10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:
Growing up in Kentucky it was very common in my day to raise tobacco. My Dad didn’t raise it, but practically everyone we knew did. Those of you who know the process knows part of that process is called stripping. Stripping was done in a stripping room where the tobacco was prepared for selling in grades. Tobacco farmers have a room in their barn designated for this. It is a cold, black, gummy, dusty and dirty job not for the faint or allergy prone individual.
I was a single mother. My daughter’s dad had passed away when she was three months old in an auto accident. I was young, uneducated, but determined. Determined to provide what I had been used to having growing up in a good family where my Dad worked 12-16 hour days in the Steel Union as President and Mom stayed home with us kids. I set unreasonable expectations for myself for years. I found it only made me miserable.
I set unreasonable expectations for myself for years. I found it only made me miserable and probably many people around me. I could not work and be a stay at home mom. That was how it was supposed to be in my head. I was supposed to be a Mom, a Dad, a provider and nurturer. I was overwhelmed! No matter how hard I worked I could not create for my daughter the lifestyle I was accustomed to. I only set myself up for failure in comparing what life was supposed to be and what God had given me now to make the best of. I couldn’t come to terms with who I was (a single mom) and I had no clue what God intended me to make of my messy life. I can tell you it wasn’t a stripper!
I took the stripper position because I felt my daughter needed a hundred packages under the tree. The odd thing is I can’t remember one of them and I doubt that she can. I found a little late that Christmas was not about keeping up with what merchants tell us on commercials. It is not about the massive amount of money spent on Christmas wrapping (and yes my wrappings had to match my tree), or the purchasing of gifts in large quantity with no quality, only to keep up with my married two incomed family members. It was about spending time with my daughter, teaching her to be a giver, and valuing the Gift of Jesus and sharing him with others. It wasn’t about stripping all that wrapping off either!! 😀
If I could encourage you to stop this season and spend time with your Children, ( do not work those extra hours for an unnecessary electronic device that they do not need) , but take them to a place where they see homeless children and ask what they are willing to give from their own Christmas list. I found in doing this many times my daughter chose her best to give. She to this day buys for children in toy drives and such. I didn’t teach her to give because we had plenty I taught her to give, because I knew how it felt to be a single mom and what it was like to watch my daughter not always have everything I wanted her to.
Share The Good News of Jesus this season by feeding the hungry, giving to the gift-less, forgiving the guilty, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and inviting the lonely.
“When people were hungry, Jesus didn’t say, “Now is that political, or social?” He said, “I feed you.” Because the good news to a hungry person is bread.”– Desmond Tutu
“The day that hunger is eradicated from the earth there will be the greatest spiritual explosion the world has ever known. Humanity cannot imagine the joy that will burst into the world.”– Federico Garcia Lorca, Spanish poet