I struggle with good deeds and the platform I’ve been given to share. How much of what I do is for me? For my mom? For God? For the community? Am I sharing in an effort to inspire or in a subconscious effort to display the good I am doing? How far do I take my stories and how in depth do I go? Are the stories created out of a love to share, or out of the opportunity to share my love publicly? I will be honest in saying that these are all things I think about deeply before posting my day-to-day life on Facebook, Twitter, or this blog. At times good deeds come naturally and without thought. I know these deeds are from a good place rooting in my Faith. Sometimes I catch myself pursuing selfish goals and I find myself asking: How do I fulfill my goals without being self-centered in the origin?
Is a good deed considered a good deed if we broadcast it publicly to be displayed? How can the mission of MS Run the US be marketed without some of my achievements attached? The truth is that I know to some degree the things that I do will always be a platform for others to visit and work from. I have to be and always will be the non-profits loudest spokesperson. But why do I do what I do is a more sound question.
I distinctly remember a few years ago after I graduated college the realization that “we” (the Western culture) have some much more then we actually need, yet it seemed that complaints were easy to come by. That’s when I first knew that my Mom’s attitude towards her life and struggles with MS were different then the way that most people chose their thoughts. More! is a mentality we are born and raised with in the U.S. and if the reality of what we are given is less than expected then it’s easy for pride to leave us feeling disappointed and cheated.
Two years ago I was asked to speak about my MS Run the US, Inc. journey at the MS Society 50-mile Challenge Walk in Door County, WI. After a well-prepared and delivered speech I sat down next to my mom. Among congratulations and smiles from those in attendance she tugged on my arm and whispered, “Ashley, you have to tell them.” “Tell them what?,” I said in reply. “Tell them why I am the way I am. Tell them about God and His love.” she insisted.
“Mom, not now. Later.” is all I said.
I never intended to tell that story. Not then and not later as I told my mom I would. Her Faith is strong enough to move mountains. Her conviction that God has held her life in His hands all along shadows my meager Faith. I wasn’t sure how Faith and God fit into the non-profit. Was it PC to broadcast my families beliefs when the mission of the non-profit is to raise funds for MS research? Would that inevitably turn people away if their beliefs were different?
Over the years as the non-profit has grown, so has my Faith and confidence in my beliefs, as well as what I’ve started with MS Run the US, Inc. Isn’t one of the benefits of starting your own organization the opportunity to share what is important to you?
The inspiration to MS Run the US, Inc. is my mom. She and my dad lived 28 hard but happy years before anything came of her struggles with MS. In those years I can guarantee that she never thought, “If I act happy and live my life to the fullest then maybe one of my four children will make an example of me, and my positive attitude will be inspiring and glorifying”. She acted the way she did, and still does, because she loves and trusts God and has believed all along that no matter how big or small, He has always had a plan for her life.
Am I going to start preaching my Faith on a daily basis through this blog and the non-profit? I would say that that’s unlikely. But over the past two years specifically, God’s whisper in my life has turned into conversation that is quickly turning into a daily, hourly, minute-by-minute partnership. I cannot ignore His clear presence in all that I do and, it’s probable, that others cannot ignore it too.
- by ashleyk
- posted at 9:33 AM
- October 30, 2012