Friday, December 11, 2020

Merry Days, Entry 6....

 Greetings and Warm Welcome

~ to my blog, a place where I share all things dealing with needle and thread ~

and stuff about my life too!

Entry 6....
Well I would like each of you dear readers to take a gander at this mess:

this is a huge mess and one that my obsessively neat/clean freak side shudders with revulsion. 
This mess is the result of many hours of sorting, wrapping, list making, daily pick-ups, visits, calls and begging.

This year, as we all know has been the pits. 
Many church's doors remain closed. 
Many people have either lost jobs, been without wages or dire situations before this pandemic hit are now even more dire.
My church doors are open, albeit attendance is low. 
This summer, in our church bulletin one Sunday, on the way home, I read that: The Angel Tree was in jeopardy of not happening this year as the coordinator for the last several years was stepping down. I don't know what made me do it...but I immediately sent an email to contact the church secretary to volunteer myself and my daughters to do the Angel Tree, saying it would be our honor to do so. 
My sweet husband rolled his eyes and said: "Don't you think you have enough to do?" 
(side note: he wasn't being stingy with my time (or his - as HIS time seems to get a whole lot of use with MY volunteering! ) 
but I am also....the volunteer kitchen coordinator at church 
(which is a fancy word for: person who has to clean up after everyone (yes they are supposed to clean up after themselves - does it happen to the cleanliness standards of the state of Indiana? Typically NO), keep the paper products and such (tea/coffee/sweetener/salt you get the idea) in stock, wash the kitchen towel/rags/table cloths, you know: general keeping kitchen), 
I also am the funeral luncheon chair (read: funeral luncheon committee - yes I do it alone - or with one or two other brave souls). 
I help out stocking the food pantry for the county's needy families. 
I help feed the city's hungry/homeless.
I am a lector and eucharistic minister...
and I said: "Well this can't be difficult" 
Ha. Ha.

I didn't know what I was about to get into....
but it consisted of this: 
Visiting with the families that are in need, asking their specific needs and making lists of them.
Creating angel tags for the tree 
(the previous years had been sheets of paper with holes punched on them  and hung on the tree - not very attractive, and hard to keep track of - this from a viewpoint of a person taking tags to fulfill and losing track of a pieces of paper (this was me).  I wanted something that was easy to keep track of and easy to find, while being pretty on the tree to attract people to come over and take a tag)
Worrying that there were too many tags and not enough parishioners to take them.
Putting the tree up (fulfilled by the alter society chair - not me)
Hanging tags/Decorating the tree (fulfilled by a church volunteer - not me)
Worrying that people wouldn't take tags.
Worrying that the tags remaining wouldn't be taken.
Worrying that tags/donations wouldn't be returned.
Sorting donations.
Making more lists.
Checking all donations to ensure all needs/wishes have been met.
Shopping for the tags not taken and purchasing the items.
Wrapping donations.
More sorting into family groups for delivery.
Arranging Delivery/Pick-up times with families.

All of these steps, excluding the two above that I noted were done by another volunteer, were done by me and my two girls. 

Why am I telling you all of this? 
While some may choose to think I'm telling you all about this to stroke my ego, make myself out to be wonderful, may even think I am a narcissist. 
Nothing could be further from the truth.

I am telling you all about this because:
I will admit that I acknowledge that I have many people (for some reason) who come here, maybe on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube to see what I am doing. I don't know why and I simply don't question it anymore - because it isn't me who made that happen. I didn't try to make it happen, I didn't even do anything special to make it happen - it just did. I started this blog, simply because I wanted to share my stitching and feel a "part" of something related to my hobby. The reason, I believe, that people come here is because God willed it so. He put me in this position. If you don't believe in a God, then so be it. I am in a position that many people come by to read my words/see my "stuff" and because I am, I think that I need to speak truth.

Tis the Season of giving....and it's about more than:
 dropping a few coins or dollars into a collection bucket
giving a plate of cookies to a neighbor
offering a bag of groceries to a food pantry
fulfilling tags on a giving tree
Things cannot happen without generosity of giving financial donations from those that can afford to give financially!
it also takes a huge amount of generosity of someone's (hopefully many someone's) TIME.
Time is the most precious commodity a person has in their possession. 
Yet we ALL are the most stingy about sharing, donating, giving of: OUR TIME.

when I snapped that shot of my messy kitchen and dining room with Christmas upchucked all over the place, I was nearing my wits end. I have had major anxiety (I'm being serious) about this angel tree. I have serious anxiety about a lot of things in life generally (and yes, I'm medicated for it). You see, I feel with all my heart and being. I see someone in need, someone upset, depressed, desperate...and I see it - yes, but I FEEL it. I can't explain it. I feel it sometimes to the detriment of my own self, to the depth of my very (what I can only think is) soul. I worry over it. Hurt over it. Wrestle with it. I've listened to some desperate situations over the past weeks leading up to this tree. I'm sort of over it, to be honest. Just want it done.
I snapped this picture and put it on my Facebook Wall and also on Instagram - giving a raw post about my kitchen being awry, lots of time being given for this.
Responses were all positive - prayers were offered on my behalf: ALL GOOD! AND BUILT UP MY OWN SPIRIT!
However, there were also lots of: "you need a committee." or "We do it this way at our organization."


In my experience of volunteering- getting the physical donations is not the hard part - it is getting the BODIES there to do the work IS the actual HARD PART! - and the list is LOOOOOONG on my volunteerism through my 50 years of life - again not gloating/patting myself on the back just giving basis to my knowledge on this subject matter so that people don't roll their eyes and pass this off as one of my ways of setting myself  up on a pedestal or patting my own back (yes, I have had several emails about this in the past)

is a most precious commodity to donate your community! my mind is at an all time LOW in this day and age. It seems like when I was younger that there were many more people that volunteered toward works of charity. I BEG people to help me!

 If it is older people the response is often:
 "been there done that! It's time for the young people to do it, like I did when I was their age." 

Let me just interject here: I despise the phrase "been there done that" used in any capacity. What a flip, smart aleck phrase... and I hear it all the time from all ages...I despise it and feel it should be expunged from polite talk.

If it is people my age or just a bit older the response is: 
"I have a job, I don't have time to do that until I retire." 
Or once they are retired, I hear: 
"I am babysitting my grandkids." or "I am raising my grandkids." or "It's my time now."

If they are young I hear:
 "I have a job and kids that have activities, I don't have time." Or "I already do x-y-z as volunteering, I don't have time to do more." or "why aren't the retired people that are still in good health and don't have kids and jobs helping?"

All valid responses. And typically my response is: "I do a lot too. I have a couple of jobs outside and inside the home. I have four kids. I have a life too. I also have been blessed generously and greatly in this life and to whom much is given, much is expected." 
Does my response get people to volunteer? Typically no. 
Ha. Ha. 

But I bring it to you....for your consideration in your own community.
Whether you belong to a church, a group, or fill in the blank. We all belong to this world. We all belong to the same humanity - the same race of human kind. We all have times in our life when we are "in need" of something. Perhaps the one thing you are "in need" of is one that you don't even realize - giving of yourself, giving of your time - unselfishly. 
Although the road of volunteerism seems to be much less traveled, there is not one thing I have experienced in life that is more rewarding than knowing that I did good for others in a selfless donation of my precious, fleeting time. One day....I won't be walking this earth, but I will have left a legacy and a reputation, God willing, of people whose lives I may have touched, that will remember me fondly because of an act of charity, however large or small, that I may have done for them. I can't think of a better legacy to leave.

Until next time....
keep a smile in your heart and one on your face and you just can't go wrong!
Love, hugs and big smiles, 
Vonna xxxx


  1. Thank you for sharing this: I can relate to your kitchen photo because sometimes my house looks like this when I am crafting, gardening, etc. You have motivated me to reach out and answer the needs of others! And if I lived any where close to you I would come and help.

  2. Strong words that needed to be said and much more needed to be heard. The sad thing is that most people hear but simply don't care. This is definitely a *ME* world and like you said even the older retired folks have the same attitude as the younger/able folks. You are a true testament to one who serves and also instilling in your kids the spirit of serving and giving - you will be truly blessed and are truly blessed. I have not had a chance to read thru your blog which I did today and I thoroughly enjoyed it all. The finishes are lovely and creative, so well done. I hope you will continue to be blessed thru the Christmas season. Mel

  3. Vonna, you do so much more than I realized. I don't see how you can possibly fit it all in. You are a blessing to you family, your church, and your community. I believe people like you are truly God's angels. You have such a precious heart, and you will be blessed for your actions many times over.

  4. When our grandkids started arriving and I started watching them full-time, I felt dreadfully guilty at giving up several volunteer positions. Then a wise older woman said to me "your Grandchildren are a ministry too." I took that to heart and have poured myself into their lives (thankfully my own kids are very generous to let me have time with the Grands). I will never forget my years of volunteering and I help with projects when one comes along that fits my skills. But I'm also thankful for the woman that "gave me permission" to put down the super-volunteer bucket and pick up the loving Grammy bucket! haha!
    Enjoy this season of your life, it will bring you wonderful memories when you move to the next season.

  5. Vonna, regarding volunteers, it is true that just a few do most/all of volunteering in communities...I've been volunteering for several organizations since my retirement over 16 years see the same people volunteering...though, I do know many who are retired, but don't want to commit...very frustrating.

  6. Our Church did an angel tree too, After seeing your blog, I think I need to find the person who organized it and thank them! It is indeed a strange time, we had to reserve a seat for Christmas Eve. Only 25% of the normal congregation can be there. Our dear pastors are having more services so all who wish to will be able to attend!

  7. Vonna, I admire all that you so freely give. If I lived near you I would be more than happy to help you out. I've got my own complications that give me plenty of excuses. You've raised a lovely family that helps where you need them. Thanks for sharing and challenging us to step up. Happy 3rd Sunday of Advent.

  8. Vonna, thank you for sharing the picture and your thoughts on volunteering. Thank you for being you and setting an example.

  9. Sadly what you say is so true. Too often people rely on other volunteers and it's usually the same people in any community who give of their time.

  10. I haven't been on my blog in a while and what a nice surprise when I got on today and saw you were posting your usual Christmas posts. I took the time to read through all you have posted and so enjoyed them. I will make sure to come back every day to see if and what you have posted.

  11. It's the same in our church as well. It's so difficult to see the 80-year old women doing all the volunteer work.

  12. Dear Vonna, I knew your instruction video's but your blog is somehow new for me. Glad I did find your blog on this particular day... it made me think... thanx for sharing your thoughts... <3....

  13. It's nice to see some posts from you again! And now after catching up on all that you've done, I think I need a nap :-)

    I wish I knew how it got to be considered "so brave" (totally trivializes the phrase IMHO) to put out photos of our rooms as they really are. I mean, those cleaned up perfectly staged photos are nice, but they show nothing about how well the rooms work. Projects in progress photos are far more interesting. Your works in progress photo is great.