Sunday, November 21, 2010

My First-World Problems

The other week (or day, I can't keep track of time), Melanie talked about something being a distinctly "first world problem." That phrase made me laugh because she always makes me laugh, but also because yeah, my problems are first world problems.

A few weeks ago, before my parents' visit, the garbage disposal started making an awful noise so I employed my tried-and-true method of fixing it, turning it off and reaching in. But nothing was in there. So I took my dish glove off (this means it was serious if I'm braving the sink without my gloves) and reached in and pulled out what can only be described as a broken plastic ring thing. Like, possibly some kind of part that was keeping the thing from making the bad noise.

So now (big sigh) I have to make sure the drain strainer is in and collect all the uneaten cereal and bits of food and random whatevers that make their way into the sink and tip it into the trash and knock the thing against the side to dislodged all the grossness.

Tremendously inconvenient, right? Not really . . . it's a first-world problem.

Other (ridiculous) inconveniences include deciding where to get take-out from when I don't feel like cooking, planning my workouts around when I have time to shower, who to meet for coffee, and interrupting my husband from his ipod play to get him to vacuum the floor.

We're coming up on the holidays which brings on a whole other set of "problems:" how much stuff can I buy for myself while convincing Craig I'm Christmas shopping? How much do I have to get for my kids before I stop equating gifts with love? Is $98 too much to spend on this (rats, it's sold out!)?

But really. Sometimes I am paralyzed by indecision:

at the grocery store: Does this tomato look better than this one?

simply choices: Which dress should Kate wear to church?

and how to be lazy: Should I play alchemy or take a nap?

Combine my first-world problems with my inability to focus and we come to this: Which charity should we give to at Christmas?

There's Operation Christmas Child with Samaritan's Purse, which in an of itself is a fantastic cause (buying a cow: talk about the gift that keeps on giving).

But then there's Compassion International (and similar organizations of child sponsorship) . . . but do we give locally or globally? Or a little of both? And is the small, small pittance we can give right now really going to help anyone?

Paralyzed by the indecision of first-world problems.

What is your favorite charity? And how do you decide local or global?


  1. Compassion changed our lives by introducing us to Sona Kashyap from India. The correspondence between her and us was so special to us as a family. I go with Compassion right now, however, as you know I've done Op. Christmas Child many times before too. It's fun to get the kids involved and learn something from it.

  2. We've done both Comp.Int'l and OCC in the past. We tend to lean more toward giving to those in our surrounding community or friends & Pastors we know that have a need and it's more of a year round kind of giving as opposed to a Christmas-time thing. But that is how God has led us...He needs people to think Globally too...I love the giving cows, chickens, etc. Such a neat thought and I find make great teacher gifts!

  3. We love the "hands on" feeling of being involved in our church's missionaries' projects - like Faith Children's Village in Zambia. When Aaron was single, he spent a month with the Hunts in Zambia. There's accountability - we know the Gospel is the priority and there's a personal connection as we can remind our children of when we had "so and so missionary" over for dinner and that's the child they're teaching Jesus too, etc.

    Beyond that, I do like Women at Risk, International for its specific focus (and I have trusted friends involved). Plus if I'm going to shop for jewelry, etc. anyways - might as well make it "meaningful" shopping.