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How many catalogs do you get around this time of year?  Enough to build a small fort?  Yeah, me too.  Funny thing is, in all those catalogs, I cannot seem to find what I am looking for.

I am a seeker.  I am looking for what it means to live a life that matches my words.  I want practical actions that follow my faith as a Christian, as one who has been transformed by a Love that can’t help but to be shared with others.  I want my life to honor and reflect the heart of my Lord.  In the big and small things of everyday faith-lived-out.

I am on a journey, feeble and clumsy it may be, but an honest quest it is.  A quest to be a faithful steward, an informed activist, a global citizen, and a mother who is raising children with a deep sense of what it means to be a compassionately authentic disciple of Christ.

As I spent time with God this morning, this is what stirred in my heart and what I scribbled into my journal:

“God, I want to life my life on purpose, to lead a life that matters.  I want my days, my dollars, my decisions to count for more than just me.  I want to care about the things of Your heart, to be in touch with heaven’s agenda.

What does that look like today, this year, this Christmas season?  I recently read on a charity website, “your purchases have power”, and I know that You said, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

I want my life, my time and my money to move in the direction of love, sacrifice, and humility.  I want to be a good steward of all You’ve so generously given to me.  It is all Yours, after all.  I want to be a person who loves others in all I do.  Help me to live a life that honors You, a life that blesses Your heart, a life that draws others into Your grace, Your love, and Your goodness.”

In the midst of all the catalogs that don’t offer what I am looking for, there was a catalog that worth keeping, a catalog worthy of my investment.   This World Vision catalog offers gifts that won’t add to our “stuff problem” but instead will help eliminate our hunger problem, our disease problem, our poverty problem.  This sort of meaningful gift-giving offers the chance to let my actions back up my words, to let my dollars move towards justice, compassion and mercy.  The opportunities found on the pages of this catalog stir my heart to live for more, to give for more…for more abundance in my life, more abundance for others.

A few of my favorite ideas in the World Vision Gift Catalog are:
– Mosquito bed nets for a family to protect them from malaria
– Hope, counseling, protection for sexually exploited children
– Jobs and training for girls and women
– Sewing machines
– Farm animals that will provide sustainable income and food
– AIDS education
…just to name a few.

Some of my friends and family will be receiving these for Christmas, and I hope that you will consider giving these gifts as well.  Gifts that matter, gifts that bring true life, hope, and healing.

Will you too learn with me?  This way of compassion, action and love…The ways of the King who came in humility offering our weary world the thrill of Hope?  Truly, He is JOY TO THE WORLD.