Give to Get Out of a Funk (w/a funky “amen” from Jason Mraz)

I have been blessed with opportunities to forget about myself lately. A couple days ago, either Ethan had a 12 hour flu of some sort or he had an adverse reaction to something he ate. Either way, my personal needs were the furthest thing from my mind as I spent an entire day working with Adam to make sure Ethan was “aimed” toward a towel or something washable. The poor little guy came running to me at one point, looking green, crying, and I knew exactly what was going to happen. “Oh, I’m sorry sweet pea,” I said as I held him. “Do you want to throw up on Mama?” Lo and behold, that’s exactly what he wanted. I couldn’t bear to turn him away, so I just dealt with the consequences. I figure you’re not a real mom if you’re not getting puked on or experiencing something equally nasty every so-often.I’ve heard it said that to be a mother is to have your heart walking (or toddling) around outside your body. We are so connected with our children that it is only natural to feel a great deal of what we perceive them to be feeling. We want to bear their burdens with them if it only lightens their load by an ounce, and in giving ourselves away, we stumble upon fulfillment, as well as a truth that seems to be somewhat lost on “kids these days.”

It is easy, in this “me” age of instant gratification, status updates and drive-thru windows to get so caught up in a whirlwind of our own thoughts and feelings that we forget to really engage with live human beings and (*gasp*) give to them of ourselves.  And no, I’m not just talking about donating money to charity… although that is good and needed. I’m talking about being physically present with people with the intention of blessing them in some way.

I’ve had the great joy of being asked to share my story by speaking at a few events in the past year, and whenever I have, I’ve been astounded at how rejuvenated I’ve felt afterwards. I arrive home from the event (hours after my bedtime, mind you), physically and mentally exhausted, with a pounding headache and throbbing feet (this housewife is not used to standing around in heels for hours!). I love doing it, but it is work, and it wears me out. However, that time spent pouring out my heart, hugging, being cried on and smiling to encourage others charges my batteries in a way nothing else can.

We all have the capacity to recharge our “emotional batteries” by giving of ourselves, or bearing each other’s burdens. Sometimes, we have to seek out opportunities to serve, like volunteering at a food kitchen or helping a friend move. Sometimes, the opportunity comes running into your arms with a very green tint to his face. And even though you may sweat, get a blister from your heels or have to take a second shower that day, giving of yourself is not something you’ll regret. On the contrary, you may one day regret not seeking out more opportunities to do so. You never know what the people around you might be going through, and the thing that you have to give may be the very thing they need in that moment. Your shoulder may be the very shoulder they need to cry on. Or puke on. Whatever the case may be. You have something to give that is needed, and often it is in giving that our needs are met.

“Go out into the world today and love the people you meet. Let your presence light new light in the hearts of people.”
Mother Teresa

The following is a song by Jason Mraz, called Sunshine Song. We’ve all got a little sunshine to give, and what good is it doing if we’re keeping it to ourselves? While Jason sings to you, think of an answer to the assignment below, and leave a comment.

How about you?
Can you think of a time when your intention was to give your “sunshine,” (i.e. time, effort, shoulder, etc.) to someone else, but you felt like you were the one who was shined upon? Tell me about it in the comments section!
 

2 thoughts on “Give to Get Out of a Funk (w/a funky “amen” from Jason Mraz)

  1. I love serving at the food kitchen through our church. I always feel like I am going there to give of my time or money, but feel like I was the one blessed by my service.

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