I have struggled with my self - worth for many years. This was heightened after I became disabled. As a child, I learned I was valued for the things I could do – dusting the house, picking up branches, building fence, mowing, working in the very large garden. As I became an adult, I took my value from my job. I made sure I was the best at my job – the people pleaser, the top producer, the one who got things done. If I was the best, I was valuable. That all changed when I could no longer work.
Since I could no longer produce, I felt worthless and unlovable. I could no longer do things for people like I had in the past. I was just a lump on the couch. Finally, with the help of a psychologist and an EMDR therapist, I was able to work past the huge mountain of negative self-talk that was laid in place as a child.
I began to learn things about myself as I exposed who I was under the huge layer of guilt I carried because I had to rest so much. I liked to help people. Deep down, I REALLY like to help people. I’m an Enneagram 2 – The Helper. (Learn more about Type 2 here and find out what Enneagram you are: https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-2/).
Over the past two years, I have concocted ways I can help people with my limited ability and time. (I have limited time before I must rest or lay down. I can’t just keep going like normal people. Been there, done that. Paid the high pain price for the next days or weeks.)
One of the easiest ways I can help people are with Homeless Bags. My boys love to help me shop and put them together. After PT yesterday, I went to Dollar Tree and filled my cart with $136 worth of hygiene and food items.
When I got home the boys excitedly dumped out the bags and started unwrapping. It is a little chaotic. We take most of the packaging off (see all the packing trash in the yellow circle) so more items fit in the bags and the homeless people don’t have to dispose of the trash. Then, we sort the items in to piles. I usually use a gallon plastic bag for the items so the people have a waterproof place to keep things. This time I had these backpacks left over from my son’s birthday party which are from Oriental Trading.
The boys grab a bag and start stuffing. I have to remind them what needs to go in each one.
“Remember the socks!” I holler above the excitement. “Only ONE handful of candy in each bag. We don’t need to give these people cavities.”
The boys fill up one bag and head to the next as the pile of finished bags fill up our window seat. They enjoy helping in their own way. On the top of the bag, I put an encouraging note written on a 3x5 card which the boys decorate with stamps and stickers. The bags teach them to think of others.
If we pass anyone walking on the street they yell, “There’s a homeless person. They need a bag.” Sometimes I have to explain that just because a person is walking doesn’t make them homeless. They don’t quite get that yet. 😊
We filled 14 bags of love and goodies to give out to our fellow friends on this journey of life. I keep the bags in my car at all times. I feel my calling now is to be the hands and feet of Jesus on this earth. If I can show someone that they are not forgotten - they are important - by giving them this bag, I have reached my goal. I know its not much, but it is what I can do right now and I’m teaching my children an important lesson. Remember those who are forgotten by the world. They are just as important as you are. And loved by God just the same.
List of what is included in this round of bags. The items change each time depending on what Dollar Tree has in stock and the season.
- Backpack to carry it all in
- Toothpaste and toothbrush
- Shampoo and Conditioner
- Wash cloth
- Bar of soap
- Hand sanitizer
- Manicure set
- Wet wipes
- First aid kit
- This one has a random devotion book I found at DT. Not a usual item.
- Tuna and chicken salad kits
- Viana sausages
- Breakfast bars
- Peanut butter crackers
- Handful (or more 😉) of mints and chocolate candy - because we all could use come chocolate, right?
- And a kind note on top