H2O – Help 2 Others

I tend to keep my writing neutral and focused on one love and not religion, so not to separate us into categories of believers and non-believers.  I believe that we are all more alike than we are different and that our belief systems should not separate our oneness. We may choose different paths for living moral lives and we are all coexisting and expressing love in different ways, which is a beautiful process.

We are members of an active, loving, community building church. Our motto is rooted in Christ, reaching out in love.  Our faith is actionable and I want to share a story about how our church family is helping the homeless.

We have a mid-week program for 2nd through 6th graders, who come to church every week for 2+ hours and share fellowship, bible study, a meal, prayer, and an activity, all run by volunteers, even the cooking dinner part.  It’s amazing to be part of and to witness.

Last week, our activity was filling brown, paper lunch bags with items that we can give to the homeless in our community. We had stations where the kids were writing cards, preparing muffins to be baked, decorating the outside of the bags, and then one to fill the bags.

One of the love notes looked like this:


 Inside the bags, the kids placed a rain poncho, a can of vienna sausages, instant oatmeal packets, squeezable applesauce packets, a fruit bar, and a love note.


They filled over 160 bags. As they left for the evening, each kid was told they could take 3+ bags home with them and they were told to keep them in their cars and to hand them out with their parents to those in our community who were in need.

Charlie was very excited for this event and couldn’t wait to be able to find his first person to help.  While he was coming home from his soccer game this weekend, a homeless person was pandering for money at the intersection. Charlie told his dad that he had to stop and give the man one of his H20 – Help To Others bags. Jeff was confused at first, because he didn’t realize that Charlie had been prepared to serve others right there and then. Charlie was insistent that Jeff open his window and give it to the man standing nearby before the light changed and he missed his opportunity.

Jeff told the man that he had a care package for him and asked if he would like to have it. The man agreed and was very thankful for the gift and connection.  Charlie watched and felt content. The two of them talked about their experience the rest of the way home and Jeff praised Charlie for his persistence and active interest in following through and helping the man, standing in the cold.

Sometimes sharing my faith makes me uncomfortable because I don’t want to leave anyone out or have anyone with different beliefs than mine to feel disinterested because it’s a discussion about something they don’t believe in. The root is still the same and that is the connection I hope you find, whether you’re Christian, Atheist, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, or other. We are all rooted in love. One love.

I shared this story because I wanted you to see faith in action. I want you to see the good that churches provide a place for people to gather and to create good deeds and to make our communities a little bit better. We are teaching our children compassion, to be giving, and to help others. I’m sure you are too, perhaps in similar ways and different ways too.  This is just one of the many ways that connect us to love and to serve each other.

Do you have a story to share about helping others, big or small?

nAMaste, BeLoveRs

Life’s Moments

Do you ever feel like sometimes life stands still and you actually get to stand back and take a snapshot and really see a moment?

Do you know what I’m talking about? 

Every so often, I feel like time stands still and I have clarity and can really see and be present in that exact moment. 

Today I had one of those.

Christian returned from his Caravan journey and it was such a touching and meaningful moment, that I almost missed. I was scheduled to play a finals USTA tennis match tonight at the exact same time of his arrival.  Before he left, I had asked him if he minded me missing his homecoming because of this big game, and of course he said no.  He knows how much I love playing tennis and that our team has been doing very well. As the week went by, I was feeling worse and worse about my selfish decision to play, even though I knew my team needed me. I was so torn. Then on Thursday, I ran into an angel at Charlie’s sports camp, who asked me if I was going to be there for his arrival and I told her my story. She said I really wouldn’t want to miss this moving experience and from that moment, I knew I couldn’t play.  Luckily, the night before last, I got an email with our team lineup and there was a backup player available to cover anyone who might have an issue.

I had an issue. I had mom guilt. I couldn’t play anymore. I knew I had to be there for his arrival and couldn’t be two places at once. I wanted to be there to greet Christian and to see his face and to hear his story about his journey, first hand. Luckily, I was given a pass.

I have been anticipating his arrival all week. Today I spent a couple hours deep cleaning his room, kind of like in preparation for his arrival, as if I was having a guest come over. I think I was nesting, just like what you do before you have a baby and you want everything to be just right for the baby’s arrival. Just this time, it was my big baby’s arrival back at home again.

I wanted to do something nice for him, so I decluttered, dusted and created a clean space for him. Juliana made a welcome home sign and hung it on our garage door that said, “Welcome Home, Christian.”  We were anticipating his arrival and were so excited.

We were at church, when the Caravan crew arrived. They opened the doors and the kids and all the advisors came in and walked past us seated on the benches, to the front of the church to their reserved seats, while we sang and clapped and I cried. I kept crying because I am overly emotional and feel so deeply.

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I cried for several reasons.

I cried because I was happy to see his face again.

I cried because I was so proud of him.

I cried because I couldn’t hug him right away and wanted to touch him.

I cried because I know he grew up this week and had a life changing experience without me, which is great and wonderful and perfect, but I still felt like I missed out. I am attached and am in the process of detaching as moms should do. I just didn’t know that this was happening right now. But now I do, and I’m ok with that.  Just weepy. 😉

I cried because I was fully aware that he is growing up and becoming more independent, doing exactly what he is supposed to do. And that means that my role is changing. I felt the transition tonight. And I cried for that too. Moms of grown kids – I know you get this. I’m just beginning. I get it.  I am feeling it and it’s really ok.

I am so thankful that I ran into Colleen and she guided me to be there for the homecoming tonight. Thank you, Colleen.

I am so thankful that we belong to such a great church community, filled with love and teaching my kids to be loving and giving and providing this wonderful service opportunity for them, that is also helping them to grow up with grace. 

I am thankful that Christian is home again and that he had such a remarkable experience. I loved hearing his stories about the people he met, the work he did, and the friends that he made.  

And my tennis team, they won tonight!! I stopped by at the end of the match and was able to witness our final win in a tie break, with the lady who took my place and my partner. They all understood me and get it – they are moms too. And we’re all in this thing together. Thank you Gloria and Reid – for being great captains and for supporting my last minute change of mind. You are the best!!

Life is good!