Back around August of last year I found this pin on Pinterest on how to make a sleeping mat for the homeless.
It looked really simple, like something I could do, but you need around 700 bags to make just one.
Seven hundred bags is a lot of bags. Where would I come up with 700 bags? And then that would be enough for just one person. How would that make any kind of difference in the homeless community?
I saved the pin, but quickly dismissed it.
Does the story sounding familiar yet? I’ve told it before.
Just before Thanksgiving a girlfriend of mine approached me with an idea she was really excited about. And yes, it was the same idea.
I thought, clearly this is something I’m called to do. I don’t know how we’re going to make any difference but I had this strong desire to be faithful.
So I started making mats. Oh, it wasn’t just me. We had quite a team of people volunteering to help us deliver 20 mats to Church on the Street. Twenty-two, actually.
Well that was four months ago. We don’t have nearly as many people on our team anymore, but we’re still hanging in there. A few weeks ago we delivered, I think nine, mats to Operation Marshmallow for disabled vets.
Our volunteers may have slowed down, but our donation of bags sure hasn’t.
Before Christmas, Target had donated twenty-two thousand bags, to us. Recently they gave us another twenty-four thousand. Then I still have friends of mine, and friends of friends of mine, who are calling me up trying to arrange how to give me their recycled bags. I have more bags than I know what to do with.
I’ve been extremely blessed.
I have so many bags I just can’t keep up with them. Honestly though, I’ve been a little preoccupied, lately. They’ve kind of been on hold, on and off, for a few weeks.
I feel like I’ve been pretty much living my worst nightmare. I have a son, who’s making poor decisions, doing things he shouldn’t be doing and on top of all of that, he’s 18, has a strong possibly of not graduating high school, and there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it.
Oh of course I could try to do something. I could, well try to force. I could use guilt. That was popular while I was growing up. I could bribe, persuade, lie, cheat or be vindictive. Not really sure any of those would work anyway.
Like, I know this is not my fault. I know he is of an age where he can and is expected to make his own, decisions.
It’s just…HE’S DOING IT WRONG!
So I worry, and I fret. And I scream and I cry. And I make mats.
A while back someone asked me how long did I think it takes me to make one mat. I didn’t know at the time, but ten hours.
It takes me ten hours to crochet one mat. It takes longer, really, because I first have to cut the bags, then open the bags, and loop the bags into plarn, before I even consider crocheting then into a mat.
But yeah, it takes me about ten hours to make a mat, considering I have all the plarn I need.
Once upon a time, I was called to be a mom. I wasn’t happy about it. I didn’t ask to be one. And I certainly didn’t think I’d be any good at it.
However, I had always taken this calling very seriously. I did and do my best to raise these kids, the best way I can.
I have read. I have studied. I have asked questions. I have tried things. I have been successful, and have failed at times.
But I have always loved these kids with every fiber of my being.
Right now, I’m having a hard time stepping away from my calling to be his mom. I don’t want to let it go just yet. I don’t feel I’ve completed it properly.
And yet, I feel God telling me, “Kim, you’ve been called to make mats. Make the mats.”
I’ve was up until 11:00 tonight, looping freaking bags. That’s all I can do. With all the chaos I feel my life is in right now, the only thing God has put me in charge of and letting me do, is making these stupid mats.
I will be faithful, though. He asked me to start back in August and I blew him off. But I will be faithful now, because I know He is faithful.
So, I will continue working on these dumb mats, that aren’t really all that dumb, after all.
These mats are going to be handed out to a handful of God’s other sons and daughters. Not that he needs my help, but he’s asking.
So I will continue to care for his sons, while he’s caring for mine. That seems more than fair.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for knowing me. Thank you for understanding how difficult it is for me to sit and do nothing. Thank you, also, for the opportunity to care for others in your Kingdom.