Brian and I recently finished a small group video/discussion series on having a heart for and helping the poor in meaningful ways.
We watched God Bless the Child and it was heart-wrenching. It may have been even more troubling for me as a mom and pregnant woman, but watching a mother and her daughter suffer and have to make really hard choices in really bad situations was not fun. It was, however, very eye-opening to me and moved me to have a greater compassion for those in my same stage of life who are really struggling with the basic necessities in life.
As a church we are packing and delivering 100 Boxes of Love to families in the local area who aren’t able to afford a Thanksgiving dinner this year. Usually, we’d deliver this to downtown Detroit, but this year with things not so good in the economy right in our community we have many families in our town who are in need.
Covenant House of Michigan is hosting a candlelight vigil that might be an easy way to get started in helping others.
For the Christmas season there are lots of ways to give and spend less on gifts for those who don’t need them and instead help those who really do. Adventconspiracy.org is one place to get inspired and get ideas from others who are trying that this year.
Aside from what I’m already doing, I don’t know exactly how I am going to put my compassion and concern for the poor into action with my kids, but I do know that I will be doing more with each opportunity and involving my kids with me along the way so that they will continue to have a heart that sees and helps rather than walks on by those in need.
*Oops, I wrote this a while ago and forgot to publish it. So, some of it is outdated… We delivered the boxes of love to some families nearby and had the kids help with that. The vigil was last week… sorry.
This fall I joined the Holistic Moms Network and have enjoyed attending the local meetings and being part of the email loop, but find some of it a bit over the top. I have to keep myself in check to not spend hours a day reading and following all the trends and ideas of ways to be healthier and greener and more natural in everything. I struggle to remember that not everything that I read or hear from these well-meaning women is truth; in fact, most of it is just speculation or humble opinions. Yet, there has been a very interesting thread about how much various families spend on food.
Apparently, most of the families that commented spend about $700-800 per month buying mostly organic produce, grains, dairy, eggs, and free-range meats. Some spend as much as $1500/month for a family of four and some as little as $350/month. Some people included soaps (laundry, dish, and body) as well as vitamins and homeopathic remedies, which I think are pretty expensive. We fall somewhere in the middle, but our difficulty in cutting back on food expenses is not in the grocery store, but in eating out. If we stopped eating out altogether, we could easily halve our food expenditures. I’m not interested in pursuing that budget shortcut just yet. I really enjoy dining out for the break it provides me from cooking and cleaning up after meals, but also for the chance to try foods that I don’t/won’t make at home.
And it’s a boy!
We had a great ultrasound on Wednesday and got the good news that we are having another baby boy. I was actually very stressed going into the ultrasound because I haven’t been feeling the baby much at all yet and although I’ve gotten much bigger since preconception, I am not hugely pregnant yet – not that I’m complaining…
I am very relieved to have seen our baby happily moving around and even sucking on his hand. It was amazing. His heart and brain and everything are great and he is even measuring a little bit further along than expected (about 6 days, so not much). We have a couple of pictures including a great shot of his spine, which Eila thinks looks like a snake and therefore has given him the nickname “Snakey.”
Now we only have to come up with a boy’s name. We are open to suggestions as long as you don’t expect a positive response to them.