Saturday, December 26, 2009

Giving Back


"Giving frees us from the familiar territory of our own needs by opening our mind to the unexplained worlds occupied by the needs of others." Barbara Bush

It was a different kind of Christmas. The kind I really liked. We spent the whole day helping - serving meals to people who had nowhere to go...no one to share the holiday with. We were it. We were their supports...their family...their friends for a few hours on Christmas Day. 

As I did whatever I was asked - talked to people, served meals, goofed around with the kids....I thought of those people who had reached out to me when I lived on the street...when I had no one...when I owned nothing...when darkness was all I knew. 

Now I was paying it forward. Now I could do what those people did for me. They would never know the seeds of hope they had planted with their caring and their gifts of kindness. I had struggled so much with trust...but still - something of their kindness broke through the walls that padded my heart. It was in their eyes. It was in their voice. They'll never know the impact they made. And maybe some even thought...she's just a drug addict, a street kid...what we give her won't really make a difference....but it did. It wasn't the 'things' they gave me....it was their kindness, their compassion, their caring.


Kindness reaches a place that nothing else can. It's not in things, or gifts - it's a feeling that comes from the heart; a feeling that shows, 'I care about you. I really care. You're worth something.' 

I don't like to be touched too much, but I shook lots of hands and hugged a lot of people on Christmas day -The mother who ran from her abusive husband and was living at  woman's shelter with her five kids, the elderly woman who was all alone, the 15 year old who told me she wanted to be a fashion designer and hated being at a place that wasn't home, the 11 year old with the big black eyes who suffers with kidney problems, the older man whose wife had died a few years ago, never had kids and had no one to celebrate the holidays with. And there were more. Many more. All with their own stories of trying to survive the best they could.


And a plug for my girls. I am totally proud of them. They jumped in helping to serve, cleaning up, doing whatever they were asked. I asked them if they were ok that we did this instead of being with friends...my oldest told me she loved being able to give and my youngest smiled and said, 'it was fun.'

And I thought of you guys. I hoped you were all ok. 
You know what makes the difference? Knowing He loves me no matter what and the kindness I've been given by others. 


30 comments:

Pete Hoge said...

I experience God using us as
instruments of His love.

You have understood this and
spread this message.

The Holy Spirit is contagious
and that is part of His mercy.

Blessings,

Pete.

Just Be Real said...

Dear one, I was so touched when you shared with me yesterday your plans for Christmas Day. I prayed that God would touch you and your daughters hearts in a special way, and He did.

I love reading your experience and seeing what God not only did in the lives of the others your ministered to, but to you and yours. Thank you!!!

Paula said...

Dear One, I think this kind of service is part of your recovery. of your healing. You not only have passed on what you have receieved. you have given to yourself too. Love you

An Imperfect Perfection said...

...gives me goosebumps...
You are a blessing.

Donetta said...

the best ever indeed:)

Deborah Ann said...

Your story has truly blessed me...and continues to. Love you girl!

Zan said...

=) =) =) =) =) =)

xx love u

RCUBEs said...

He comforted and loved us first...so we can do it to others...What a great way to shine His light unto others who don't know yet His unfailing love. Blessings to you sister.

Finally Free said...

Dear Sarah,
Your life continues to inspire me. I am the person who is saying, "Is what I am doing making a difference?" Through your sharing, God is answering, a big "YES".

This part of your post was the most powerful to me,

I had struggled so much with trust...but still-something of their kindness broke through the walls that padded my heart. It was in their eyes. It was in their voice.

Thank you for sharing such a powerful experience. It has inspired me to keep loving people even if they seem not to receive it at the moment.

I never know the seeds that God is sowing in the person's heart. :)

Blessings,
Tammy

Wylie said...

So blessed to read this. Inspiring. God bless you for being such a blessing to others.
Joyfully,
Wylie

Madison said...

God has His Hand on your life. I can't think of a better way to spend Christmas with your daughters.

Beth said...

Aw, you guys did good!

Andrea said...

GOD used you and the girls to show HIMSELF in a BIG way to those folks. GOD BLESS YOU and the girls!
Hugs and prayers, andrea

Jason said...

You have a great blog here. It's a very interesting read. I have a blog myself which provides inspiration and guidance to people all around the world. Life is hard enough, and I'm hoping for my blog to be a place where people can go to hear the words the words they need to hear in order to brighten up their day.

I'd like to exchange links with you to help spread some traffic around. Please let me know if this is possible.

Sincerely,
Jason
TheWISDOMWALL.com

Gaia said...

You did well Sarah, you are an inspiration. Indeed what you write helps in my healing process. Thank you. Blessings. :)

Wonderingsoul said...

Sarah...

Your compassion is beautiful.

I hope you can take some joy from that giving and keep it just for you.
You deserve that.

Much love to you.

x

miruspeg said...

Sarah I am trying to live my life "paying it forward", I feel so blessed and want to spend the rest of my days living a kind, caring, compassionate life.
You rock girl, you truly rock!!!
Hugs
Peggy xxxx

Kathy M. said...

What a blessing you are to those people.

Patricia Singleton said...

Thanks for sharing this experience. It reminded me of when my daughter was a teenager and a friend invited my daughter and I to help serve Thanksgiving Dinner to the homeless around town.

This wasn't our church and we didn't know many of the other servers. It was a wonderful experience for my daughter and I both. Such love is shared through this small act of service to others.

We did this two different Thanksgivings. It taught my daughter and me too about love and service to our fellow man. Thanks for the memory.

Karen said...

"Kindness reaches a place that nothing else can."...loved this!

May we all show more kindness each and every day...you never know what a difference it will make....

Prayer Girl said...

This description of your Christmas is yet another Christmas gift I have received.

It warmed my heart and lifted my spirit.

Love and prayers to you and your children.

PG

Jean Stockdale said...

What a wonderful way to spend the "holy-days."

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Words can easily be our undoing. Casually tossed about with little thought of their impact or import, we talk without processing the value (for good or bad) what we way. Proverbs says "In the multitude of words, transgression in unavoidable." James say, "Be slow to speak, quick to hear, and slow to wrath." We would all be wise to carefully chose our words. Proverbs says, "Life and death are in the power of the tongue." I choose life, don't you!!!

Blessings and thanks for leaving me a comment. May the Lord bless you now and in the New Year to come. And may the blood-bought Bride of Christ be "without spot or wrinkle" as we await the glorious appearing of our Heavenly Bridegroom.

Karen said...

Thank you for your story and for visiting my blog so i could find yours!! We also serve community meals here to so many who are on the streets because of addictions. Thanks for the encouragement that with God nothing and no one is impossible.

Lisa Marie said...

It sounds as if you have two wonderful girls. You should be so proud of them!

S. Etole said...

no greater gift than the gift of love

womanwisdom said...

you are truly a blessing, dear! reading your blog helps me too, in my healing...God heals! and He is alive in you!

weena

Colleen said...

I have heard to said that depression can be cured by helping others. Sounds like a great way to celebrate the love of God. Blessings and hugs.

Mary Moss said...

What a blessing your presence surely was to those with whom you spent the day.

I rejoice in your victory to give back so selflessly -- and to model for your girls what real strength and true generosity of spirit look like.

Happy New Year!

Steve E said...

Definition of "happiness"...

GIVING!

Thanks for beautiful post!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!

DesperateNaijaWoman said...

Sarah!!!!! You are my first hero of 2010. You have inspired me and all I read was two of your posts.....I am honoured that you are following my blog....you phenomenol woman you. I know my God, He will continue to give you reasons to hold on to Him....I could not agree with you more. Sisterhood? Its a special bond.... Happy New Year!