Since Hudson has come into our lives, I've really struggled with how to celebrate Holidays. I want him to know that Christmas is about giving. God gave us the best gift ever on Christmas, Jesus. I want him to celebrate giving to other's, but mainly giving of needs. When thinking about Easter this past week I kept trying to think of ways to celebrate but again, not get suffocated in the consumerism that seems to have gotten a tight hold of most Holidays. I'm not against egg hunts, and pretty dresses, and baskets, I just want him to know that their is more behind these Holidays.
We have been going to the Cafe for a while now and have really gotten to know most of the people there. I love getting there and asking how people's weeks were and watching them light up when Hudson gives a smile. I love cooking with them and cutting up. I love seeing them play and hold Hudson. I love how God is working in this Church. Yesterday we had maybe a little more than 30 people and most of them where regulars who invited their friends. We had communion with them and it was one of the most beautiful Easters I've had.
For the past couple of weeks a lady named Becky has been coming with her 4 children. They are 9, 2, and twin 1 year olds. Becky is only 25. Last week she came with her husband and after they left he was arrested for something about not paying child support(I'm not sure exactly what he did). Also last week her water was shut off. She hasn't had electricity in a year. And now she is alone.
Becky's kids love Hudson and will ask many times to play with Hudson. He gets body slammed a lot form the little girls trying to pick him up. They will play with his toys and are all learning about sharing right now. While we were talking about her week she asked me if we had anything to give her for her kids for Easter. I found some fruit snacks and granola bars. The kids were all so grateful and laid everything out to see what they got.
I asked her about her income right now. She can't afford day care so getting a job has been really tough. She was given a valcher to help turn the water back on but that is only half of what she needs. Her mom came by the day before to give the kids a bunch of Easter gifts but she had to return them for diapers and food. She told me that she has to hide her sippy cups from the kids so that they don't drink too much and go through too many diapers. The twins had really bad diaper rashes most likely from drinking juice for the past week instead of water.
My heart broke for her. She is a good mom and trying hard to survive with her kids. I felt helpless not knowing what to do for her. I prayed with her and tried to encourage her. I know that prayer is powerful but I keep thinking, she has children and no water.
So how do I teach my son to celebrate these holidays? How do I teach him that the most important part of yesterday was not the egg hunt with his cousins, it was not the gifts he received from loving family members, but playing with his friends and giving out smiles to the least of these was the best part? How do I not let all of the consumerism of Holidays be a part of our family? What do I do to make sure that he knows that Easter is not about plastic eggs but about our Savior laying down his life for him and for all of those people at the Cafe?
Nathan and I talked about this a lot yesterday. We don't have any answers yet. We do know that there are thousands of Becky's out there without water and without hope. Nathan said it hurts more now because we know her name. After we left the Cafe we went to Nathan's sisters house to eat lots of good food and all I could think about was how Becky and her family ate more at the Cafe than they had all week. Then Hudson did his egg hunt and all I think about was how Becky had nothing to give her kids. We came home and Hudson was fed again, and then we gave him a bath. I kept thinking, Becky has no water.
I can't wrap my head around this. I have great solutions but they are so far out there that I'm afraid she will have to suffer. I keep thinking about day care and how there are plenty of churches that sit there during the week with amazing nursery's. Why don't we us them and provide child care for struggling moms? Then I looked at facebook and saw so many posts about gifts and Easter dresses and egg hunts. Why can't we spend a little less and us it for a mom like Becky who doesn't have water? Again, all of that stuff is not horrible, it just seems like we CAN help the least of these.
Please pray for Becky this week. Pray that she can feel God's unending love. Pray that she can be encouraged even a little bit.
Let me know if anyone can think of ways we can help the Becky's that live in our community.