The CORE virtue at Hope this month is gratitude, meaning thankfulness. This virtue helps me keep perspective. This time of the year helps me keep perspective. There is much to be thankful for! I am one year and one quarter done! Things are only getting better. I live in a great area, have other roomies who understand the ‘TFA struggle,’ and a network of support that far outweighs what I had last year. One of the most exciting NEW things, is getting in touch with TFA’s Mississippi Delta Art resource page!! I have already found a couple helpful things! I am very grateful to have some support, even from a distance. (Is this a theme in my life right now?) haha, as I’ve learned in long-distance relationships… being “close” is not always a matter of proximity. I am also grateful for shelter & food. These basic provisions, that I’ve so often taken for granted most of my life, have been actualized in this past year at Hope and living in DC. If you’ve ever been to DC, you know how prevalent homelessness is here. You cannot ignore it if you want to. If you don’t think you have anything to give, you see how great of a need there is, and if you’re complaining about your situation, you see how counterfeit it is in comparison.
This year, we have a family with some really tough issues. The kids come hungry every day, sometimes no coats on in the cold, starved for affection, and dealing with other issues at home. (Though unfortunately, this isn’t the case of just one family at Hope…) Seeing these little ones, so hungry: mind, body, and soul, breaks your heart. Moments such as these, when they cling onto me, or say “I’m still hungry,” or almost cry when they have to leave school…remind me of how grateful I should be for the childhood I had, and try to do all that I can to love these kids well, look after them, and pray for them. As strongly as I feel for the mission of TFA, and “closing the achievement gap,” sometimes we have to stop teaching, and just listen, love, & tend to the brokenness around us. I don’t think TFA means to overlook this fact, but I think that those of us ‘in it’ can sometimes overlook the MOST important realities, while trying to keep up with the ‘tracking of data,’ ‘assessments,’ and what not.
Remember this month what you are truly grateful for. Stop. Breathe. Be present in your workplace and at home, as I try to live up to this myself.