Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bags 4 Darfur, September 2010

September brings a raft of fresh beginnings. Kids in piano, son out of elementary school and launching into junior high, and that inevitable cold wind that blows all the Canada geese clear out of here. And quite suddenly, I find myself propelled away from the garden and back to my beloved Bernina, churning out stuff that I didn't know I still had in me.

I've had a few months to think about what is going well, what feels tired, and where I am headed. I come to decisions very slowly, I find. As I've described in the sidebar "project" link, this whole thing really birthed out of my faith and belief in God. And that doesn't change. A lot of things all around me have been spinning and shifting in recent years, and that has prompted me to think a great deal about my faith, my heritage, my beliefs. It feels like so much of the walls have fallen down around me, and there's not much safety or security in "That's just the way its always been". So, I've thought an awful lot about Jesus, and what it means for me to profess to follow him. What remains after the tsunami roars through is pretty simple and basic. And here's what I know for sure: Love. He said that all his commandments could be summed up in one sentence: "Love your neighbour as you love yourself; Love God with your heart and soul and mind".


Have you ever really thought about that?! It's pretty freaking hard to love some of the people in my very closest circle, never mind beyond that- to strangers! And you ought to meet some of the neighbours that I've had over the years- waaaaaay not the loveable sort. I actually suck pretty badly at loving my neighbours, and sometimes I don't even feel like meeting them. I just want to be anonymous sometimes, especially when I'm wandering down the street. I just don't feel like caring about everyone that I lay eyes on.

And of course, He didn't mean literally my neighbours. That's just barely a bite-sized piece. These days, it's obvious that the whole freaking world is our neighbour. We're the rich, spoiled kids living in the fancy part of town. The scum of the earth live in dumps somewhere out there in those weird foreign places. But dammit, they're our neighbours too.

I'm hopelessly spoiled and comfortable. In fact, I have so much stuff that I get annoyed and frustrated with myself. And then because I'm feeling anxious, I go out treasure hunting to find a little stuff to make me happy again.

So, I'm pretty weird and kind of messed up. But here's a little way of doing something for others that works for me and seems to use all my dysfunctions in a decently functional way.

Getting stuff.
Running it under my sewing machine and turning it into different stuff.
Selling that pile of junk turned into artful stuff-holders to people who want to do something decent for the world in their own little corners of comfort and security.

I hope to get less selfish as I go along, but here's what I know about choosing Jesus so far.
It's not about me.
Do something about the orphans, the widows, the poor, and the forgotten.
(He says a lot of other stuff about dying to self and selling all your possessions and other kinds of scarey radical freakish non Western ideas. I'm not going to write them down because they make me squirm)

Any hoo, that's kind of a ramble about what brings me back to this blogspot, selling those dingity dang Bags 4 Darfur. It's not terribly glamourous. It hasn't turned me into a Christian Weekly celebrity. (oh please. Don't think that I actually want that. I have a bad attitude, and my teeth aren't white enough). I haven't raised more and more money with each passing year.

But it is still the right thing to do.

My tenative plan this fall is to post bags on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays of particularly productive weeks. I'm thinking that the auction format has pretty much run its course, and that I'll go back to simply pricing items as I post them. (even as I write these things, I doubt myself on almost every decision) I'm looking forward to reconnecting with all of you-- my faithful baggies and baguettes!

xo re-joyce


christine said...

i'm really excited for this!

Jennifer P said...

Welcome back. Let's chat soon if you like. I have a trove of goodies in my new home that you have inspired me to put to good use.

Karen said...

Welcome back. Hope you had a great summer.

Loved your post (as always).

And I'm looking forward to Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays on productive weeks. :)

Karen T.

ispeakinprose said...

I'll buy this bag. It will have to be paypal, though, because I'm in the UK (but I'll be shipping to a US address).

It's lovely!

joyce said...

prose- I'm terribly sorry, but the tree zipper bag sold a few minutes ago. Look forward to more, and please come back!

carissa said...

Thank you for sharing about your friend Jesus - I have a pal who told me about your bags - Your frankness and creativity and words about Jesus remind me of how refreshing, simple and just plain wonderful it is to be his friend and love others through big and little things. It's the paradox of living an easy, yet hard life as christians here in NA that also traps us in guilt, etc, but good thing we are all covered in grace -- We are so loved by him!