I originally wrote this in a collection of my private writings. It was never meant to be seen here, but when I was reading through some of them, this stood out as Learning to be the Light. The thought of posting about money makes me nauseated, but the idea is universal. There are so many ways you can learn to be Light.
I’m realizing something. I think it’s been coming toward me for a few months but I just started to wrap my head around it. Sometimes I’ll understand it so clearly, and other times it just kind of floats around my consciousness — out of sight enough that I can’t grasp it, but close enough for me to know it’s there.
I’ve always been inwardly proud of the organizations I donate to. Organizations that I feel are bettering this world. Not proud in a public “look what I’m doing” kind of way, but proud in a more private “it makes me feel good” way. Whenever I feel like I’m not “doing enough” for God, i.e.: going to church regularly, I fall back to that monetary donation and remind myself that I’m giving happily and humbly. ** Sidenote: I don’t believe God speaks via guilt. Guilt is a form of manipulation and God speaks from a place of Love — Anyway, Christ mentions several times in the New Testament that giving what you have to the poor is pretty important. Christ loved on the ones that were ostracized and hated. Like gays and Muslims. He was a cheerleader for the underdog. But here’s the thing, it’s easy for me to set up a small monthly contribution then stand back and reap the warm fuzzies. I don’t value money the same way other people do, so giving it away doesn’t stretch and teach me. And let’s not jump to the conclusion that I have an overabundance of money; giving is about the gesture, not the actual price tag. I’m naturally a generous person, but I’m much more stingy with my time. I imagine that if I traded places with the man in Matthew 19 ~ the one who asked Christ what he had to do to gain favor in the next life, I’m certain Christ’s answer to me would be different than what he told this man. Christ said “go sell your possessions; give everything to the poor. All your wealth will then be in heaven”. The man left crestfallen. Put me in that story and I’d be much more easygoing about the whole thing. You see, I don’t give away what I value, I give away what is easy. I feel Jesus showing me that yes, the money is good, but what about all that time I’m hoarding? If he told me that in order to gain favor in the next life, I needed to give up my alone time and spend every spare moment investing my time into others, I imagine I would walk away a bit disappointed, weighing the pros and cons. I’d probably even make a list. I’m big on lists. Please don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t enjoy volunteering my time — I do. It’s just that when it comes down to it, I’d much rather spend another evening watching Weeds with Marco than going to that small group I signed up for. I’d rather spend a lazy Sunday morning reading with Daniela than getting dressed and driving to church. Not to mention serving in that church. And since we’re being completely honest here, I can’t even remember the last time we went to church. Must have been just before last summer. Nothing intentional, it’s just easier to relax in pajamas than it is to get everyone out the door for something that isn’t mandatory. Like school.
This is what I’m making an effort to work on. Not necessarily the church thing, that’s another story for another time, but giving more of my time to those around me. Investing in others from the commodity I hold closest. I’m putting my focus on giving of myself. Relationships. Connection. Volunteering. Community. Striving to really live out the lessons we teach our children — even when I’d rather stay home and do nothing. Children learn by example, and I want Daniela to look back and see that humanity was important in the way we lived our lives. I want investing in people and community to be a natural extension of her life. Spreading love and Light. Namaste.
Today wrapped up the Olympic games at Daniela’s school. ThankYouThankYouThankYou. She is a natural athlete and performed brilliantly throughout the two-day competition. Well, shot put wasn’t her best, which hurt because she’s practiced so consistently, but she was thrilled to bring home the blue for cross country; her favorite. And would you believe that my massive 16GB memory card hit capacity 3 seconds before she crossed the finish line?? Of course.
Blue shoes and a ribbon in her hair <3
I’ve got to say, when I saw that shot put hit the ground short of her average throw, my stomach sank. She cringed and buried her face in hands, but though better of it and smiled at everyone as she walked to the “non placing” group. It wasn’t a bad throw by any means, it just wasn’t her average either. Every fiber of mothering instinct in me wanted to wrap my arms around her and make the sadness go away; make her laugh. Distract her from her disappointment, but I reigned myself in. She needed to feel that. She needed the space to recognize her letdown and bring herself through it. I can’t always do that for her. My heart damn near exploded when a few minutes later her girlfriend walked over and asked if she was ok. Daniela tossed her french braid behind her shoulder and chirped “Oh thanks! I’m fine though!” and began playing with the group again. My girl worked through it on her own! I loved being able to watch that little moment.
I love the kids she goes to school with. Nearly all of them have been together since k-4 and are a freaking riot. She has been truly blessed in the friend department.