Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bring Meaning Back to Christmas

I love Christmas. It is by far my favorite holiday and every year it makes me more and more sad to see it get lost to consumerism. If you are like me and worry about keeping your Christmas meaningful here are some things you can do about it!

First: watch this quick video and be inspired to make a difference with your Christmas spending habits

Second: make gift giving meaninful. If you see that gift that is just perfect and says, "I really know who you are as a person and that's why I got this for you" then get it. This kind of gift giving shows others you care and know who they are

Third: Stay away from giving gifts that are going to end up in the trash or being returned. This usually happens when you don't know the person well and just buy something because you feel obligated. For these gifts either make a donation to a good charity in their name or go shopping at organization that give the money towards good causes. Here are some of my favorite places to shop meaningfully:

thanks Grace!

If you have any more suggestions I haven't mentioned comment on this post and i'll add them. Have a wonderful holiday!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I Am In Love...

...with a baby, with a continent, with a people. My heart aches to love the orphaned, the abused, the neglected, but loving them is never ever easy. Loving them can tear your heart to pieces and leave you desperate, lost, and hurting. Loving them is the ultimate paradox- the most intense joy and pain I have ever felt.

There is one baby who particularly stole my heart. I can't share her name or details of her story yet, but it has been a bumpy road for me. I feel like all I have done in her 9 months of life (I met her when she was a newborn) is let go of her again and again. I let go when I said goodbye to move on to another orphanage, to go back to America, and everyday as I struggled to live here in the states. And now I have to let go once again as it seems likely she will be returning home to her family soon.

This is a good thing. Her family loves her and with Obukuumi's help will be able to care for her. I am happy. But i'm also selfish and her going home means no more skype dates for me, updates on how she is, or pictures from volunteers. I let go again. My heart breaks again. I go before My Father and demand, "is it always going to be like this? Will me life be just series of loving and loss?"

"Yes, especially if you keep loving them with your frail human love." It was my prayer from the start that I would love these kids with Christ's love, not my own. It seems i've failed. If I was loving them with Christ's love I would be ecstatic that my baby is going home. This is the best situation for her, it is everything I prayer for. I should be praising God, not crying over my loss.

Of Africa... you are so good at making me realize how completely inept I am. I can't do anything. Only through Christ can I accomplish any good in this world. Africa brings me to a place where I cannot function without my savior. It throws situation after situation that leave me clinging to my God.

I am in love with a baby, a continent, with a people, but above all else I am in love with a God WHO SAVES.

"The greatest competitor of devotion to Jesus is service to him." (Oswals Chambers)

My prayer today is that Jesus would be first.