Wondering what the heck this is all about? Visit my original post here to learn more about the #HowCanIHelpProject. You can also see who I helped on Days 1 -5 here. Follow me on Instgram @aliverecklessly or Twitter @aliverecklessly to see my daily progress.
The first five days of the project were simply magical (partly because I was on spring break from teaching and had a lot of free time). Yet, even as I’ve gone back to work there has been a spark in my heart that has long been missing, a small flame that is beginning to light up the hopelessness of the past few months. I expected to be stressed about finding someone to help but the truth is almost every day I have had a choice as to what to post about! Perhaps the greatest fruit of this project so far is simply having eyes to see how I can make a big difference in someones life every single day.
Day 6 – Monday, April 6th
Since last February I have spent (almost) every other Monday with this incredible group of high schoolers who dare to be real and ask the tough questions. I have learned so much from them and I am so blessed to be a part of their journey. While planning and coordinating this group takes time, every minute of it is worth it to let them know they are wonderfully made by a God who is crazy about them.
Day 7 – Tuesday April 7th
A few months ago, God unexpectedly answered a long-standing prayer by introducing me to an incredible group of people who are warm, supportive and real. They are a beautiful example of the person I want to be. Tuesday I was worn out from a hard day and longing to go home after work and crawl into bed. I decided to go to small group anyway (for a little bit at least). When I got there I found out of one of the guys needed some support that day and I got to listen and pray for him along with the other members of the group.
Even though it’s not always easy to do, I know God calls us to invest in community. To be vulnerable. To listen. To encourage each other. To be present. To pray for our brothers and sisters through their challenges. I am so thankful to have met these people and so blessed to be serving God with them.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in habit of doing, but encouraging one another -and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25
Day 8 – Wednesday, April 8th
Wednesday I found such joy and heartache in thoughtfully responding to the many emails I’ve received since posting the video on craigslist! (I still cant believe how cool this project is). I spent over 2 hours before work praying, connecting, and encouraging people who were brave enough to ask for help. See one of the emails below and please pray for my new friend.
Day 9 – Thursday, April 9th
One day during my first year of teaching in Iowa a few of my students invited me to the blood drive they were volunteering at in the school gym. I (hesitantly) agreed to donate and thus began a ritual of giving blood as much as possible. (Plus I have O- blood, the universal donor, so they tell me how special and important I am every time I go.)
On Thursday after work I went in and had an easy time as ever. After donating I was drinking my juice when the leader came up and gave me my 1 gallon pin! (That’s a lot of blood…) Donating blood is so important and easy to do. Plus you get free juice and cookies! It takes 30 minute and saves lives. Visit redcross.org to find a Blood Drive near you.
Day 10 – Friday, April 10th
I originally had a volunteer opportunity planned away for the whole weekend but it was postponed last minute until May. Since I suddenly had Friday night free I decided to host a guys night at my house for the young men of my church to get to know new people and have a some fun (and then realized it totally fit the purpose of this project… can you say 2 birds!)
I love that I get to be a part of their lives and inside jokes. It is so hard to know what it means to be a man in today’s world and I think there’s nothing more important than mentoring and investing in our young people.
Day 11 – Saturday, April 11th
My mom has worked so hard to get her house cleaned and fixed up these past few years. I did a lot of work while I lived there and still try to help her out whenever I can. Today I fixed a 40 year old toilet in her upstairs bathroom. “1 hour” I said, “2 tops.” Four and half hours, sawed off bolts and two hardware store trip later I happy to report it is back in business! I wanted this project to be a mix of serving the people I love as well as strangers. As frustrating as it was, my mom was so happy to have it working again.
Is there any way that I can help you? Please shoot me a message!
One of my dear friends has decided to join me and start her own #howcanIhelpproject! I would be so thankful if you would share my video or posts to help get the word out and inspire other people to take action in their communities.