Jul 252014
 

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”  – Fred Rogers

I have no idea what the future of immigration should look like.

I do know that if we are Americans, we should probably be mindful of the original plan:

Statue of Liberty

And that we if we are Christians, we should probably also be mindful that the Bible speaks frequently about caring for sojourners and strangers in our midst. And that Jesus himself was an immigrant when he was a child.

Matthew 25

And I know that this is happening right now:

CWS is receiving troubling reports that, in some instances, DHS is dealing with the developing crisis by dropping off women and children after initial screening in potentially vulnerable spaces, such as parking lots and bus stops. As one recent example, there have been reports of more than 50 children and women being dropped off at shopping center parking lots in Yuma, Ariz.

“Women and children are being dropped off with a notice to appear in court, and nothing else; no food, no water, no diapers, no money and without Identification or a phone to call their relatives. We have a responsibility to respond, if we don’t stand up for justice and peace, who will?” said Rev. Alberta Wallace of Yuma United Church of Christ.



Funds are urgently required to meet immediate needs including food, water, clothing, diapers, medical care, housing and bus tickets. The interfaith effort has been volunteer-based and although it has received wide community support, the effort needs additional resources to further organize this relief effort, which should include case management and volunteer coordination.



In several cases, CWS member communions are actively organizing responses to similar situations by coordinating hospitality, shelter, donations and mobilizing local congregations to advocate for policies that defend humanitarian protections.

–Excerpted from our partner CWS’s initial appeal in response to the Unaccompanied Children Crisis

It’s awful- but Instead of Looking Away, We Can Look For the Helpers. There are folks who are not just TALKING about immigration and right and wrong and who’s in and who’s out. They are on the ground, rolling up their sleeves and HELPING these children and families.

Thank you for helping instead of just talking, CWS. Thank you for rolling up your sleeves and getting to work. Thank you for being such incredible helpers.



Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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Jul 242014
 

Donald Miller is like the Pied Piper to me. He uses his words to create this curious, compelling music that forces me to abandon what I’m doing, lean forward, squint my eyes and turn my ear towards his voice. I am fascinated by his musicy, spacious faith that allows room for art, humor, doubt and differences. The first time I read Blue Like Jazz I thought: Wait a minute, here. You don’t have to be certain and loud to be a faith writer? You can work out a faith that sounds more like an incredible concert than a hostile courtroom? You can do that?  

A few months ago I was preparing to speak at a church conference and this dude who looked EXACTLY like Donald Miller walked backstage (back-altar?). Obviously, I couldn’t stop staring at him. Sister nudged me and said, “Why are you staring at that dude?” And I said, “So weird. He looks so much like Donald Miller.” Sister stepped on my foot but I still couldn’t stop staring and since it was a small room: awkward. She tried to rescue us all from the moment by engaging the guy directly. She said, “So sorry we’re staring. Apparently you look like this writer she loves named Donald Miller.” The dude smiled and waved and kept walking. AND THEN AFTER HE LEFT BACKALTAR I FOUND THIS NAME TAG ON THE TABLE.

don miller

*I don’t want to talk about my kitchen. Keep your eyes on the name tag, please.

And so IT TURNS OUT THAT the guy who looked exactly like Donald Miller backaltar WAS THE ACTUAL DONALD MILLER which really, when you think about it, is the most logical explanation for the entire situation. I stole the nametag and wear it around sometimes because I think it brings Donald and me closer.

Here’s the point. Donald Miller asked me to write for his blog, Storyline, and I’m just really truly over the moon scited (scared/excited) about it. And so now I’d like to invite you to hop on over there and read a response I wrote to an email that one of YOU sent me recently. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve written in a long while. Hope you enjoy.

You Don't Need More Talent or Time



Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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Jul 232014
 
Our Messy, Beautiful Summer Week 5

A guest post by Heather Bowie

Here’s my messy truth: soon after my son Aidan was born thirteen years ago I wished he would die. 

Aidan was born with Aidan in the hospitalcomplex medical needs and spent the first three months of his life in the neonatal ICU. When he came home on oxygen and with a g-tube, without a diagnosis, prognosis or any medical staff to reassure us, I just wanted him to die quickly.

It’s such a horrid, shameful thought that I carried my secret burden alone, not even sharing it with my husband. I was lonely, overwhelmed, exhausted, and scared.

Because of Aidan’s medical issues, I couldn’t feed my own child nor did he even have the ability to gaze at me or coo in response to my voice.  He was a stranger, really, hardly present. Those blissful feelings of maternal love were nowhere to be found, though I faked them well enough and smiled proudly at my son in front of others while grieving and hiding in a fetal position at night.

I wanted him to die, not because of who he was, but because of who I was – a mistake of a mother.

I felt responsible for him, obligated to try to love him, but all of that pressure just left me a sinking ship, weighed down by shame and failure.

When Aidan was almost a year old, another mom of a child with a disability saw my tired, distraught self and told me this, “You probably don’t think you can handle raising Aidan right now but I promise you will find your way. I use to pray for my son to die and now I can’t imagine life without him.

She didn’t know my secret because I told her; she knew it because she lived it.

That friend set me free that day and gave me just enough hope for the next.

I’m thirteen years into raising a child with a disability and I’m not that same traumatized mom I once was. Sure, it’s still draining and sometimes lonely and scary. I wonder if I’m making the right choices in fighting his seizures. I wonder if my inconsistency is holding him back from being more independent. I haven’t changed any laws, written policies, nor started a foundation.

But I’m sharing my messy truth today in hopes of setting someone else free. You are not alone. You are living a seemingly unbearable moment. You are allowed to be overwhelmed. Your pain and grief is real because it’s yours. You are not a mistake, and neither is your child.

And here’s my beautiful truth:

Aidan and Mom

Aidan

My willingness to step into fear and push boundaries and learn new things and support other parents and get involved and love this incredible child has changed me. The hard work of finding my way has been messy, rarely easy, but always worth it.

The truth is I can’t imagine my life without him because, really, isn’t he beautiful?

*************************************************************************************

YOU GUYS-  GLENNON  HERE. WHEN WE TOLD HEATHER WE WERE RUNNING HER STUNNING ESSAY TODAY, SHE WROTE THIS BACK:

Wednesday would be great. Aidan is having major spine surgery that day so it will be wonderful to experience a kind of togetherness on the internet.

OF COURSE!!! OF COURSE TODAY WAS THE DAY. FRIENDS, SHE’S IN THE HOSPITAL WITH AIDAN RIGHT NOW! LEAVE HEATHER SOMETHING TO READ THAT WILL FILL HER UP WITH COMFORT AND STRENGTH AND INTERNET TOGETHERNESS.

I love this woman. TRUTH TELLING WARRIOR!!!!

Love,
G

Heather Bowie is the mother of two wonderful boys and has been married almost 20 years to an amazing Irishman she met in a castle. Her oldest son Liam loves to run and her  younger son Aidan loves to drive his power chair. Aidan has an undiagnosed developmental disability and Epilepsy. Her blog Team Aidan was birthed out of the desire to tell her story, and in doing so, appreciate the journey. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

This post is part of Momastery’s Our Messy, Beautiful Summer series.

Our Messy, Beautiful Summer



Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
Join the Momastery on-line community on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest