Friday, October 23, 2015

Monday Motivation: What Shopping at a Food Pantry Has Taught Me

Although I was initially embarrassed to shop at a food pantry, doing so has taught me the importance of giving. So without further ado...

We got bananas, a bell pepper, meat sauce, rolls, can veggies, granola bars, pastries and cereal from the pantry this month.

I'm posting this on a Friday but it's never too late to be inspired and this inspiration comes from a confession ...

Every month my husband and I go to a food pantry.

We have good jobs - Dave's a music teacher and I'm a part-time production assistant at Baltimore's FOX45. On paper we are a middle class family with a nice house, two cars and many nice things. But the reality is some months it's a struggle to make ends meet.

We started going over the summer: I left my already lowing paying reporter job to pursue my dream of becoming a multimedia journalist and David broke his foot preventing him taking a summer job. The two events combined made things very tight financially. Then a kind neighbor told us about a local food pantry not far from our house.

I was embarrassed at first. I felt like maybe I was being irresponsible by trying to follow my career dreams. I felt like I was taking resources from those who have more needs than us.

But honestly shopping at a food pantry has shifted my view and taught me about the importance of giving.

My husband and I are blessed -- financial troubles and all. God has given me so much and to focus on my troubles or scorn the generous offerings of others is selfish.

As a Christian I know that this life is all about giving -- God gave His son and the Son gave Himself. From those who have been give much, much is required.

Everyone has something to give. We just need expand the way we think about giving. It's not just money. It can be time, advice, or even a smiling face. We all have talents be it photography or fashion sense or even the gift of gab! With a little creativity we use those gifts to give hope, encouragement, and joy.

Also giving is a gift  you give yourself. Taking the focus off self and helping other makes our trouble seem bearable.

Honestly this attitude adjustment helps me get out of bed everyday and keep working.

If can write a blog that helps someone put together an outfit that makes her feel confident or post a TV recap that helps someone forget about their troubles for a bit, that's me giving to others. And honestly when I give through church ministries, through a card or phone call, or through this blog, I am freed from the pressure that comes with constantly focusing on what I don't have.

I encouraged others reading this blog to find new ways they can give. I also hope this blog encourages those already giving to keep at it even when things go wrong or when you feel horrible. Just keep giving.

Share how you give in the comment box below. I also talked about my pantry experiences on Snapchat.

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