Are You Thankful?

What is it about the holidays that inspires us to be more generous than the rest of the year?  I must say that recently I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching and inward reflection.  I consider everything about my life…that I have healthy, happy kids….a great husband…a good paying job…close friends and an immediate family who is close by and always there for us….a roof over my head…food….clothing….etc…. and I can’t help but be thankful.  It makes me more aware of those who are less fortunate and drives me to want to help.

I have put upon myself a personal challenge this holiday season and for months to come: to give as much as possible, as often as possible to those in need.  If I am out shopping and I can afford to give a little extra buying a bagged meal for the poor or drop change in the Salvation Army bucket…then I do.  If I can afford to send $10 a month to the hungry in a third world country…then I will for as long as I can.  If I can afford a donation to the ASPCA, then I give.  When the hurricane claimed lives and property in the Northeast….I gave to their recovery efforts.

We are not by any means wealthy –we are your basic middle class family.  However, if I can go to Starbucks three times a week then I can give to those who don’t have that luxury.  As it says in the bible, Matthew 25:40

 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'”

So, as we move further into the holiday season and you are focused on shopping for yourselves, loved ones and friends….remember those who you do not know and you will never see.  Those who don’t know holidays, as they have never experienced one and might never will.  Be generous when you can and it will be repaid to you in ways you can’t even imagine.

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving friends!

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Man’s Best Friend Indeed

At the place in which I work, I come in contact with people from all over the world.  I wanted to share something that someone told me yesterday.  It is a stark reminder of how different the living conditions in other countries are from our own and also it is a heart warming story of a dog protecting her owners.

The gentleman and his family live in Venezuela.  He was telling me how in Venezuela, the government allows the “bad guys” to carry guns and terrorize the “good guys” (like he and his family) who cannot have anything to protect themselves with.  He said that kidnappings are very common where he comes from and proceeded to tell me what happened when one of the “bad guys” attempted to kidnap his 15 year old daughter.

His ex-wife had come to pick up their daughter and son for the weekend.  They were outside his home and the kids were getting in the car.  The son had forgotten something inside the house and left the car door open as he went back inside. Out of nowhere the father saw a man brandishing a gun run across the driveway and pull his daughter out of the car.  He was holding her at gunpoint when their 10 year old Golden Retriever ran out of the front door and lunged at the gunman.  He must’ve gotten scared because he let go of the girl and ran off.

Why I find this amazing is that Golden’s are not naturally the protective type – you would assume that instead of attacking the bad guy, that they would be more likely to lick them to death.  Not this girl…she sensed that her owners were in danger and saved their lives.  He told me that she had never shown to have an aggressive bone in her body her whole 10 years.  He looked at me and said “yep, I love her”.

Then in the next breath he said “But I went out and got a Rottweiler too…she’s in training…just in case.”