Thanksgiving Week (in America) is upon us and this, as I have stated a number of times, is my absolute FAVORITE ya'll! I mean - as much as I am all about Autumn, I am even more so all in when it comes to Thanksgiving.
For it represents freedom and community and family and reflecting back... gathering and sharing (and eating, sure!) and there is a grace for forgetting... for forgiving... for letting go and seeing what is more (most?) important... for counting gifts and remembering blessings and my how I just love how that preps us for what is to come as December unfolds and "Christ is born" is celebrated and shouted from rooftops... (or at least children's plays and Christmas caroling!)
This past weekend, my daughter and I opened our home and our hearts once again to Women At Risk, Int'l. We hosted an Open House Trunk Show, selling jewelry and scarves and cards - all handmade by women who have escaped sex or human trafficking, or who were at risk and were brought in to safety and trained and equiped with a skill that will help them to support themselves and their families without the lure of going back to their former horror.
Last year, we raised enough to support 4 women for a month... right around $1200.00 That was our goal this year as well. We came close, and I am keeping the party open another day or two before shipping back all of the merchandise, hoping we can get a few last minute sales to put us at our goal!
So we count on... when this issue which is so close to our hearts, and so completely overwhelming, can make us feel helpless if we let it - we count on... for the gifts of freedom - ours and theirs... for the power of prayer... for awareness and justice arising...
We count on, focusing on what we CAN do, not what we can't. As Noel Brewer Yeatts said in her book "Awake" - we may not be able to change the world... but we can change the world for one person... or one community... one village! We really can, as Ann says, Be the Gift...
When we choose freedom... when we use our gifts and our voices and raise awareness... when we stand alongside these sisters, even if just in the spirit - and we speak Life to them... we choose to Be Love, to Shine On... we are changing their world... and oh how we can't know what the ripple effect will be but when we are doing it with Him - the creator of oceans and sky... we know it will be amazing!
And so we count on...
#1702 - A Weekend away - a yearly getaway with great friends!
#1703 - Laughing over jokes that stem from over a decade in the past... and oh how they never really get old!
#1704 - Grandma Ruth - peacefully passing... knowing she is with Grandpa George and Jesus now and my how just a little bit of me is jealous!
#1706 - Eggnog Latte - the first of the Season... (and all because a friend requested for someone to enjoy one for her since she no longer lives in the States and can't have one of her own! Yes... do you SEE how I suffer for my friends? That one was for you, Fiona!)
#1707 - A Feast... a table set for community and communion with hearty homemade soup and so much warmth and richness both in flavor and in converations!
"I can't imagine life without a table between us!"
(Bread & Wine)
#1708 - Writing a couple of "Five Minute Friday" prompts with friends - live, in real life! They are journalers more than bloggers but oh how they just may have caught the bug!
#1709 - Worship & Prayer with long time friends... hearts and voices harmonizing together!
#1710 - Hobby Lobby... Aaaah yeah!
#1711 - Congregational Worship DURING Baptisms... and Baptisms involving grown (older) men, as well as young children... and LORD how seeing a veteran go under water and come up clean, rejoicing with fists in the air just right undid me!
#1711 - My traveling Companions (as my Honey drives us home!)
#1712 - A cozy home inside, when it's oh so chilly and windy outside!
#1713 - Baking Cookies for my girlie's friends who are all away at college!
#1714 - Balsamic Marinated Pork Loin... in the Crockpot!
#1715 - A small Gathering to watch Christmas at the Farm with Annie and Lizzie!
#1716 - Women At Risk (WAR) International... An Open House Trunk Show...
#1717 - Free Press for our event... raising awareness as well as proceeds - both which will lead to more Freedom!
#1718 - Thanksgiving plans with both sides of the family... keeping it simple and low key, and counting gifts together, around the table...
So that brings us to the Giveaway... in case you missed my weekend post FILLED with links to hook you up to all kinds of Awesome (including some serious tips and ideas for Thanksgiving and Christmas) - I am also giving away a Journal that I made for Counting One Thousand Gifts (and beyond!) I love making these Journals and use them all the time!
Click HERE to get to that post, and at the bottom you can enter to win! (Contest closes on Friday night - 11/29!)
What about you? What sort of gifts of blessings are you thankful for this week? I'd love to hear!
Linking up with Ann Voskamp and the Multitudes on Mondays