Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Four Dollars

I gave four dollars to a homeless woman yesterday. 

I saw her and knew I had to do it.  I got out my wallet.  I pulled out two dollars.  Then I pulled out the other two.  Four dollars-all I had.   My heart conversation with God went something like this:

God- “Give her your money.  She has a child to feed.”

Me-“But God!  I have been saving those dollar bills.  You know I don’t have a lot of extra money.  I was going to use that for me!”

God- “She needs it more.”

Me-“Fine.  I’ll give her two.”

God- “No.  All of it.”

I argued with God over four bucks.  FOUR measly bucks. 

You see, I often like Starbucks more than taking care of the least of these.  

And that is pathetic. 

The act of giving money to the homeless or to beggars that frequent the major intersections of every city brings out opinions in people.  I have an opinion about it myself.  And my opinion is different from what it used to be. 

For years, I ignored the cardboard signs filled with sad stories.  I busied myself with the radio.  I checked my phone.  I found comfort in having on sunglasses where they couldn’t see my eyes.  

After all, they are the HOMELESS.  They could be dangerous.   They could be lying.  I don’t even know them.  

But my God knows them… by name.  

Andy and I had our hearts changed about giving to people on the street while we lived in Waco.  You see, in Waco, next to that beautiful, large Christian university that costs $30,000 a year, there are a lot of homeless people.  Go figure.  We had two sets of friends that modeled and inspired us to change the way that we believed.  We saw these friends give food, friendly conversation, and money.  We saw these friends be obedient.  We saw them love. 

I’ll admit, the money really bothered me at first.  You know why.  We have probably all thought it…I don’t know what they are going to buy with that money!  I mean, they might by BEER.

Um, so what.  

Here is what I learned and truly believe:  As a Christian, I cannot ignore these people.  They are exactly who Jesus would spend time with.  All of my hiding behind my sunglasses leaves me ashamed.

Instead of hiding now, I pray.  I listen.  I don’t give every time.  Sometimes I don’t feel like God wants me to.  Sometimes I just don’t have any money.  

As for worrying about what they are going to do with the cash, I just DON’T.  It's a beautiful freedom. If God says to give, I give.  

Really, I just feel like that "they'll buy something bad" excuse was just that-a big, fat excuse for myself.  Thank goodness others don’t sit around and worry about how I spend the money in my bank account. Because sometimes, I BUY BEER. 

It's true.

I fully realize that what I gave out of my car window was a small gesture.  I didn't change the world.  But for a second, I loved someone else more than I loved myself, and it was right.  

I gave four dollars to a homeless woman yesterday.  And I’ll do it again.

Friday, February 4, 2011

There’s a party in their tummies!

I read Kelly’s Korner Blog every day, and have finally decided to participate in one of her “Show Us Your Life” posts.  Today it's about what you feed your kids.

I am a fan of her sweet blog and I am a fan of food.  It's a perfect match. 

I am lucky.  I have never had too many problems feeding my kids.  They aren’t too picky (Although Hayes is pickier than Bella.)  I also don’t stress too much about it.  I think that is key.  There is sooo much we can stress about as moms.  While food and nutrition are important, I choose not to be consumed by it.  Pun intended, y'all.

Bella-Age 4
Breakfast-Bella loves cereal for breakfast.  She eats many “adult” cereals without complaint-Honey Nut Cheerios, Honey Bunches of Oats with Strawberries, Frosted Mini Wheats, etc.  I do let her have some “kid” cereals too.  Important note-Read the food labels!  I recently saw that Cocoa Puffs (which she loves) had less sugar, fat, and calories per serving than an expensive healthy granola brand of cereal.  She also eats waffles on occasion.   If we are in hurry, she will eat yogurt and a banana.

Lunch-Bella loves peanut butter and jelly!  I use whole wheat bread and use a conservative amount of peanut butter and jelly.  I use cookie cutters to make sandwiches in fun shapes.  She also loves turkey and cheese, all white meat chicken nuggets, pasta with tomato sauce, mac and cheese, corn dogs, or chicken noodle soup. I always give her a veggie or fruit with lunch.     I do not stress about the type of veggie or fruit.  She doesn’t really like citrus fruits.  Fine.  She loves strawberries, bananas, watermelon, and apples “with no skin”.  She won’t eat carrots or corn.  Fine.  She can have broccoli or green beans.  With sandwiches, I like to give something crunchy, because I like that too!  I usually give pretzels and she occasionally has chips.  

Dinner-She eats what we eat.  I only make an exception if it is too spicy (This was really when she was younger.) I will substitute a side.  The other night we had asparagus.  She has tried it and doesn’t really like it.  She had raw broccoli instead.  I didn’t have to prepare it.  I just snapped it off, put it on her plate, and everyone was happy.  I also got more asparagus for myself, because I think it’s delicious!

Hayes-10 months

Hayes’ primary nutrition is breast milk.  I believe strongly that this is what babies need the most until they are a year old.  He does eat oatmeal, baby food, bananas, and snacks like Puffs, Yogurt Melts, crackers, etc.  I have given him stuff from our dinner table that I know is soft enough, like parts of my yummy pot roast.  I look at all of this as learning to eat and rely on his milk to give him what he needs.

At a year, he will go to whole milk and 3 normal meals a day.  I will try what worked with Bella.  I started with small soft stuff-pieces of turkey and cheese, mixed fruit pieces, Gerber Graduates ravioli (Which smell gross, but I have seen so many kids love them!), and soft veggies.

Tips for a Success
Gosh, this makes me sound like some expert, and I am NOT!  This has just worked for us:
1.        Don’t stress.  Kids will not starve themselves. 
2.       Also, an occasional French fry will not kill them.   We love Chick-fil-A and Whataburger.  We just don't eat it too often.  This helps my waistline and wallet too. 
3.       Offer controlled choices-“Do you want strawberries or apples?”
4.       Realize that it’s ok if they eat the same lunch 3 times a week. 
5.       Realize that it’s ok if they don’t like every vegetable or fruit.  I don’t eat broccoli or cantalope.  So what?  There are other foods that can give me the same nutrients. 
6.       For babies, offer the good stuff first.  I give Hayes the banana before the Puffs. 
7.       When they are older, let them help prepare it or buy it.  Bella ate broccoli after she picked it and put it in the bag at the grocery store.
8.       Have fun!