I’ll start with the really great news first.

Caleb put a new fan-thingy in my car all by himself, thus fixing my overheating problem, and so, *hopefully*, my days of breaking down 3 or more times a week are over…for a while.

I got the skunk smell–yes, again–out of my dog’s fur using a tomato-juice /peroxide/vinegar concoction. Sweet.

And that’s about it.

Bad News: I’m stressing about starving African children. If you’ve been keeping up with the news you’d know that there’s a beastly famine over there, and it’s more than a crisis. Yesterday our town’s churches took up donations to feed those people–$15 takes care of a family for a month. Not too shabby, huh? I just hope it makes a dent. God works in really, really, really mysterious ways sometimes. Caleb and I donated a little, and I felt way too good about myself afterwards.

My heart is hurting. Why didn’t we do more? Why don’t we do more? Why doesn’t everyone do more? That part of the world is in such terrible shape–this morning’s MSN Home page blared articles like: “Can’t Buy an Island? Try Renting One!”

I’m sick to my stomach. My car doesn’t run or my cell phone craps out, and I take no time whatsoever to start complaining about my life. I can’t even fathom what it’s like to literally watch your children die before your very eyes because you just can’t feed them. How helpless and scary and gut-wrenching it must be.

But wait! There’s more.

Last night Smokey started acting weirder than usual. After an hour or so of his restlessness and drooling, we Google-diagnosed him with bloat and took him to the Emergency Animal Hospital in the city.

$3,000.00 later, Smokey is recovering from surgery, and is expected to make it home later on this evening, or perhaps early tomorrow. His stomach was indeed twisted, and it could have killed him. Painfully.

I’m glad he’s okay…but I’m dealing with horrible guilty feelings about spending $3000.00 on an animal–when I thought it was kind of a big deal to round up a couple measly bucks to help ease the suffering of actual human beings.

I guess the logic is there–what were we supposed to do? Just let him die a miserable death, when we could have easily fixed the problem? And then just let the kids wake up and see their dead dog, whose stomach exploded in the night?

It was a no-brainer.


How come I’m–we’re–not this way when it comes to giving to a worthy cause like feeding children? How come that’s not a no-brainer? Why are we not moved to tears–and action–over the very thought of any mother anywhere having to choose which of her children is strong enough to be worth saving? How are we not willing to help, when we know full good and well that we can? How do we not stop at nothing to fix this problem?

Is it because we don’t know? Is it because we don’t care? Or both? Or neither? Unless you live under a giant rock that’s underneath a pile of more giant rocks, you know what’s happening. It’s always been happening. It’s just way, way worse this time. We have NO IDEA what true poverty is like. The fact is, even in our current economic situation, us Americans have it way good. If everyone just gave a little, we could save lives. Seriously? Count the change in the cupholder of your car. Scrounge up the money you have floating around in your couch cushions. Give up Starbucks (or in my case, cherry cokes) for a week. These are not sacrifices by any means. And so what if everyone just gave more than a little? Can you imagine?

I know. It’s a huge and ongoing problem. And, you know what they say–most of that money goes to line the pockets of the already-filthy-rich-and-completely-crooked charity-organizers. I’m sure there are organizations like that. But I’m sure that there are some that aren’t. Besides, last time I checked, I’m not physically able to travel to Somalia myself with a thousand-pound suitcase full of food, ready for the distributing.

And anyway–what we supposed to do? Just let these poor people die miserable deaths, knowing there was something we could have done? You might not be able to do a lot, but you could just do something. You might not know where to start, but just start somewhere.

I just spent $3,000.00 on my dog because he over-ate.


I hope you are moved to action, either by compassion or guilt, or both. And if you are, I’m adding in a link and a note from a church friend, who works for Feed the Children and probably knows a little more about all this than I do:


Hey folks, I need your help. Whether you are a pastor, a church member, or just someone looking to help, now’s the time. Please click on this link and read just one of the tragic stories about the famine in the horn of Africa. Then, email me so that I can share with you how you or your church can help. You can help save lives.



About Toni

Mom. Wife. Artist. I take care of the kids and pretend to clean sometimes. I can cook spagetti and I have never been arrested. View all posts by Toni

One response to “$3,000

  • Anne Marie Poulsen

    Oh Toni… There is a term for what your eyes have been opened too. Kaye Warren described is as being “Gloriously Ruined” in her book “Dangerous Surrender”. While it is a Godly place to be, it is a very painful and often lonely place to be because very few “get it”. But praise God each time someone’s eyes are opened to the injustices sin this world both here locally and to the far corners of the Earth.

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