Sunday, November 30, 2008

A dab of foundation and a little lipstick

With the recent holiday, I've been ever mindful of all the many things I have to be thankful for, but this morning found me even more humbled and grateful...not for the big things like you'd expect, but for the very mundane and simple teeny weenie things.

You see, a soon-to-be Eagle Scout in my ward is doing a project for or with or regarding the homeless. He has decided to put together backpacks of various essential or helpful items and donate them to a local homeless shelter for distribution to the homeless men and women in our area.

Ex Knight is nearly $1900 behind on child support and having only one income in the house makes having monies for extras a rare occasion. I'd say that maybe once in a blue moon do I find myself with EXTRA monies. Extra there really even such a thing as this? Is it kind of like extra money what's available after you've tithed, paid all the bills, set some aside for savings, bought your children everything they need, bought groceries, put gas in your car (heck these days you need extra money just to keep that up), and ummmm well yeah I have typed in error. Having one income makes having any additional monies for other totally worthy and notable, but not essential causes, almost impossible.

So back to Eagle Scout's project...he had a specific list of things he'd like included in each backpack. We were asked to donate the backpacks themselves and the items on the list. Monies being as tight as they are, I didn't think this was a project I could help with as much as I wanted to. I mean let's face it, as well as all are or may be intentioned, not everyone can help with everything...

Then what to my wondering eyes did I find (yes I'm starting to look forward to Christmas) but the PERFECT opportunity for me to help! At the bottom of the flyer was a list of some EXTRAS that would be GREAT to include and it was stuff I had lying around anyway.

Long, long ago in another life, I used to be a skin care consultant for a Texas based cosmetics company. I got caught up in the pink haze my former National Area oozed and when I finally navigated through it, I found myself on the other side with a massive amount of stuff I wouldn't use and had no interest in selling. I couldn't just trash it. I mean I paid GOOD money for that stuff dang it! So what if I knew I'd NEVER use it, throwing it away was like throwing away money to me and since we've established there's really no such thing as EXTRA money I'm not about to freely throw it away. Problem was, it was just sitting here taking up space...until this morning.

As my darling daughter and I sorted through hundreds of dollars in product removing the stickers that had my contact information on them, the most awkward feeling came over me. Instead of being grateful for finally being able to unload this junk I found myself contemplating how I'd feel if I was one of the women on the receiving end.

Then I realized how much I truly have to be thankful for.

The extras I had chosen to donate to Eagle Scout's project would likely be viewed as precious treasure in the hands of those less fortunate than myself . Now two weeks ago when I thought I'd give this junk to Eagle Scout, I felt like a kid in a candy store knowing I'd FINALLY be able to get rid of this junk. Today however, while removing the re-order labels I was almost sad thinking about the women who's faces I'd likely never see and wondering how they'd feel to receive my "junk."

I began thinking about how much better I feel when I have my face "made up" and my hair combed and "real" clothes on as opposed to being naked-faced in the comfort of my over-sized flannel pj pants. If you saw my look-good-feel-good stash you'd be amazed or sick I'm not sure which. I've got smell good soaps and lotions and sprays enough to wear a different scent every day of the week for more than one week probably; I've got so many different cosmetics (especially lipstick or gloss) the problem is often "which look do I want to wear today", and, although most of the time I just tie it up in a bun, I've got gorgeous flowing locks that a lot of women would die for
(trust me someone different tells me about it each week at church) and the flexibility to wear them pretty much however I want. The point is...I've got enough STUFF to make a small Army look, feel, and smell beautiful every day for some time. Heck I might even have enough stuff to beautify a small country...I'm kind of a hoarder.

Anyway, as I peeled labels off bottles of cleansing gel and lotion, jars of powder, tubes of foundation and the like I found myself wondering how I'd feel if I didn't even have soap. Let alone smell-good-feel-good stuff. I found myself no longer excited to be ridding myself of this junk, but feeling a measure of gratitude beyond words (and I know a LOT of words) for every little comfort I enjoy. I'm so thankful for a roof over my head keeping me safe from the elements, clean clothes whenever I choose to do laundry, the ability to leave my table after EVERY meal feeling satisfied if not stuffed, hot water, indoor plumbing, toilet paper, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, combs, gel, mousse, shampoo, hair color cuz I'm WAY too young for this gray I got, and the list goes on and on...

I'm especially thankful for foundation and lipstick...I know in my own life a dab of foundation and little lipstick goes a long way...I hope it will do the same for the women on the receiving end of the gift I now feel blessed to be able to give them.

1 comment:

Olivia said...

Girl, lipstick is a blessed, life-altering, life-affirming gift. You gave those women a gift I bet no one else gave them. How fun for you and them.

By the way, I tagged you--see my blog "6 Random Factoids" to see what to do.