#TGIF! Who's with me? :)
The other night, Billy and I volunteered at an all women's homeless shelter. Something that I really wanted to do before Camden comes along, and if I'm being really honest, for the past few years but I failed to make it happen. In a world so wrapped up in gift giving (and I admit that I'm not an exception to this, as I often stress more than I should about buying the perfect gifts, making my list, etc.), I wanted to focus on something else and felt like with all the love we have received this year that I wanted to pay it forward in some way.
We spent the evening serving meals to the women, making small talk with them as they came through the line, and preparing bagged lunches for the following day. The one thing that stood out to me were the positive attitudes of most of the women who came through the line. Here they are, in a situation where they don't have a place to call home and with not much to their name, but they put forth an effort to make US laugh and smile. Most of them still had smiles on their face, and were extremely grateful for a warm meal. It made me realize how I handle the hard times and bad days in my life and I know that when I do have them, I can't say I have a positive attitude or a smile on my face. Do I come home and whine? Yep. Do I feel sorry for myself and use that as an excuse to not focus on all the good in my life? Oh yeah.
It really makes you think about what is truly important in your life, and to focus on what you do have, instead of what you don't.
When we were finished for the evening, we had to cut through the cafeteria where the women were eating to exit the building and a group of the women looked over and noticed I was pregnant. They started chanting and clapping, mainly for Billy, and were so excited for us asking us when we were due and what we were having. In that moment, Billy's face turned a whole different shade of red that I never knew existed before, but we both thought it was hilarious and really sweet.
When we got outside to our car Billy turned to me and said, "is this going to be a yearly thing now?" and I just smiled back at him. I think he knows the answer to that.
Today, as I'm reflecting back on our experience (don't get me wrong-I'm definitely not Mother Theresa for doing this one thing and need to improve myself in many ways) I challenge you all to pay it forward in some way this weekend. It can be in any way. Or to maybe think about volunteering your time this holiday season. I just felt like sharing our experience because I always want to remember it and thought it might inspire some of you. :)
If you live in Columbus and are interested in volunteering...here is the website I went to to sign us up, which has a lot of opportunities you can look into.
Let's all try to not forget the real meaning of the season! Cliche, but true. PS-Don't forget that on my post from Monday, you can have a donation sent to Feeding America in your name just by leaving a comment (and it also enters you into a $50 Gift Card giveaway!) Have a good weekend, friends.