Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas Conviction

It all started for us last year.
Bryant and I were convicted about the number of gifts and "things" we were buying for each other and those in our families. It isn't easy in our society to stay out of the heavy wake of Christmas gift giving... your family, to your friends, to your neighbors, to your colleagues, to your kid's friends, their teachers...
We were challenged to do something different.
I am going to be frank with you, my love language is gift giving. I love watching a friend open a present that I know will make them smile, or better yet tear up. The better the reaction, the more my heart swells (I am a sucker for buying custom handmade gifts on Etsy). But, is that what it is all about? It certainly isn't what Christmas is all about.
Last year Bryant and I decided to approach gift giving within our immediate family differently. We bought everyone a little something to touch and feel, use, enjoy or wear...and we spent the rest of their gift money on gifts for others in need.
My dad, brother, nephew Tait and Bryant's immediate family all contributed toward buying bikes for doctors in Zambia so they can get to their patients.
My mom and Amy Jo provided training for five midwives in Peru.
My nieces all bought dolls for girls in Afghanistan.
My oldest brother's family donated to March of Dimes.
We had so much fun hand selecting these gifts to/from each person.
We tried to pick things they could directly identify with.
In the past several months Bryant was challenged by some men in our church to read the book "The Hole in Our Gospel," authored by Richard Stearns, CEO of Worldvision (my copy is in my nightstand...I really need to read it) It moved him in ways he could not ignore. We knew we had to do more, and we are praying about what that will ultimately look like.
Fast forward to today.
I follow a few blogs of women I have never met, but who inspire me through their stories and walks with the Lord. I read Meg's blog today, and was so moved by the passion in her post. She lead me to a movement started by six women who met in the blogosphere, and are now working together to change lives...
...To provide WATER...
Project 320 is an amazing cause.
So, not to spoil any surprises...but if you are on our list this year, you might be getting and giving the gift of water...
A well to a village in Africa where mother's would otherwise walk MILES to provide a small amount of clean water for their families...
Lord, please bless those women today.
I challenge you to think about the gifts you are buying this Christmas. Don't get me wrong, I will be buying Bryant that certain "thing" he has been asking about for months, and I have things picked out for most of the people on our list, but in addition to the material gifts, they will also be giving the gifts to those in need.
If you are interested in reading about Project 320, and their cause. Click on the link, or the icon on the right.
Merry Christmas, Friends.

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