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Taking my lumps, experiencing a life lesson. Are we done yet??? :-)

February 10, 2014

One month down. 
Two more to go until I can even begin to rebuild.
60 more days until I can even lift more than a gallon of milk. 
I find it so ironic that I was never intimidated to carry, lift, move or launch myself into anything before this.  To make a difference you have to be willing to do anything and everything and never blink an eye. 
I feel I understand my elderly friends limitations so much more after this month.  It is so frustrating when people can zip past you, whirl around you and lift more than you could on your best day!
I used to wake every single morning praying:  “Use me God to the fullest of my capacity to help those around me”. 
Then my feet hit the ground running and He did.
And now….. 
God is using this time to strengthen and build the broken me.  I know this, understand this and feel humbled and frustrated with this. 
I know my current walk is, thankfully, temporary and if, and only if, I do this right I will be stronger and more able to serve Him and others and be hopefully pain free for the remainder of my days.  But until then….I am trying to be patient. 
Last week I tried to tell the surgeon this wasn’t how I imagined it would be and wanted to know what I could do to make the pain, inability to sleep for more than one hour, exhaustion and slow healing progress move faster.  There was a bit of silence. 
Then he said “You know that you have a lot of hardware in your back that is holding your spine together and has not fused, right?” 
“Yes I understand that but it’s been a month!!!!”
Again a bit of silence…
My poor doctor 😦
“And it will be longer, but if you continue to do what you are supposed to do it won’t take longer than that.”
Ugh.  There’s no pill to make broken backs repair “LIKE THAT!!”  Geez.
I didn’t plan on simply being fingers on a keyboard at this point in the second month of the year when I am usually about to launch into the beginning of great and wonderful Hope and Friendship Ministries Foundation,  Lemont Police Department Chaplain, Lemont Township events and work, but here I am. 
I am behind a computer screen working on spring Lemont Township Events and catching up on annoying computer work, and unfolding Hope and Friendship Ministries Foundation Events while the world on the outside of my home whirls by. 
I’m still getting phone calls, texts and emails and hearing of needs and knowing that though I have to sit and be patient while my body heals, others are desperately trying to move through incredibly more difficult days.  Way more difficult than physical healing requires, and because of that and for them I will work harder to get back to reminding you of the needs that are within your arm’s reach. 
Sometimes when needs and issues are not in front of our face, especially in this immediate feed, social media era, we think the need is no longer relevant or present.  I plead with you to know that the very real and very desperate need of the struggling within our arm’s reach is here, now and not resolved. 
A single mom is hoping she will not lose her 2nd job when the cuts are announced next week. 
A couple in their 90s are hoping they pass before any more snow and cold lands their way.  I pray they are here and present come June when we gather for Mission Stay Saturdays and come to their door with rakes, mowers, trimmers and smiles warming them with our love.
A young friend is feeling very alone and disconnected.  These long winter days have not been warm.  I look forward to having them join me during the summer youth activities, of which they say they feel the most connected and laugh more than they do all year long. 
I have been in contact with a few of our home bound as much as I can.  You think you’re sick of this weather???? Trying being in the prison of your body and weather and not even being able to open a window to get a breath of fresh air. 
Did you know that late January early February is time of the highest suicide deaths of any time of the year?
We have lonely among us.  We have lost, hurt, broken hearted, alone who could really really use a bit of sunshine in this very dark season of the year and of their lives.
So many times you read about a need or a travesty and put the article aside or click on the next thinking there is nothing you can do.
Well please don’t move forward until you know that you can help in this situation.

Next Saturday (Feb 15th) beginning at 11am, we will be gathering at the Lemont Township Office (1115 Warner Ave- behind Chipains) and we will attempt to break our record of creating 500 Sack Lunches that are filled with love that will “Warm a Heart and Lift a Spirit” of those in the deepest and most painful days of a dark season of their lives:  homeless, seniors, and home bound. 
To make this happen we need:
You to donate and/or show up with- Lunch Meat; Peanut Butter/Jelly; Loaves of Bread; lunch size of potato chips/pretzels/snacks; granola, breakfast, snack bars; baked goods wrapped or bagged for individuals; cases of water bottles; $5 gift cards to McDonalds, Burger King, and Subway; and most importantly notes of positive words, quotes and inspiration to lift downed hearts. 
Help us bring some sun and warmth to a very dark and cold season of the year and of some lives.
 
I will not be doing anything but supervising this year, but I believe that also will be part of the lesson that God is leading me through.  I can still speak of the needs without having to do all of the work.  Perhaps I did too much. 
Perhaps I didn’t allow others to do what they could do to help as they asked to do.
Well now here we are and here I am. 
The needs are here, and now I can only point you to the needs and our friends in need and hope you’ll help me meet them. 
I know this community so well after being here for 20 years and know that it is packed full of compassionate caring hearts that want to meet needs and I also know that simply from the surplus of items that we “have” in this community we can meet the many many voids for the “have nots” in this community. This lunch may seem like just one of 500 (or more) but it may be the lunch that turns a heart from cold to warm, a lonely senior from feeling forgottened to remembered, a physically ill home bound friend from alone to being known.  Never ever underestimate the power of the smallest act of kindness to revive a broken heart. 

Then we move onto helping young women receive a prom dress of their “hopes” instead of settling for one or none that they could/can’t afford dreams made real simply from what was in your closet.  (help by donating gently used or new prom dresses and dress clothing by Sun Feb 23rd)
Oh the places we can and will go this year my friends.
I will be right there with you pointing out the needs, but I need you (especially this year) to be the compassionate and hearty stronger hands, feet and heart of the “act” in the “acts of kindness” that we commit to. 
Right now everyone could use a little warmth and sunshine and we can make that happen!  It will burn from within as you walk away knowing what amazing good you have taken part in.  You can’t help but be warmed knowing you have made a difference in someone’s life!
Next Saturday please please join us and/or contribute as we try to move past our record of bringing warmth and love to 500 with a very special sack lunch. 
Email hopeandfriendship@comcast.net for more info or just show up with any of the donation items listed above. 

I am so inspired and strengthened by every one of your emails, cards, calls/texts of support and know that my appreciation for that and for your acts of kindness toward me is so similar to the appreciation that I am asked to extend from those that you have helped via Hope and Friendship Events. 
I guess that is just part of the lesson. 
I understand and grasped the sincerity so much more the thank yous I receive from those that we have helped knowing the thank you I now offer seem so very inferior to the love and gratitude that comes from my heart. 
Now I finally understand.
Thank you God for this lesson.
Can I be excused from the rest of the class now???
Just kiddin……. 🙂  ❤

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