It literally haunts me at night, to think of anyone sleeping out in the street, cold, lonely, and hungry. It has bothered me since I was a child. I really don’t know why – I don’t remember any situation that connected me to that world. I have come to believe I feel this way because I am supposed to. It is my heavenly nudge to keep me speaking up about those who are as forgotten as they feel.
Were you ever really hungry? Think about it. Did you ever miss a meal? Too late for supper and it was gone? (that actually happened to me before.) I remember being first of all shocked that ALL the food was gone that I had prepared – haha – and then slightly annoyed, but I shook my head, laughed, and made a sandwich. Oh THIS does NOT happen out in the streets. If you are hungry, you will probably stay hungry. Period. And at this time of year when food seems at its height of abundance and at its peak of mouthwatering delight, there are people who will NOT have a Christmas dinner. Or dinner the day before Christmas, or dinner the day after Christmas.
Why should we feed the hungry? Well, if you believe in Jesus He told us to. He also said if we really wanted to know Him, we would find Him as we feed the hungry. If we offer a cup of cold water (or hot coffee) in HIS name, it is just as if you did it for HIM. It clearly matters SO much to Him, that we do this. We tend to think He would rather us be all religious and do something that seems …well, MORE important, or something that others need to see us do. No. Just no. We have it all backwards.
To represent love, God, humanity – we need to feed the hungry. We need to care for the widow and the orphan. We need to shield the bullied. We need to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. We need to take care of our Veterans of War. We need to be HUMAN. And it starts with, feeding the hungry.
That is all I want to say. I could go on, sure. I’m a woman – of course I could go on. BUT please – just hear this simple plea – there is still a good solid week till Christmas. Go find someone who is hungry and feed them. And then, stop a moment and feel the warm smile from heaven – if you want to be great, you must serve.
Please and thank you. And “God bless us, everyone.”
As I consider the holiday season at hand and all the homeless people I would like to take a Christmas tree, a bag of food, and a new sleeping bag to, I feel the weight of this thought process… Seriously THIS keeps me up at night – sure I can make a difference for one; I get that. But I want to help them all, and can’t.
What I CAN do (beyond the few that I can go help…) is to use my WORDS. I totally believe if every person reaches out to one other person, we could make a HUGE dent and THIS holiday season could be EPIC out in the streets!!! WHY NOT?
So, here is a list of possible ideas for those of you (like me) who don’t have a lot to work with this holiday season – *Fill up a bag with personal items for a man or woman ~ easy. Dollar store. Soap. Toothbrush/toothbrush. Socks. Hairbrush. Bandaids. Candy. Paper. Pen. (yes Dollar Stores have just about every item anyone would like to have in a bag….be creative and fun too. Spend a mere 10.00 or more if you can. Don’t let an ‘amount’ be a reason NOT to. ) *Do you bake at the holidays? Bake an extra plate of cookies for someone; an extra pie; an extra few containers of food. *Depending on where you live, depends on IF you see homeless people – Baltimore, Atlanta, New York City, LA are all big cities where there are for sure LOTS of homeless people that are hungry and cold, and you straight up go right into the streets! In smaller towns there are soup kitchens, missions where you could donate some bags of food they could cook with – or homemade treats to distribute. *If in doubt, fill a bag with socks, neck scarfs, mittens…(again, at the Dollar Store). *Buy some hot cups of coffee or hot chocolate, and a box of donuts. *Make a pot of chili and take some bowls – serve out of your car. *Get your church involved with you – (power of multiplication!) – youth group – your kids – your local stores – take advantage of the fact that we as humans ARE basically NICE. Sometimes we don’t do something, only because we don’t know WHAT to do. *Don’t forget those in need who are NOT homeless and just need a helping hand. Take a name off an angel tree. *If you LOVE to sing/ perform – well, here’s your sign! Go sing to people who will be your BEST and most appreciative audience. *Go Christmas caroling. (free.) – and X a million other ideas you probably will think of yourself.
Yes you will feel overwhelmed to see SO many needy people. YES you will feel like WHAT CAN I DO TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. YES you will realize you can’t save the world. We just need to do our small part.
So, this holiday season of 2014 – reach out to one person in need; one ‘starfish’ on the great shoreline of life. I think I shall christen this ~ OPERATION STARFISH. 🙂
I don’t know about you, but when I do something – I generally have to stand back AFTER and ask myself why I did it. It is not a bad idea ever, to examine our motives. We can deceive ourselves. After I hit the word PUBLISH for my first full-length book, I had to ask myself why I did it. It is my sharing of my heart – my real and raw and flawed moments and seasons of many years gone by. I just wrote a book and shared my grief of losing my husband to cancer. I just told you I got mad at God. I just exposed I have been tempted. I let you know I have failed X a million. Why? Because NO matter what circumstances I found myself in, I always chose NOT to give up. And if THAT helps anyone, I would do it again.
I didn’t keep at it because I had all the answers – I STILL don’t. I didn’t see my husband get healed from cancer. I couldn’t keep my house from burning down. What I learned I COULD do, was to keep moving forward. Sometimes that was crawling, or being dragged by a friend….SO why did I write this book? For a book club? To be on a talk show? No. Though that’d be awesome….of course. I wrote it for YOU. And YOU. And You…because we ALL walk this same journey called LIFE. It is filled with the unexpected and detours and pitfalls. We can’t stop that – But we CAN choose to embrace the bad with the good, and find a way for the sorrows and joys to co-exist. My book is about survival, choices, tears, grief, sorrow, failures, mistakes, detours and wrong turns – coupled with stories of friendship, family (lots of personal stories about the people who have made me who I am), love, laughter, giant moths, lost teeth, dandelion seeds, christmas fruit cakes, faith, purpose and above all else – HOPE. I’d love you to purchase it and upload it to your Kindle, and leave me a review so I can know if anyone was helped 🙂 I want you to be encouraged on a daily basis NOT to give up. For any reason. And to know that there is ALWAYS a day AFTER the worst day of your life.
If you read it, and you are helped, pass it on to someone else…let’s all work together at bringing hope back into a very dark world.~
~Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the .free kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00O5VPKMS
Here is my gift to you; my 30 year tried and true recipe for BREAD Your Christmas dinner will be better with homemade hot rolls, dripping with butter. You are welcome.
2 T yeast 2 T sugar 2 T salt Dissolve in 2 cups of very warm water. set aside to foam up.
add in 1 beaten egg, and then add in 4 cups of flour Add in 2 more cups of very warm water and 4 more cups of flour.
If the dough is too sticky, add in little bits of flour till its not sticky If the dough is too dry, add in little bits of water till not dry
Pour some oil over top of dough and form into a big ball. let rise till doubled in size. punch down
Makes 24 rolls, or 3 loaves of bread, or 2-3 pizza doughs. or 2-3 calzones. depending how thick or thin you want it
Cinnamon rolls….roll out dough with your hands on a floured countertop. Butter the top of the dough till all covered. be generous. Liberally sprinkle on sugar, cinnamon and brown sugar. you can also add in Wheat Germ, and raisans if you like. Then roll like a jelly roll. slice and place in a pan, let rise alittle………then bake, probally about 15 minutes…give or take if you like them soft. which is better:) Also, for frosting make your own. (conf sugar, butter, vanilla, and alittle milk. I never measure:)
Bake any of the above at 325-350, depending on how hot your oven is. You really have to get used to How you want your bread to be….some like it more well cooked, some like it softer. You will just have to play with it, and see what you like best. Bread is best when browned on top. Crust is best when browned on the bottom It takes anywhere from 15 minutes to 20 minutes to cook……depending on how thick you make your dough………Just really watch what you do.
You would think the holidays would make people feel better, feel happy, and make any bad situation seem a little brighter. Some wounds are just not healed by Buddy The Elf , and not everyone thinks Its A Wonderful Life, and even if its A White Christmas there may be no Miracle On 34th Street. In this real world we live in, depression at the holidays may be inescapable for some people. I wish there was a magic wand with real glittery fairy dust to sprinkle over someone to make everything okay. I myself have had a few Christmases that were more of a battle and challenge to get through, than joyful. Depression makes a heart heavy, and a broken heart is a pain no one can understand unless they too have had one. I said all that to say this ~ If you find yourself depressed, maybe you can’t change your current situation, but you could lift up your head, take a deep breath, and go do something for someone else. I promise you, this will help how you feel. My mother always told me if I was sad, that by doing something for someone else it would ease your own sadness. We by nature, are nurturers and want to help others. It’s what makes us human. I don’t want anyone to miss a moment of the this 2013 Christmas season, when hope shines a little brighter, and the unexpected could show up. We may need a miracle, or we may be able to BE a miracle for someone else. If we all work together and care about each other; friend and stranger, just maybe – the world would be a little less dark. And light will shine a little brighter. And your heart may start to heal. #GodBlessUsEveryOne
Contrary to what we would like to believe, not everyone likes Christmas. Not that everyone doesn’t like the elements of the holiday…the gifts, the cookies, the music…etc. The deepest intricate meaning of Christmas is HOPE. And unfortunately, a lot of people are just plum out of hope. Enter ‘oh humbug’ feelings. It’s easy to shrug off and ignore those who are not enjoying the wonder of the season like you. Think Elf – there are those of us (clearing throat….) who truly LOVE Christmas, and would sing at the top of our lungs in the subway (if we lived near one..), and smile till our face hurt. I want to be very sensitive though, to those who simply are – sad. We recently went to an inner city and passed out hot soup and blankets to homeless people. Today I am baking cookies for them. Obviously not all of them, though I wish I could. I want to live out what I think HOPE looks like. It’s easy to talk, give someone a speech or a glib cliche’, but what mankind needs most this Christmas season is to SEE what HOPE looks like. I believe it should look a lot like LOVE. If you get a hug (after years of NOT getting one) -that looks like HOPE. If someone asks you your name (after so many years, that you really have to stop and think what it is)- that looks like HOPE. If a stranger offers you a large cup of peppermint hot chocolate (for no reason)- that looks like HOPE. If you wonder how you are going to buy your child a present (and someone who picked their name off an Angel tree gets that child EXACTLY what they wanted)- that looks like HOPE. If you are lying alone in the dark, in a nursing home (and a stranger appears at your door to sing a song you have long forgotten) – that looks like HOPE. What can we each do to live out the true message of Christmas; that light has shined in the darkness, that music has silenced the fear, that love has given us all a reason to get up, and try, one more time.
So, there are 13 days left till Christmas. And you may feel a bit stressed. Realistically the very first Christmas was NOT without its own kind of stress. I mean, think of it – you’re 9 months pregnant, the evil king of the land wants to kill your baby, you don’t have a hospital to go to (or anywhere, for that matter…), you are stuck riding on a donkey to get to wherever it is you are going (as slow, or slower than a horse and buggy), no pain meds., no gourmet water bottle, and to top it all off when you finally just HAVE to stop because this baby is coming, there is NO room in the Inn!! THEN to beat all, you are resigned that this baby – this King of all Kings come to earth, is going to be born in the hay. In a barn. With cows mooing. And they stink. And sheep baaing. And they stink, (and you’d probably also be annoyed they are all staring at you). And let us not forget all the other animals that were hanging out in the barn. And not a clean Downy smelling towel to be found. Now THAT my friend is the stress of the very First Christmas. Maybe now the presents you have to wrap, gifts you have to buy, and cookies you have to bake, won’t seem so overwhelming. The secret to the whole thing is simply – the babe in the manger. Keep your eyes on Him, and everything else will just be the preliminaries, and maybe a little less important. I am sure that is what got Mary through…..