I have Inmate Blogger on my mind right now. It is a collection of blogs written by men & women in prison, which I manage. Honestly, I’ve struggled with putting in all those hours helping inmates who couldn’t give me much in return.
I help men & women in prison share their voice with the world. At first, I choked on my own voice when telling people this. It wasn’t something I wanted to brag about. I mean, it’s not exactly the same as a volunteer program for hungry children in Africa. These men have their meals, clothes, and shelter provided. I seriously found myself wondering if I was helping the wrong crowd.
“You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.”
At one point, I read this quote online and I immediately began to feel that I was giving all my time and energy to these men while neglecting my own needs. Some quotes out there seem positive and inspiring, but its all about how you apply them to your life…and not just applying them to your Facebook wall.
That quote above sounded selfish to me as I read it.
I kept managing this blog. I didn’t fully understand why, but I kept at it…sometimes having bursts of energy, and other times rolling my eyes.
When I was younger I helped others while doing group service projects through my church. Mainly just because everyone else did it, and because there would probably be snacks afterwards. I know, pretty ridiculous.
Looking back at those life lessons. I have learned that service towards others does not include receiving material rewards. It’s honestly about human beings helping human beings, no matter their circumstance.
After I changed my outlook on the situation, I started delighting in the inspiring snacks I received within.
Two very different worlds, yet with the same life lessons to experience. Prison is most often depicted in a dark & gloomy way, and rightfully so. Part of the idea of Inmate Blogger is to show a glimpse of how it is on the inside. They are human beings with friends and family, too.
Inmate Blogger is helping to fill my cup in a unique way. It brings me added perspective, understanding, and knowledge of what it’s like to be on the other side of those bars.
This platform has not only helped these incarcerated men & women, it has also unlocked a love inside of me towards serving others.
(Inmate Blogger used to be named Stone City Blog.)
NOTE: My husband and I got a divorce in October of 2019. The above post was written while we were still married.
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