Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Blessing to Bless

While sitting at the dining room table a few nights ago, my son decided to have one of his "moments" where his food, some of his favorite food mind you, didn't look exactly how he wanted; the Italian broccoli was a little too "cooked" and the salmon, well, I am not even sure how that was any different, wasn't up to his standards. But, the point is, this is a meal that he usually eats with wild abandon. Yet, void of any illness, recent snacking, or bugs crawling on the food, he simply turned up his nose and refused to eat.

Now I know that at the ripe old age of 8, it's perfectly normal for kids to be picky about food, intolerant of variances or change, and exhibit some other challenging behaviors regarding preferences and independence, but again this is one of his favorite meals, one I usually don't have to hear any negative feedback about. So, after about 3 long agonizing minutes, he was sent to his room and I wrapped up his dinner for a second showing later. We finished our meal (Audrey dutifully eating her meal and milking the, "yes honey we are proud of you for eating the broccoli with the cooked 'brown spots' and melted cheese" acknowledgments) and I went up to, once again, talk to my son.

We got into one of our philosophical discussions, and soon I found myself talking about children around the world, even here in the US, that go hungry many nights and would be more than thankful to eat the fresh, healthy food he was refusing to even look at, even though he was "starving". I reminded him of the backpack ministry we have been a part of as a family, and how hundreds and hundreds of kids, in this city, get a weekend full of food, because Jacob helped pack backpacks for them, and Jacob chose the food for each backpack, and how the kids are truly thankful to have all this food to eat on the weekends. As I continued on with my deep monologue, suddenly the mental picture of kids, such as those in Africa, starving to death became crystal clear to him and he started to cry. On one hand, I was so touched that his heart broke for those kids, as he crawled into my arms and said, "mommy that is so sad! Why aren't people helping them?" On the other hand I felt like a terrible mom, like I had burdened him beyond his ability to understand and cope, over some uneaten broccoli. But this yet again spurred a great conversation, after the tears dried, on everything from being thankful to helping others. His question however, rang in my head.

I always pray that we will be given opportunities to serve. I know there are opportunities right outside our door, so mainly I pray we don't miss them. Last night our church announced that next month the congregation will be called together, needing about 7 of the ten thousand members, to volunteer to pack over a million food packs to feed over 4000 people in Africa for a year. Yes we attend a large church, and it is one that is completely service-oriented and truly acts; the things we have been able to participate in and see happen these past two years have blown my mind.

I could not wait to pick Jacob up from his class and tell him the plans for next month!

Me: Jacob I have some exciting news for you!
Jacob: Oh, I hope I am getting a new video game!
Me: Um...no...it's actually better than a video game.
Jacob: Mom, there's not much better than a video game!
Me: Well, remember our conversation about children in Africa, and how so many go without food?

His eyes lit up as I explained the plan and the goal. Once I was done explaining he exclaimed, "Yeah, I can't wait to do that!" Audrey piped in, "me too me too!" It was a great moment that had come full circle, giving him an answer to his question that not only made him happy, but also allowed him to be a part of on a personal level.

It's a blessing to bless others, it warms hearts like nothing else. It's what we are called to do, and in one way or another we all can do it. I really hope and pray we reach that goal, and that these acts of service are part of our family for good.




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6 comments:

Tracy said...

What a neat opportunity to do something together for others and it's way cool how it worked into your whole food discussion.

Lulu said...

Hello? Karma? It's Kim and Jacob.....:)

Mary K Brennan said...

What a great way to get kids to learn the value of helping others. I almost had the exact scenario happen at our dinner table involving my 4 year old. He still doesn't grasp how some people don't have food to eat. In time he will learn and hopefully be part of the solution.

The Retired One said...

You are an awesome Mom and person. I am so proud to know you.

Jennifer said...

I love this idea! You're such a good mommy!

Though my little one is too small to understand any of this, it would be still be good for me and the hubs to realize exactly what we have, too!

Insanity Kim said...

Thanks for the kind words everyone! :)

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