Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

This year Mother's Day has been a bit of a mixed bag.  I feel almost schizophrenic in my emotions.  On one side it is probably one of my favorite holidays.  Not because it is about "me" but because it is celebrating what my Bug and I have together.  I love being a Mommy, even when I am exhausted or frustrated or in an "over it" moment I still absolutely, without a doubt love being a mommy.  It is an honor and a privilege that I do not take lightly.

This year I have become more aware of how, for some people, Mother's Day can be a reminder of painful experiences.  For some precious women it is a reminder that they have a loved one that is no longer here.  For some beautiful women it is a reminder that the plans to have a baby did not follow the expected path.  Just yesterday I sat in a room with some wonderful people that are working towards adoption.  I don't know any of their stories but I wonder what today is like for them, not yet able to hold the child that has been birthed in their hearts already.  

Then I think about the moms of the 25,000 children that will die on Mother's Day from preventable diseases.  While I enjoy Mother's Day breakfast and the gift of a homemade card from my Bug another mother somewhere in the world will be mourning the loss of her child.  Many days it is thoughts like these that keep me awake at night.  

I can get so stuck in the mourning of these lives that it paralyzes me.  I wonder if you struggle with that too?  So, in light of all of this, what can we do?  How can we make Mother's Day and every day a day to help?  How can we, as Mothers and powerful Godly women, reach out to those without a voice?

We can make purposeful choices.

We make choices every day and we can tweak those choices so that they will impact the impoverished.  We can direct where our dollars go.  I am thankful that the more that I learn about the poverty and despair in this world that I also hear of more and more organizations that are ministering and going out to meet these needs.  

For example, do you like to shop?  Still haven't gotten a gift for your mom?  Does someone special have a birthday coming up?  Check out The Noonday Collection.  Instead of buying items from big companies that, at times actually increase the slavery of people through abusive working conditions, we can choose another path for our dollars.  The Noonday Collection items are made in poverty stricken areas and these purchases help provide a family a path out of poverty.  There is also the Mercy House in Kenya.  Purchasing these gifts directly impacts the mothers that live in this home.  (By the way, I am literally in love with the special Mother's Day offerings this year... if I was getting a gift this is what I would have asked for!)  I have only listed two of the many fair trade websites I have found that reach out to those in need and instead of just feeding them for a day they help them develop an ability to work and provide for their family.  It saves their lives and gives them dignity.  Talk about ministering to the widows and orphans (James 1:27).

Do you want to know more projects you can do with your family?  Are you interested in ways that you can educate your children on what is going on in the world?  Visit Live58.org.  This website is full of challenging information and dedicates one part to sharing what other families are doing together to educate and change the mindset of the next generation.  Watch their video too... powerful.

Are you ready to go deeper?  Want to live in a way that you are sacrificing some of your abundance so that others can live?  Check out TheYesClub.org.  The Yes Club is all about challenging us to give something up for a year (yes, a whole year) and give what we would have spent on that luxury towards clean water.  Let me tell you as I am nearing the end of my commitment to The Yes Club (I gave up gifts for a year and Mother's Day is the last holiday that I would have gotten a gift for in this year) I have realized that even though the money that would have been spent on me has gone towards giving life saving physical and spiritual water to those in need, the life that has been saved is truly, once again, mine.  God has not let one tiny piece of this lesson go to waste.  He is moving in mighty ways right now.  

Another ministry that is all about radical giving is With This Ring.  It began with the founder giving her wedding ring, a symbol of love, desire and belonging, so that mothers on the other side of the world would not be without clean water.  You can give sacrificially to this ministry a number of ways.  You can become a champion and give funds towards the clean water wells being drilled in India.  If you are thinking about getting engaged you can choose an engagement ring from the rings that have been donated.  You can even be a part of their Project Beloved and make your wedding about clean water for others.  To learn more about how you can be a part of sharing the life changing message of radical giving visit WithThisRing.org.

Today my church highlighted Compassion International.  This ministry is out there being the hands and feet of Jesus to these sponsored children.  If you don't sponsor a child you need to.  I love that my pastor mentioned how we will say that we need to pray about whether start a child sponsorship but asked how often we pray about whether or not we should go to the movies or out for dinner.  He said that we didn't need to pray about whether we need to sponsor a child, we just need to do it, because God has made it clear in His Word that the least of these are dear to His Heart (Matthew 25:31-46). 

I have already shed a number of tears today as I have enjoyed the highs of hugs from my Bug and time with family and the lows of thinking about the mothers that are weeping today because they do not have enough food or water to give their children. Yet I am glad that in the midst of this I can also think about the people that are out there, making a difference, reaching out with the love of God to those in the most desperate need and I will know that I will do my best to give and be a part of reaching out with them. 

So, will you join me?  Through the love of Christ, obedience to the scriptures and making different choices we can change the world.  Let's do it together and let's do it now. 

1 comment:

Kelley said...

Amy, Thanks for all these causes you mention. I knew of some of them but several were new to me. Love your heart for the downtrodden and for the church to develop hearts that will cry out against injustice...and act on that passion. You are a great example.

I'm one of the editors at FaithVillage.com, where one area I oversee is causes--poverty, injustice, adoption, fostering, water, etc. We have a team of bloggers who share from their blog posts on that topic. I'd love for you to join us. I hope you'll check FaithVillage out and perhaps email me if you have questions. In the meantime, thanks again for sharing your vision of a just world.