Saturday, April 14, 2012

Finding the End of ME...the easiest $38 spent

 I just hit the like button on Compassion International's Facebook page! I was browsing through the posts and pictures thinking about what I spend my time looking at on the internet each day and wondering if it was really worth my time compared to something eternal and valuable such as my family or what I was experiencing on Compassion's fb. At that point I got to a post asking the question: 

FILL IN THE BLANK: Before I sponsored a child, I used to spend $38 a month on ________________.  

People had a lot of excellent answers!: clearance at Target, Starbucks coffee, nothing good, fast food,..even boozes! But the best answer someone had-I thought-...are you ready for this? (drum roll, please)....ME. Hit.the.nail.on.the.head! Seriously, enough said. 
Ramatu in Ghana, Africa
My sis and I were talking yesterday and I was telling her that sometimes I feel guilty because we can't afford to put our kids in sports/programs etc. I think about how much Asa would just love tumbling or Ava would love soccer or nature camp, creating special moments that don't even exist in my head (have I told you that I have an excellent imagination!)...thinking that they are missing out on something crucial. Seriously silly. When I stop to really think about all the blessings we not only have, but how much easier life is when we aren't focusing on so many distractions, I am thankful! I know I'd get sucked in to thinking that it was super important to get the right gear, to be somewhere on time, to be overwhelmed (very easy for me to do) etc, when I really, REALLY want to teach my kids to serve. I'm not saying its bad to do those other things! We might someday!  I'm just saying we get such a blessing, a HUGE blessing in Sponsoring Ramatu, our Compassion child! I am so blessed to have true quality time with my kids, one-on-one for most of the day to grow their souls toward Christ! and His calling for us to spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth and to help those in need. Because believe me...I can easily make things about ME, ME, ME instead about loving God and others! Truth be told, I can stress out about spending money...even tithing...uh, dumb. I should be relying on GOD not MONEY. But that $38 for Ramatu is the EASIEST money for me to spend each month! Ramatu has a face. She has a name. We know her need and how they are being met. Its so EASY for us in comparison for how her life is CHANGED by our $38...we could easily spend that on fast food or cable or coffee...all things consumable and GONE for eternity, but Ramatu's life can be CHANGED for eternity instead! Even if when the budgets tight...hello~paying off debt, its tight~ It's not even a question. We are so blessed by it!

 Meet Ramatu! She will be 8 in June. Her father died, but she has 2 brothers, and a mother who works as a food vendor, but cannot always find work.  She is quite the artist (simple pictures, but really well done!) for a 7 year old and she likes group games and jumping rope. Her chores are to carry water and clean. We get to write to her (on the internet...and even get to pick what 'stationary' we want to use) and pray for her at meal times, etc.

  Now I am in no way claiming that I have found the end of me...hence the ING-participle (is that what it is?). Its a long journey, my friend. But in a small way, Ramatu is part of sending me down that path. I am literally eternally grateful. I hope that one day we will get to visit her in Ghana as a family! In the mean time I'll try my binoculars and see if those help, while I strap my canteen on my shoulder. 

  If you have ever considered sponsoring a child through Compassion or World Vision or whomever...DO IT! Its such a blessing to our family, but it truly changes one little girl's or boy's story forever!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Stories to Tell

   Ava has almost completed her kindergarten curriculum with Sonlight! We were both very excited and felt very accomplished talking about how we would celebrate her kindergarten graduation at the end of May! Part of me doesn't want school work to end for the summer...the other part of me is much more excited than Ava is! :) 

Read aloud books are not only my favorite part of school, but definitely one of my favorite parts of the day.  We snuggle together and read great books, mostly books I've never read before. We are currently reading 'In Grandma's Attic' by Arleta Richardson., stories of a girl hearing stories from her Grandma as a little girl based on stories Arleta heard from her grandmother. The stories are filled with silliness, faith, and morals. The Sonlight curriculum suggested having a handful of stories to tell your children about yourself as a little girl. I really didn't think I could think of or retell stories like Arleta does, but I have come to find out the little stories are just as special. Ava loves the story about Nana leaving a whole jar of pickles on the table while she went to work on the garden. When my sisters got home (my mom had told them that there were pickles on the table), they found the jar empty and wondered why our mom would do that to them...they came to find out that I had eaten the whole jar...well, not the jar, the pickles in the jar... The kids laugh and laugh about pickles...there is not moral, but they think its so funny. 
  As I was making a potpie for dinner tonight I was able to tell them about how Nana would give me the extra dough when she was making something with pie crust. I would make little cookies and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on them. This was something her mom did with her, she did with me, and now my kids get to do. Those little things that I never write down (uh, well I am right now) make life so meaningful. Those are the moments I want to capture. 
   As they were busy at work both working together and bickering I thought of how Ava would have just gotten home not long before if she was in 'away' (public or private) school instead of homeschooled. We would not have snuggled and read together, we would not have dyed eggs together, the kids would not have built a fort together, and a long list of other things I really feel we would have all missed out on. I thankful for the stories we are making now that someday we can talk about and I can tell my grandkids. I feel so blessed to have this family the God has created!