Friday, November 22, 2013

The Sock Story

"Oh I was just telling my husband your Sock Story!"
That is what I heard tonight as I walked into a friends home.  I was so confused.  "What Sock Story?"
She was so surprised I didn't remember.  She began to retell the story to me until the light went on and I remembered.

She said "tell it to everyone!"

I was so taken back by her excitement and interest that I started the story in the middle and had to start over while telling.... twice!  :/

The story is a wide one but I will start in an easy spot.

I heard on Facebook about 250 students in our school district who are homeless.  Yes, 250 kids who don't have a real home to sleep in every night.  Many reasons why, all very sad.  So the Facebook message said a way to help these kids now is to buy them snacks to eat after school.  Many of these kids are not guaranteed dinner so these snacks are critical.  I was shocked, horrified and moved.  I went to Costco to buy a box of granola bars and some small oranges.

I had a little extra time so I walked slow and wandered.  I saw the boxes of socks near the clothing tables and had a thought...."buy some little girl socks".  I stopped and picked up lots of different packages.  They all had 8 pairs and were cute.  I decided on a package of socks for shoe size 10-4 girl.  I put them in my cart and walked a few steps, looked again at the socks in my cart, picked them up and wanted to buy them but.... Who Are They For?  I decide to put them back since I couldn't clearly answer that question.

I left Costco and dropped off the food at the school district office.  The woman there was wonderful and so thankful for any help large or small.  She told me a story of a boy sleeping in a tent all alone.  Rip my heart out.

I then went to my children's school and met with the family advocate about organizing some Thanksgiving baskets.  She was talking about the needs of the families and why they deserve help this Holiday season.

She then paused.  Looked right at me.
She said "Oh and I just heard about a little girl who needs socks, her mom can't buy her any."

I got all red and kinda sweaty.... I said "Carmen, I was just.holding.socks.her.size."
"Do you believe in God?"  I said , "Well, I do and I knew God was asking me to buy those socks but I didn't because I just couldn't see why or who they were for!"
I told her I would go get the socks for the little girl that same day.  I called my husband to pick up some on his way home and he gladly said yes.  (I love him!)
The store near him didn't have the size readily available so he sat on the ground inside Costco at 7pm going package by package looking for the right size.  One, he found ONE package of girls socks.

So the moral of the story:
You know those little thoughts you have?  You know that Holy Spirit that lives inside you?  Well, he knows stuff, cool stuff and if you listen and obey AMAZING things can fall into place.  I really believe that everyday we have chances to be used by God.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Seattle's Union Gospel Mission

A group of 7, including Takeshi and I went downtown this evening to serve food at the Union Gospel Mission.  This is an amazing place that feeds mostly men 3 meals a day everyday of the week.  When the food runs out, they are done till the next meal.  It was my first time going inside the building.  I have driven by many times and have seen the line of people waiting outside to go in.  We arrived and were greeted by very upbeat, happy people.  They quickly showed us how we could help and what to do.  Takeshi, passed out apples and bananas for almost 2 hours.  I had a wet rag and cleaned tables and cleared away empty trays of food.  

After we finished Takeshi and I had a bit of time to talk and discuss the evening and what we saw, felt and heard....even smelled.  People are hungry.  That is my #1 awareness.  One man needed more water to drink but instead of just getting up to fill his glass he took his whole tray of food with him just to get a drink - he couldn't imagine being away from his plate for even few seconds - he was that hungry.  

As I cleared trays that were empty and dirty from men who had eaten and finished I noticed more than a few times that the plate was still hot on the tray - empty but still hot.  They ate fast.

I watched one person walk to toss out his food - a very full plate into the garbage but another man stopped him and said "Hey!  That looks good I will eat it!'  

Many people said thank you while I wiped the tables and seats.  

I felt....I'm embarrassed to say this.... I felt scared to make eye contact.  I would sometimes say "Hi" but never said how are you?  By the end of the 2 hours I was feeling more comfortable and brave but not nearly how I would like to be, not how Jesus would have been.  It's a starting point for me.  I'm looking forward to going again.  This was a good choice.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Food Stuff

I'm learning to eat healthy.  Ha!
I learned a few years ago about exercise but I did not educate myself very much about food.  I mean, I learned about calories and how fast I could burn them but that's about it.

Fast forward a couple years to current time and we got NETFLIX!  Yeah baby!  Ok, so I'm new and a little excited about what shows I can find on there.  My sister said "Cancel cable and get Netflix!"  So I blame her for all this food learning stuff in the end!  Netflix has documentaries and those are perfect for watching when your husband is gone playing soccer.  So, I watched "Hungry for Change" one night last week and learned so much.  Holy, moly so much!

Like.... did you know my favorite cereal in whole world Honey Bunches of Oats Blueberry/Banana does not really have blueberries?  It has clusters of fake suger died blue and some chemical they use in winterizing an RV mixed in it.  Watch the show for all the specific details....  
I had no idea sugar was in so many things, lots of sugar.  I have not been taking very good care of myself or my kids and yes, they will survive but how about I do a little better.

So the next day I set out to change it up.  I bought organic fruit, veggies and dairy products.  I even bought Buck Wheat pancake mix.  Hmmmmmm....  Not sure my thinking on that.  Takeshi called the pancakes "Butt Wheat" so I played with the recipe and added some buttermilk mix to it and the kids ate them!  We've been making smoothies with kale that taste so so.  I'm learning that adding kale means you need to add an extra banana and apple.  :)  The kids are super stars and are eating a plate of veggies and green smoothies.  They are eating plain yogurt and plain cherrios.  They don't cry when I say eat an apple if you are hungry.  Yeah!  I really expected more of a fight but they are troopers!

Today I felt it though.  That low, slow, drained feeling all day.  I told Takeshi I think when I felt this ugggg! in the past I would go eat a granola bar in the kitchen.  A shot of sugar to my system.  Now that I'm choosing a handful of almonds or a banana my body is sad about it.  Sad now, but I hope next week to feel a little stronger and less drained.

On a happy note we are ALL using the toilet regularly for the first time....ever!  Two people, who will remain nameless, have had issues in this area.  I'm happy to say they are all GOOD now!  :)

I'm gonna keep it up!  I'll keep you posted.