Friday, December 3, 2010


I was doing an errand at work today, and while walking, looked down and realized something.

I was wearing nice clothes, a nice warm coat, and the biggest complaint in my life right now is that i have a blister on my toe that has kept me from running.

I was honestly going to blog tonight about my toe blister.

And then i gained a little perspective.

There are (i would guess) millions of people living in poverty. Some are on the other side of town and using their ovens to heat their house in below freezing temperatures.

Some are in a small village dying of starvation or unclean water.

I recently read Radical, by David Platt. I recommend it for sure. But i don't recommend reading it in one sitting, putting it down, and saying "that was a great book!"
No, i would suggest reading it slowly, putting it down to ingest not what DP is telling you to do, but the Biblical principles and commands that you suddenly realize you've been missing/ignoring for years.

One thing that stuck out to me in the book is what he said about sacrifical giving. It's not giving away clothes that you're never going to wear again anyways. Sacrificial giving is giving when it hurts.
I read this right after i had given away about 3 trash bags of clothes. I was feeling pretty good thinking of all the great clothes and shoes i gave away to people who needed them more than i did.
But it didn't hurt at all.
It didn't cost me anything.

Daniel and I have been praying about what this looks like for us. Since we still have debt, any money we would give away, takes away from paying off the debt. I'm assuming if we were debt free extra money given would be taken away from entertainment or new clothes.

We want to find the balance of being good stewards of what we do have, paying off our debt, yet still looking for opportunities that we can give in a way that still costs us. Not because if it hurts that means it's better. But we are blessed for a reason. and i doubt God has given most of us the income He did so that we could be comfortable.

Think about your current household income......could you live on half of it? could you live on a lot less?

I'm not by nature a very generous person, i have my moments, but it's not always on my radar. Daniel is naturally generous. He recently did something that still shocks me. He gave away something that cost. That hurt.

My point.....

I am a huge fan of World Vision. They have a gift catalog on their website that i'm obsessed with.

$35 provides $385 of life saving medicines.

$18 provides 3 ducks for a family that can use the income from the ducks for medicines and school tuition.

$50 can help children with disabiltiies receive the care they need.

There are SO many other opportunities and ways to give through their site. I love that by giving 'small' amounts your gift is able to multiply to do much more than what seems possible.

I'm not buying Christmas presents for my parents this years.

A, They don't need anything
B. Anything they want we can't afford :)

We're going to be donating a gift in my parents name instead. I could give my parents small gifts that don't have any real value, OR give in a way that will provide shelter for a sexually exploited young girl, or care for an orphan; the possibilities are endless.

I would encourage you to look thru their gift catalog and find a way you can give. They not only have cash donations, but actual items like purses and jewelry made my girls/women who use the income to stay out of prostitution.

If you end of doing this, please leave me a comment or email me. It would make my day! Let me know how you decided to help and what your gift is providing, whether it's a goat for a family or a home for an orphan.



  1. Hey Laura,
    I love this catalog! We have a real paper version catalog of this and Eli LOVES to look at it. Its been such a great tool for teaching him. We told him he could pick which thing he wanted to buy for "Kids that don't have what they need to be healthy and strong" --thats how we explained it to his three year old mind. We've had so many conversations about this magazine and I plan to take whatever he picks (there are pictures of all the things you can help fund like the goats, clean water, meds or whatever) and cut it out to hang in his room as a reminder to pray for the kids who receive whatever we end up buying. The paper version of the catalog has been a great little teaching tool. We do plan to buy several things in honor of people that we love, instead of buying them a Christmas gift. I think it is such a better way to spend our money...because like you, most of the people we know don't NEED anything.

    Sorry this is so long. I'm excited that you are getting the word out about this! :)

  2. This is an excellent idea! I'm going to get this catalog! Like right now!

    We have been trying to figure out these exact same issues. How to actually give while we still have debt. I'm like you, I will give away things I'm not going to use and think I have done something great. When actually I have done nothing great, I'm actually just freeing up some space in the closet. I'm not actually giving up anything. I need to give when I get nothing in return. Thanks for the post!

  3. This is awesome. I will take a look!

  4. Hi. I purchased basic educational materials for a child. Yea!

  5. Great idea! I took a look at the catalog and decided to purchase ducks in my coworkers' names. Thanks for the inspiration.

  6. World Vision is an amazing organization - what a great suggestion!

    We always give my cousins and my grandad gifts from the Samaritan's Purse catalog. (my grandad was a farmer so it has special meaning - he GETS the importance of livestock) It really tickles my grandad that his gift is a flock of chickens or a goat. He'll ponder, "I wonder where my chickens are going?" or say "Well, I wonder what African goat is up to today?" He loves it! And I love seeing him so happy knowing that others are benefiting!

  7. My siblings and I did this for our parents last year...they absolutely loved it! They definitely cried, and so did we! It's such a great idea.