1. I spent some time wrapping presents for my family yesterday. Man, talk about an instant mood lifter! The coffee was hot, the music was bumpin, and I got such a kick out of thinking of each person as I wrapped their gifts. I love gift buying/giving.
2. And speaking of gifts, two arrived this week that I’m really excited to give. If you are looking for something special for a little girl, I highly recommend a Cuddle + Kind stuffed animal. Each purchase allows this company to help feed children in need. I bought Beatrice one of these dolls and I was thrilled with it’s overall cuteness and quality. (More Gifts That Give ideas HERE.)
3. If you are looking for a gift for a current or former Ohioan, then be sure to check out Ohio Explored. I ordered from them this year and absolutely love them and their unique gifts!
4. I can’t bring up the topic of gifts without also addressing a group of kids that have something drastically different on their mind this holiday season. Thousands of refugees (over half of them children) are fleeing the city of Aleppo right now, as the government is responsible for waging and inhumane war on the people that relief workers are describing as the worst they’ve ever seen. Men, women, and children are being shot in their homes. Those who flee are starving and freezing. Many aid organizations have abandoned Aleppo due to the dire conditions. Preemptive Love, however, stubbornly refuses to leave the people in their time of need. They are set up just outside the city, waiting with food and sleeping bags for people as they flee. Now that a shaky cease-fire has been brokered, hundreds of thousands of people are entering Preemptive Love’s camp.
For as little as $30, you can provide sleeping bags for two people. I hope you will consider a donation to Preemptive Love. According to my research, 100% of your donation will go towards providing food and/or sleeping bags. 100%. That is unheard of in today’s culture of big-business-nonprofits.
The greatest tragedy of the Aleppo conflict is that people – human beings – just like us, are not being offered the most basic of human rights. In this Christmas season, let’s remember that Christ didn’t just come for those on the fringes, he was one of them.
You can donate to Preemtive Love, HERE.
5. It’s been an unusual time around here, lately. My husband has been working hard at three jobs (that part isn’t unusual). He leaves before I wake up and doesn’t generally come in until I’m in bed. I miss him and that makes me feel sad. On the flip side, I’ve been really enjoying some small, simple moments with the kids. I’ve felt tired and a little weary of the cold weather and dark days, but they are bright spots in my day. My heart has been simultaneously lifted by interactions with some people this week, and discouraged by others.
That seems to be the way of life, though, doesn’t it? You swing one way, and then slightly the other. I’m discovering that the goal, isn’t to so much to come back to the center line, but -instead- to simply move forward. We can get really caught up in trying to fix our “now,” when truthfully, there usually isn’t much to fix. All we can do, is keep moving forward.
We aren’t very good about seeing our story for what it is, while we are in it. If we get too caught up in trying to fix the moment we are in, we risk getting stuck in one chapter. But friends, we have a whole book to explore. A whole book to live. A book of ups and downs. Of life lessons and pleasures.
This weekend, I’m looking forward. To some good things. To some simple things. I hope you’ll join me, in looking ahead.
Happy Friday, sugar plums.