March for Babies

Hey Loves,

I’ve decided to participate in March for Babies. I, along with some members of my sorority are walking in the March for Babies at Nationals Stadium on Saturday, May 6th. This is my first time participating in March for Babies, but I’m extremely excited.

Munch was born premature and thankfully didn’t have to spend time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) because I was given the shot of steroids 6 weeks earlier. The shot of steroids were to help his lungs rapidly develop (since that’s the last thing to develop) because my cervix kept shortening. He’s fine, healthy and a precocious soon to be 9 year old.

However, he was lucky. Many children are not as lucky. Including some of the children of my friends. I can’t imagine losing a child, but many parents experience this loss. The March of Dimes focuses on the prevention of birth defects, infant mortality and the prevention of premature births.

I want to help. I need your help. I set my goal at $250.00. If each of my WordPress followers were able to donate just $5.00, I could surpass that goal. It would be $7,240.00. How awesome is that?

Any amount that you can donate will be greatly appreciated. No amount is too small and all amounts are tax deductible. Can you help? If you can help – please click on my fundraising page here: March for Babies

Thank you in advance. Your help is truly appreciated. I will post a follow-up after the March with pictures and my feedback. I want you to know how invaluable you are to helping others.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Christmas Eve Service

This year has been amazing. More than I could have imagined. It’s Christmas Eve and I’m at Christ House again serving meals with some of my girlfriends. It is amazing that as we prepare to feast on the festivities this weekend that we are mindful of those that have no food or have no home.

There will be no tree to put gifts under. No turkey sitting on the table. No friends and family to bring egg nog and wish them good will. But, I will do my best.

I will serve gladly and make sure that they are wished the Merriest of Christmas. I will smile and listen to their stories. I will encourage their spirits. I will feed them a hot meal. It’s almost a new year – 2017 is around the corner and things can and will change for the better.

 

Blessings at Christ House

My girlfriends and I were given the great opportunity to be of service the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We volunteered at Christ House. What an amazing time we had! Serving others allows you to remember to count your blessings and that even Jesus came to serve.

Mark 10:45(NRSV)

45 For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

In late September, I reached out to some of my girlfriends and asked them would they be interested in volunteering with me. We always say that we’re too busy and we wish we had more time to catch up so this was a way for us to do both. My friends heard the call and answered. I am thankful.

Although our first group effort lacked two members we made due. Christ House has a small kitchen so they can only have 3-5 volunteers at a time. So, we had three, including me. There were all men there (except for the nurses) and they were so kind and thankful for our efforts. We didn’t cook this time. We made sandwiches and salads and a side of fruit.

We were so blessed by this experience on Saturday that I was reminded of the blessings of: friendship, life, health, family and housing. Thanks abounded and we were given the blessing of being able to do some good will. They stopped and talked to us and the chef was so wonderful that we decided that we would volunteer our time at Christ House again.

A little about Christ House:

Christ House opened in December 1985 as the first 24-hour residential medical facility for homeless persons in the United States. Today, Christ House is still the only facility of its kind in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area where over 6,000 people experience homelessness every day. To the best of our knowledge, there are only 13 stand-alone residential medical facilities for the homeless like Christ House in all of the U.S. and Canada. Since our inception, we have had over 8,000 admissions.

Patients are admitted to Christ House from area hospitals, shelters, clinics, and medical outreach projects. They suffer from a variety of illnesses and injuries including cancer, hypertension and stroke, liver disease, kidney failure, diabetes and related amputations, HIV/AIDS, respiratory disease, major lacerations, fractures, and ulcerations of the skin. Many are malnourished, anemic, depressed, and desperately disconnected from healthy sources of support.

Here are some photos:

Motivational Monday Moment – 9/26/16

It’s the last Monday in September in the ninth month. Can you believe that the year is almost over? Whew! It went by too fast. There’s still time though.

Clock

What is there still time to do? Serve. Be of service to someone. My Monday Motivational Moment is to encourage you to serve. Serving others is one of the greatest gifts we can give. Why? Because you are giving of your time.

colourful-volunteer-vector

Time is valuable.

We all value our time. But, we know that we should be generous in the giving of our time to those that need us.

Mark 10:45 (NRSV)

45 For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

I know you’re probably saying, “I’m too busy. I got a million things going on right now.” Right? Well, how many of those million things that you’re doing are for others. Serving others in a situation that is more beneficial?

We have to be of service. Serving others makes us not only feel better, but those we serve are greatly rewarded. Time can no longer be a variable. We must find a way to make our moments in life count.

Give of ourselves selflessly. Just like the Bible commands us to do. What if God was selfish with his time? How many of us would benefit? Not many.

But, there are many reasons to volunteer…

start

Still not convinced. Guess what I got to do this weekend? I got the amazing opportunity to be of service to others when my church had it’s annual Mission Blitz. It’s our annual day of service. We go out in the community and serve others through various organizations.

Where did I go? Martha’s Table. It was an amazing opportunity to serve others. Me and some of my fellow church members went to DC to help with their food distribution and you know what? We weren’t the only ones.

There were a number of other volunteers there. It was amazing. It was a great reminder of how bless we are to have access to food and quality food at that. I like some of the great programs they put on including a Pop-Up Market at local elementary schools and a couple of community centers. The Pop-Up Markets allow families to select from fresh, seasonal produce and healthy pantry staples at no cost every month.

Isn’t that amazing? There are so many people in this country who have food security issues and no access to fresh food that this organization is changing that. Can you imagine what it’s like to not be able to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables for your family? If you can imagine, can you imagine having an organization provide you access to the fresh fruit and produce at no cost to you?

Many organizations, like Martha’s Table need help all year round and I decided that I wanted to get some of my girlfriends involved. We always gripe about things that are stressing us out and wouldn’t it be amazing to do service for others? That’s one of my goals for the remaining 2016 and going into 2017.

volunteer_benefits_image

Serving others.

il_fullxfull-377597831_3rpc

Tips

So, last week my best friend and god-daughter went to dinner at this great restaurant in Waldorf, Maryland that I love called Boston’s. We had a great time and the waiter was phenomenal. I have never had bad service at this restaurant.

When the bill came, we split it 3 ways. I’m not about splitting the bill by taking out what you ordered especially when no one had alcohol. It gets too complicated and I don’t like to dine with cheapskates (more on this rant later). LOL.

My god-daughter paid cash and my best friend and I had our credit cards to pay. I told the waiter to apply the tip and we would split the difference between the two cards. We still had to tip. So, we added the 20% tip of the total bill to each receipt. Easy right?

Yeah, I thought so. But, guess what my bank sent me:

CO

LOL. It was so weird. I guess in light of all the identity theft they are just making sure that everything was legitimate. This tip was on purpose and on par with the 20% for the total bill that was due.

I value that great service.

Simply Loving and Accepting

I read this great article entitled “If I have Gay Children” on the Huffington Post a couple of weeks ago and it made me smile. Not a simple “Aw, that’s cute smile”, but a genuine “Dang, another parent gets what I’ve always said” smile. The article is great because the Rabbi is saying that if I have gay children, I will simply love and accept them.

Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do? Just love and accept our children? I never really knew gay children growing up in a small town. Not saying that they didn’t exist, but it wasn’t something people came up and told me. But, it was in college that I really realized the depth of discrimination against gays. Especially from the very thing I loved the most…My church.

I grew up Southern Baptist which is different from regular Baptist. Southern Baptist is all fire and brimstone and everyone is going to hell type of preaching. Yep, that kind of scary Baptist preaching that had me quaking in my boots. There were tent revivals and a constant reminder to save ourselves for marriage and keep impure thoughts out of your mind or you’re going to burn in hell.

Well, when I moved to Maryland I was introduced to being a regular Baptist. Not fire and brimstone preaching but of God’s grace, mercy and never ending love. The agape love that will leave you wanting for nothing. That is where I learned that there is nothing in the world that I could do that would sever the relationship between me and God.

I realized that I didn’t like fire and brimstone preaching and preferred God’s encompassing love preaching. It was where I was ashamed that the religion that introduced me to a wonderful God who loved when I let my light shine bright also would disown me were gay. I was heartbroken.

I swore that I would never worship at a place that would treat anyone in such a manner. I would be vocal in my disdain for preaching that taught and fueled hate instead of God’s love. I would make sure that if I ever had children that I would love the beautiful gift that God gave me and never make them feel as though their homosexuality is a curse. Because it is not.

So, I will thank the author for expressing what I feel should my son be gay. Because there is nothing and I mean NOTHING that will stop me from loving him. I am his mother and that will never change. I will hold his hand until he tells me to let go. I will comfort, console, stand up and defend him because if he’s gay, ya’ll will know because I will blog about it. No embarrassment. Just unfailing love for this beautiful boy.

Here’s my list…

1) If my son is gay, oh well. I will proudly rock the rainbow and stand by him because he is still the same child I carried in my womb and told God that I would give to Him should he let him be born. Now, what color should I wear to the gay pride parade because momma is coming.

2) If my son is gay, he will still go to church. I have one of the best darn churches in the world. I love my church family and I can’t imagine my son growing up somewhere different. But, if he should ever leave our church, it won’t be because he’s disowned or made fun of. It’s because he feels that God has anchored his spirit in another wonderful house of worship.

3) If my son is gay, I will still be his number one fan. I pray for my son every day multiple times throughout the day. I am his biggest fan. I rally for any and all things munch. Constant, vocal and loud, this will never change. Get used to it.

5) If my son is gay, it still means that he still must be of service. Service is the fundamental thing that we’re called to do. It is in everything I teach him. We are by God’s grace able to afford this or that. Others may not, but you need to remember that Matthew 20:28 (NLT) says that “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” So, what will you give?

I loved his list and I hope you like my modified list. I am truly blessed and overwhelmingly grateful for my son and I can’t imagine raising a young man in a hate filled nation or environment. I know he would never choose to be gay and if he’s gay, he’s gay now, but so what? He’s still mine and I’m still the happiest and luckiest mother in the world.