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It’s the Season of Gift-Giving: Think Outside the Christmas Box

Christmas is just around the corner!  It’s that time of year to start buying gifts for loved ones.  I love giving gifts.  However, I really hate it when you don’t have an awesome gift for someone and end up getting them something just to get them something.  That’s pretty silly, right?  I mean, sure it’s the thought that counts.  But, why waste your money if the person will never use your gift?  And don’t you feel especially loved when you know someone really thought about your gift, and personalized it to your taste? 

I’d rather not receive a gift than receive one that I can tell someone just randomly picked up to fulfill the obligation of getting me something.

I challenge you this year to give meaningful gifts; ones that will be used and not wasted.  There are some people that are easy and fun to shop for.  Maybe they give you a specific list, or perhaps the person has similar taste as you (like my sister).  There are others that seem to have everything (like my parents), or are really picky (like my husband). 

So my gift to you- a few ideas for gift giving.

Homemade- if you know someone that shares the passion you do regarding what goes in or on their body, make them something like lotion, bath salts, body scrub, body wash, brownie mix, pancake mix, the list goes on and on.  Check out Crunchy Betty and others’ blogs for ideas.  This link takes you to her kid’s list, but you can easily find other ideas for women and men.

Herbal Bath Sachets from Crunchy Betty.

Herbal Bath Sachets from Crunchy Betty.

Local- if you don’t have the time or energy to make something, look local.  Local food- coffee, brews, bread, tea, chocolate, etc.  Local products- candles, bath and body, etc.  A few examples:chocolate

  • Askinosie Chocolate: a local chocolate factory in Springfield, MO that builds relationships with cocoa farmers and produces the most delicious chocolate ever!  They are very picky throughout the process, and each chocolate bar you buy tells you the name of the farmer and where it came from.
  • Heroes Coffee: Wake Up. Do Good. Repeat. That’s their motto.  These folks are super-duper awesome, recognize people and organizations that ‘do good’, and roast ridiculously good coffee (and they sell tea, equipment, and more). 
  • Mother’s Brewery: Craft beer made with mother’s love.  What more can you ask for?  They brew love… enough said. PS- Winter Grind (and Mr. Pumpkin in the fall) is my favorite.

And if you have that person that wouldn’t appreciate homemade lotion any more than a Walmart brand, or doesn’t relish good food, why not give a gift in their name?

A little girl receiving her health kit from Food for the Hungry.

A little girl receiving her health kit from Food for the Hungry.

  • Kiva gives loans out to people around the world for personal and business costs.  The person then pays you back, and you can give the money to someone else.  My sister got me a gift certificate a while back, and I’ve helped out a few farmers in various countries, and most recently a Palestinian man buy medicinal herbs for his shop!
  • Food for the Hungry has a gift catalog where you can purchase a gift of water, animals, school supplies, pastor training, healthcare, and many other things- to help people around the world.
  • Or be original, and give a goat.  Chivas Goat Milk Skin Care has partnered with The Nomad Foundation to donate a herd of goats to the nomadic Tuareg people of Niger.  When you purchase the gift ($52), a goat will be donated in the recipient’s name to the tribe.  And, the recipient gets a gift box with goat milk bar soap.

So this year, think outside the Christmas box.  Think jars, bottles, and food for the hungry!


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Amazing post from my lovely sister. “Do not worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.”

Hand in Hand

As we impatiently wait for our adoption to move forward, I am filled with questions and doubts.  There are so many orphans, why must we wait?  What kind of medical needs would we be okay with?  Are we with the right agency?  What’s the oldest age we feel would fit into our family?  Is this ever going to actually happen?  What if we’re blessed with another pregnancy, how does that affect things?  How do we know if a calling towards a certain child is a calling from God or just our impatient emotions?  These questions tumble through my mind endlessly, tossing and turning and leaving me with only more questions.

Last week we had a special guest speaker at our church.  Carl Medearis is an expert on Muslim and middle East relations.  A US native, he moved his family (including his 17 and 4 month old daughters) to Lebanon.  For…

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