For Day 7 we did a H2O ride. I had planned on giving something to Living Water International. I love their work. While perusing their website for a good promotional video to show the boys,* I came across the H2O ride. A group of cyclists rode 8840 miles - 1 mile for every 100,000 people without access to clean and safe drinking water. So I decided to do a Brothers H H2O ride. I set an age appropriate "lap" in our neighborhood for each boy. Their parents and grandparents each sponsored them at $0.25 per lap. I set some prizes for reaching three different goals. For meeting various goals, they got a drink, then chips, then a candy bar from the gas station. Rand and I worked the Sag Station at the end of our driveway.
It was great. I'm really glad we did it. This is one of my favorite things we've done. BUT, it so did not go down the way I imagined.
One my goals in doing these 12 days of Christmas is to figure out how to make helping those in need a part of our daily lives in the household h. I feel like a preschooler in this area, and I'm learning that it's never going to look like this picture I've been carrying around in my mind for the last several years. Sometimes, when I announce joyfully the amazing, selfless act I have planned for our family for the day, my little participants will be remarkably unenthused, and I will hear, "That doesn't sound like fun at all." And sometimes, I will force everyone to soldier on through some activity and later find out that the kid who seemed unbelievably whiny and irritating and self-absorbed actually had the flu. Sigh.
In the morning, when they found the card on the mantle announcing the H2O ride, everyone was excited. David made a chart so we could check off completed laps. Then we had a rain delay. After the rain delay, he started complaining that his head hurt and asked if he could do it later. I was annoyed (seriously, he wasn't grasping the awesomeness of my idea) and told him this was the time we were doing the ride and he could choose to participate or not. Several miles and an hour and a half or so later, David started shivering and said he didn't want the gas station snacks (undeniable sign of extreme illness). By the time I checked his temperature he was at 102 and miserable. Bless his heart. I think he rode about 5 or 6 miles feeling like that.
So, the H2O ride was another practical lesson in the reality that focusing the household h outward is not going to look like a Hallmark commercial starring me but that there will be some good and real stuff there, even some holy moments. David, who would normally have been all over that bike ride and trying to both raise money and ride more laps than anyone else,** was having a hard time doing his share. He had to ask Jacob to do some of his laps for him. Jacob will probably still be feeling like a rock star three months from now. He took a lot of David's laps for him. On the morning we worked at The Houston Food Bank, someone really did say, "That doesn't sound like fun at all." So, I spent some time explaining why we were doing all this stuff. I told them what Christmas used to be like at our house - a lot of fun, but stressful and mainly about buying stuff. I try to say that kind of stuff to them when I can, and I think they hear me about 5% of the time. This was one of those times when they heard. It was one of those holy moments.
So, when I started this Christmas adventure, I think I planned on about 90% holy moments, and in reality, it's nothing near that. But I think that's just how this goes. Partly, there's a learning curve in figuring out how to live more missionally. Partly, it's just part of living in a fallen world. You get snapshots of glory.
** He asked to do extra housework to add to his Compassion International bank but asked to be paid in nickels so his would weigh a lot more than his brothers' banks.