After I wrote my post on “The Balance” between enjoying life and helping those in it, our friend T immediately invited us over for a patio fire and discussion. While I didn’t get to hang out by the fire that much (Ruthie has taken quite a liking to this thing called milk), we did collectively agree that we need to move past talking and into doing. Do, do, do. Action speaks louder than words kind of thing.
As he wrote in an email: …it’s a big deal, you know, loving people and pointing them to God. I think it’s the reason for our existence.
That pretty much sums it up, now doesn’t it.
And so we decided to start meeting on a regular basis to make word on our decision, and I’ll be documenting each get together. My intent is not to boast about our doings in hopes that your estimation of me will rise (although, I think we can all agree that with my track record it wouldn’t take much to see an improvement. Oh look honey, she took out the trash. She’s a saint) but rather it’s for encouragement. If I told no one, I’d still be tickled pink… however we need to be each others’ cheerleader and inspiration. As my mom said, “You never know what ripples you may cause..” Would T have asked us over to have such a pointed conversation? Probably, in time. But maybe that post helped speed up the process.
Also, I’ll be sharing these to give you ideas. I think we could all use a little help that department. I certainly didn’t come up with Blessing Bags (to give to homeless people on the street. Keep them in your car and deliver as needed.) I happened to be reading one blog that linked to another blog that linked to another and there you have it, the internet. It’s a wonderful thing.
For our first get together, I invited everyone to The Shack (you know, to keep us humble) for chili, vino, and bag-making.
I set up all the items, buffet style. This would be the first time people actually got around our table in what would be, let me see… how old is ruth, over two months. Normally we find a spot that’s easy to collapse into, shove our face and then grab her so the other can eat.
I had offered to buy everyone’s items, but T wanted his son to be a part of the entire process. This is something I had not considered, and love. Our children need to know these things didn’t just come out of thin air. We are setting aside money (and time) for people…. because they are that important to us.
Ruth slept through the buying trip.
Here’s what we put into the gallon-sized bag:
- Cough Drops
- Granola Bars
- PB Crackers
Along with a scripture:
(you can print this and many others off from here)
Ro had a great idea of including feminine hygiene products, like maxi-pads, in future bags. Again, that’s something I’ve never considered before. This group thing is already working out… throwing out suggestions to keep our minds thinking.
She and her boys came over to have a glass of wine and chit-chat before the dads came home… if you call chit-chatting me spending who knows how long in the bedroom trying to get Ruthie to sleep. How nice am I? Hi! C’mon in… hey, hang tight for a couple hours while I hole myself up in the bedroom, ‘kay? There’s some Comet under the sink for J to drink, just make yourself at home.
Because we quickly realized that The Shack is not baby-proof. Unless Comet really is on the menu, then I’m the most thoughtful host on the block. I found some locks and plug-in covers and her oldest ran around sticking them in for me. The covers, not his fingers.
He also kept an eye (or ear, to be more precise) out for Ruthie. Several times throughout the evening he would run up to me and say, “Miss Carrie! Ruth is crying.” Oh, huh, kinda forgot she was back there with all the excitement.
The dads came home and we squealed as J walked his longest stretch yet to his papa.
Then another big and little friend came over. C’s wife is out of the country at the moment, otherwise she would have been there front and center with us. We ate a quick dinner and got to work. Side note: I cannot eat chili anymore while nursing Ruth. I think that’s self-explanatory.
And while it made me happy to see this unfold:
These are what really inspired me… seeing the future generation in on the action:
Little S-man, right in the thick of things. This guy is hilarious. The first thing he said to me when he walked in was, “Miss Carrie, we saw some animals that you may be interested in eating.” Well, don’t mind if I do, S. I love me some chickens!
And this blue-eyed boy… too young to partake in the bag-stuffing, but soaking it all in. Seeing and then imitating!
And this girl. Oh, B! After petting Ruth’s head and calling her Bee-bee, she hopped onto a chair and got straight to work… like she was born on an assembly line.
Even Ruthie jumped in. Sort of. She was more concerned with keeping her head up than putting a purple comb into a baggie, but we all have priorities, I guess.
By the end of the night, I was one happy mama. We ate and talked and laughed…which is what we normally would have done anyway, so why not throw a little ‘do good’ in the mix?
Drop me a line, I’d love to hear your stories. And if you have any ideas for us to tackle, please send them my way!