What Do You Do When You Don't Get The Miracle?

Today it’s been exactly eight years since my dad died. Eight long and extremely short years since I called an ambulance and stayed with him while unbeknownst to me, he left us for heaven. Eight years since I frantically posted this to Twitter on a Friday morning at 6:07AM:

Social media is both a blessing and a curse—am I right? Every year it brings to me these precious memories and photos of my dad, kind words people had to say about him, and every year it brings this back to me too. The miracle I prayed for that went unanswered.

I don't remember it being that early. Was it that early? I do remember posting this as I led my mom out the door in front of me. I remember my aqua blue flannel pajamas covered in snowflakes that I was still wearing. That I didn’t have time to put on a bra. I remember that I already knew he was gone.

But I posted this anyways.

I knew all the way to the hospital. I knew when they led us through the waiting room to a tiny private room in the back. I knew when I read Isaiah 55 to my mom and my aunt and my grandma and myself and then Lamentations 3. When did I grab my Bible? I don’t remember that—I knew that it was the outcome we didn’t want. This was the time we would have to trust and believe—for real—that HIS ways were higher than ours. This was our verse 20 and I knew we’d spend the foreseeable future looking for our BUT to call to mind and find hope. I knew a long time before anyone told us that my dad was gone.

You know those things that you just know? This was absolutely one of them and I’ve always hated that it was.

But I made that post anyways. Figured I should. Because I had said my whole life that I believed that God could do miracles.

I still did.

I still do.

I sometimes wonder what it says about me that I asked people to pray for a miracle that I already knew wouldn’t happen. I’ve wondered if I’m the reason it didn’t happen—like all those people of too little faith in Bible times. I think about all of the crazy stories of people praying desperate impossible prayers and seeing them answered faster than they could have eaten dinner out of a microwave.

I’ve wondered all of those things—choked the questions out between sobs—and here’s what I knew then and what I know now more than ever.

God is a God who can do miracles.A God who does them all the time. He’s a God who hears frantic cries and who sees desperate tweets. He’s a God who shows up in the midst of fears and doubts and who rides in cars with daughters and wives who know they are about to face unimaginable loss. He’s a God who sees in eternity—long before we were on this planet and so far beyond when we won’t be.

God’s number one goal for each and every one of us is to make us like His Son so that we can spend eternity with Him. That’s it. The ultimate miracle.

That’s the answer.

To a different question. A better question.

The question is not whether God does miracles every time we ask. It’s not what to do when he doesn’t respond for us. It’s whether or not we see the miracle and how we will when we’re certain He didn’t show up. Because He does it—the miracle—every time—just very rarely in the manner we expected or hoped for.

So when I close my eyes and timidly let myself walk back into January 7, 2011. The moment I sent that tweet knowing that my story wouldn’t end with one of those crazy microwave miracles, I can sense what I did know.

It wasn’t doubt. I didn’t believe it wouldn’t happen because I didn’t believe it could. I just knew somehow—by the grace of God to see through His eyes in that frantic moment—that He had a different miracle for us. A miracle He wanted to do in us. A miracle that He desperately wanted us to look for and to find because otherwise all we would see was Him abandoning us and hurting us and He couldn’t bear that. In the seven minute drive to the hospital He found me. He gently led me back to Isaiah 55 and Lamentations 3–passages that had carried me through much less painful situations (though I didn’t know that at the time) to October sermons on joy and cupcakes. And He asked me quietly, in the depths of me, if I was still with Him. If I was going to walk away now. Could I find Him here, His grace and kindness, even in this? And much like Peter, I looked into His eyes and said, “Where else would I go?”

And that was my miracle. I was never angry really. I never questioned God for taking my dad. The miracle was His grace to survive it and the person He would shape me into once I did. The miracle was the ministry He could do through me in the future because I walked through that loss. The miracles would come. People I would encounter who needed to hear that story—my story—and the honest heartache and survival—not more miracles they hadn’t seen. The ability to say that I saw God in all of it—very near and responsive—even though my dad didn’t get up off the floor and walk away healed.

For my mom the miracle came later. Slowly. Allowing God to heal her heart and change her heart and soften it. Learning how to live and be her own person and go on without him. God showing her that there was strength in her she never knew she had. The healing and strengthening of our relationship—a long, hard road but a miraculous one nonetheless.

He didn’t give me the miracle I asked for, but He has given me eight years of miracles since, starting the very moment I called on Him—dare I even say before. He knows us and loves us far better than we know and love each other or even ourselves. Might we trust Him with His miracles and gladly accept from His gracious hand whichever ones He sees fit for us.

Eight years is not some magic number. It’s not a decade or half of a decade. Just somewhere in the middle. It feels really long and yet the memories are still so fresh all at the same time. I shed more tears this year and felt the heartache and missing more deeply than years six and seven. Only God in His grace knows what year nine and ten and twenty one will bring. Loss and death and grief are hard and unavoidable parts of our human existence—they aren’t going away—but neither are the miracles. You’ll find them even there. Maybe even more so than anywhere else.

Here We Go Again + GIVEAWAY

Guys—how on earth did this happen!? How are we literally at the edge of 2019!?

I still have vivid memories of the end of 1999, everyone in a panic that the world certainly would fall off its axis at midnight on December 31. We simply could not move forward into 2000–at least without a good flashlight and huge supply of bottled water and canned goods in our basements.

And here we are nearly 20 years later. The time still zooming by and pushing us forward whether we like it or not. And somehow every time we celebrate the end of one year and welcome in a new one, we are surprised that we’ve ended up here again so quickly.

I don’t know about you, but I get pretty reflective right about now. Well, even more so than normally. I’m a journaler and a list maker and a goal setter. So, I find myself looking back over last year’s list and coming down pretty hard on myself for all of the things I didn’t accomplish or stick with. I know I always bite off too much—get carried away and determined that I’ll fix all the things I’ve always wanted to fix in the next 365.25 days, but still I set the bar high each and every December 31.

I don’t know that that’s necessarily a bad thing. I’m still undecided. I suppose I would rather set a high bar and get close than to set a low bar and not go or grow as far as I could have.

I’m gonna keep setting the resolution bar high, can I get an amen!?

I shared with you back in July my resolution strategy for 2018 ("Halfway There and Literally Living On A Prayer"). The link is there so you don’t have to bear through a catch up session. Today I’m going to reflect with you and let you know how it worked, the things I feel I really accomplished (not just checked off a list) and the things that will be put back on my list for 2019.

Last year I spit out everything that I wanted to fix or change or grow in onto a piece of paper and then I categorized them—because in true Rachel fashion, it was a lot of things. Categories for 2018 included: Organic, Intentional, Discipline, Community, Deeper. Each month I added a few things to each category that I wanted to focus on, or I kept things that I felt I hadn’t come far enough with. Here’s my 2018–oh—and if you hang with me, there may or may not be a fun giveaway at the end of this post!

Organic: Here is honestly where I made the most practical and simple and sustainable changes. This is absolutely the category where I feel I accomplished the most—I now use chemical free shampoo and conditioner and toothpaste and deodorant and cleaning products. Anything and everything I bring into my home is ethically made and free from harmful chemicals. I use toothbrushes made from natural and recycled materials and glass storage instead of plastic. I did make a move back to Seattle, which made this a much easier success as my city is notoriously “green” I was really thankful for that and I’ve really found a new rhythm in regards to more organic living.

Intentional: This category covered a lot of ground this year. I focused on drinking more water, a better exercise focus, building community, finding a church and having people in my home—well. “Drink more water,” made it on the list every single month and will absolutely carry over into 2019. This one is a constant struggle for me (why can’t coffee count!?) and something I’m continuously pushing myself to be better at for so many reasons. I did make some amazing friends at work and we celebrated lots of special and everyday things in my beloved little studio. Digging into church was hard and it’s been a long process—I’m still getting there and working through that as we move into 2019, but still trusting God to provide that safe space for me.

Community: This was a little bit more honed in for me. I was moving to a “new” city and I knew very well that community would not come easy. I also knew that I needed to make it a priority to build it or I would wilt beneath the dark and heavy clouds. Church was of course a part of this as well as beginning to create solid friendships. I don’t feel like I accomplished nothing here, but I also realize this one is a process by nature and so I will keep this a focus in 2019 as well.

Discipline: Believe it or not, I also had “drink more water” on this list several times and still couldn’t seem to get serious about it. This category for me was more about exercise and time with Jesus—making my bed is another that showed up and will make the list again this year. To be honest, time with Jesus ebbed and flowed. I had really strong seasons and then plenty of seasons when I allowed work to consume my life and way too much Netflix and Hulu. As for exercising, I’ve finally got myself back to a happy and healthy place and I’m thankful to have come out of the rut I was in last year at this time.

Deeper: This one was all about Jesus and it will probably make my list every single year that I’m gifted on this earth. Because there’s always another level and another layer—we’ve always got further to go!

So—what about 2019–what’s my strategy or my word or whatever? I gotta be straight with you. I’ve had absolutely no time to get quiet and spend time asking God for direction, but in His extreme kindness, He sort of just gave it to me.

This year is going to be the year of M O R E and perhaps a bit less as well.

More saving. More exploring. More drinking water. More time with Jesus. More quiet. More time by the sea. More cooking. More reading. More volunteering. More giving. More taking care of my health. More freedom fighting. And. A whole lot less social media and watching.

I know I know it sounds like a lot. But I’ve determined to read this list at the start of every week—to keep it where I can see it and bite it off in tiny pieces and choices every single day. No specific goals or numbers, just more of these things that I know are life-giving to me.


I grabbed a super helpful and pretty planner for 2019 (even though I already had one) and I couldn’t resist grabbing an extra to share with one of you! It’s got all of the year’s holidays at a quick glance, two calendar views and layouts, plenty of note taking space, goal tracking sheets for each month, a place to note important dates in your year, and it’s adorbs. I want to gift it to one of you so you can better focus your 2019! All you’ve got to do is comment below on this blog post with one of your New Year's Resolutions for 2019! We want to get inspired by all of you because we know you’ve got some great ideas!

Thanks for hanging with us in 2018! 
We can’t wait for more life together in 2019!

Beat the Post Holiday Blues

Well, it’s that time of year again. All of the sparkle and shimmer and hustle and bustle of the holidays are gone—faded away into the long, cold winter (depending where you are I suppose) and it sort of feels like there’s nothing to really look forward to. Besides piles of dirty snow and taking down all of the decorations.

I’ll be honest. I love anticipating things and all of the energy leading up to big days and big moments—I live having something to look forward to. The after holiday lull can really get to me. I’m actually feeling it now pretty hard core even though I don’t fly back to Seattle until Tuesday! I’m already thinking about my overflowing email inbox and my cold, rainy commute and feeling a little blue. Anyone else feel me?

Today we’re sharing some ideas for beating the blues that try to settle in now that all of the Christmas magic is over.

1. Don’t rush to get those decorations down. I know in my house growing up we were always trying to beat the Christmas vacation clock and get the decorations packed up before everyone went back to school. I’m so not about that and I have every intention of letting my tree hang around through January. In fact, I intentionally decorated for “winter” more than Christmas. I know my mom has an extensive snowman collection so that they can hang around through January. I say that an evergreen and some white twinkle lights can help to keep spirits up and warm up your space on long cold winter nights. Maybe put the Santas and the handmade ornaments away, but the white lights and beads and trucks with trees in tow can stay!

2. Save some holiday fun and activity for the week after Christmas. Of course it’s fun to squeeze in all of the cookie decorating and ice skating and gift exchanges in the weeks and days leading up to Christmas, but it’s no big deal to let the holiday fun spill over into the following weeks. It tends to be a little more relaxed and enjoyable also as everyone is past most of the Christmas prep and stress. I always pack some holiday hangouts for this post Christmas week and my family even waits to open some of our presents too!

3. Make some plans with friends or family for post Christmas shopping and lunch or coffee. I always enjoy strolling stores this week for extra cheap wrapping paper and sweaters to tuck away for next year. It’s extra enjoyable because there is no pressure to find the perfect present, just the excitement of scoring an extra great and unexpected deal!

4. Set aside time to get in all of your favorite holiday films that you didn’t have a chance to watch in all the crazy leading up to Christmas. Now you can sit back and enjoy and keep the Christmas spirit alive a little longer without feeling guilty about everything you should be getting done. Enjoy some leftover Christmas cookies and all the snuggly socks you collected and cozy up. My list of still need to watch includes: The Holiday and Home Alone Lost in New York.

5. Make time to sit down and enjoy Christmas presents together. So often we get some really cool stuff from friends and family, and then we rush back to work and school and never really take time to enjoy them. I’ll be spending an afternoon with my mom to set up the Fitbit watches she got us off the Home Shopping Network—wish me luck! Just kidding—sort of—but actually! Put puzzles together, play together with new favorite toys, sit down together over new movies—enjoy the gifts and your people together!

6. Write thank you notes! I know I know you just finished getting out those Christmas cards, but I know this always lifts my spirits. People don’t often think to send thank you notes at Christmas because everyone is giving gifts and so we somehow think that makes it all even. But I promise this will brighten EVERYONE’S spirits. And not just for gifts—thank someone for a lovely holiday party in their home or for making time to spend with you during the busy holiday season or just for the way they supported you this year!

Favor is Costly

“Mary was highly favored and it cost her her life. “

I’ve forever admired Mary the mother of Jesus and her part in the redemption story. I love that she said yes to a really hard ask with such grace. I’ve always hoped that I would follow in her footsteps.

My pastor made this statement the other night at our Christmas Eve service and it really struck me. I’ve always loved the story of Mary and how God chose her and favored her, but I guess I never realized that it actually cost her everything to say yes.

God’s favor is not just for the sake of giving us a good life—though He loves us and does show favor for the sake of His love. He favors us with purpose. Anything we receive from Him should be considered a resource to pour back into His causes and His Kingdom. That’s exactly how Mary saw the favor of God on her. Not only did she sacrifice her reputation and probably many of her friends, she gave her whole life and her whole heart for the Salvation of humanity—literally and metaphorically. She spent her life raising our Savior and then she gave Him away—watched Him die—for our sake.

When we recognize that God has chosen us and placed His favor on us, we should also recognize the responsibility that comes with. 

It’s also miraculous that Mary found God’s favor in what He asked of her. It would have been so easy to feel burdened or punished somehow, but instead she prayed for His perspective and His will and found His favor and His grace in the midst of the chaos.

I think about how often we view the things that God brings to us and asks of us as burdens and punishments, when actually they are His favor upon our lives if only we could see them through His eyes and His heart. If only we could see that He loves us enough to invite us and allow us to be a part of His bigger story and His redeeming purposes. Even when He asks really hard and holy things of us—might we choose to see His love and favor in them and His invitation to partner with Him in redeeming humanity.

Sharing one of my all time favorite songs with you here. It has become my prayer in so many ways and I hope it speaks to your heart today as well.

What We're Actually Singing: The Little Drummer Boy

(My current situation!)

Alright, I’ll be the first to admit that this one is NOT my favorite Christmas song. I’m pretty sure I already disclosed that in last week’s post. But. Once I get over the actual melody and listen to the Pentatonix version, even I can admit that there’s a lot of really beautiful depth and meaning in these super simple lyrics. (Dropping the Pentatonix version here for ya—you’re welcome)

Come they told me
Pa rum pum pum pum
A new born king to see
Pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring
Pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the king
Pa rum pum pum pum,
Rum pum pum pum,
Rum pum pum pum
So to honor him
Pa rum pum pum pum
When we come
Pum pum pum pum
Pa rum pum pum
Pum pum pum pum
Pa rum pum pum
Pum pum pum pum
Pa rum pum pum
Pum pum pum pum pa rum
Little baby
Pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too
Pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring
Pa rum pum pum pum
That's fit to give our king
Pa rum pum pum pum,
Rum pum pum pum,
Rum pum pum pum
Shall I play for you
Pa rum pum pum pum
Pa rum pum pum
Pum pum pum pum
Mary nodded
Pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time
Pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for him
Pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for him
Pa rum pum pum pum,
Rum pum pum pum,
Rum pum pum pum
Then he smiled at me
Pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum
Come they told me
Pa rum pum pum pum
A new born king to see
Pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum
Me and my drum
Me and my drum
Me and my drum
Rum pum pum pum

I suppose it’s all of those pa rum pum pum pums that I could never get past. They’re more than a little distracting and super awkward to sing collectively at Christmas Eve service. But when I finally forced myself to listen to the very few lines in between the rum pum pums, it struck my heart and it was easy to see how it’s landed in the list of beloved Christmas classics.

I went ahead and highlighted the actual lyrics. They’re so few and so simple and yet they say so much about what Christmas is—what the Gospel is.

An invitation to come and see this King that everyone has been talking about and waiting for. The invitation is for everyone—even this little boy. The instruction is to bring the best gifts that they have to honor Him and express their adoration. The little boy is worried because he doesn’t really have anything to give. He is also poor—as he sees the baby is from the way that He’s born. But he brings the one thing that he has, his little drum and his song. And he offers it to the King as his best—his everything. And the baby King smiles while the little boy proudly plays his drum.


The simplicity of this is actually quite striking.

We too are invited into the presence of this King. EVERYONE—little ones and poor ones and wealthy ones and average ones (as we see later with the wise men and the shepherds and even later with the Gentiles.) We are instructed to come from wherever we are and to bring the best gifts that we have to lay down before this King and to honor Him.

So we come. And we realize very quickly that we are unprepared, that we actually have nothing to offer. We understand in the light of who He is that we are empty handed and lacking. But somehow we connect and we stay—because we relate. We see how humbly he came, how willing He was to make Himself like us and to put Himself in our context. We look around desperately for something—anything to offer—and we humbly ask if it’s enough. And always, the King smiles, as we lay before Him whatever we have in our hands and we give our very best to honor Him.

That, my friends, is the story of salvation with a few rum pum pum pums in between. And the story of salvation and the story of Christmas are one in the same! So while I still am hoping that this song doesn’t make the Christmas Eve line up at my church this year, I do have a much deeper and sweeter appreciation for it, and I’ll stop making Alexa skip it when the Amazon Holiday Playlist brings it up.

Merry Mexican Christmas!


Happy Monday Friends!

If you follow along with our Insta stories then you probably know what’s coming, but it was just too much fun not to elaborate on a bit!

Yesterday I hosted some of my friends for a Christmas party of sorts and our friend secret Santa! I adore hosting friends and making my home a space where people feel welcomed and all of the warm and fuzzy vibes. I love when people love to be in my house and when I see them curl up on my couch, pour themselves a cup of coffee, and start taking selfies with my pup—those are sure signs that my casa is their casa and not many things make my heart more full. That hospitality/hostess piece of me comes straight from my mama and years of my parents opening our home to anyone and everyone who wanted a place at our table or on our sofa.

Fast forward 20 years to a teeny tiny apartment on the other side of the country, and not so much has changed. I’m still throwing parties and theming them and making sure everything is just so before people come on over.

I do love a good party theme and finding a way for all of the little details and activities to follow suit. After our Friendsgiving last month, I decided we would keep this one simple and a bit less involved. What simpler party food is there than tacos!? Well maybe pizza, but American tacos are a close second + it’s easy to divi up what everyone brings!

I know I know—you’re like—tacos Rachel? Seriously? For a Christmas party?

Yes!! Listen, I love all of the familiarity and tradition that is Christmas. The things that we look forward to every year, but I’m also a huge advocate of shaking things up and putting a spin on tradition and making new memories. I like using untraditional shades of red and green and all of the silly, quirky wrapping paper that Target and TJ Max lure me in with every year, and I love putting a fun twist on some Christmas classics!

This year I decided on a little south-of-the- border spin. In case you don’t know, I recently lived in MX for two years. It was not my forever home but it certainly made a forever mark on my heart, and it’s so much a part of who I am here and now. I purposely purchased plates and glasses and other dinnerware while living there much to the surprise of my friends and fellow teachers. Usually people come there not knowing how long they’ll stay and they use whatever was left behind. There’s a strong temptation to not really settle or invest or put down roots. I did a lot of that, but there is something really important to me about making myself at home wherever I am and for however long I might be there. I think it’s important to create a sense of home always—a space where you can unwind and relax and breath deeply—a space that you can invite people into and share your heart and your story. To carry those things forward and let them tell parts of your story that you left behind to friends in new spaces. 

So, I spread the sarape down the center of my table and I set out my all-season green, woven placemats, and I laid my eclectic mismatching dishes all around and adorned with little Mexican trinkets and some baby Christmas tree ferns, and I invited people that I love to my table. We shared American tacos and Costco cookies (the super soft extra yummy ones) and we shared a lot of laughter and life. I told stories about my life in Mexico over those beautiful dishes that have survived a lot of shipping and cross country moves, and I let these sweet friends a little deeper into my heart and watched them weave a little more intricately into my story.

What’s my point?

You do you! Christmas traditions are lovely, but Christmas personalized to your story and your family is even lovelier! Don’t just invite people over, invite them into your home and into your story! The easiest way to do that is to let your home tell your story! Have a butter dish you bought at that little market in Italy? Set it out (even if it doesn’t match the decor or for the Christmas color scheme.) Missing that one Christmas you spent in China long ago? Plan a Chinese Christmas and share it with new friends! You follow what I’m saying here, right? Don’t be afraid to change it up and mix it up! What fun are Christmas parties and traditions if you’re just going through the motions? Christmas is meant to bring us closer to the people that we love and to encourage us to open our hearts to the friends we haven’t made yet. Have some fun, get creative, and figure out how you’ll personalize your festivities this year! And the please do share!

Christmas with a Cause Check-In

So. Remember how I was all determined to make this Christmas count? That I wasn’t going to purchase any presents that didn’t somehow benefit someone else—besides the person receiving the gift obviously.

Well. This is the check in. Where I hold myself accountable to all of you, and well, myself.

How did I actually do? I decided to put together a little summary and review of sorts. It was trickier and simpler than I imagined it would be all at the same time.

Trickier How?
The thing is, while there are so many people and brands doing great things and selling great products for a cause, there are very specific things they’re making and selling. Lots of jewelry and accessories, some clothing, coffee, bath and body products, and a few home goods. That means your options for people are fairly limited and you’ve got to be buying gifts at a very generalized level.

For someone who really enjoys choosing the perfect gift and taking into account likes and dislikes and inside jokes and memories, this was a real challenge. I found a lot of really nice products, but it was hard for me to find gifts that would be really thoughtful and meaningful and not like I just bought another tube of lotion or pair of earrings.

I also found it a bit harder to shop this way for kids. Outside of a few stuffed animals and some colored pencils, there weren’t too many options and I don’t know how I would sustain shopping this way for the same kids for multiple years.

I was also surprised by how self conscious this made me. I found myself thinking a lot, I would love to get a gift with this much cause and meaning behind it—even if it wasn’t exactly what I wanted—but what if the people I’m buying for don’t feel the same way? What if they feel like I just bought them whatever I could to serve a cause?

Simpler How?
I was pleasantly surprised to find more options and brands and websites than I expected! It was fun to browse these brands and know that any purchase I made was going to bless two fold. It made stumbling upon the perfect gift for someone that much sweeter.

I found a local event that hosted a lot of these companies in person so I didn’t miss out on the fun that is Christmas shopping! (At least fun for me) I grabbed a coffee and spent a Saturday learning about what so many people are doing to help others with their businesses and products and crossed a lot of things off my list. I did end up with some perfect presents for people that I wasn’t expecting to and actually did find some fun and affordable things for the kiddos in my life :)

It was a lot easier to spend the money because I knew that it was all with a lo of purpose. I enjoyed cutting back in some other areas because I was so excited about my Christmas challenge!

The Breakdown
The Giving Market (Seattle)
Causes Supported + Gifts purchased

Human trafficking recovery through art —mini colored pencil sets for the kids

Helping African women support themselves by using local resources and creating their own businesses—the most wonderful hand creams I’ve ever experienced

Clean water for villages around the world—a bottle of wine for some wine lovers in my life

Syrian refugees here and in Greece—earrings

Education and shelter for homeless kids—coffee

Helping people support themselves by growing their small businesses—yummy goodies

Rescue Her (products support trafficking survivors)-candles and mugs

ABLE (products made by survivors of trafficking)-jewelry

The Tote Project: totes of course

ESPWA (products support restoration efforts and kiddos in Haiti)-: personalized accessories

Okay. So let’s be real. That obviously does not cover all of the gifts I had to buy and some of the things people wanted. Here’s what I did for the things I couldn’t get from these places. I shopped Amazon Smile. I feel like this is something most people don’t know about or easily forget about. All you have to do is go to smile.amazon.com and it works just like your normal Amazon and Prime except that you can choose to donate percentages of your purchases to organizations of your choice! I purchased everything else I needed here and chose to give my donated amount to A21.

I can’t say I did it perfectly, but there was certainly growth. I’m thankful to at least be approaching presents in this way and I’m beginning to find more and more simple ways to make a difference with things I’m already doing. Hoping I can make it count even note next Christmas!

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