Actually I try to always be real, but this is gonna be real in real sorta way, ya know? :)
Today I'm having a hard time.
I'm sitting down this morning to write a blog post that is going to get personal.
Since I've begun blogging about Compasssion
I've gotten a great deal of joy talking about the things I love
about them. The reason I enjoy being a sponsor
so, so much. Easy things for me to share, uplifting things for me to share...
Today, I'm gonna tell you about one of the reasons Compassion means alot to me that has a root in something that hurts.
If you're here today hoping for a crafty little something, don't give up on me yet. We are gonna talk about something crafty, just hang in here with me for a minute.
This is a story of a memory, one I have shared with several people in my life because it has been profound. This is not about blame or hurting anyone, it's about truth. It's about how one moment can impact a child for a lifetime.
I'm a little girl, maybe six or seven, and my dad and I have gone to visit my grandpa. He lives alone in a little house he used to share with a grandma I don't really remember. Dad and I go to visit him often. I can't remember now if it was once a week or once a month, I just remember that we pick grandpa up to go to Long John Silver's for lunch and grandpa puts 6 sugars in his sweet tea. I know that I don't mind visiting grandpa's house, I like it there - I like the orange trees in the back yard, I like the porch swing that bumps the window when I push off too hard. I don't know grandpa too well. He doesn't talk to me, he just sits in his chair and talks to dad. We don't touch, we move around each other without any involvement.
That is until I hear him say, "She's built like a keg."
This to my little girl ears does involve me. What is this word? What does it mean? What is he saying about me?
I wait until dad and I are headed home. Too shy to ask questions infront of grandpa. But wanting to know. "What's a keg?"
And then my dad laughs. "You don't know what a keg is?" (Now as an adult I just wanna say - Really? Keg is a common childhood term? I think not. But this is not important.) He tells me, "It's a little barrel." There is laughter in his voice, a teasing that I know I do not like.
And this I understand. Grandpa says I look like a barrel.
And my dad thinks it's funny.
I get that icky prickly feeling on my skin, a feeling I would now call Shame. Barrels aren't pretty, barrels aren't cute, barrels are fat and round and ugly.
Guess what six year old me takes away from this conversation? It's not good.
I tell you this story because I want you to know that there are some very personal reasons why I sponsor a little girl in India through Compassion. In India fathers have very little to do with their children. It's a cultural thing. They have even less to do with daughters. Buni will probably never hear her father say she is beautiful, it just isn't done. He might never say 'I love you.', it would never cross his mind, it's just how it is.
This breaks my heart. I know how much it would mean to hear him say it.
I'm not saying that I can make up for words I think a father should say. But, if I can leave a memory in the woman Buni is becoming I want it to be something important. I want her to know that she has a Father who is lavish in His praise. I want her to know that God made her, she is beautiful, cherished, loved beyond measure, and deeply known. In every letter I write I address it 'Beautiful, Buni' and when I close I say 'We love you, darling girl.' I fill my letters with praise, I fill them with things the Bible says about who we are - both of us, all of us - we are His, we are loved. This is so important to me. Just as important as the privilege of sponsoring her with money, I advocate for her with my heart.
What is so crafty about this post you ask?
Can you think of a more worthy craft than raising up a child? We're creating and molding people here in this world of ours. It could be your own children, a friend's children, neighbors, or a kiddo from halfway around the world
you get to know through photos and letters. You impact a child's life a moment at a time. You change who they are, what they think about themselves and the world around them one moment at a time. These moments are so very important. You never know the one that will take root and grow into the strongest memory. Be conscious of what you say and do, craft good ones.
Before I leave you thinking that only bad memories take root like that let me remind you about another grandparent of mine. Don't forget Martha. She planted memories in me that are just as strong as that single hurtful one. She planted memories of unconditional love, of joy, of feeling important, of smiles, and laughter, and creating! She inspired me in ways that have continued to touch my life, & will be apart of me until the day I leave this Earth. I can imagine myself back in her home, can picture 'my room', I can hear a train whistle & I can know I am safe and loved in a way that no one can take from me.
Please remember, she didn't build those memories all at once. They happened a little at a time, a moment, a day, just a week or two a year for far too few of my life. She didn't live within driving distance like my grandpa, she lived two days by car or a plane ride away. She sent me notes in the mail, she loved me as much as she could when I got to visit. Every moment wasn't focused on me either, there were doctor visits, discipline, and life happening around us, but every hug she gave me left an imprint. Every smile, every gentle teaching touch was important. So don't think that you need lots of time and contact for your choices to make a difference. Even the smallest of kindnesses can spark a lifetime of love. This is one thing I know for sure. And, I'm not the only one
. Maybe you know it too. Maybe you've got such a story in your own life. If you'd like to share your story with me I would love to read it, write me a note
and drop it in the mail. :)
Thank you so much for sticking with me through my story and I pray you found encouragement here. Encouragement to be crafty with those little people in your life, it could mean so much!