Monday, December 19, 2011

Leap of Faith

There are two things I don't discuss: politics and religion.  I don't know enough about either to sound intelligent; you can't trust politics anyway; and religion makes me sink into my seat with sweaty palms. It seems without fail you're bound to offend someone at the mention of either.

For me this is big, so I'm going out on a limb (or should I say 'leap of faith') and talking about this as best I can...

I've memorized one bible verse in my whole life (John 3:16) and that's because I went to church camp once with a childhood friend.  My grandmother used to sprinkle the wheels of our car with holy water and my aunt, who's also my Godmother, was a nun in the Sisters of St. Joseph's community for 33 years.  Then you have my dad whose church is on the golf course.  There's also my brother who went to service one Sunday in his pjs.  I'll be honest, I hated going to religious ed. classes as a kid; all I remember about my first communion is that I wore my mom's dress from her first communion; and what stands out most from getting confirmed is that I had to carry the cross and my slip almost fell to my feet as I walked down the center aisle at the start of mass.  But when I turned 16 I started driving myself to church.  It felt like the right thing to do, though I didn't know why, and even as a lifelong Catholic the formalities of mass are still sometimes confusing.

Just last year I purchased my first bible thanks to the urging of my dear friend, Cherie.  And it's also because of Cherie that I go to BSF Bible Study every week.  Yes, bible study. Or as I affectionately call it to my friends and family who are leery of the concept: church group.  I started going last fall because I needed to get out of the house, it gave me an excuse to see my friend, and yes, I wanted to learn more about the bible.  After all, I do enjoy history.  I also liked the fellowship and the exposure to outside care it afforded my boys.  We studied the book of Isaiah and it was eye opening and hard.  It was a lot of effort to go and some weeks I stomped my feet to the car, but I persisted.  This year in class we're studying the book of Acts and have gotten into Hebrews too, both of which are much more uplifting and encouraging. 

I now find myself reflecting on things throughout the week and it also 'keeps me in check' as I navigate the curvy road of being a mom.  I've grown more comfortable in sharing answers (this year's group makes that easy...they're a lively group of women of various ages from all walks of life), but gain the most from hearing others' thoughts because it makes the bible's teachings relevant to life today.  Some week's lessons hit home more than others and to be totally honest there are aspects of Christian beliefs that I'm not 100% sure of.  But I'm usually able to take away a word to keep in mind each week that generally sums up the theme from the assigned chapters.  Words like pride, judgement, gratitude, faith, goodwill, and most often patience.  These and many others are the types of morals I want to instill in my kids and using the church as a moral foundation from which to grow is where Joe and I do indeed see eye to eye on in terms of how church will play a role in our family's life.  

I still have a lot of growing and learning to do and I still can't talk God things without getting pretty squirmy.  But I just wrote this and I've made some dear friends along the way that I've shared more than I ever thought I would and I'm definitely no worse for the wear.  When I say I'm blessed I have a deeper understanding of the word and it's not just luck.  When I pray I'm specific and don't just ask for things, but give thanks too.

So where is all of this coming from? Since I stopped teaching I miss using my brain, feeling productive, and being part of something bigger.  Church group has afforded the boys and me a sense of community; provided me with volunteer opportunities to help in the children's program; and compelled me to DO something to give back, give more of myself, and share with others what I've learned.  I am in awe of so many of my friends who juggle family, friends, service, and careers and never seem to let anything fall.  I think of the countless times I go to Target to swipe my card to pay for more stuff even though I was just complaining of all the clutter around our house.  It's time I give instead of always take, because despite how busy I say I am; how tight I say money is; or how much I might need a new pair of shoes...I'm not, it isn't, and I don't.  So when my neighbor down the street brought a cause to my attention that hit close to home I paid attention.  This isn't just a 'do-a-good-holiday-deed', it's an effort I hope I can help with for a long time.

Capital Childcare provides daily care to some of Richmond's neediest kids.  Capital Diaper Bank started...(info taken from their website) after the childcare staff witnessed children arriving on Monday mornings, after a weekend at home, with raw bottoms, infections or other infirmities. Further investigation revealed that these children were not being changed regularly at home due to an inadequate supply of diapers.  A shortage of diapers can have a severe adverse impact on a child's well being. Parents without sufficient resources often allow children to wear diapers too long or try to clean and reuse disposable diapers, putting children at risk for rashes, staph and other infections and further serious health issues. The likelihood of abuse increases when a child is in a household facing the stresses of poverty and increases even more when that child cries due to a soiled diaper and resultant health issues.  Low-income families cannot take advantage of free or subsidized childcare if they cannot afford enough diapers for their children while there. Without childcare, these parents are less able to attend work or school on a consistent basis, which in turn leads to increased economic instability and a continuation of the poverty cycle.  In addition, funding was drastically cut at the center recently and they've had to reduce their staff and can no longer provide "weekend bags of food."  For some children the only meals they eat are when they're at the childcare center, which of course is only Monday thru Friday.
Want to help?  Email me (krissywatson@gmail.com) and I'd be happy to pick up your contributions if you're nearby.   
There are four options:

1) donate diapers (any size is appreciated, but sizes 4, 5, and 6 are often needed most)

OR

2) donate non-perishable snack food, which will help with daily afternoon snack time (i.e. granola bars, crackers, pop tarts, pretzels, juice boxes, fruit cups, etc.)

OR

3) donate a bag of dry food items items to provide 6 meals over the course of a weekend (i.e. a box of pasta and sauce, cereal, oatmeal, easy mac, soup, peanut butter, bread, jelly, canned goods, pop tarts, etc.)

OR

4) make a check payable to Capital Diaper Bank and mail to
P.O. Box 4255
Richmond, VA 23220 or visit their website, click on 'How You Can Help,' and donate online through PayPal
So in the spirit of goodwill, taking a leap of faith, and giving more of myself, God bless:) (yep, typed with sweaty palms, nervous heart, and all)

2 comments:

  1. I am in absolute awe of my sweet Krissy!!!!! Only a God like we SERVE and LOVE could take her from the "squirms" to writing her own blog sharing, boldy sharing, her journey of finding a personal relationship with Jesus!!!! I'm overwhelmed with thankfulness that I have been even a tiny part of your journey my sweet friend....and just think....this is just the beginning, we've got a lifetime of learning more and growing closer to Him in the many years to come! I love you...and feel like a mom here but i have to just say it...."I'm soooooooooo proud of you!!!!!" :)

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  2. Krissy, how wonderful! It's completely normal to feel "squirmy" and that's okay. God uses us in so many different ways. He will reveal so many opportunities to help others, and this cause that you've found is such a worthy one. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas with me! You inspire me! Debbie Halloway

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