Wednesday, April 4, 2012

just knowing

There are amazing people in this world who have a special gift of knowing what needs to be done, and they just do it...or assign someone else to do it. Or both.
Really. It's a gift.
I spend most of my days oblivious to the happenings in the community/world around me. Busy with my own concerns for the day like...well you know...laundry, and meals, and cleaning, and sorting, and making sure everyone is to school/practices/games/lessons/clubs on time, and that the rest of us are watching, waiting, or transporting as needed. Yesterday was a particularly brutal day as far as scheduling goes. And yet, other people...even people I know well and love, are facing their own life challenges...accidents, injuries, deaths even, grieving for loved ones, having babies, needing help...any sort of help. And where am I? Worrying about whether someone has clean baseball socks, or whether someone else needs a peanut butter sandwich before they run out the door.
I suck at looking beyond my own business sometimes. I fail miserably at being a good neighbor.

A lady in our neighborhood past away last weekend. Suddenly, unexpectedly. And while we're new to the neighborhood...we've been in this town all our lives, and we all know each other. And we know her husband who grieves, and her children, some of whom also live in our neighborhood. Oh, it's sad. And yet, what do we do in times like these but pray, and offer sympathies. And then (this is where I screw up) we get back to busy with our own business.
Not some people though. Nope. They know just what's needed. They know the business that needs to be taken care of. Like which neighbors should bring food, and which neighbors will be assigned to baking desserts for the funeral luncheon. And who will collect for flowers or whatever. It's beautiful, and humbling, and inspiring. And I was so incredibly grateful to get the call to bake a couple desserts. It's exactly what I would LOVE to do. Seriously. Something tangible to take the burden away from the family even if some miniscule way. I'm inspired by the people who still call on neighbors, encouraging us...even if assigning do our part. I prayed as I baked late into the night last night that I would learn from be a better neighbor, to recognize others needs ahead of my own. (I prayed a little love into each bite too...that those who eat it would be comforted a bit.) It is in fact, why we're here right? To lend a hand, to serve each other. To love and be loved. To be the living Christ for others when they can, in any given moment share only in his suffering.

Thank you Lord for people who just know...and do...and encourage us to live more like you.


Anonymous said...

Jamie, you are awesome! Thanks for the special thoughts and the baking!

The Heitkamps

Anonymous said...

Don't beat yourself up because your not a good neighbor. I'm sure everyone understands your busy hectic schedule right now in your life. Someday, as your kids get older, you will be the one who can be more helpful and "just do" the things that need done. Right now there are others who are able to do the organizing. You give so much of yourself to your family and others with all your prayers and that is an important job too!

B Barhorst said...


I was thinking about this post yesterday and this AM and my thoughts are right in line with Anonymous on April 4. In addition I would like to add that while attending a Shoenstatt meeting a two weeks back Fr. Laungh (spelling is probably wrong) he spoke on parenting and acts of charity. He said that for young parents this isn't the phase in life to be overly charitable outside of your home. You must first be charitable to your family at home. There is plenty of time later to be charitable outside the home. This is hard for me because I want to be the organizer, party planner, on every committee type of person....BUT hearing a priest say it...made me feel so much better about dealing with where I am at in my life. SO.....this is one of the things that has impressed me about you and John...your dedication to raising your family and your focus on famiy values. AND...just your blog post encouraged me to say an extra prayer for the family you baked for. So the prayer circut continued on...just because of you! Happy Easter!!!

Pam Kaiser said...

I often think those desserts (and potato salad, and baked beans, and whatnot) are such a big part of the healing process. I'm not sure anyone gives them credit enough. That luncheon after a funeral is such a beautiful tradition that we are so fortunate to carry on. I hope we never give it up. That little bit of social time where people can chat and, in an odd sort of way, start the next phase of life, is so beautiful.

Betsy said it perfectly -- you do lots of charity every day! You are so awesome -- as are the other moms of young children. Eventually, you may get to go through one entire day with no laundry :) -- and then you can start to do lots for others. For now, you have got to be exhausted at the end of every day doing "your thing"!!!

Love you Jamie! :)