Monday, March 23, 2015

How I Feed My Starving Children

Have you ever thought, "I want to help others, but how?" 

I certainly have.

how i feed my starving children

Yet I find more times than not, it comes way more naturally for me to focus on my own family's needs. It is almost effortless for me to roam Target filling my cart with things that my family needs (ok, and things we don't need too.)

However, then I find that I spend a lot of time at home organizing all of the stuff. You know what I mean...all of THE STUFF.

Simple, I long for simple. 

But it doesn't just happen. I have to intentionally work towards simple. I have to make choices for our family based on simple. I have to choose to not buy another thing that we really don't need and instead...

Well, here is the story of what happened recently.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Two of our family's values are gratitude & generosity. (Sam and I sat down a few years ago and narrowed down our family's core values to seven things that we wanted our kids' childhoods to be marked by. Things that they would leave our house after they have grown knowing were REALLY important to our family.)

Does that mean that I have the most grateful kids on the planet? No!

Does that mean we have a perfect family that holds to these core values all of the time? No!

It simply means that while we are doing life together as a family, Sam and I are going to do our best to teach our kids (and remind ourselves!) that being joyful, thankful, patient, respectful, generous, compassionate & responsible are all really important to our family.

How does that play out in real life you ask, well...I'll give you one recent example.

You see, I feed five kids three meals a day on a regular basis. I often hear...

"I'm starving."

"I don't like that."

"What's for dinner?"

My kids make statements every day based on their needs and their wants. 

I get it... 

However, I often tell them,

"There are kids all over the world who don't have enough food to eat."

Or, "Do you know what the word "starving" actually means?"

and then I think...

How do I connect the dots for my kids?

How do I create a culture in our house where my kids are thankful for their food?

How can we help feed the hungry?

How can we do small things with great love?

And then a friend invited me to come pack meals at Feed My Starving Children for her birthday celebration. Melissa wanted to gather friends together to see how many boxes of food could be packed in just a few short hours together.

Her idea was genius! 

So we gathered, we wore hair nets, we learned how the packing process worked, we all picked a duty (I helped seal bags and managed to somehow not seal my fingers in the process), they played party music (because I'm happy...), we sang, we cheered, we tallied each box and by the end all of Melissa's friends worked together to pack 22 boxes! 

That was enough food to provide four thousand, seven hundred and fifty two meals! 

4,752!!!

We are totally planning a family trip to go back there...soon!

While I was at FMSC I also saw a t-shirt with a Mother Teresa quote on it that I had never heard before. It summed up everything I had been feeling but couldn't put the words together to say.

feed my starving children

I foresee some brainstorming happening of how to get this quote in my house, on a wall...or ANYWHERE!

FMSC is based out of Minnesota but they have MobilePack events that go all over the United States. They also have this t-shirt available online with a donation of $50. That donation covers the cost of one box of food...enough food to provide 216 meals!

Maybe you can gather your tribe to celebrate a birthday, take your book club on an outing or grab your neighbors and go pack meals.  If you can't get to a packing event, maybe your family could save some money in a jar to donate towards buying the food that is packed. All of the food is provided by donations. 

live simply so that others may simply live

We also have some dear friends, Justin & Sarah who work with a ministry, Master's Heart, to provide food security to the many orphaned children of Mozambique who are struggling to survive. Their ministry is the real deal and so are they! To get your family involved with helping to provide food for one orphaned child you can go here.

Suddenly the question is no longer...how can I help? 

But...

How many kids can our family provide a meal for today? 

#smallthingswithgreatlove

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7 comments:

  1. Thank you for coming and celebrating with me and the birthday packing crew! I was so amazing at how the crew did! I really think that God blessed our time there.

    I love that shirt too. The quote is something that embodies so much to me. Living simply is something that I have to do intentionally too. It means hurt feelings sometimes and being uncomfortably counter-cultural at others. But it also means having the space and time (and grace) to do what seems to be more important. We are all works in progress, right?

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    1. Melissa,

      Thanks for inviting me...it was a blast!

      All works in progress, indeed...

      ~Sarah

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  2. Wow what an amazing way to celebrate a birthday and what an inspiring post - thank you so much. I'm often a little taken aback when I read your posts as so often I will have been circling around similar issues - and you have a way of just hitting the nail on the head. The whole concept of living with less stuff and appreciating what we already is important to me and one that I am trying to teach my children. Just this morning I watched a short DVD "Cinderella Children" about the work of Irene Gleeson in Kitgum, Uganda. The abject poverty and need that exists there and the amazing work they is in such contrast to the relative wealth and abundance that I can take for granted. She started (against enormous odds) with simply feeding and caring for the children that gathered around her. It's inspired me to see how we can get involved from here at home. Thanks for giving me an extra push today. Loved hearing about FMSC and I love the intentional way you approach all you do.

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    1. What a neat story hearing about Irene Gleeson. I love that she started by simply feeding and caring for the children around her. Sometimes I think we wait to be ready to take a giant step in the direction that we long to go yet in reality if we just start taking small steps forward we will find ourselves doing what we have been longing to do. Thanks for sharing!

      ~Sarah

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  3. I Love all of your posts and look forward to reading them every morning. We also recently did FMSC through our church here in Chicago for the 2nd time & I love spending time at the event & love being able to pack food for all the children.. It means so much..I love that you were able to do it for a birthday party! I also purchased the shirt and I agree it is always what you want to portray your life and how you live but, it is sometimes so hard to find the right words and this shirt nailed that for me! Our crew was a full house and we packed 106 boxes which was 22,896 meals which fed 63 kids for a year! I will be wearning my shirt proud :)

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    Replies
    1. Erica,

      How incredible your time at FMSC must have been! It is so hard to find the words sometimes, but you are right, that shirt nailed it! :-)

      ~Sarah

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