Trying to get back in to the swing of a routine after having so much time off and camping 2 weekends in a row is TOUGH! But today I must get back into my routine, AND get my Christmas decorations put out!
For those of you that know me well, you will know that I am obsessed with orphans and adoption right now! I think about sweet little orphan kids and starving kids all over the world, oh, about 8500 times a day. ;) I have a couple of (new) friends that are in the midst of their international adoptions. As most of you know, any sort of adoption can be quite expensive! So raising money for these adoptions is a must! So, my one friend, Anna, and her husband, Tim, are adopting from Ethiopia and they have a blog and are selling the cutest ornaments that Anna makes HERSELF! They are just adorable, so check them out here: ANNA's ORNAMENTS FOR OLIVIA. Here is one of the ornaments Anna made for me, Logan's "L" ornament:
I also have a friend who is adopting a sweet little boy with Down Syndrome from Eastern Europe. She is an advocate of an organization that helps orphans with DS find a forever home called Reece's Rainbow. Through this site, my friend, Tesney, has fallen in love with a sweet little girl named Victoria who is still in need of a forever family. Tesney is helping to raise money for a grant that can be used if/when this little girl is adopted. She has a friend who sells Mary Kay and this lady is going to donate 25% of her sales between Nov. 28 and Dec. 3 to Victoria's adoption grant fund!! So amazing! So if you use Mary Kay and you need some RIGHT NOW, buy from here: MARY KAY FOR VICTORIA!
You can also donate to Victoria's adoption grant fund (minimum of $35) and recieve beautiful Christmas ornament. Tesney has more information about these ornaments here: VICTORIA'S ORNAMENTS. I just donated and ordered mine! ;)
With all these thoughts on orphans and starving kids around the world, it has made me realize just how fortunate my family really is. We want for nothing, we never worry if we are going to have our next meal or when OR IF that meal will come. My kids have a huge play room with more toys than they ever play with and as a matter of (a sad) fact most of those toys they DON'T ever play with. It is definitely time to downsize their toys and give them away to kids who don't have many (or any!) toys to play with. The best part? Logan is totally on board with this idea and that makes my heart smile! :)
My friend Tesney, that I referred to earlier, made a statement on her blog not too long ago saying that her 4 year old is only getting 3 toys for Christmas this year, because "if it's good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for him." I have stolen her saying and have used it quite a few times! Alan and I have agreed that is the theme of our Christmas this year (and basically forever).
I must not say all of this without saying "Thank you!" to all of my friends and family who have to listen to me talk about and obsess about this subject on a daily basis! It has become very close to my heart and has become quite a burden for me! I have come to realize that we are not fortunate and basically RICH (according to 85% of the world's standards) in this country just because we are "privileged" or have some greater ranking of importance in God's eyes. We are given this wealth so that we can share it with the poor and needy and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to all nations! I truly believe that. We are NOT given this wealth so that we can drive the nicest car we can possibly afford or live in the nicest house we can afford or wear the most expensive clothes our monthly income will allow us to buy. We are given it to sacrifice these "things" in our lives so that we can either GO OR SEND people to all parts of the world to tell ALL people about Jesus. I also believe that adoption is very close to God's heart, since we, as His children, are adopted by Him, and that if we can't afford to adopt (or feel like it's not something we are able to do personally) then we should help those that are able to adopt. Adoption is not cheap and to quote my friend Tesney again, It is a ploy of the Devil to try and keep these precious children from having forever homes!
So this is my prayer today, that God will give us a burden and a compassion for the fatherless, the hungry and the needy all over this world: in America and internationally! There are so many other organizations and ways to help like Compassion International, Samaritan's Purse, Show Hope, World Vision, and many many other sites for feeding hungry children or helping orphans find forever homes!
I challenge you, my blog reading friends, to do something "radical" this Christmas........spend less on your kids (or other family members) and more on those who need food, a family or to hear about a heavenly Father who loves them and wants them to know HIM personally! Will you do that?