Thought of the day: Giving to Give.

Giving. In a me first society, its easy to say oh yeah I give. I gave $4 to the girl guides to get some of their cookies, I gave my empty bottles to the kids doing a bottle drive (plus it got them out of my house), etc. But how often do we give just for the sake of giving when we aren’t getting any thing out of it? What about when it costs us more then $4 or requires us to make sacrifices of our own? I came across a video this morning that I would like to share. It’s on one of my favorite new sites: Ilikegiving.com.

I Like Car from ILikeGiving.com on Vimeo.

I find myself wondering what the world would be if we were less concerned about ourselves, our finances and truly trusted that God can and will provide? At various points in my life I have been able to do just that…give unselfishly and watch God come through for my needs every single time. So why is it so hard to believe that when times are tougher, if he provided those times of plenty, will he not also provide in times of need?

In Matthew 6 Jesus reminds us that we do not need to worry as God is the ultimate giver and that if we follow that example, we will be cared for  : “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

Now I’m not saying buy your friend 20 drinks on her birthday because she doesn’t have enough money to get trashed… the bible is pretty clear about being wise with what God has given you and I don’t think its particularly wise to enable someone in choices that may lead them farther from God. But that we are called to live generously, to be a light that points to the ultimate provider. To do what we can to help meet real needs, to help the orphan and the widow, the beggar and the outcast, friends and enemy’s alike to bring glory to God.

 

 

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One of the Lucky ones: A year with D.

It’s hard to believe it was just over a year ago that I first met my nephew when he was 10 months old. That after a few phone calls from my brother and social workers, it was decided it was best that he come and live with my parents for a while. There were so many emotions….so many unanswered questions. December marked a new beginning, not only for D, but for my brother, for my parents, for me and my sister and at the time fiancé – whose family makeup was drastically re-defined by the arrival of this little guy.         

What a year it has been for this beautiful (yes I am a biased auntie) little boy. Moving from a foster family in his birth town to his grandparents in the big city meant his first plane ride, his first steps were taken on Christmas eve with family around him, his first birthday was spent with grandparents, aunties and extended family.  The summer was spent at the beach where he got to get to know his daddy and mommy and new baby brother, and the fall consisted of Daddy and brother moving in with Grandma and Grandpa and re-establishing the bond that will help him transition back living with daddy and brother sometime in the upcoming year.

D and Dj.

D is one of the lucky ones. I love this boy to pieces, and he has family that loves him and is willing to sacrifice their own lives and comfort to make sure he is not ‘lost in the system’, family that is willing to work with his dad to get him to a place where D can go home and grow up with his biological family.

This experience has left me with a deep sorrow for those children who aren’t so lucky. The ones whose parents are unlikely to have the means to parent again, the ones who don’t have support of extended family to jump in. The child who have legally been cut off from the change of ever going ‘home’ and are living in houses and family’s that will never be home as they face an uncertain future with no promise of forever. I have so many dreams of bringing children home. Giving them a permanent family. BUT… I hate the word ‘but’, it keeps popping up where its not wanted, and here it is again. (Warning: the next part of this post is brutally honest, so bear with me!)

But:

 – We hardly have the money to take care of ourselves right now, indeed there are bills that haven’t been paid on time in the recent past.

 – We only got married 7 months ago…and although I am married to an amazing man, I don’t feel ready to put the stress and pressures of adding children onto our relationship yet. We would step in for a family member in an emergency, but to add voluntarily to our family feels premature.

– I also know my husband is not confident he can handle a child with “extra needs/baggage” at this point in time. Although we have talked from the beginning about adopting at some point, adopting a child out of foster care implies that these children have already experienced much more loss or trauma then a newborn does (Both my husband and I were adopted as newborns with good relationships with our birth families), simply being that children are not removed from “amazing ideal” homes, but from ones that for whatever reason were not able to be the family the child needed at the point in time the child was removed.

– we have a renter downstairs, who already has complained about noise…how could we add a child with all the extra noise and still maintain the cash flow from renting the basement as we would need it even more?

– many of the children in foster care in our area have an aboriginal background and we are not aboriginal…therefore I feel like we would  not even be considered for many children who need families.

– my heart aches for the older ones, the 13-15 year old girls who are so close to falling into homelessness, drugs, poverty, prostitution if they don’t have someone who is willing to commit to them despite their age, challenges, or survival skills of manipulation or bad behavior. But I am only in my mid-20’s myself, who am I to think I can parent someone who is barely 10 years younger then myself

– We are still undecided about having biological children. Being adopted, I don’t necessarily feel a draw to needing a child that is biologically related to me, but I don’t know I am ready to give up the experience of having a child from infancy and experience the miracle of giving life. And if we do have a biological child, will we then feel the need to pursue only children that are younger then that child? In which case I struggle with the idea of waiting to be matched for years when there are still older children who desperately need homes?

– I still have schooling to finish, and I feel like I will be more prepared to deal with the complexities of a foster care adoption as I complete my BSW. But I may still be many years away from finishing it as I am taking a break from school to work for a while and get some experience in the field.

Some days these feel like excuses and I feel guilty that I haven’t figured out a way around them or to remedy them as every day a child stays a ward of state, is another day that they are missing out on what they deserve, a permanent family. Other days I know that it is of no benefit to anyone; myself, a child, or my husband, to pursue anything of this nature before we are ready…but I worry. Will we ever be at a place where we are “ready”?

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. – James 1:27

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