready to make the run to the bedroom and fly under the crisp covers. There, I huddled underneath, socked feet flattened between my husband's calves. My head, completely covered, was nestled into his... armpit, I think. It was dark and I didn't care... as long as I was warm. When I lost the ability to breathe, I came up for air.
The sun didn't shine the next morning... it rained... which made it even colder. One by one, my children rose from their beds, wrapped in blankets or dressed in layers of shirts and sweaters. They were good sports about it, especially because it seemed that schoolwork would have to be done around the fireplace that day. Oliver even decided that the fire might be a good way to toast his English muffin for breakfast :) Daddy did his stoking one more time before heading off to work.
But all of it got me thinking. As the goosebumps rose on my arms, I pulled the flannel blanket tighter around me, but thoughts of the homeless, wrapped only in hopelessness, invaded my mind.
What is our inconvenience is their reality!
I shuddered again, not because of my cold body but because of my frigid heart.
Our situation wasn't so bad that I asked, "Why me, Lord?" but I wondered, why don't I ever cry out to God, "I don't deserve this!" when things are going well? When Japan is facing an unfathomable crisis, why do we get to cuddle up together, each one of us accounted for?
Again, gratitude flooded this comfortable, sinful soul and I praised Him for every precious moment, every perfect gift and... every small hazard that compels me to discern how much I don't deserve the good stuff.

(Joining my two moms (one, in-law) and my aunt and their immeasurable hearts for the poor... Mom V. crochets sleeping mats for the Haitian children, my Mom knits blankets for babies left in the fields in Africa while their mothers go to work in the sex-slave-trade, and my Aunt Kathy gives to every single needy person in her life and solicits others to join her--in the gift of giving.

We, as a family, help to provide the materials for these projects but can do a little more. Is there anything you can do in your area with your kids? I want to teach my children to praise God for every blessing, not to feel entitled to the goodness they experience, and to give out of over-flowing hearts... perhaps then, I'll "get it" one day too.)


jeana said...

What is our inconvenience is their reality! That truly made me stop and think. You are so right!
I will be thinking and praying of ways to help. I was just thinking about you tonight. Praying you guys are warm!


Meghan from: Supercalifrigilisticexpialidoshous said...

I laughed out loud at: ...was nestled into his...armpit, I think. :o)

We must reconize these little things God blesses us with. Something goes wrong and He ALWAYS helps us find a way out. Strange, because we don't deserve even a fraction of the blessing!


It says in the New Tesement that your faith means nothing if you do not do good deeds with it! Should people your fruits, and show them your love. The Jesus kind!

Awesome photographs... grateful that you are letting me go to Alyssa's birthday today!

Faith, hope, love,
mEgHaN <>< <3

M.Christine Duncan said...

It's true that we forget sometimes what we're blessed with AND what we're spared from as well... as a photographer I've joined a few programs that allow me to donate work that helps raise funds for these countries that need so much, but there's still so much more. Great post Heather. Gets right to the heart of things.

The Maretzki Family said...

You all look very snuggly in the chilly cold! Glad you have a fireplace, though ;-)

Tillie said...

I know this is an old post but I love looking at what was written "before." Anyway, for the next cold snap (hopefully WITH a furnace!) you have this coming winter, two words: FLEECE SHEETS (so much better than flannel!)

On a 2nd note as to what we can do to help those in need in our local areas, a church we visited in Washington (state) once offered brown bags for sale (to replenish supplies they charged a small amount.) Each bag had things like a pair of socks (those bags were $1 extra), tins of fruit, crackers, a PBJ sandwich, etc. and a business-sized card that they had printed the church address on as well as the phone numbers and address of other local resources (i.e.: shelters, food banks, etc.)

The idea was that you bought the bag (or two or however many) to keep in the car. When you passed a person with a sign asking for help, you would have something more on hand to give them than "just" a dollar or two - you had food, possibly a little warmth, something to show you had thought about the blessings you had and how they related to others.

I LOVED this idea and like that it is a physical way to show our (also homeschooled) children that we are here to minister to others. The kids can help with purchasing the various items (math ;) putting everything together in bags (also math, home ec. etc), and they see Mom giving them out when we pass someone in need.

It's been a while since we did this... I sense a future project and blog post coming on! :)

Heather said...

VERY wonderful idea, Tillie! Yes, I love it! Thanks so much for sharing.