Don’t forget your raisin’.
I laugh because when I first heard this, I thought what do raisins have to do with the storyline of the show I was watching - Country Music by Ken Burns.
Then I got it. Don’t forget where you come from.
I remember growing up we didn’t go on vacations. My dad just had the week off.
But this past weekend, I went away for a few days to the Florida Keys on an incredibly restorative trip with my husband and daughter. We fished, swam, relaxed, saw stingrays and sharks in the ocean. We visited the southernmost point in the US and went to the Hemingway house and museum. We bought books at the gift shop and saw six toed cats. We played mini golf and ate amazing seafood - mahi mahi, red snapper, oysters and more.
While we were eating, the local restaurant hosted a special event giving toys to kids in a group home. Fancy brand new Jeeps pulled in from a local dealership. And I started to cry. I wanted to take those kids home with me. This Christmas these children are in foster care. They don’t have families or their families to celebrate with.
I was filled with a torn heart - how much beauty I had in my life and how hard it is to know that many don’t have anything.
I am not God. I didn’t design what I was given with. Many times I had prayed I wish I had never been born. The fighting in my house, the constant moving, the police, it wasn’t easy and many times the choices in my life made it worse.
But today my life is good because of God and because of the willingness to work harder and push for what I needed.
When I moved here, brick buildings were built by the US Government for lower income families that were structurally more sound than many of the homes locals had paid for and lived in their whole lives. And many people were more than perturbed.
If you worked hard for everything and someone came in to bring something nicer for someone who didn’t, it might upset you too.
Today the wind is starting to blow like mad. Already blowing dust and over 75 mph. No idea what the storm will bring but many kids are safer at school than they are at home, in trailers.
From interviews and stories over the years here, even before I had the newspaper, I know many grew up with very little.
Some had bedbugs, no electricity, or didn’t know what a pillowcase was. Someone received an orange as their Christmas present and they were grateful for fresh produce.
The world is a crazy place with so many in need and so many with more than they could imagine.
What do you do?
I guess you try to enjoy every bit of what you have. You make the most of whatever you are given, and you work hard to pursue your dreams. Right now wherever you are, you have more than many.
“‘Maybe, Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, in fact, means a little bit more.”- How The Grinch Stole Christmas.
As we prepare for this wonderful holiday, lets not forget all we have been blessed with. Maybe give a little more this season to a church, to a group home, to a family.
Maybe fill your heart remembering we were given the greatest gift of all, Christ who died for us.
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