Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Reduce, Refine, Simplify: Give

I was hoping for a call or email from my daughter, Owlie but the only word I heard from her today was via her column in the newspaper. I suspect she is terribly busy.

Well, it's time for me to get busy too, I've got winter weight shelvar kameez to donate and unfortunately, it's buried in the open places in the frame under my WATER BED mattress. I guess that means draining my bed. I thought we would be moving to our own larger apartment when I stuffed those spaces full, never realizing that they would be needed before then.

The truth be known, I've gained so much weight that most of these suits don't fit me anymore. I was just hanging on to them in a hope I would lose weight and because they are the best and favorites of my winter wardrobe. I have such a hard time giving up my stuff, money is easy to give, but my stuff is MY STUFF and it's dear to my selfish little heart.

I once had the most amazing dream/vision of my life. I consider it was a vision, not a dream since it had no visual images one usually associates with dreaming. I "dreamed" I was reducing, simplifying, and refining my life to its most basic level. When I had achieved this goal I raised my hands in triumph and as I did so, I was engulfed from head to toe, inside and outside in the most powerful, perceivable feeling of love that could ever be imagined. A voice said to me, "This is what it feels like to be in the presence of the God the Father. " I was surprised at the idea, because being a Christian, we are much more expressive and aware of the love of Christ, but then I realized, that all Christ ever does is call us to follow him back to the presence of God the Father.

Needless to say, that feeling of pure, perfect, divine love was the most powerful and sacred event of my life. I drifted in and out of sleep that night, each time savoring the sweet feelings that lingered. I made a commitment that whatever I needed to do in my life to realize the eternal actuality of that little preview of God’s love, I would do. No sacrifice is too great. Nothing is too hard. I have dedicated all that I have and all that I am to achieve my goal to return to God’s presence and feel that intense, overwhelming, magnificent love forever. Perfect love: not because I am worthy, or perfect, but because HE is perfect.

Well, gotta go reduce, recycle and simplify my life for the good of all involved. I’ve gotta lose some weight today, if you know what I mean. You see charity benefits the giver AND the receiver.

Monday, October 10, 2005

This comment from Faramin has prompted me to post some good charity orginizations for those who want to donate to the earthquake victims. Cash is the best and fastest way to help, but please be careful where you donate. You want your hard earned donation to go to help the devestated, not to line the pocket of some tribal lord, corrupt official or professional con artist.

"Instead of just praying, please give some information as how people can help. I've been looking into many South Asian blogs to get some information to pass on to the readers in my blog, but yet to find any useful information. Evereybody is just praying."

I hate to mention this, but I would be remiss if I didn't: Please remember that Pakistan is rated as the 3rd top most corrupt country in the world. Corruption pervades every aspect of society. Therefore, if you donate goods or cash, please do so ONLY to a internationally recognized charity Red Crescent, Oxfam, Mercy Corps, Ehidi Foundation are all good sources and have web sites to guide you in your desire to help.

As for me and my family, we will hold off our charity till we hear from our workers living in the Kashmir area. Then we will try to collect enough money to rebuild their homes for them if needed. We can do that because my husband will be there to personally oversee the project and make sure the houses really materialize and the project is completed within budget.

Pakistan Red Crescent Society
National Headquarters
H-8, Islamabad, Pakistan
Ph: +92-51-9250404-5
Fax: +92-51-9250408
E-mail: hilal@isb.comsats.net.p


Mercy Corps

Owlie Takes Off

Owlie is flying off to Pakistan to cover the earthquake story for her newspaper. She's excited about her first "foreign correspondant" gig and her first return "home" since we moved away 4 months ago, but even more, she's conserned about witnessing the devistation, covering the disaster and chronicling the suffering of the victims.

So far, all our friends in Islamabad we have contacted have been safe. We have heard from Liaquet, the manager of our restaurant, but our workers are from Kashmir. We have no contact numbers for them and we won't hear from them till they return to work (or don't) at the end of Ramadan.