Okay, there – I’ve not only avowed to my children and brothers that I mean it this year, but now I’ve put it in print so I can be held accountable for my words.
I tell my family this every year before Christmas, and I always want to mean it, but … somewhere along the way it gets out of hand. Although, after what I experienced this week, I believe I can stick to my mantra.
You need to know, as I write this it’s the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and today I had the privilege of being present at Johnson Elementary School where One Gen Away was distributing food to almost 400 local families so they could enjoy a Thanksgiving meal.
There were so many aspects of the experience that left me moved – to the core. I told one of my friends who was there volunteering: “It’s strange to be so sad and so happy at the same time.”
The sad comes from the fact that being in Williamson County, statistically, we shouldn’t need to provide food, but happy that someone is leading the charge and the faces of the recipients showed gratitude, not shame. (Kudos to you Chris & Elaine Whitney and all the volunteers)
While I was there I heard my name called out and turned to see an old high school friend. We are the same age, but our lives turned out very different. Case in point, I have five children (ages 30 to 18) and she has a five-year-old son – her one and only child.
In the midst of catching up, she humbly asked if I knew of any organizations that could help provide Christmas gifts for her son. Not having the right answers in that moment, we exchanged numbers and I vowed to get back with her soon. As you can imagine, it hit me hard … my challenge is not doing too much, while hers is to be able to just do something for her son for Christmas. Whoa.
To add to my present mindset (praying it sticks), earlier this week I had the task of pouring through the last 15 years of SEM’s photo archives trying to find significant moments of our profile, Julian Bibb, as he retires at the end of the year.
Let me tell you, I have amassed quite the catalog of photos over the years and not only was it a walk down memory lane, it served as the slideshow of my life. I have been so blessed to document the people, places and events of our community and I am so grateful for the opportunity and I realize what a gift it is.
To be very honest, there have been seasons in my life where I could have easily been in the “receiving” line stretched around that school, but today, I was not. I have all that I need and most of what I could ever want.
As we celebrate Christmas … remind yourself the origin of this holiday and remember, if you believe, we’ve already been given the greatest gift of all.
Blessings to you and yours,