Inspiring Stories: Kaylee’s Story “Loving the Kids”

This post is written by my daughter. For the prelude to her story, read here.

It’s taken nearly a year to heal my broken heart—to relive the rich memories with a song rather than sorrow lacing my heart.

It’s been nearly 11 months since I left with a group of students from Liberty University to spend the summer in Guatemala.  While there I had the opportunity to learn Spanish, live with a host family, and revel in one of God’s sweetest gifts to me—the chance to work in an orphanage.

Loving the KidsWe did ministry by serving the Guatemalan people in various ways. I saw pain, suffering, and poverty. I saw people who had nothing. I saw teenagers who weighed a mere 40 pounds from lack of food. I saw a woman with Down syndrome living in a trash heap. I saw a boy with epilepsy whose bed was nothing more than the ragged and worn hole of a hammock he shared with his other siblings.

But I also saw joy amidst the sorrow and healing among the brokenness. As I was serving in the orphanage I was honored with the sweet and precious gift of loving these children—the forgotten ones.  These little ones had a cot to sleep on and tortilla and beans for their bellies but didn’t know a father’s love or a mother’s touch. For me, that is where the difference lies.

The street children and sickly kids may not always have a full stomach or a spacious home, but they have parents. They have someone who loves them—who is  willing to go days or weeks without food so that their children might have a bite to eat. Some may argue with me, but I find it hard to discern which is worse— go without food, or not know the love of a mother or father.

The first day at the orphanage, I held a 3 year old in my arms named Andy. Instantly, I knew the warm truth that trickled deep into my soul: he was mine. I believe God draws different people to each other. He drew this precious bundle of laughter and mischief to me. I visited him in the baby house every day. Going on walks, we giggled, tickled, played, laughed and chased each other. All the little things little boys do.

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A week into the trip, I met Antonion or “Tono”—the little boy who would forever change my life. I still can’t think of him without a knot in my throat but I have a joy in my spirit now. One afternoon I sat down to help this little 9 year old boy, who sported the crooked smile behind his tough guy facade, with his homework. The rest is history. He was my shadow for the rest of my time there.  Mejor amigos (Best friends). I fondly referred to him as my “hermanito” and he replied in broken English “You (pointing at me) my seeeee-ster for-eever.

When he said that, how could I ever go home?

I don’t know why God drew me to this certain child. Maybe it was his crooked smile, or the way he would jump into my arms when he saw me. Or how he begged me to just watch him play soccer for hours. Or the way he would take my hand and off we went to play marbles, cards, or just sit and talk. Other children could sit on my lap, but only if he knew where I was. Maybe it was because he reminded me of my own three little brothers who are now too old to sit in my lap. I don’t know, but what I do know is that he needed to be loved and that was something I could do.

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I fell in love with Leydi and her sweet spirit, Alexa and her tough demeanor (once she knew I was there to stay, her brattiness melted away and she let me into her heart), Julio with the twisted leg, Cristian, the constant troublemaker who just needed a smile and hug,  Elias, who wouldn’t sit still at school unless he was sitting on my lap.  The list goes on…

For a time, I honestly thought I would never leave.

I was having the time of my life.  My favorite compliment was when people asked me in Spanish if I was “mixed,” thinking I was half-Latina because of my tanned skin and dark features, but knew I wasn’t because of my blue eyes. I would proudly reply, “My Grandpa’s Italian” and beam because they thought I fit with the culture I was becoming a part of.  I even got use to the rats and bugs. They didn’t bother me so much. I loved the simplicity of life there—the relaxed atmosphere, the friendliness and love of the people, and not having access to modern technology.

I was home.

The week before I had to leave, I hardly slept. I couldn’t believe the time had come. I’ll never forget whispering in releasing and letting goAndy’s ear “Te quiero muchisimo mi niñito” (I love you little one) knowing he wouldn’t understand that the next day I wouldn’t be coming back. Saying good-bye to the other kids was painful, especially when Julio, my treasure with the twisted leg, looked at me and said “Adios preciosa” (Good-bye dear one). As soon as he said that, I kissed him, and walked down the mountain because if I hadn’t I never would have. Tono was the good-bye I was dreading. He buried his head in my stomach, squeezed me tight and we said good-byes.

I came back to the U.S. and cried every single day for the next month. My heart had never been more broken.

Life went on. I went back to school. There were days when I would weep on the floor of my dorm, crying out to God asking, “Why?”…. Why what? I didn’t even understand the questions in the depths of my heart. But God heard them and he allowed me to go back for 2 weeks in January.

The highlight of that trip in January was spending time at the orphanage.  I saw the precious bundles of joy that I had missed every second I was gone. Once again, I kissed, cuddled, tickled, chased, and played hide and seek with my baby Andy. I held Elias while we watched a movie. I held tightly to Julio (the boy with the twisted leg) as we jumped on the trampoline the orphans had gotten for Christmas. I told Leydi and Alexa they were beautiful, I tucked Marcos into bed and kissed his sleeping cheek.

551075_324437974298235_97023136_nI prayed with little Tono to receive Jesus as his Lord and Savior. I took him down to dinner with me the last night and as the music played, he grabbed my hand and put his other skinny arm around my waist and said “Bailamos” (Let’s dance).  The little gentleman whisked me across the floor. When we said good-bye a second time, I cried as he wrapped his little arms around my shoulders, kissed my cheek and said “I’ll love you forever.

He is just ten years old.

I cried as I walked away leaving Elias crying on the steps of the orphanage at the top of the mountain. I cried as I knew I would miss seeing baby Andy grow up. My heart broke even more. I felt like Mary in Luke 2:19 “She treasured and pondered all of these things in her heart.”

These last few months, God has been faithful as he has graciously helped me release the bitterness and anger at Him in my heart for tearing me away from these precious kids. It was only when I acknowledged my bitterness and anger toward the Lord that my heart began to heal. It was only after this happened that when I looked at pictures of the children I could smile and remember instead of cry.

Now I have a joy in my spirit instead of sorrow in my heart.

Matthew 19:14 says, “Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

The little children go to Jesus, not me. They are His and not mine. He loves them more than I do or ever 1342f-img_1464could. Instead of mourning a loss, I celebrate the fact that Jesus knows each one of us and our needs individually. He is taking care of the children; He only used me to help him for a time, but what a blessing it was.

If you are a parent, hold your children close and tell them you love them because there are millions of kids out there who do not have parents—little girls who will never have a daddy to tell them they’re beautiful and little boys who will not know a mother’s loving touch.

If you have the opportunity, I challenge you to go and serve. The very least you can do is pray—pray for God’s children. That is what my prayer has changed to.  Instead of saying “God, let me go back,” I pray “God, today may they know they are LOVED.”

I write this in faith that I am going back. I don’t know when, where, or how but God has told me I am going back. I claim that promise. In the meantime, I pray for the precious ones and trust God knowing that He is loving them and meeting their needs in a greater way than my simple love ever could.

Romans 13:8 “Let no debt remain outstanding except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”

 How are you living that out in your own life today?

If you would like to sponsor one of the orphans at Hope of Life Ministry, please contact them and begin a relationship with one of these children that will change your life and theirs.  Click here for more information.

Silent No More

I can be silent no more.White Flower near Christian Cross

Today’s Easter. For the Christian faith, it’s the most important celebration – more so than Christmas.

It’s not popular to say you’re a Christ-follower.  It wasn’t in the day of Christ and it isn’t now.

Following Christ is different than being religious.

I used to be afraid to say I love Christ.

It wasn’t, and still isn’t, politically correct.

I don’t follow a faith or a person or a church.

I follow a Savior, the Son of God.

He’s changed my life and continues to change me.

He’s pursued me.

He’s led me with gentle grace and love.

His peace is something I wouldn’t trade for the rights I used to demand.

His grace is something I wouldn’t trade for the most gratifying moment of selfishness.

His power is something I can rest in because my way isn’t really the best.

If you disagree with me, that’s okay.

I don’t need to convince you otherwise.

But I’m not afraid to share about the love of my life.

You may be annoyed, but I’m okay with that.

I love Jesus, the Son of Christ, the Messiah.

I love His Father, the Living God, and His Holy Spirit.

No apologies.

I just will be silent no more.

 

The Resurrection:Real Victory for Real Life

A similar article was first published in The Purpose Magazine in March, 2013

The life-giving power of God’s word became real to me at seventeen.  As a young girl with an eating disorder, I felt powerless in attempts at getting out of the cycle of starving myself, binging, and purging.

Until one morning I woke up in disbelief.  “He provided a way out!” I thought.  “God provided a way out, just like His Word said.”

For the first time in three years, I had fallen asleep with food in my stomach. Because of distorted thinking, I truly Real Victory for Real Lifebelieved if I allowed food to remain in my stomach overnight, I would wake up with significant weight gain and be rejected.  Like many teen girls, I despised the image I saw in the mirror.  Rejection was my greatest fear.  Feeling insecure, ugly, and not-quite-good-enough, my adolescent mind rationed that if I was thin, I could at least control one area of rejection.

From my early teens to young adulthood, I battled food, faulty self-talk, a poor sense of worth and acceptance as I lived with destructive physical and emotional behavior.  Food was my enemy, yet I ran to it for comfort.  Daily I purged, while desperately wanting a way out of the never-ending cycle.

During this time my Bible was a refuge for me.  One day, I came across a passage identifying a core struggle of my private world – temptation.  Daily I prayed to overcome the temptation to binge and purge, but each night I crawled into bed with failure.  In my shame, 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV 1984 version) gave hope and a promise:

No temptation has seized you expect what is common to man.  But God is faithful.  He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so you can stand up under it.

In this passage, God became incredibly personal because He recognized my battle with temptation.  When no one else seemed to understand the depths of my internal struggle, God did.  He even promised a way of escape.

One night I fell asleep and the compulsive, addictive cycle momentarily broke and the power of Jesus’ love, and Word was validated in my heart and mind.  God loved me so much He provided a way out from my daily temptation of purging through something as simple as sleep!  God reached down from heaven and made Himself real to me.  He didn’t reject me.  I had hope for change and a new way of life.

FaithOver the years, I’ve journeyed with many people struggling with a range of addictive behaviors. Common among them is the cyclical trap of temptation and failure to overcome it.  Compulsive, addictive activities encompass anything out of balance from what God intends for us.  We run to the imbalanced behavior instead of running to God and His control over our insecurities and pain.  Addictions can encompass food or exercise, shopping or thriftiness, anger or fear, self-righteous pride or deeds of darkness.  The list could go on.  All take root in self-protection instead of the power of resurrection. 

God’s gift of allowing me to overcome one night of temptation through sleep was a miracle to me. He provided a practical way out, just like His word promised.  When I woke up to new mercies that particular morning, and didn’t experience rejection from others, I had hope for healing.  God opened a doorway out of my self-destructive routine.  He provided an alternative to my fear of rejection that created distorted thinking.  God instilled hope that the unhealthy cycle could be broken through His power, not mine.

A new life from addictive behavior didn’t happen overnight for me.  Overcoming it was a long, slow process.  But that glorious morning at seventeen was the day Jesus personally rolled the stone away from my dark and fearful tomb.  He provided a door of freedom for me to walk through.  Since then, I’ve learned stepping out of fear and into His power is a daily choice.  God provides a door of escape every day from various temptations lurking in the shadows. And every time I walk out of the tomb in victory is testimony to His resurrected healing power.

What shadows lurk in your life, calling you into temptation instead of victory?  As we approach the Easter season where we celebrate Christ’s resurrection, the celebration is also in applying Christ’s power to our personal lives.  Easter is not about the past, but the future.  Where have you overcome the “grave” of addictive or destructive behaviors?  We would love to hear your story.

In His love,

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Grace

I’m also posting today at She Stands and Encourage 24/7.

I struggle with it,” he said.

Judgment is what he was struggling with. He is also wrestling with grace.

I’ve wrestled with judgment and grace.

Judging others when they broke the rules I thought I had to live by in order to be accepted.

Wresting with grace because I didn’t really know what it was.

Then, I learned.

I learned boxes are things people put around each other, trying to make ourselves and others fit into so we feel comfortable.1-photo (26)

I learned a box is something people put God into when we don’t understand Him, His grace,  so we will feel comfortable.

I’ve done that.  

I’ve lived in boxes I put around myself because I thought it was what being a Christian looked like.

I’ve lived with God in a box because I listened to others more than I thirsted for Him.

Then, I fell.

I fell into places I thought I’d never be. I wrestled with things I never thought I’d wrestle with.  I saw gray places that were formally black and white for me.

I fell out of the box and things around me looked different.

Only God remained the same.

As He sifted, shook, and sifted some more, I realized I needed to know Him more because everything I knew was no longer the same.

As I ran after Him, He ran towards me.

And we met in grace.

Woman with Arms in the Air

Grace showed me I knew nothing except Him and his undeserved kindness.

Grace showed me I was that person – the exact ones I judged.

Grace showed me there was nothing good in me, yet He still deemed me valuable and lovable.

Grace showed me God’s power in the ugliest of places.

Grace showed me man’s ways are no comparison to the great riches of a forgiving, grace-filled Creator.

Grace showed me being right is no comparison for the peace of God.

Grace showed me I can be the worst sinner. And so can you.

Grace showed me God loves the greatest sinner, me and you.

Grace showed me unwritten rules are damaging, but God’s precepts are perfect.

Grace showed me I am capable of great damage when bitterness and anger take root.

Grace showed me freedom comes from releasing what is God’s to take care of.

Grace showed me what redemption looks like, and it’s better than simply being a good person.

Grace showed me God pursues us when we are walking away from Him.

Grace showed me God meets us where we are and will walk with us where He wants us to be.

Grace showed me God’s character is bigger then what humans think of Him.

Grace showed me I don’t have to know all the answers. 

Grace showed me the greatest riches on earth

or the greatest approval rating of all time

is nothing compared to the riches found

in experiencing God’s grace, love, and mercy.

Since I’ve met grace and have ceased from wrestling, I don’t know many more answers.

But I do know God’s peace that passes all understanding and guards my heart and mind in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:6).

My prayer for you today is that God will show you His grace in the areas you are wrestling and struggling in, that He will give you rest.

May His grace and Word abound in your spirit today, tomorrow, and the next day, until you, too, know nothing else but His grace.

“What then, shall we say to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? But Him who did not spare His own son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Jesus Christ, who dies – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

No, in all things we are more than conquers through Him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height or depth, not anything else  in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:28-39 NIV

“As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13: 34-35

As you’ve received God’s undeserved kindness, share it with others.

May His grace about to you today,

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P.S. Chuck Swindoll at Insight for Living is currently airing a series on “Grace Awakening” {I receive no compensation from mentioning this ministry or resource}.

The Cost

This is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us.  For God is greater than our hearts.  He knows everything.”  I John 3:19-20 (New International Version) 

This morning I’ve wasted time, in a stupor, mentally avoiding the things I need to do this week, a secret MP900443601rebellion against the stress of the life.  In the stillness of time with His Word, I am confronted not by distractions, but by overwhelming conviction and grace.

After reading Hebrews 10:5-10, I’m flooded with conviction, shame, and humility.  The passage speaks of the once and for all Sacrifice Jesus made so I can stand before a holy God.  This morning, the heaviness of what this means for me weighs on me.

I find it easier to accept Jesus’ death for “big sins,” but this morning I am confronted with the fact that the same sacrifice was made for deliberate, daily sins, ones often labeled “little sins.”  Of the lengthy list I could post, all are rooted in selfishness.  Something I’ve been keenly aware of in my own heart recently.

I’ve been reading I John lately.  It states that our heart condemns us before God, that He knows our motives (I John MP9003417123:16-24).  This shines a spotlight on my heart, and selfishness is the star. The heart does condemn. As I John 3:20 says, “God knows everything.”

Ouch.

But I deserve the pain.  I should feel the pain of using Jesus’ sacrifice for conditions such as selfishness. Selfishness in motives, in relationships, in “rights” that I want to justify.  They’re valid if I measured them against earthly standards saying, “There’s nothing wrong with that attitude – you deserve it!” But when I read Hebrews 10, I’m reminded that Jesus sacrificed all so I can have relationship with the Creator.  While He died for expensive sins, He also perished for cheap ones, like selfishness.  My selfishness is not worth someone else’s life.  Yet He paid it, in love.  No questions, no strings attached.

This humbles and convicts me.  Will I continue harboring selfishness at the cost of His life? He died so I may be holy in His sight.  Will I demand the privilege to use that costly payment for the “right” to be selfish?

I have unfinished business I need to attend to with a holy God before I continue with other business of the day.

I’m thankful I can go before the One who modeled unselfishness to the end.  It’s because of His sacrifice I can enter the presence of a loving, righteous God with a selfish, unclean heart.

Silhouettes of Three Crosses

That’s the gospel. No more words can be added. 

“Lord, Jesus, thank you for your costly birth and death.  Help each of us to weigh the heaviness of why you came and died.  May you transform our selfishness.”

Middle Schoolers, Motherhood, and Mountains.

If you have or have had middle schoolers, you’ve experienced the Middle School Moan, the eye rolls, etc.   Every Friday I have the privilege to be a contributing writer at Not Alone Mom.  All parents alike, feel free to read today’s article on those precious middle schoolers here.

Also, congratulations to Lou Anne, the reader who won Amelia Rhodes’s Isn’t it Time for a Coffee Break giveaway.  I’d encourage any of you who need encouragement in friendship to purchase one – you can find out more about the book and where it can be purchased here.

Thinking today about many things.  You can read that here.

One of them includes my daughter, a junior at a large east coast university, who is saying good-bye today to children she has learned to love very deeply in Zacapa, Guatemala, at Hope of Life International.   She spent the summer 1228_417796268295738_1380745067_nthere and returned the last two weeks to translate for medical teams.  She has a  deep love for the children she’s worked with and will be saying good-bye and returning to begin a new semester tomorrow.   God is doing tremendous work in this young lady’s life, and I don’t say that because I’m her mom.   Those of you who are pray-ers – would you pray for her today as she says good-bye, as she returns to school, and leaves part of her heart in the mountains of Guatemala?  Thank you.

Tomorrow I will be sharing a tremendous story of Tanya Glazman, a contributing writer to Circle of Friends, who is sharing her inspiring story of overcoming child abuse and abandonment.  Tune in this weekend for her story.

Readers, I don’t know who all of you are, but I know you bring breathe and life to my day, to my journey beyond the picket fence.  I hope this space does that for you, also.

Have a great day,

Brenda

Fear, Security, And Stereotypes

Recently my daughter and I traveled to an East Coast city to look at an internship site she is considering for next summer.  We’ve never been to this city.  We booked a B&B, made arrangements to meet with a mutual friend, and off we went.

I was marked by the experiences we gathered in that twenty-four hour period.  She’ll be interning at a small local charity that ministers to refugees.  In the ninety minutes we were there, we interacted with individuals and families from MP900227710the Congo, Iraq, Nepal, Thailand, and others who, we were instructed, did not know their true nationalities because they have been in so many refugee camps before arriving in the United States.

Each person was at home in this neighborhood ministry.  The ministry provides their clients assistance with food, clothing, and childcare while learning the English language.  In the face of each person I saw my immigrant grandparents.  In the face of the director and her assistant, and soon my daughter, I saw my social hero, Jane Addams.

When my grandmother came to America in 1930, she did not know anyone but my grandfather, of whom she had been Maria Quaranta Lazzaraseparated since 1924.  He came to the United States by himself, leaving his wife and infant children behind.  Both only knew his brother and wife.   When Maria Lazzara came, she left her family and village behind.  She didn’t know the language.  My father remembers going to citizenship classes with her as a small child.  This summer, her great-granddaughter will be teaching English to immigrant refugees.  Full circle, by God’s creative grace.

While we were also on this trip, we worshiped in an inner-city Latino church, attending both their Christmas program and Sunday morning worship.  Though Baby Girl is fluent in Spanish, I am not.  But I didn’t need to be.  I was moved by the joy, the music, the facial expressions of those around me.  I didn’t need a translator.  These individuals loved Christ with their entire being.  I was blessed.

We walked through different neighborhoods.  According to the news, these streets are dangerous.  But as one person said, “They are just regular people going about their lives, going to their jobs, raising their families.”  Good counsel. MC900434912

That same weekend, a place I’m most familiar with experienced heinous violence.  “Just regular people, going about their lives, doing their jobs, raising their families.”  Now, according to the news, the school environment is considered dangerous.

Baby Girl left for Guatemala this weekend.   She’s returning to a place on a mountain that captured her heart this summer.  This time, she will be entering the jungles to translate for medical teams, near villages where drug wars broke out this summer.  Just regular people, going about their lives, doing their jobs, raising their families. 

I hear a lot about stereotypes, fear, and keeping safe these days. If I submitted myself to stereotypes and fears, I would shrink back from encouraging BG to pursue these experiences.   It’s challenging to step outside comfort zones to engage with people and cultures we’re not familiar with.   It’s scary to step into places where dangerous things happen.

But in 2013, where does danger lurk?   What is security these days, where does it lie?

MP900403070For me, danger does not reside with people holding weapons, and neither does security.  Security comes when we get to know one another, when we look into each other’s eyes, seeking to understand each other.  Fear builds when we add another “group” to be afraid of.   In our reach for more security, I’m afraid we’re reaching for more fear.

Mom, anywhere I go, it’ll be dangerous.  I feel safe” she says.

A challenging statement.  Everyday I drive my car, not knowing with whom I’m interacting with on the roads.   It’s potentially dangerous, yet I feel safe.

  A paradox.

Yet, it’s not.  I know in whom my security lies.  It’s my Heavenly Father of whom gives peace in the midst of pain, trouble, and danger. In Him lies my hope, my rest, and trust.

“Perfect love casts out all fear.”   1 John 4:18

I don’t fear death.  But I don’t want to fear life.

  In between, the challenge is finding and receiving peace.

Why I Love (H-A-T-E) the Holidays

I have a love-hate relationship with the holidays.  It’s the expectations and the hoopla.  I shy away from events full of expectations and hoopla because there’s so much time and energy put into it, and in a moment, it’s over.  Election Day?  It’s over and we go on with our lives.  Black Friday is almost as big as the holiday itself.  Is it just me, or do things seem crazy?

Other than twinkly lights, vacation from school, kids all home, and Bing Crosby, the holidays give me angst.  Gift-giving is my least favorite love language, and cooking is my least favorite domestic task. These things cause stress for me at holiday time.

Decorating and quality time?  I’m all about that.  But my kids aren’t too hip on sitting in the midst of sparkly lights and sharing the depth of their hearts while singing Christmas carols Bing style on Christmas morning.

And My husband told me not doing Christmas a few years ago was not an option.  Scrooge.

The holidays are the best and the worst rolled into one.  It’s some of the best human behavior on display, acknowledging intrinsic value of others and life.  People helping people, etc.  Memories being made, traditions bringing joy. For a few minutes, there’s peace.

Then there’s the reality check.  After the hoopla, life still goes on.  Cancer is still cancer, emptiness is still emptiness, and broken relationships are still broken.  Baby Jesus is still the Savior and still will be accepted or rejected.

This morning, as I stand on the brink of the holiday season, I look around and my children Imagehave everything.  More shirts, video games, or electronics will not make them happier than they are today. I hate having to come up with things to buy them just to put something under the tree.  Really, I hate this part of the holidays.

My oldest spent Christmas Day in a Mexican orphanage five years ago.  It impacted her deeply.  She spent the summer in an orphanage in Guatemala and on December 29, she’ll be returning.  Only this time, she’ll be going to the jungle to translate for medical teams assisting babies dying of malnutrition.  She asked if we could buy shoes to take along to two little boys in the orphanage.

You bet. I like the way this girl thinks.

I hate the slogan “Jesus is the reason for the season,” because He’s the reason for every day, for every living breath.  He’s the reason a mother can watch her child fight for their life when cancer overtakes their body.  He’s the reason a father can cook dinner for his children when their mother has chosen meth over their family.   He’s the reason a person can change their behavior because it causes havoc for those around them.

No matter how we dress it up, life is a choice with or without Christ every day.

More than people need Pinterest for the next recipe, they need the power, the truth, and compassion of Jesus who is not just a baby, but a King.

I’m challenged at how to give Christ as a gift this holiday season.   When I die, boxes of trinkets and Christmas ornaments won’t mean a thing those left behind.  So how can I make Christmas a daily experience of joy, giving the gift of Christ to others every day of the week?

I’ll be thinking about this as I listen to Bing inspire me to hang up the winter decorations this weekend.  But I want to hear your ideas, too.  How do you give the gift of Christ beyond Christmas, on the other 364 days of the year?