I am distracted this evening, annoyed with myself and with a woman I know named Lovelyn. Isn't that a grand name? And it suits her. She has that languid, easy flow about her that lets you know she is unruffled in most situations and would serve anyone she could. Here she is with her family.
I met Lovelyn when we did the "Listen to Your Mother" show. She read a piece called "The Motherless" in our Valparaiso show. I cried when I first heard her read it in our rehearsal. I cried when I heard her read during our show. I cried again just thinking of it. I began to consider for the first time in my Reluctant Mama life adopting a child. We have our hands full right now with our two little girls, but down the road I know this could become a reality for me.
Today I bounced across Facebook and saw Lovelyn's link to Etsy and a few things she is selling to raise money to fly back across the world to get another son to join their family of seven. I wanted to encourage her, to buy something. I didn't see anything I needed or wanted, but I posted a link on my Facebook page, asking friends to look and shop and support her. We have a budget and I felt I couldn't spend money right now.
I have eaten out several times in the past week. I plan to buy $30 sheets from Target even though we have three sets of sheets for our bed. (Just because a web site offered that as a staycation idea and I liked it.) I spend a lot of money on organic food every week. We have so much food in our house that it often goes bad and we put precious amounts of it on our compost pile in the back yard. Our living room furniture is starting to rip after eight years and I just bought $150 worth of slip covers for it. But I cannot buy a $14 shirt from Lovelyn?
We live simply and debt free. We are financially comfortable and blessed and grateful to live in America. There are many things I would like to buy, but because we choose to live simply and under our means I do not buy them. I am already frugal, and yet...what if I bought one less thing? What if every week I spent a little less on things I enjoy but do not need like organic eggs or a fourth running bra. What if I put one thing back every time I shop and instead give the money away? Would I be more blessed by someone's gratitude than by Starbucks coffee? Instead of four new $9.99 happy beach towels, what if I just used our old towels? I could spend the $40 on Etsy to shop and help another motherless child get home to a forever mother like Lovelyn? What about you? Could you put one thing back? Maybe you won't give money to my friend, but send it somewhere to someone who needs it more than you need that one more thing.
The quote from the offerings there still haunts me although I am sure I heard it before.
"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish." Mother Theresa
So I feel foolish and greedy even though I know we are not extravagant or greedy. I am embarrassed to feel myself cling to prettier things instead of throwing money at someone as gracious and world changing as Lovelyn and her husband and her ever growing family. I feel humbled by my darling healthy girls and loving engaged husband. I know I can do more in the world to lift others up, to honor God and to share my blessings. But will I? I mean really, in a few days or a month will I feel the same humility? I hope so. And it can be by just putting one thing back, and placing that money somewhere better.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. What is your "One Less Thing", and will you put it back?
Heather Curlee Novak is a Tragically UN Hip Mama, Inspiring Speaker, Distracted Writer, Radio Personality and Glacially Fast Runner. I live each day as if it were my last and do my best to love out loud! I am very happily married to my personal Prince Charming John. (Thank you, God!) We are in the midst of raising two darling and maddening Cupcake Girls. Our pack also includes a huge crazy dog named Steve and a wide variety of family and friends. I find people fascinating and get a real kick from encouraging them personally and professionally. Read more from Heather at Live Your Love Out Loud!