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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Give A Chicken

I have been thinking a lot lately about how lucky and blessed we are to live where we live. I'm not ignorant to the struggles our country has, the fact that many are homeless, hungry, jobless, etc...but personally, everybody I know has SO much compared to the rest of the world. I don't know any sports stars, actors, singers, or people who are just rich and famous because of their family, but I do know a lot of good every day people. People that try to make a difference no matter what their circumstances.

I want to be more like them. So often I say, I NEED this. No, I don't really NEED it. I have a nice house, nice clothes, nice food, nice 'stuff'. I need to get out of the habit of saying, I NEED this or that. I hope people know when I say that, I don't really mean it. My life will go on if I don't get it, it's of little consequence in the big scheme of things. My church teaches that all the temporal stuff doesn't matter when it comes down to it. What matters is charity, service, learning, growing. We give a tithe of 10% of all our income and that goes to help those in need, whatever that need might be. It provides food for the hungry, disaster relief, to help build up the Church and further the work of the Lord. I have always paid tithing without thinking much of it. When I was younger if I got a dollar, I'd give 10 cents. I remember one time I got a $20 bill and I was so excited, then I realized I needed to give $2 away. I thought I was beating the system so I got out my piggy bank and dumped out all my change and gathered $2 in coins (mostly pennies), I stuffed that into an envelope and handed it in on Sunday. The guy I handed it to joked and said he would be walking sideways all day because of all the change in his pocket. But my $20 bill was still in tact. I've always been a saver so I'm sure that went into my piggy bank until a later date anyways.

My point is, I have always had what I NEEDED, and much more. My parents one year didn't have much money around Christmas time (they've told us this story, I don't remember), so they went to the dollar store and bought us several $1 items and I think my mom made us a few gifts. Apparently, we were just as happy with our silly cheap toys than with anything else we could have got. The point is, I don't remember!! Christmas is magical as a kid and still as an adult I love the Christmas Season. More than Christmas morning, I love decorating, listening to music, making treats for people, buying/making gifts for those around me. I am often more excited for everyone to open what I got them than anything else. Don't get me wrong, presents are great, but I think as a society, we over do it. Christmas isn't about gifts, it's not even about music and eggnog. It's about the birth of Jesus, it's a time to celebrate his life.

I know a few people who are struggling this year and probably stressing out about the fact that Christmas will be tight this year, but I hope they remember there are many other ways to celebrate.

My point in this whole post wasn't to talk about all that, I'm not sure why I did but I often don't know why I say/do things.

A blog I frequently read posted about her family this year. They got this catalog in the mail the other day and her kids took it outside and started circling all the things they wanted to give. It's a catalog that let's you make donations to many different needs in anyway one can afford. When her kids were done, she totaled up their amount and she realized that if they donated all the items, her kids wouldn't have a full Christmas. She told them this and they all thought about it for a minute and her 3 boys and 1 daughter came to the conclusion that they would like to get one box of legos to share and the rest of the money could be spent on donations for other children. They were able to add a milk goat to their list as well since they were so unselfish. I think that is amazing. I think/know their Christmas will be just as full if not fuller as it would have otherwise been.

I thought the example that her 4 kids (all under 8 or 9 I think) choosing to forgo their personal WANTS to give another child something they NEED was/is incredible. I wish I could have been more like that as a kid, and I want to be more like that now as an adult.

This year for Christmas, I'll still give my 'regular' gifts but I might throw in a few surprises too. I ordered two catalogs from their site so they should be here soon, if anyone would like to see them, you can order online as well. I don't belong to their church or anything but I think humans helping humans should be everyone's goal. I know even the people I know who are struggling would be more touched with a gift for someone else than for themselves. I think those who have been in tough situations can sympathize much more others' who are in the same boat.

Here's a video about chickens. It costs $14 to provide a family with a dozen chickens (or other poultry) that will provide them with food and income. I could go buy the newest DVD release for $14 or I could provide a family with food for $14. It really puts things into perspective.



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