Friday, December 10, 2010

What I Want For Christmas

I was asked by my step mom (who I think is fantastic, by the way) what Derek and I want for Christmas.  Every year, that question is harder and harder to answer.

This year, what I want and what others can give me are very far apart.  And yet, so much of what I want I already have.  And what I need?  Yep - got that too.

Anyway, as I considered that question, I came up with the following answers.

I want a home, a good husband, and something meaningful to do in the world.  I have a home that is nearing completion... we'll have it done before spring.  I have a husband who loves God, who loves me, who works hard, and has done so much to make me proud this year.  Meaningful contribution?  That's there too.  And not in just one way. 

I am blessed.

I want to be able to pay off our debt.  All of it.  I really do not like owing money to anyone - be that a person or institution.  We're not in a position to eliminate our debt right now, but we've whittled away at it this year.  Finances are improving, and I am so thankful. 

I want to pay off the debt our church has (nothing bad, just a mortgage that's already paid years ahead of schedule; but there's still a chunk left). 

I want to pay off the debt a close friend has on the building he runs his business out of.

I want someone to rent the second half of said building.

I want to bless people financially, especially in these times when people are hurting so much in that area.

I guess what I want is lots of money... but not to buy things with.  I want it to give.  Since I don't have that... I will give what I can give - time, prayer, love, support; I can set my hands to work and I can do it cheerfully.

I want to be a mom.  Not going to happen before Christmas, obviously... we'd either have to be significantly pregnant or in the final stages of becoming a foster parent or in the very end stage of adoption.  None of those are true.  Besides that, nobody could give that to me.

But my heart?  My deepest longing, the thing that others can do? 

There are children everywhere who are hoping, praying, longing for love... and there are children everywhere who have given up on it completely.  They don't know what it is, they don't have any in their life.  Nobody has loved them, or it's been so long that they can't remember.  Nobody tells them about God.  They don't know who Jesus is.  They don't know what it feels like to be safe and warm and get a big hug.

I have no official connection, nor do I have any other motivation to promote, Compassion.  For years, I sponsored a little boy named Rico.  I do not know what became of little Rico; he withdrew from his program.  But in the years I sponsored him, I watched him grow so much.  From a shy, under-nourished and fearful child to a strong boy who wrote to me about his dad's job search, his adventures at school, and always included a tracing of his little (but growing!) hand on his letters.  I don't know if he moved or if his family's status changed; I don't know where he is or what he is doing now (he'd be 14).  I only know that he is a part of my heart for the rest of my life.  And I know that Compassion is a well-established ministry with proven results.  They are excellent stewards of the financial support that is channeled through them.  And most importantly, they are using love and the meeting of needs to show Jesus to children everywhere.

The Christmas gift I would truly like to see is this:  for each person who reads my blog and can afford the $38 each month to sponsor a child through Compassion.  That's less than $10 each week.  One trip through the drive through for a couple - if they eat cheap.  Would you consider doing that?  If you cannot - if it is beyond your means or if your financial situation isn't stable - would you consider donating once? 

As I said, I have no connection to Compassion other than the knowledge that what they do is good and the little boy that I sponsored.

That is what I'd really like for Christmas.

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