Last week I posted a Facebook status saying: “Feeling the need to do something meaningful… the tasks of everyday life are taking over.” This happens to me every once in awhile… okay maybe too often. I’ve never been one for routine. I get bored. Lately, I’ve had a ton of work and pretty much been stuck in my loft, editing and trying to get things done. Every part of my day was filled with me. It was all stuff I had to get done, I was constantly thinking about what was next for me. Living like this literally sucks the life out of me. If I’m only living for me, life seems empty.
So of course, I start thinking big… I need to go back to Haiti, do something amazing. Then I realized, to do something meaningful doesn’t mean I have to go to another country, even another city. I can do something simple, like call my grandma and tell her I love her, ask a neighbor in the elevator how their day is going, say hello to one of my homeless neighbors. Anything, to stop thinking about me. When I do this I feel refreshed because really, it’s the way we were made to live.
So you might be wondering, what was the meaningful thing I did to get out of my self-important rut? It started simple, make blueberry muffins and give one to my mom when I picked her up for church on Easter. I thought it would be a nice little surprise since I don’t bake. Well, then I ended up staying up until 5am or so editing and realized the sun would be coming up soon. And then I thought… I should give them to some of the homeless. Right outside of my building there are some benches that double as beds most nights for some. They usually are gone by the time the sun is up. I’ve always wanted to take them breakfast but if you know my schedule, it is rare that I am up at sunrise. So, I decided to make little breakfast bags (two muffins and a tangerine) and see who I could find.
The muffin distribution was successful! One man was reluctant to take them but once I made a sad face and said, “but I baked them”, he took them and asked for another for a friend. The one thing I notice about homeless people is that they won’t look at you. Their heads are normally down. Each person I greeted with a “good morning”, and they all looked up slowly to see if I was talking to them. When they realized I actually was speaking to them, their faces changed. I think they are so used to being ignored and shunned, it’s strange for them to have someone willing to talk to them. They all have a story, just as we do. Please understand, I’m not saying I’m a miracle worker who will change these people… that is not my goal. I simply want to make them feel human, a part of society… because they are.
Here’s a challenge for you… next time you see a homeless person, say hi, or just smile at them. I used to be scared of homeless people, thinking they are all drunks who want to kill me. Turns out, they actually have my back. I feel safer walking my dogs at night knowing they are there. One man that I’ve talked to a few times even opened the door for me when I went to Starbucks. All this to say, when I do something meaningful, it changes me. It opens my heart to see others and to see how precious every life God created really is.
I’d love to hear you thoughts! What is something meaningful you can do? What is something meaningful your kids can do? Let’s share ideas and start living a more full, meaningful life in the craziness of our everyday life!
Because a blog with no photos is boring here are a few shots I took with my iPhone at church on Easter. It was an amazing service at the OC Pacific Amphitheater taught by Francis Chan. Seriously, an amazing man of God with a passionate heart. If you search him on iTunes, you’ll find a ton of free podcasts!
I love the photo on the left. My church really supports the arts so there is always a creative telling of what we are going to hear at Easter. The dancers started out in all black with a black wall. The were painting with black paint in a routine fashion. Then a guy in white came and splashed color on the wall and slowly they came alive. As I was watching this, I felt like they somehow got in my head and were telling everyone how I had been feeling the past week (the colorful paint was like my muffins). haha