Friday, December 12, 2014

The Holiday Ho-Hums


Today I am Charlie Brown. Today I am gloomy.  Today I am Bah-Humbug.  I don't know what my problem is this Christmas season.  I just can't seem to get into the Holiday mood.  I've done all the things.  I've attended Christmas events that usually have me leaving ready to go out and decorate the world.  I've played Christmas music (some playing in my office right now as I type) which usually really gets me in the spirit.  I've gone Christmas shopping and even decorated my little rental house, but still there is no spark.  There's something different this year, I haven't been able to put my finger on it, but it's different.  Last year was a weird Christmas, as we were still trying to survive having an infant and a 2 year old and life was just not normal.  This year though, I have all the reasons to be prancing around proclaiming the name of Jesus, singing Joy to the World and decorating anything that will stand still, yet there's been a silence in my heart.  Today, I think I've got it figured out.  Honestly ya'll I am just heartbroken this year.  The Lord has given me a year full of seeing the heart break in this world.  Not by my own life's happenings but in the world around me.  This year I have had the opportunity to actually complete reading 2 books (this is a big deal in this mommies world).  Both were written by Jen Hatmaker, both books turned my world upside down.  Hatmaker's recently revised book Interrupted shook me to my core.  I read the following information from that book on an airplane flying home from Texas this November:
Facts:
* Of the six billion people on Earth, about 1.2 billion live in 23 cents a day.
* Half of the world lives on less than $2.50 a day
* The wealthiest one billion people average $70 a day
* If you make $35,000 annually, you are in the top 4%
* Someone dies of hunger every 3.6 seconds
*27 million children and adults are trapped in slavery (sex slaves, labor slaves, child soldiers, and child slaves) because of economic crisis. More slaves exist today than EVER before in human history.
* In the last hour: Over 1,625 children were forced to the streets by death or abuse of an adult, over 115 children became prostitutes

This information I read over and over again.  I sobbed sitting in the middle seat in between two people I didn't know (awkward for all i'm sure).  The heart break is real.  So, here is my problem; I am caught between my Jesus complex (i have a strong irrational desire to save everyone of these impoverished, hurting people listed above today this very hour) and the reality of my life here in Kearney, MO.  My poor husband has to deal with a wife that reads this and literally wants to give the contents of our home away immediately, ya'lll bless him just bless him.  So my depressed Eyore like state comes from the knowledge of the poverty and depravity and the state of the world today and feeling hopeless to not be able to do anything.  I have sat in that depressed state all week.  Feeling helpless and unhelpful. 
God gave me this to lift me up today:

Isaiah 58:10

If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.

All I can do is act.  Act on their behalf. Respond to the leading of the Holy Spirit in my life.  I cannot change the world as Gandhi did, or Mother Theresa or even Jen Hatmaker.  I can only do what I am called to do, I cannot dwell on what I cannot change but I can "Be the Change I Wish to See in the World" (Gandhi).  This year you will see me stopping on the side of the road to hand a homeless person socks and a bag of food that will be kept in my car. This year I will give more and buy less. This year I will invest myself in a ministry that is involved with sex trafficking and prostitution rehab.  This year I will pray for the least of these, I will pray for those around me afflicted by addictions of all kinds, I will pray, I will pray hard.  This year I will not just holiday give out of guilt, but I will GIVE out of LOVE all year round.  I will fill my news feed with ways you can help those in poverty and I will shop in ways that benefit the needy worldwide.  

I am so in love with the Lord. This season of my life should be filled with the joy of the celebration of the King. The King who came down to earth to hang out with the spiritually, financially, and emotionally impoverished.  He walked among the least of these and died for us all to save of us from an eternity separated from him.  This Christmas I will sing the songs with joy, I will praise the Savior and I will give to those around me.  After Christmas I will sing the songs with joy, I will praise the Savior and I will give LOVE and of myself ALL YEAR ROUND. 

Let us meet the King with Joy in our hearts knowing that as we pour ourselves out for the afflicted our light with rise so there will be no more darkness!

Don't be a bench warmer or a pew-sitter this year.  Here are ways and places to give of yourself, your resources and shop for those in great need:

Helps get women in India a second chance at life after being sold into prostitution.

Using fashion and design to create and economic opportunity for the vulnerable

Make blessing bags for the homeless, keep them in your card and hand them out every chance you get.

Aggressively fights human sex trafficking through raising awareness, advocating for and rehabbing those who have been saved.  You can buy products here for gifts to help raise funding for this program based here in Kansas City.

Donate your clothes, bedding and toiletries to a local non-profit. Here in KC we have a great program for women and children fleeing domestic violence. They leave with nothing and have nothing. Donating here helps someone who literally has nothing.

You can do so much through Compassion.  Sponsor a child, sponsor and mother & baby, shop to give through Amazon, pray, attend an event, raise awareness through participating in 

Be made aware of what's going on in this world. Above is a link regarding human trafficking awareness day coming January 11th.  Find things around you that stir you up and get involved in making a change.

This is not your normal Christmas post full of Ho Ho Ho and Happy Holidays.  This is a call to celebrate the love of the King ALL YEAR ROUND!  Do it, I DARE You!  Imagine what a change we would see if we started loving and stopped judging.  We are ALL Beautifully, Wonderfully and Fearfully Made in HIS amazing image.  Sending all my love and prayers this Christmas.  May you feel immeasurably blessed!

Much Love,
Chrystan
Here's Jen talking about being Interrupted


Buy Jen Hatmaker's book Interrupted HERE