Monthly Archives: December 2010

My AMAZING Christmas Gift!

My husband decided to surprise me this year with an wonderful yet, unconventional gift.  Knowing my passion for working with those in need, he arranged with the Jubilee Center of Broward County for our family to come serve lunch to the homeless.  It is truly one of the best Christmas gifts that anyone has every given me.  It also continued to build on the wonderful tradition that we have of serving together as a family.

Our morning started EARLY (at least early for the Maccubbin women).  We had to be at the center at 8 AM to start the lunch prep.  To prepare for our visit, the girls and I went to BJs the day before to shop for pantry items to take with us; items such as soaps, diapers, wipes, paper towels, cups and plastic utensils all made it into the cart.  This morning, we took our pickup truck to the center, in case they needed us to haul things for them while we were there, so it was packed to the brim with people and stuff as we headed out the door at about 7:20.

At the center, we were greeted by Lucis, a 77-year old volunteer who arrived at 7 AM to coordinate the work of the food pantry and soup kitchen.  Lucis is retired Air Force and for the last 20 years, he has been getting up every weekday morning and taking the City Bus to volunteer at the center.  Joyce, the center’s Executive Director arrived shortly thereafter and briefed us on the center’s work and funding.  It amazed me how hard they work with such a tight budget to make everything come together.  One of my husband’s jobs in the kitchen was to strain six pallets of apricots for lunch, making sure to save the liquid from each can which they used as juice in the serving line.  Another volunteer drove the van to half a dozen local grocery stores and restaurants, where they were given produce, soup and other items that these retailers no longer could sell, but could be served in the soup kitchen and given to the families who were struggling to make ends meet.

The girls and I worked with two other young teens that entertained us as we peeled bushels of potatoes and cleaned up a never-ending pile of pots, pans and serving trays.  The center had a small kitchen with a double oven and a commercial sink and everything had to be washed by hand.

In a matter of about 2 hours, the soup kitchen, comprised of almost 100% of volunteer staff, had served about 150 homeless, men and women of Broward County.

As we mopped the floors and washed the dishes, I was blown away at how it had all come together and the level of effort it took on the part of the volunteers to make it all happen, many of whom where homeless themselves.  And the fact that this level of service continues to happen day after day.

I never cease to be amazed by the people and the life experiences that God uses to teach me more about Him and what is important to Him in this world. Sometimes those experiences involve real pain, personal inconveniences or just plain hard work, but at the end of the day I am always overwhelmed by a flood of memories and lessons that I know God will use in my life for years to come.

May God bless you and your family in a very special way this Christmas!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Monday Morning Learnings: Personal Growth

I’m reading a book called Graceonomics: Unleash the Power of Second Chance Living, by Mike Foster and I came across this chart.  One of the best picture lessons I have ever seen!

My interpretation of this chart:  The more I am willing to learn from bad experiences AND the greater my ability to forgive (including forgiveness of myself), the more God can use those experiences to grow me into the person that He wants me to be.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

My Christmas List!

I’ve had a few requests for this, so I thought I’d just post it out here online for easy access.  Feel free to add humorous comments if you’d like.  You can even add them anonymously (or make up a user name, I’m not picky).

Here we go….

1.     A Droid Incredible Phone by HTC – I’m eligible for an upgrade on my phone plan (Verizon), but even with the upgrade, this one is still $150.  But what is cool about this phone is that it has an 8 megapixel camera that would come in super handy for my Project 365 and 3G capability, so I can sit on the beach all day and still stay in touch with my social networks.

2.     A pair of TOMS shoes – From the “Classics” collection (nothing shiny or glittery).  I wear a size 8 in womens.

3.     A gift card to Kohls – we have one across the street from our house and they always have such great deals on good stuff.

4.     A donation to my favorite charity – the Brook Ministries. You can go to their website and click on the “Donate Online” button on the right side of the screen.

5.     A Skirt Purse from Thirty One gifts – (Pg. 13 of the Fall Catalog) These are so cute.  You can buy the purse and if you want you can buy an interchangeable “skirt” to go with it  You can even embroider my name on the skirt “Janet” so when I lose my purse, people will know who it belongs to. 🙂

6.     Gift cards to cool restaurants – one of my favorite things to do is go out to eat, but dining out is not always in the budget, so going for a reduced price or free would be special.  I’m a huge seafood fan, but also love places like Olive Garden or Outback.

Just some ideas.  If I think of others, I’ll post them here too.  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and a Merry Christmas.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized