Let Faith Be Bigger Than Fear

As I continue to watch television and listen to the radio, my heart gets heavier. Even on a “normal” week I have trouble watching the evening news. I have made a rule that the only time the news is on is in the morning. I have a difficult time not personalizing the sad and tragic stories. “What if that happened to me?” “What if that was my family?” “What would I do?” It’s what keeps me awake at night.

But this week isn’t about me and my anxieties. It’s a selfish thing to sit here and say I’m devastated by what happened and continue down the trail of “what if someone I knew was there…” As a human being I am sad. I can try to empathize with others who actually experienced the loss, the personal pain or the injury to someone close to them. But try as I might, I never could. As much as this “personally” affects me as a U.S. citizen, it doesn’t even touch what others are going through. The pain of losing a child, a sister, a parent. So this time, it’s not about me and the “what ifs.”

I’ll continue to pray for those who were personally affected by this week’s events and put my own fears aside, honoring those mourning tangible, real losses.

faithandfear

January Resolution: Care

I’m tackling a new resolution each month this year. For January, my action word is ‘care.’ This can take on many different meanings: to care for family and friends; to care for strangers; to care for myself.

I’m going to encompass all three into January, which will focus on random acts of kindness. While I already consider myself a caring person, I’d like to become more actively involved and step out of my comfort zone. My goal is to carry this type of behavior throughout the rest of the year and beyond.

By the time January 31 rolls around, I will have accomplished the following:

  1. Donate used books to a local library
  2. Hold the door open for others whenever the occasion arises
  3. Pay the Starbucks’ tab for the person behind me in the drive-thru
  4. Send birthday cards to family/friends
  5. Donate blood
  6. Comment on three blogs/week
  7. Be polite on the road
  8. Leave five recommendations on LinkedIn
  9. Bring coworkers a special treat
  10. Send flowers to a local nursing home

While I feel like most of these are common sense, they’re often put on the back burner. Not anymore! I can’t wait to report back at the end of the month… where I’ll hopefully be able to check off a few other items as well!

How to Help Sandy Hook

While I don’t believe there is a way to truly comfort the victims of this tragedy, the Connecticut Parent-Teacher-Student Association (PTSA) is offering advice on how to help. From the website:

“Connecticut PTSA is deeply saddened by the tragedy that has struck our Newtown community. We have met with the PTA and community leaders in Newtown and Sandy Hook Elementary to offer our assistance at this very difficult time.  They have asked us to spearhead the following efforts on their behalf:

Snowflakes for Sandy Hook
Please help the students of Sandy Hook have a winter wonderland at their new school! Get creative!  No two snowflakes are alike. Make and send snowflakes by Jan. 12 to:

Connecticut PTSA
60 Connolly Parkway, Building 12, Suite 103
Hamden, CT  06514

Coins for Sandy Hook
Students can collect spare change to support their peers at Sandy Hook.  Other fundraising ideas include Walk- A -Thons, Spirit Days, Pajama Days, etc.

Please send contributions to “Connecticut PTSA Sandy Hook Fund” by Feb. 14.

Ongoing Fundraising Efforts
Donations are being accepted indefinitely to the: “Connecticut PTSA Sandy Hook Fund” to support the ongoing needs of the Sandy Hook Community. Send checks to:

Connecticut PTSA
60 Connolly Parkway, Building 12, Suite 103
Hamden, CT  06514

For questions or to reach anyone at Sandy Hook PTA, email sandyhook@ctpta.org. The Newtown community has requested monetary contributions, but we do know there may be service and product donations that will be offered. For service or product inquiries, contact newtownboe@gmail.com.”