Sunday, December 21, 2014

Grandma's Rocking Chair - December 21, 2014 - What does it all mean?

Question today - So what does it all mean?

I am changing it up a bit.  I could tell you that it meant all the new stuff I have gotten from the Occasion Catalog.
I could tell you that it meant getting what I want and not what I really need -as I have that already.
But Yesterday I found out again what it means.
I am a Co-Director for our Church's Faith Formation program. This year we asked our Confirmation Class to put on a meal for the Homeless in the area.  We thought it would be good to do a Christmas meal since it seems everyone around here has Thanksgiving but very few Christmas meals.  The Confirmation Class picked out the meal, Ham, Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Salad, Corn, Green Beans, Rolls, Brownies and Pumpkin Pie.  We asked them and their parents to sign up to bring items and come and help on the day of the meal.  Our pre-K to 6th Grade classes were given Advent boxes and asked to help raise money for the ham and paper products needed.  We asked the parish to help with gifts for our guests and also for desserts.  We want each person to leave with a Christmas Present and not just a good meal.  We thought Deodorant, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, tooth brush, lotion, chap stick and gloves would be a nice present.  All the grades decorated bags for the presents and we were hoping to get enough for about 30 gifts.  We have about 30 students in our Confirmation class and were hoping about 16 would show up to help (Friday was their last day of class and most leave right after).  We made our final collection of Advent Boxes last Sunday and collected over $525 this from kids that may not be able to have Santa visit them.  One little girl tore her living room apart to collect all the loss change in their furniture she got almost $4.
Amber and I were at the church hall early on Saturday just to make sure we had things in place.  we were going to serve the meal from 12:00 noon until 1:30.  We told the students and parents to be there at 9 AM.

They came, we had all but 5 students show up and we had food and food and food.  We split the students into 4 teams.  1 decorating, 1 filling gift bags, 1 opening cans and one starting to cook.  I was in charge of the gift bags and decorating. 

By 9:30 all the decorating was done and by 10 all 84 gift bags were filled with 2 boxes of left overs.  Same thing happened in the kitchen everything was done.  All the ham was being sliced by the Knights of Columbus so we had about 45 minutes until we had to make the rolls so what else to do but say some prayers for our coming guests.  We went over to the church to pray the rosary and then came back to make rolls.  We had our cities Just Faith group come in to talk to the students about what to say and and how not to get offended if our guests didn't want help or smelt bad. What questions they could ask and not to be afraid.  These are 7th Grade students and I know how I was then and I surely wouldn't want to sit down and talk to someone I didn't know let alone a homeless person.

We did a few more things than what we had planned, we actually put place setting down and served early arrivals coffee or juice.  We were ready the just Faith group said to expect around 30 - 40 well about 50 - 60 showed up and that is when I realized what it all means.

The Parents were in the Kitchen making sure the food was always filled up while in front were our Students, the Just Faith group and Amber and myself.  The students greeted our guests, helped serve them, got drinks, and desserts for them and sat down and talked with them.

Amber and I had to leave a few times as God overwhelmed us with how great the students were.  Some we had to coach about sitting and talking to our guests but we had a few that went right away and would sit and eat with our guests.  We had students that would bring more food around to them and made sure that they had to go containers for two or three more meals.  God provided us with enough food to feed all there and to have enough left over to give to our local homeless shelter for meals for today and tomorrow  all this and we still had money from our $525 to give a check of over $100 to our homeless shelter.  God Blessed us yesterday in more ways than we thought he would.  After it was over we asked the students if they would do it again and they said yes.  We asked what they learned, overwhelmingly  it was that they are just like us, they are not bad people, they have families.  
So God once again taught us that we get back far more than we give when we walk in Jesus steps and take care of our brothers.

Thank You 2015 Confirmation Class for teaching your teachers that basic lesson again.

So it isn't how much stuff you get or what you get but what you give.

Happy Stamping

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