Last night I was driving home from work, feeling the weight of the holiday season. That is a sad sentence to type, isn't it? Holidays are about thankfulness and gratitude, about family and celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. But even with the best intentions, for many of us, with the holidays come STRESS. The list of things I am currently stressing over include both small, trivial things like feeling pressured for time to cook the three side dishes I am making for Thanksgiving and having to work Black Friday to bigger things, like worries about medical complications and the bills that go with them.
My schedule has been insane this fall. I picked up a second job nannying on the side and many of days start at 6:30 AM when I leave the house for my day job, and end at about 9:00 PM when I get home from my babysitting job. It leaves me exhausted and cranky, with little time to blog and even less time to read your blogs, friends. But last night, I came home from work, put on my pjs and crawled into my warm bed. I hopped on my computer and for once, sat down to catch up on my blog reading. And then the Lord just broke me and my idols of security, comfort and control. I read Nicole's post about a young couple who is facing a scary cancer diagnosis which is heartbreaking enough in itself, but I read on to learn that they recently lost their home and belongings in a house fire. Nicole is doing a fundraiser to help them get back on their feet after this devastating loss, and I immediately welled up with tears reading this.
I don't know what it is like to lose everything, but my attitude lately has been one of someone that already has. My selfishness, my pride, my need for things has never been so apparent than when minutes after complaining that I don't have enough, I see a family who really has lost almost everything, but still has joy and hope. I am so convicted, sitting in my warm house surrounded by so many material things, that I have never wondered where my next meal was coming from. I've never had to worry where I would sleep at night or if I would have a coat to keep me warm this winter. I've never faced a season of unemployment or lived without my car or faced losing my spouse to a terminal illness. I am truly an American costumer who at times has felt that not being able to buy a new sweater is what it feels like to go without.
Confession: Money feels tight for my husband and I right now. I haven't said that out loud because there is a ugly thing in my heart called pride that doesn't want to admit that, but with our school payment and some unforeseen car and medical expenses that all reared their ugly heads after we came back from our trip, it feels like we've been barely keeping our head above water. But God has absolutely walked this journey with us, hand in hand, and provided us with extra income through this blog, through my babysitting,etc that some months has JUST gotten us by. And even when money is tight, and even when we have to say no to coffee dates or a new outfit, and even when I have to work a second job to make ends meet in this season, I know we have been RICHLY BLESSED. And because of this, I felt absolutely called to donate to this family who needs that $5.00 far more than I do. Reading about Devin and Danielle has been such an eye opener for me, just a day before Thanksgiving. I am so thankful that even in our biggest storms, God is a faithful God who doesn't leave his children alone.
Because of this, I encourage and beg you to stop by Nicole's blog, Bloom, and see if you can donate just $5.00 to help them rebuild all that they've lost. I pray that you can find it in your heart to give up a Starbucks Peppermint Mocha this week to help them experience God's love and the gift of community that joins together to give back. I know this blogging community, and I know how generous and kind hearted each one of you readers are and I ask: Have you been blessed? Can you in turn, bless this couple who is fighting a tough battle?
By donating just $5.00, you are able to enter an amazing giveaway that would probably take care of all your Christmas shopping! There are some incredible gifts from some amazing shops and even a $100 gift card to Target included in the prize pack. Go stop by Nicole's blog and lets rally around Devin and Danielle, praying for a miracle for them and for them to be blessed in a huge way by this fundraiser. I believe God can take our small gifts of $5.00 and MULTIPLY those gifts in a powerful way, if only we can step outside of our own needs and care for others.
PS: I'd like to add that Nicole didn't ask me to post this today, and she doesn't even know I am sharing the giveaway information. I truly believe God intervened in my life, when I was feeling the heavy weight of trivial things, to show me just how blessed I am, even when life seems overwhelming or hard. I believe because we've been richly blessed, my response should be to bless others when and however I can. I'm not always obedient to this but God used this story to touch my heart and call me to action, and I hope it touches yours too.