|Image source: World Vision|
How are you all doing? Staying healthy, I hope, and getting a lot done? The holidays can be a very emotional time for many of us for various reasons, and I hope you you're taking some time out for you - and to reflect on the blessings you do have this year even if things have been rough.
I was enjoying an amazing harpist Christmas performance the other night with my family and was reflecting on my life 10 years ago.
Ten years ago, pretty much the entire year of 2001 was living hell for me. I lost, for the first time, a grandparent to a terrible battle with cancer. (I'm so thankful to say that while I have lost another one since then, I still have two of my grandparents here. I am very close to all of my grandparents and always have been - another huge blessing!) Moving on in 2001, we had the 9/11 attacks and significant problems and much stress in both my job and my husband's job. Finally, 2001 ended with the loss of our first child two weeks before Christmas while I was in my second trimester.
2001 was pure hell. I was hating life and wanting nothing to do with God because of it.
As I sat there the other night with my incredible husband and our two beautiful daughters listening to an amazing harpist performance, I reflected on my Christmas 10 years ago and how helpless and hopeless I felt, and how many blessings I've received since then.
God is good, and has blessed me beyond measure - even when I have turned away so many times. The last couple of years have been a spiritual struggle for me, but I pray I will always remember to count my blessings. They are actually countless, and I am very thankful!
There are so many who have so little in this world and we have so much to be thankful for, even when things get tough. My toughest day is nothing compared to that of so many others. Please count your blessings this season, and consider giving to those who are less fortunate.
There are so many organizations who help others in this country and around the world, especially at this time of year. Last year I wrote a post about this and the organizations/services we like to give to:
Compassion International (we sponsor a child)
Operation Christmas Child
World Vision (there are few things more fulfilling than purchasing animals for families with nothing to help them with sustainable living - do you have someone on your list who has everything? Consider buying animals in their name!)
Other organizations I am impressed with:
Share Our Strength (ending childhood hunger)
Piece by Piece (providing a unique, sustainable way for underprivileged to help themselves)
There are many, many more organizations helping others this time of year. If the list above doesn't suit you, please consider finding another reputable organization to help this year.
Next week, I plan to have some more holiday goodies for you!