These faces 😍. They have become part of one of the most meaningful Christmas gifts and traditions that I’ve discovered : the opportunity to give to Compassion and support these faces and the stories behind them.
It’s that time of year again, where the world comes alive with giving and partying and some kind of magic. As Christmas marches closer with each beat of big band sentimental holiday tunes, this story of how I came to be involved with this organization and support their cause always is close to my thoughts.
If you are like me, and struggle with all the options, searching for gifts that mean more, for ways to build something that lasts long past the cinnamon roll scent and piles of glittering wrapping paper – maybe this can bring perspective for you and me both.
12. 18. 2010 (where it all began)
Something prompted me to pick up the catalog that was lying around. I started glancing through it, and started to consider maybe doing something out of it. The pictures in there moved me indescribably. The sweet faces of the children haunted me. They had joy in the midst of brokenness; pain and vulnerability combined with innocence.
How perfect that it’s been six years now since I first happened upon that magazine.
An overwhelmed self, one that collapsed onto a princess canopy cloud of bed and dissolved into a puddle of tears upon discovering those faces.
An ordinary girl who’s grown up in a world of fairytales, where wishes come true, where her life is painted in rich, beautiful shades. A girl who settled into this comfortable place and lived in the glamor of it.
One who did not fully recognize or appreciate the stories of others, the reality of a world where this was not the case for other hearts. It felt so distant, a storyline so dettached from personal experience.
But this offered a way to visualize their lives, to no longer be unaware, and to get involved. Wow, what a breathtaking realization it was that I could play some small part in these stories.
Thus, a Christmas tradition of picking out gifts that resonated both personally and in honor of people I love. I can truly think of no greater way to celebrate love. This is the heart of Advent, of the season, of our core mission: loving people + loving God.
Last year it happened again. My head and heart were beyond exhausted. Trying to find the perfect, thoughtful gift for others was a struggle. On top of that, I was wrestling with the dynamics between giving “extravagantly” to reflect the generous gift of Christ or giving simply, choosing to focus on the core of the holiday.
The solution was uncovered by yet again coming across those precious gems and their stories. To open up the Compassion Catalog and realize that this world is so much bigger than what I see right in front of me, with the long lines, buildings dripping with twinkling lights, pinterest boards filled with perfectly designed gifts. I am rich in resources and have been given the opportunity to help others grow from those same things that have helped me achieve my dreams. This is priceless.
Still I often feel overwhelmed and wonder if it really makes a difference. My simple giving tradition never seems enough. However, I stumbled across this quote and it hit me: making a difference happens one person, one act of love at a time.
“And I’ve noticed something about people who make a difference in the world: They hold the unshakeable conviction that individuals are extremely important, that every life matters. They get excited over one smile. They are willing to feed one stomach, educate one mind, and treat one wound… the small changes add up.”
~ Kisses From Katie
Here’s to changing the world one smile at a time //
This Christmas season, treasure the traditions. And in the meantime, don’t lose sight of the purpose behind the whole event, the significance behind every action.
Here’s to changing the world with love now + year round friends,