Today, for some reason, has been very hard emotionally for me. I felt better after writing my blog post this morning regarding some of my more vivid memories of 9/11/01. On the way home from school, though, I was listening to Sean Hannity and his producer, Greg, and put together a montage of inspiring sound bytes and placed them within Michael W. Smith's song, There She Stands. (Although YouTube has disabled the embedding of this video, I encourage you to click the link and watch it). The song alone would have made me teary, but hearing the words that meant so much that day...I was definitely crying behind my sunglasses.
Michael W. Smith and I go waaaay back, my friends. And, I had the chance to see him in a very intimate concert a few years ago in Nashville. He can write them and he can sing them, that is for certain. His ability to weave emotions through his words, especially regarding our nation's flag, is amazing. His lyrics are phenomenal too...
"There she stands, faithful friend; Shimmering stars, westward wind
Show the way...carry me ... to the place She stands.
Just when you think it might be over;
Just when you think the fight is gone;
Someone will risk his life to raise her...
There she stands."
"We've seen her flying torn and tattered,
We've seen her stand the test of time.
And through it all the fools have fallen
There she stands..."
Tears. Lots and lots of tears. Not only for the events of September 11th, but also for the massive throngs of people who seem to not know how beautiful our country is and how important it is to protect it. It is with a patriot's heart I approach each day and if someone else thinks that's nutty, that's okay.
I thank God often for the opportunity to raise my daughters in a country where they are not ashamed of being a girl; where their beautiful faces are not covered; where the sun is allowed to shine on their arms and legs. It is safe to say that should someone try to change that while I draw breath, I'd go out swinging (or, shooting, as the case may be). Consider that fair warning should you be wanting to bring your brand of crazy onto my street...Not. On. My. Watch. And, unfortunately for you, I'm on watch all the time.
And, just when I thought the day was awash with emotion of the teary variety without a heart-lifting chance in sight.
Then, I checked my e-mail only to find I'd received an e-mail from KVI. If you spend anytime on the internet at all, you know the convulted ways you find information. I won't bore you with all the crazy mazes of clicks that led me to KVI, but sufficed to say, I wanted to help. Our family has been matched with a child being helped by KVI's orphanage/mission in Ethiopia. Our child, E, is an 8-year-old girl who we will receive a photo of very soon. The girls are over the moon excited about this and I must admit, I am too. Our entire $20 each month goes to E. for her nutrition, clothing (including her school uniform), schooling and medical needs. And, we're going to pray for E. too. To be in KVI's sponsorship program, she must be considered "at risk" and either very close to being a street kid or an orphan.
Many of the kids in the sponsorship program have never been to school. I also know that lots of girls who hit puberty end up dropping out of school because they don't have hygiene products. They miss school when they are on their period and struggle to catch up until they give up and drop out. Also, some drop out when they can't afford a uniform and they have grown out of the hand-me-downs. I want to make sure that E. knows this family is in it for the long haul and we're going to go the distance with her. If she has a need for hygiene supplies in a few years, you KNOW I'll be sending lots of care packages to her through KVI. I will also make sure (because you KNOW this momma is persistent) that there is someone to show her how to use what I send.
I'm already planning to do a project with M1's Girl Scout Troop for E. I will be in touch with the church to find out how many kids in the program might like a bookmark or some other craft the girls could make and then, go help them make the craft at a meeting. I'm really looking forward to receiving that package in the mail!
By reaching out to E., I hope the girls will see how little things can mean a lot to someone. I also hope it might spark in them the desire to seek ways to be compassionate in appropriate ways. By helping E. now, E. will be working toward helping herself later. How wonderful if this small help on our part makes a significant impact in E's life.
We'll keep you posted on how our sponsorship goes. Who knows? Maybe you'll want to sponsor one of KVI's kids once you see our sponsorship at work.