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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Time to Give Back

Once we know where our next meal is coming from, once we are not in fear of any danger, once we have various activities in our life to keep it interesting, once we have people to share experiences with, once all these foundational stones are in place, we find that we have created the ideal situation for joy, for happiness, and for blessing. So what comes next?  It's time to give.

Contributing to the world allows us to be conduates of the Spirit in the world. Generosity allows us to be part of the magic in someone else's life. Have you ever experiences a random act of kindness - I know I have... many times. Once during a particularly difficult week. A week when I was holding everything together with duct tape and spittle - one of my students surprised me with a crown of flowers. This was an 8th grade student! She and her mother had been up making flower crowns the previous night for one of her mother's horticulture classes and they decided that I needed one too. They did not know it was a rough week for me. They didn't know that that simple flower crown - which I wore ALL DAY LONG brought me such relief and blessing. Small random acts can mean everything....

But big acts are great too! What would our world be like without the many charities and the volunteers who serve selflessly to raise up their brothers and sisters in need. One of my favorite charities I have worked with is a little group in Keller, TX. Their goal is to make sure all students in Keller are able to graduate from school and none drop out from lack of stability - they focus on stabilizing the families and students of this little town. It was interesting volunteering at their food bank and at their resale shop. First of all, I met people from all kinds of churches and organizations who had a few hours here or there and could give their time. Next, I met the people we were serving. Folks who were just like me but were caught in the recession/depression suddenly overextended and jobless. Those were rough years - I would watch the "For Sale" sign in the back window of the BMWs drive away with the bags of food I made up because this family was filing bankrupcy. I didn't feel superior to them - I felt love, and I was glad I was in a position to give back.

My own future is currently murky. I graduate my 8th grade class this May, and they will all flutter off to various high schools in the city. What to do? There is no class for me to take at the school - and truth be told, I am in need of a teaching sabbatical. What will this look like? I am in the planning stages - but I can guareentee it will involve giving back, paying it forward, being grateful for all that I have and all that will come and spreading the message that abundance is the true nature of the universe. Wonder, awe and joy are ours for the taking if we stabilize our lives, add variety so we are not bored, make connections, and give with an open and generous heart....
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