So Thankful

I didn't blog about our holiday madness (one year we'll figure it out and start putting our feet down, but until then.. let the holiday marathons be joyful!) BUT I wanted to share our Thanksgiving. Jeremy and I always do something for charities throughout the year (Habitat for Humanity being our favorite!) but this year we found a need in our community to share love with those who found themselves without family to spend their Thanksgivings' with. We volunteered through Whiteaker in Eugene to (what we thought) serve homeless a Thanksgiving meal, prepared by culinary students at our local community college. We ended up being assigned a different job that turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. We love to donate money for relief funds, or donate material for Habitat, or donate coats. We are completely blessed to give anonymously. We don't need recognition or a thank you. It's a hobby of ours and our calling to serve. On the other hand, being there physically has a huge impact and there is a need for that as well. I love to provide child care for those who can't afford it, help on Habitat job sites, and now we'll make it a tradition to serve our community on Thanksgiving day.

Don't get me wrong I am a firm believer in family time and building strong relationships with your family unit. But, until you've seen the depth of gratuity in the face of a stranger, loving you for the simple fact that you're just there... It's so simple and so soul piercing. We were given the task of being greeters and organizers. The people in line first were able to go into a large room full of donated toiletries, blankets, shoes, coats, pants.. you name it. And from there were served with a nice sit down Thanksgiving feast. This was our first year doing this so I'm not sure if they go all out like they did this year. But can I just say that the homeless and needy of our community ate well this year! Ushering people into this well oiled machine was intimidating, frightening and so wonderful. I am an organizer by nature but a yell out numbers and force people to listen and pay attention person, I am not! This is where my manly but meek husband had to step up to the plate and regulate. Once it was clear that cutting and trying to cheat the system was not going to tolerated we were then able to loosen up and listen to the stories that were waiting to be shared with us. My heart broke, my faith was shared, tears were shed, my heart ached, anger arose and I am a new woman because of it. I am so thankful to have been given the opportunity to share what I know in my heart to be truth and have it really soak in with strangers. And to learn, something not natural to me, to shut up and listen. Sometimes people just want to be heard. They need to be heard and feel loved. Both of which can be done without a word. I can't wait to do this next year and hopefully this post inspires someone to fill needs in their community.

Give Thanks.

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