Monday, November 1, 2010

Thankful: A Level Deeper.

Fall, Autumn, Harvest, Thanksgiving= a happy Chelsea.

Oh yes, my favorite time of year. Football, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, scarves, sweaters, 75 degree weather, falling leaves, colored leaves, and so much more! Its time is finally approaching for the year, and it often goes by too quickly. I cannot believe it is already November... which also means this semester is quickly coming to an end. Which also means I will be finished with my last semester of college classes, which also means, I am getting old! Anyway, this fall will be the last of my "singleness". Next fall, I will be a married woman, sitting on the couch drinking a delectable latte while Mr. Lancaster will probably just have hot chocolate (he's not much of a coffee drinker). I just love imagining these things! For some more exciting news... I will soon be an aunt! My sister Lindsay is expecting and also my bff Ashley, whose child I will also be considered an aunt ;). I can't wait to see these little ones, babies are my favorite! I keep reminding Lindsay about the bows Ms. Iris will be expected to wear, made by yours truly, which by the way she will be having a girl- little Iris Elizabeth. We have so much to be thankful for.

Which brings me to my next topic, simply being thankful. As this month approaches, so does the scrumptious holiday of Thanksgiving. In years past, I have always reflected on what I am thankful for on Thanksgiving day, and made sure that I acknowledge what this holiday truly is about. However, this year I have gotten a head start. Among the past couple of days I have had the opportunity to volunteer my time for the less fortunate. On Saturday, a group from Rezlife visited a boy's home for a cookout and some fall festivities. I had been wanting to visit this home for awhile but had never been able to go. As I met the young men who live in the homes, I immediately wanted to take them home with me. The majority of them were young, but the ages ranged from 6-19. These young men have been involved with abuse and neglect, and they were not sent there because of some issue thay had, but instead, because they had no where else to go (its more like a foster home). As we spent more time with the boys, the more their personalities shined. I continually thought to myself, who would not want these precious children, or wondering how it would feel like to live in a foster home, knowing that those aren't your real parents, or family. One little boy's half-brother was also in the home, and he took great pride in telling us that, "that is my brother". It's simple words like these that we, living out the so-called "American Dream", take for granted. I wonder what their story is behind each shed tear or mixed emotion. I would sit and listen all day if they would tell, just for one to listen. Thankful.

The second opportunity I was given was to volunteer for an orphan relief organization. Jordan had been once before, but I wanted to come with him this second time. This organization has a storehouse (literally a house, don't think big), full of clothes, shoes, underwear, toiletries, school supplies, books, and stuffed animals, that are given to children who are taken away from their parents instanteously, and need neccessities to survive for a few days, until they get settled to where ever they are going. Part of my job was to pack bags for orders that came in, consisting of the childs first name, their age, sizes, and what all they needed. After a tour of the house, I began a bag for a little 6-9 month old. As I approached the shelf labeled "Boys: 6-9 months", I began sorting through the pile of folded little shirts and pants, searching for what I thought would be the best outfits for him. I instantly imagined a little boy, who can hardly sit up, with no where to go. He has just been taken away from his parents. He has no toys, no clothes, no comfy blanket to hold, and the bag I am packing will be his only belongings. Tears filled my eyes as I thought deeper into this "bag" that I am packing for this 6-9 month old. I chose articles of clothing wisely, what I would want my little boy to wear. I chose a stuffed animal wisely, one that would be comforting, soft, and snuggly. I chose soap wisely, so his small eyes wouldn't burn as he was given a bath. I sealed the bag with a little prayer. Oh, what I would give to touch the lives of one of these orphans. Thankful.

Although my past has not been perfect, it was never this "unperfect". I have no idea how it would feel as a child to grow-up in these circumstances. What I do know, is that I am eternally thankful. I refuse to say this lightly. People are constantly consumed with their circumstances, worried about pitty things, which in reality, probably don't even matter. How would our attitudes change if we took a larger perspective, and looked back at the forgotten hearts, lives, and voices that go day-to-day unseen and unheard? Easier said than done? Most certainly, probably because we don't want to face the fact that these things are real in today's society.

This month, and always, remember what you are truly thankful for. Bless others, and may God bless you.