12.09.2011

thoughts on christmas.personal

i know i'm slacking... real job has gotten in the way! i went to chicago to visit my sister and the baby for thanksgiving. she's so teeny tiny and cute and fat and smiley and dimpley. i can't believe she lives so far away!

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i get to see her in a few weeks though for christmas!

speaking of christmas, since cambodia, i've been thinking a lot about life. about what i have, what i need, needs vs wants, how unbelievably blessed i am and how i took (take) it for granted. i'm still going through a return process from my trip; i didn't realize it would take this long! but maybe it will never stop. instead of dwelling on what we're not doing, i want to do what i can from america including inspire people to broaden their view and maybe go on a trip themselves.

back to the point, wants vs needs. i don't need anything. literally. god is providing for me. so i sponsor some kids through world vision and i follow world vision on facebook and twitter. they send out a gift catalog every year and i've never even looked at it. this year i went through every page and picked out something to give in honor of my friends and family. i gave some soccer balls in honor of my nephew, toys in honor of my nieces, a business loan for one woman for my sister, a year of school for my mom, part of a house for my dad.  see, these are all things that are near to their hearts right now. i hope they like it :) i also was able to specifically send a representative to each of my 3 sponsored kids; the rep will talk to the familiy and figure out their most urgent need and provide it to them. i'll get a photo of each of them with their gift in 4 months. i am so excited about this!

then i saw world vision sent a respresentative on a true spirit of christmas trip to sri lanka and africa to go to real people's homes who have received these gifts and incredible impact it has made on their lives. these were a few particularly touching ones: coconut seeds and chooti the cow. when a grown man tears up because he someone made it possible for him to care for his family; when a mother is in tears because she doesn't have to wonder how she will feed her daughter. that's real heartfelt gratitude. it's more than a "thank you." that's christmas.

then on a side note, they talked about sponsoring kids and i got so emotional watching krishani talk about what her sponsor family in america means to her. your letters really mean something! a letter, a photo, a story from your life! this little girl keeps all her letters and cherises the family stories her sponsor tells her. my heart swells when i think of what good we are capable of and i'm so sad that most people miss it!

so what do i want for christmas? my uncle, one of his random friends, my friend erin, my sisters, my dad, they all donated to fallen sparrow to purchase food for the orphanages i visited in july ($100 buys food for a YEAR for one kid). my friend amanda shared her incredible mission trip stories with me. my sister is traveling down from chicago to visit and bring my niece to me. i got a letter from banha and i have letters from other kids headed my way on saturday.

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these are the best christmas presents i could have ever asked for.

i hope you find the true spirit of christmas and do all you can to celebrate it!

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