Today I was reminded that our life could change very quickly and that thankfulness needs to be part of every moment of our day.
I was talking with a friend today and after our conversation, I just had a heart that sank to the floor. This is a great family and they work so hard at everything in life and are ambitious and so great with our family...yet, their life has encountered some financial hardship. The tears welling up on this friends' eyes were heartbreaking and it just reminded me that this could be us...it really could be anyone.
We all know that this economy is horrible right now and I hate to say it but it is going to be awhile before it gets better. I loved Econ in college...was actually 1/2 a credit away from having a minor in this field of weirdness, yet, I really like it. When I was dabbling in the real estate market for awhile I just had this horrible feeling that the market has been too good for way too long and the time was coming where we would see not such great things happen. I didn't anticipate things being as bad as they actually are but I knew that it wasn't going to stay great forever...it is just a pattern and it was bound to repeat itself.
There are so many families that we know that are in very hard situations right now...friends that are selling their homes because they have nothing to pay their mortgage with and are literally living dollar to dollar, friends that have lots jobs and are looking for jobs but finding it hard to find something at all. One friend of mine has 3 kids, she just got married and this is the 2nd or 3rd time that her now husband has been laid off in the past two to three years. He finds a job but then they have to do lay offs because they just weren't really ready to take on more financial strain from hiring additional employees.
I am trying to remind my kids that they really need to be thankful for what they have in their rooms, the toys that are outside that they play with and the clothes that they have to wear. Not everyone is as lucky.
The last few weeks I have really been pondering what we should be doing at Christmas this year. You know, right now, we have a huge plastic tub of stuff from Christmas that is still just sitting there. We have tubs of clothes, tubs of extra gifts that was have just in case we might need one for something (which has come in handy many times!) and just a lot of excess. I haven't decided what we are doing for Christmas in our family this year exactly but I do know that it is going to be without a lot of excess and more giving to those that truly need help this year. Our family doesn't need anything...there are just wants. My want though is to help my kids learn that giving is more important and what Christmas is really about...which isn't the material part of the holiday.
I am also going to set a goal for our family that each week we do something for another family...not anything that deserves a thank you, not anything that needs something in return...just something that is done that my kids can help with and so that they can learn that giving and helping others is important. I can't just sit here in my house and enjoy the things that we have while I know that others who are very dear to us are suffering and hurting in so many ways.
There are so many families out there this year that need help and some extra hugs. What can your family do to help those that might need a little something extra?