Making a Difference this Holiday Season….

This picture makes my heart sad… but incredibly humbled. Here I am in my warm cozy home baking hundreds of cookies that people don’t need, buying more and more decorations that are already over the top as it is, fancy Christmas coffee from the store just because I like the cups (never mind the price), Christmas DVD’s, fancy holiday outfits for special fancy pictures (both of which practically cost an arm and a leg), printing for special fancing cards to mail out to everyone and their long lost uncle Tom.  Making my list of things I want to buy for my children is absurd! Do they really need that?? Of course not, but it would make them happy and I ❤ seeing them happy!  I feel like I am doing all the right things and feel in “the Holiday spirit” until I see a picture like this…. my need to follow all these crazy holiday rituals becomes SO insignigicant and absurd. All the things I have convinced my children they need clearly becomes so meaningless and silly compared to the way things are in the world around us.

Okay honestly I am not the extreme type of personality who will take this image and plight and go crazy with it… I am not going to force my kids to spend their Christmastime selling hand made items to donate all their hard earned money to orphans in Africa, I am not going to have an empty tree and tell my kids we spent all our money this year to support a local family’s adoption…but I will do what I can (dont get me wrong IF you do these things that is awesome and I am sure you are creating such wonderful change because of it). I can buy from friends who are selling hand made goodies to support an adoption and give those hand made goodies to my kids or family as a christmas gift because I know they’ll love it and it will mean so much to them knowing their gift also helped out another child. I can buy gifts from friends that have just started their own home buisness and that is their sole source of income and I know it could really help them out.  I can donate $20 here maybe even $50 there and feel good that I just sacrificed a trip to jack in the box after a lazy day and I dont want to cook dinner or sacrifice buying those new boots Ive been dying to have but dont really need.  Those are things I can do.

How about you??

I can not impress more deeply how incredible it is to change someone’s life, especially during the holiday.  Three years ago today I was preparing for surgery. December 10th was the big day where they were going to cut me open and give my healthy kidney to my dying father in law.  The surgery went wonderfully! And he is alive and relatively healthy today!! I did not save his life, he still has Polycystic Kidney Disease and eventually it will attack my healthy kidney in his body, or his body will simply have enough and reject it…but until then I know that my kidney was able to give him more time with his family without having to be plugged up to a machine.  Could you donate your kidney this Christmas?? Sure, but thats extreme and thats not my point….

My point is there is something everyone can do this christmas that can give life to someone.  Donate a couple bucks to a family trying to adopt, or simply trying to travel across country to pick up their beautiful child that has been abandoned and has a special place in their hearts… you can find a family like that here.  This family is on a VERY short deadline and needs to raise money or find plane tickets from NY to LA by this weekend. this sweet little boy is being released from the hospital Monday.  YOU  could make a huge difference with just a few simple phone calls, an email or a monetary donation. (do you know a flight attendant, pilot or travel agent?) They have a small auction online on their facebook page as well.

Also there are children everywhere waiting for homes that aren’t as lucky as the sweet little boy waiting in the hospital.  little boys like Victor, with a face any mother could love.  His sweet little eyes are pleading for someone to love him.  A family I know has been fighting very hard to be able to be the ones to bring him home, but it seems God has other plans for him. They refuse to walk away and have committed to advocate for him, raising money daily for his adoption grant. this is SO amazing because that means some unsuspecting family who God places on the path to bring Victor home will be blessed with a large grant full of hard earned money that is being donated directly towards their adoption fees to give this sweet little boy a forever home.  Want to help him? you can do that Here through the agency’s webpage OR follow the family’s blog at http://www.itmatterstothisone.org.  They also have a Facebook page dedicated to helping this precious child… What a gift that would be to find out SO many people have loved and cared for this child enough to build a a substantial grant for him.  The fees from adoption alone, not including international transportation can bury good families in debt.  Your donation could help prevent this from happening for at least one family. It truly would matter to this one.

I understand that not everyone’s heart skips a beat when they hear of an orphaned child. Sometimes it is purely a coping mechanism and if they were to truly think about the need out there in the world they would be lost in despair.  It would break them…so if you relate to these people or simply want to start smaller, or find something a bit more creative??  Check out the open mic-night happening THIS SUnday night at Generation Church in south Oceanside.  Gen City is a branch of the church that is dedicating to loving and impacting the inner city community of Oceanside; that includes and is not limited to the homeless.  They are asking for blankets, sleeping bags and general necessity items. Check out their Facebook page and their event listing for more details.  You can read some written poetry, sing a song do a trick… anything! Just sign up for a time slot when you get there, enjoy fellowship with some awesome people and help out a community of people that will be a little warmer this holiday season. A simple donation of a few blankets could change one person’s life… I know I have an entire linen cabinet full of blankets I don’t necessarily need all of them.

So my point is simply that you don’t have to drastically alter your life in order to bring change to a life in need.  You don‘t have to dramatically sacrifice everything in order to impact someone’s life.  I encourage you to take a closer look at some of the things you are telling yourself you need and make room for charity.  Clean out your closet and toys (I’m sure you will be getting a new load come Christmas) and donate them… sell them on craigslist and donate the money… there are endless options for how you can look at your life, belongings, routine… and make a few changes that allow for helping someone else.  Having that kind of compassion (I think) makes the Holiday’s so much more enjoyable and you notice things you never noticed before.

I challenge you to make this Christmas different. Change lives.

Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

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