Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Moral Dilemma: My Decision

When I went to bed last night, the bag in question, nearly full with personal hygiene supplies and a few cans of beans and fruit, sat on my kitchen counter. I put it near the coffee machine and stove so I was sure to see it immediately. It was a redundant gesture because that brown bag weighed on my mind quite a bit. I had hoped, with the kind input I received through my blog and via Email, that I would have more clarity in the morning. When I awoke, I discovered I did.

I was reminded of the fact that just as I had packed these items, they were requested. The timing of it surprised and delighted me. If only that happened with dirty dishes, leaf piles, or my kid's dirty laundry. It occurred to me that this moment, this decision, was a challenge. I don't think that God tests us, but I do think he challenges us in ways we don't always understand.

After previously discussing with my children the concept of "turning the other cheek" I was offered the chance to do just that. By giving this church my products, I was helping all groups of people. I knew the organizations to ultimately receive them didn't discriminate. They help whomever walks through their doors and sadly, there are many. More and more families are displaced from their homes every day. More and more children go hungry each night. More and more elderly go without their medications all for the lack of money or opportunity.

More and more people show up at churches, missions, and wherever they are accepted with a single hope of kindness and dignity. A bar of soap, a toy, a clean shirt or coat can make a huge difference when you have so little. I hope they use what I have given them and in return, I will do my best to give more than I usually do because times are more difficult than they usually are.

Many of the expressions I grew up with served me today. "It's better to give than to receive," "When you give, give without strings," "Accept people for the quality of their character" and "Don't expect to be forgiven when you withhold forgiveness." I feel wiser today. I feel blessed and I am truly grateful to all who responded to my blog post. I might not have done what you would have done, but I did what I felt was best for me. Thank you again for all of your help!

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Moral Dilemma On Donations

To Donate or Not To Donate?

The other day, I found a paper bag hanging on my mail box. Among other things, it asked for shampoo, conditioner, and soap. At first, I thought this was a bit of serendipity. I had just bagged up a ton of shampoo, conditioner, soap, tooth brushes, tooth paste, and lotions for donation. I have so many on hand. A lot are samples I've purchased and never gotten around to using, while others are from hotel stays. The dental products come from the dentist gift bags, of course, and there are the make up gift bags. All of these items are unused, although some might have some shelf wear.

I keep a basket of them in my guest room, much like a hotel keeps them in the bathroom. I've often received thank yous from friends who have forgotten their tooth brush or other items. Lately, from a fury of dental check ups and new product sampling, my cup or basket over floweth!

I thought myself very fortunate that a request had appeared just when I needed one. I can leave the given bag at the end of my driveway with no worries. I looked at the bold lettering on the note that accompanied the brown bag. My donations would be divided up and given to several area charities. They are all nearby, but not in my town. I felt a pang then. Should I donate to my town first? Sort of following the "take care of your own" philosophy. It's possible that people from my community travel these somewhat small distances to receive assistance, so perhaps, I would be helping my town also.

I thought about this a moment, wondering what to do. I assumed it was being collected by the local schools or by the Scouts, as they had been in the past. I was wrong. A city church was hosting this donation drive. The church in question had been involved in a scandal a few years ago. I remember it occurred not long after I moved here. This church was no longer interested in supporting a local mission because it didn't like the other churches involved--especially MY church. Additionally, it didn't approve of some of the people who served meals. I should note that this mission is served by many local churches and religious groups.

After this, there was a huge outcry from the metro area The church offered somewhat of an apology and stated that they were still withholding support. This time they claimed they didn't like a few non Christian servers.

So, I ask you, do I donate to this church's drive even though they clearly discriminate against other religions? Do I find a local charity and give my items to them or do I turn the other cheek and donate, knowing that helping people in need is the important thing?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Day After Earth Day

Today, being the day after Earth Day, I had planned to work in my garden. I needed to divide some hostas and move a Hydrangea bush to another location that was shadier and hopefully more fruitful. I also planted some Hollyhocks in front of a tall hedge, as well as a Bleeding Heart Bulb off to the side. I pulled weeds and shuffled dirt. I turned the soil and added mulch. I did these things with Mother Earth on my mind. I'm quite the Earth Lover. I love all things ... or so I thought.

As I raked away some pine needles, I notice an extremely large worm. I like worms. My garden likes worms. Worms are wonderful. This, however, coiled and attacked my rake. At first, I screamed like a school girl and then, I attacked. Yes, that's right. I attacked and killed a copperhead snake in my side yard. I tried to do it quickly, but the darn tail kept moving. Worms do this, but I didn't know snakes did.

When I was finally through with my awkward attack, (I really hope my neighbors didn't see my uncoordinated flailing.) I scooped up the body and threw it in the woods. Only later, did I think that I might have take a photo of it to show my kids. This, of course, was the day after Earth Day. Sorry, Mother Earth, but it was really icky.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day

Today is Earth Day, so created in order to make people stop and smell the roses or plant a tree or lay in cool spring grass and watch the clouds go by. Whatever you plan to do today, make sure you contribute to your Mother and leave her better than you found her.

My daughter wanted jewelry that represented Environmental Peace and reflected her love for Mother Earth. What do you think? They are simple, but bold.

You can find these earrings at both my and stores, but here is a link: