Friday, March 9, 2012

First World Problems

By Sarah - Her blog is The Fontenot Four You can learn more about her here. You can read all posts from Sarah here.  

Last Saturday my husband, 7 year old daughter and myself went to a place called The Dream Center.  It's an  outreach of our church which exists to serve an impoverished part of town {we live in Charleston, SC}.  They offer people such services as a free clinic, "dream closet" {clothing donated to The Dream Center is handed out to people through this ministry}, a food pantry, a mentoring program, adopt a block, and so on.  On this day, many volunteers were participating in Cinderella Day.  Imagine not being able to attend your prom simply because you couldn't afford a dress or accessories.  Cinderella Day takes care of that for many of the young ladies in the community served by this outreach.  Take a look.

What my family participated in, however, was the adopt a block outreach.  We had never participated, but this is something I've been wanting to participate in for a while.  Everyone volunteering at The Dream Center that day assembled in the church before heading out to their assignments.  I met up with some women from our women's morning group and their families.  We headed out to a particular block consisting of a few short streets filled with dilapidated trailer homes.  They are situated so close to a freeway overpass and just on the other side of an embankment where the rail lines pass through.  I can't tell you how many times we've driven that overpass and seen these exact same homes and didn't give them a second thought.  That has all changed now.

Friends, I know there are times when I complain about things we don't have.  We live in an apartment, not a house.  The apartment is 2 bedrooms, not 3.  It's smaller than I'd like.  We deal with the noise of neighbors. We have a special needs child and have so many stresses related to that situation.  We don't have our other child enrolled in every after school program known to man.  I can't afford a box of k cups for my Keurig this week.  I don't have an iPhone.  I haven't had my hair cut in a few months.  We don't have a flat screen TV.  We live paycheck to paycheck a lot of the time because we're doing the Dave Ramsey way of trying to eliminate the debt from our life.  We've got problems.  Right?  Don't some of you have some of these problems too?

My eyes were opened last Saturday.  Now more than ever, I am taking the time to embrace my life because all of those problems I mentioned...yeah...the k cups...the TV...the iPhone???  Yeah, those problems are nothing compared to the problems faced by the people we visited on that day.  We talked with a very pregnant girl.  She seemed really young.  Not a teenager, but young.  This is her third child she's expecting.  Her home was so sad looking.  As I watched a 1 or 2 year old boy crawl up those rickety steps, dropping his sippy cup into the dirt, I couldn't help but think what if this was where WE lived.  The home was in such a state of  disrepair.  It was being renovated, although I'm not sure what all the entailed.  I don't imagine it was an extreme makeover enough to make the home "acceptable" by most people's standards.

I am embracing my life right now.  I have a roof over my head - even if it is an apartment and is smaller than I'd like.  I have a TV.  Three in fact.  And a laptop.  And a desktop.  And a kindle fire.  And 3 dvd players, 2 of which are also blu rays.  We have internet.  My husband has a respectable job.  My children are both being educated.  My k cup situation...maybe it'll be resolved on the next paycheck.  And, hey, I have a Keurig!  Sure, an iPhone would be nice, but I get by with what I have.  I have a special needs and medically fragile daughter who is alive.  I can say with almost absolute certainty that if she was born into the conditions we encountered, she would not be about to celebrate her 6th birthday in a couple months.

I am more grateful right now than ever for what we do have.  I want to do more to help this outreach.  I don't know what it will involve aside from this adopt a block once a month, but I want to do something.  Maybe embracing my own life means that I have to reach out and embrace someone else's because doing so themselves is just too difficult.

1 comment:

  1. i'm constantly reminded of all the blessings we DO have - a home, food, love, health and family. it is easy to forget how truly blessed we are until we get these kinds of reminders. thanks for another one today and for sharing how blessed you are with us! xoxo