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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Kindness matters

photo borrowed from www.stjameseatontown.org

What does it mean to be poor?

After talking to my friend, C yesterday I started thinking about that. We talked about the families on those giving trees and how to best help them and the ways her church is helping families in need this season. Zack and I (until this year and last- when we just had no extra) have always donated our time, money and/ or goods to some sort of organization.

We saw true poverty some of those years. People who work the farms in our surrounding areas come to mind, living on top of one another in tiny shacks with paper thin walls and no insulation and a small space heater for heat. We would take the children the bike or whatever they had asked for. The hardest part was the children's faces who were receiving nothing from us. We didn't get to decide who received what, just delivered the goods. And yet we felt the guilt.

This year is no different. I feel the guilt. I have a home. With heat. And it's bigger than many families will ever know. I know how blessed I am, how quickly it can all go away. And yet... I feel guilty.

In the last two days I have received two very generous emails from lovely woman I don't even know offering to send Grayson toys for Christmas. To help fill any void with a baby coming. And while I feel so grateful and loved, I feel guilty even considering taking their kind offers. I know there is a much greater need out there than ours/ mine.

My child wants for nothing. Not that we have ever rushed out and bought him everything, but I planned well: buying used almost always and waiting for sales when not. We also have the luck of a few generous grandparents. Grayson will not care what is under his tree this year. He will unwrap "things". I stocked up on pj's he needs and some other clothes and a few toys at the last resale out town had. And as most of you know I make most everything else anyway.

But ultimately he will want for nothing because it's SO not about "things". It's about the love of family and friends. (and the boxes the toys come in!) It's about the kindness of strangers and being kind to your neighbor. He will help me bake cookies and goodies and help us deliver them to friends and mail them to family. He will see the faces of those who receive and I hope in his life that is what he remembers.

That kindness matters.

I have always felt that if you had a good husband/ wife who loves you and children to love and be proud of and all of your basic needs met then you were pretty rich.

So for those reasons, we are not poor. Our bills may be stressful and we may have no idea what will happen once the baby is here and I'm not working( if Zack doesn't have a job) but really it doesn't matter. At the end of my life I won't care about bills or money. I will care about the smiles I left on peoples faces and the people who love me.

I hope they are both far and wide.

Please, be generous with your neighbor this season. Give where you can. I will be donating some toys to children in need as well. Because I am not poor where it counts. And the rest is just money.

7 comments:

Leanne said...

Great post, Jaimey. I remind myself of that very thing so often... "It's only money." You have a beautiful family to be thankful for and I know things will work out OK for you, Zack, Grayson, and "hotdog" :)

Xoxo,
Leanne and baby Tabor

Trish said...

Jaimey,

I am so proud of you. It's hard and life takes a toll on us from time to time and even the strongest of us will feel it, but the big picture is so clearly written on your blog.

Taking the gifts for G is something you should do. I understand you aren't poor but it's less you have to buy. You will want G to have gifts to open that are not clothes so take them and use the money you would have spent to pay one of those hovering bills. Accepting help from people who offer is not a weakness it's actually more of a strength to accept help. You can offer your time that is free but there is also nothing wrong with accepting help too.

Heidi said...

You are a breath of fresh air, my friend!

1snappyfamily said...

Great post, Jaimey! Christmas truly is a matter of perspective!
Love you guys,
Melissa

Anonymous said...

Very well put friend :)

BTY I want to see pics of your tree.

Corie

Anonymous said...

I loved this post!

Jen said...

Like I said before, this is exactly what Christmas is all about. How can I teach my boys to be generous and care about their fellow man if I don't give them the example to do so? I feel blessed that I can help and do so as much as possible. I hope your little man likes what Santa is bringing him.