Sometimes the most uncomfortable situations make the best memories. I don’t know why, but I find that my favorite memories (the ones I laugh about the most) are the memories of me struggling.
Now, I’m not saying that Giving Back should necessarily make you struggle, but generally, giving back does involve some sort of sacrifice: big or small. And sacrifice can be a challenge. That’s the nature of the word sacrifice.
When my husband, Chris, and I went to Mongolia on a mission trip before kids, we experienced some of the most unique cuisine we’d ever had. We aren’t used to mutton and goat and mostly root vegetables which is what we ate. After a week of eating their spices and food, we were ready to eat our own food. The Mongolians were very hospitable and very generous. They fed us well and cared for us. Our tongues were just ready for something familiar, and we were tired of the same food. We complained a lot.
Looking back at it now, I’m embarrassed by our whining. We really were being snobby, rich Americans. We thought we were suffering. We didn’t even know what suffering meant.
We felt like we were sacrificing a lot. And we struggled.
When we came home and the whole team got together, we relived our time in Mongolia with smiles and laughter. We laughed over the food and over our funny getting-by stories. We laughed at the getting stuck on the bus in the middle of nowhere with a goat carcass. We laughed at crossing the river and the doctor on the team giving stitches to another member without anthestisia (although that is still pretty horrible to this day). We laughed and laughed. And we still laugh today.
How much better would it be to laugh with your kids. Heartwarming stories about helping someone or making a friend they wouldn’t normally play with.
November isn’t We Can Give Back month because we want to guilt you into helping the cause. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are busy trying to make life work for our families. By no means are we trying to guilt you into anything.
But we wanted to take this month to highlight some of the opportunities around the Twin Cities that you can have fun with your family that also serves others. Whether that means you go to a benefit concert in the neighborhood or picking up trash in the park or raising awareness about one of your passions, most likely you can have fun with your whole family.