Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Happy May Day!

I loved May Day as a little girl. I even hand-sewed those little plastic sheets together with yarn one year to make my baskets, which I filled with little goodies, probably a few 'flowers' from my moms garden, and then delivered them to the neighbors. I loved that my girls got little 'baskets' at preschool yesterday, and were as excited about them as I'm sure I would have been too.
I am such a big believer in 'the little things really matter most'. I can't help but think that stuff like May Day and making cupcakes for 'no special reason', and making up inside jokes (Hey Brock...10! or Bella...24!) just to share laughs together will actually be some of the things my kids grow up and fondly remember, as adults themselves.
I know I was a 'spoiled kid' when I grew up. I had two parents, who loved me always, they disciplined me to SHOW how much they loved me, they had expectations, boundaries, encouragement, chores, faith, failures, financial guidance, work ethics and much more. Opportunities were available to me- not because we had a lot of money or connections, but because I had a stable family environment, an appreciation for learning, and a whole big world waiting for me to explore. I was lucky. I know that now- more than I did back then. I appreciate my childhood and all that I was given...and recognize how undeserved any of that was. It's just the way it was.
I am trying to figure out now, as an adult and a Mom and a REALLY FORTUNATE person in this world, how I can pass on some of the blessings I've been given in life to my kids, and even to those who I have often 'overlooked' or chided in life.
My pastor has been doing a series of messages about "Justice and Mercy". It really is something that has been on my heart for a long while now...and I just know that there is something that I need to do, that I am blessed to be in position to do, and really, my next move, is to just do it.
I would love to challenge anybody reading, to think about all that you've been given in this life, and to look for a small way that you can give back a portion of that blessing to someone or to an organization that reaches out to the poor, the downcast, the broken-hearted.
I think it's not just the recent sermon messages, but the reality of my life- the blessings overflowing, and the time of year- spring. It makes me think of new life and the joy that bursts forth when things are 'new again'. I want my life to be a reflection of not just what I've been given...but more importantly, what I can give back. I know that I will never be a Mother Theresa or someone who gives a lifetime of selfless love and care, but I can give. I think it's one of the first steps in being a merciful person- recognizing that you CAN do or give something...and then acting on that.
I posted a quote here last week which said, "Ordinary does not mean insignificant". That hit home to me, because for so many years, I believed I was just one little individual (one "middle child, slightly overweight, never-thought-I-was-good-at-anything, wondering what in the world I could possibly do with my ordinary life"), and it has taken me years, {even after all that love and support and opportunity I had over the years!}, to finally get it through my head, that THIS is who I am. THIS is who God made me to be. THIS is where I am in life...and while it's true, I may just be one regular, ordinary person living my routine life, I still have opportunities at every turn, to give to others. No matter what it is I choose to do, no matter who it is that I can touch, THAT is my opportunity to be significant in this life. Middle child, busy mom, not-so-perfect wife, not-even close to being a saint, ordinary me.
I'm sorry to say that I have wasted years of my life trying to figure out what the world had to offer me...when in truth, the world and all its hurt has been waiting on me. Today I am moving past ordinary, and hoping to be a little bit significant in this world- not because I'm so great or extraordinary, but because I have been given so much!
Also, to follow up yesterday's little game, Bella 'helped me' randomly pick three comments...so 'Puddingfor brains', Susan from Portage, and Diana from Texas, send me your snail mail address if you want a Nitty.Gritty. card. {nitty.grittyjody@yahoo.com} Thanks for playing in the comments...that WAS fun. =)


Kari said...

Aaaaahhhh yes. I also remember those May Day baskets as a girl. I actually wrote something similar on my blog today. Also, have you read Elsie's blog today? She has a new challenge on CK Website celebrating the 'little things in life.' How perfect for a beautiful May day!

Cynthia said...

We never celebrated "May Day" when I was growing up, though my childhood sounds much like yours, Jody. Like you, I've come to value that childhood more as I have grown, and endeavor to pass it on to my own little ones (and not-so-little ones) in my home.

Anonymous said...

I don't think we made baskets for May Day....but in elementary school we had May Day...kick ball, tug of war and even a May pole...which I remember the kids practicing so hard for and still messed it up! But we didn't care, it was fun! I've been listening to Greg Boyd's sermons on a Messy Life and you are so correct in saying that if God has put us in a position to help others, then hopefully we can see and act on that. Cupcakes?! That sounds like a good idea...I have a receipe for butter cream icing I'd like to make myself...yum! Susan E

Cara said...

you're making me want to go ding-dong-ditch some flowers to a friend!
maybe i will.

Lisa said...

Happy May Day to you! Loved reading everything yesterday and while I've been watching all these 'tag you're it' posts on blogs, I hadn't done it myself. But doing it yesterday made me think of a layout for Cole - 6 random things about him, since he's six! I think I'll do it every year now - until it's too many to list or he's not so random anymore :) So thanks for the inspiration. I'll post my layout on my blog when I get it done!

Kim said...

Totally remember, loved this day,I too remember getting may baskets and loving them

Hilary said...

Kari and I were just having this talk yesterday about May Day. I had never heard of May Day. So happy May Day to you too.

FlipFlop Mom said...

I blogged a smidge about May Day today too.. I too am a middle child... Ü So I know all about those "feelings"... I praise God though for who I am and what He's given me!! It's taken me awhile to realize I really am special in my own way.. Ü

patterns of ink said...

Happy May Day. Julie always does something with the preschool.
Speaking of preschool, due to lack of space we had a staff meeting in the preschool today. A dozen adults were sitting at those little tables. During a time of prayer, I saw Isabella's name tag (Pastor Rudd was sitting there) and among other requests we prayed aloud for the girls and your family.

Leigh said...

When I was little we used to make little May Day baskets for all of our neighbors. Then my sister and I would get up extra early and deliver the baskets to their doors. I always thought for years that no one knew it was us. They had all figured it out but didn't want to ruin our fun. Now as an adult they all remind me of those days when I head back home. I can't wait to carry on the tradition with my kids someday! :)

Nancy said...

I am not sure if I found Julie and Emma's Page from your blog or from Noah's Page, but after visting the blog for many weeks, and emailing with Julie for awhile, she could really use some encouragement from you; if you have the time. (emmakatespage.blogspot.com)
I know after my son died, the encouragers pulled me through, so that is why I feel the need to help Julie. Thank you for any encouragement you could give to her.