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Hi friends! I’ve been out of town the last few days and came back to a bunch of emails from people willing to donate and I am BEYOND excited. Can I tell you that I’ve been worried and praying about donations? Then, I took a moment to read Heather’s latest blog and just loved some of her suggestions. Just wonderful things happening everywhere! =)
And I mean everywhere….When Heather and I started Pass It On, Baby! it was about helping others. But, just like any path you follow down in your life, you usually meet with some surprises along the way and some completely unexpected outcomes. Because, dear friends, PIOB was supposed to be about others. So how do I explain that it really became my own path? =) I’ve said it more times than I can count, but I’ll say it again anyway – we’ve met some incredible people on some unbelievable journeys. Some that made us cry, some that made us take action – but MOSTLY, all that made us think. The stories we heard, they just didn’t go away. I worried about the people, the children, the situations, the advice I gave…I would secretly check the blogs to see if there were pics of the kiddos, the families – and I prayed for so many. And a funny little thing happened along the way….the beam of light turned inward. Some of the advice I gave, was coming through me, but was also meant for me. How’s that for confusing? What I mean, was that sometimes you find your own path by showing others the way. I found myself talking about praying a lot and wondering if previously my relationship with God had been a more catch-up, wish list type of relationship…and I found I needed more. I looked at my relationships with my kids and found some things that needed to change. I looked at how we spent money and what it said about us and found that I wanted a different message. And I found that I wanted change everywhere.
It’s funny, right? Because the path I took here, was a path of helping others….it was just later that I would find out that this journey was as much about helping me. I listened to people’s stories and shared one of my favorite mantras, “If you are living in fear, you’re not living by faith.” And somewhere inside, the reflection light shone brightly and I started to see the areas in my life that I was stagnant because of fear. And so I’m changing…and hopefully in some fairly big ways.
For those that know me IRL (in real life), I’m type A. I stress over details, I worry about the unexpected and though at the end of the day, I have this personality type tendency, it doesn’t mean that I have to accept it or that I can’t change it. Because along with the pursuit of perfection, comes a lot of worry, stress, unhappiness, never-being-satisfied – you get the picture. This weekend was a fairly good example – it was my daughter’s second birthday party. I like everything planned out and NO surprises. I usually spend my time worrying about the food, greeting people, watching the flow of the party, observing the little areas that you see flaw in, so much so, that yes, I’m there at the party – but not really. My mind is going a million miles a minute and I’m interacting with people, but without really being present in that moment. Most times, the beforehand is where I become a drill sergeant barking out orders, scheduling everything to the minute and occasionally, melting down when the schedule doesn’t hold up. My darling friend comes over before each and every party to help me set-up, just as she did this time, knowing that she will find me in some stirred up state – but you know what? She didn’t. Because I wasn’t. I REALLY wanted to enjoy this party, mistakes and all. And so, I planned what I could, did what I could and appreciated the ones helping me along the way. No orders – no stressed behavior. She commented that this was the most calm she had ever seen me before a party, and she had to be right. I enjoyed myself, my daughter, my family and my friends. I felt appreciation at every turn, and I came home reinvigorated instead of exhausted like I usually do. And I liked the change…now obviously, it will take a lot of work to perfect, but I feel proud. I liked who I was Saturday and that’s a pretty wonderful feeling and quite a change from the usual aftermath where I analyze everything I could have improved upon.
And I’m liking these changes – a lot. I’m embracing the fact that I’m a Midwestern girl with strong family values who likes the TV off and the books open. Who thinks dinner is always better when its home cooked and is excited about her new church. Who is learning that sometimes the process is more important than the end result and that if you love and guide your children daily you’ll never have a better use of your time.
As always, PIOBers – thanks for sharing your journey. Thanks for shaping who I am. Yes, we all set out to make this place a little better, I just didn’t know that the place I should have been talking about was the little one I live in. *wink*
In love and kindness,
Email Elizabeth & Heather
How we work
We are an online community of kind-hearted individuals who directly donate gently loved children's clothes to mothers who could use a little kindness. The wonderful donating mothers lovingly box up the clothes that they once loved their own kiddos in and send them for another mother to love on her children via the US Mail - Parcel Post. If you are in need, know someone in need or want to help by donating, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you can't do any of these but would like to spread our message - thank you kindly! ~ Elizabeth & Heather