Compassion and Passion

So I figured something out about myself yesterday. I LOVE to take pictures of animals. Maybe because they don't fuss at me when I want "just one more" shot. They don't give me that cheesey grin (most of the time). And they're always camera ready...no outfit changes necessary.

Yesterday while Maggie had her riding lesson, I used the time to take some pictures of her instructor's menagerie of animals. She has five cats, four dogs and two horses. I think there are some rabbits around, too. Of course, who am I to talk?

Anyway, I have a passion for animals, that's apparent.

As for Compassion? With the holidays coming up, I've been thinking a lot about giving, especially to those who aren't as blessed as we are. So the kids and I started tossing around ideas of ways to help out, to share our blessings. We talked about checking with the local churches to see if they had ways to volunteer, or maybe to sponsor a soldier oversees through the holidays. Then one day I was reading Pioneer Woman's blog and she posted about how her kids each sponsor a child through Compassion, and they were actually going to the Dominican Republic to visit two of them. We checked out the website and decided that they'd each choose a child to sponsor.

I let them do their own searches, decide what part of the world they wanted to help, and choose whomever spoke to their heart. Sam selected a boy named Steven from Honduras, who's eight. It turns out, Stevan's birthday is also in September, like Sam's.

Maggie knew she wanted to look for a girl in Peru (llamas, of course) and found Caroline, who's 11, and has a birthday in January, just two weeks after Maggie's.

Sage wanted to sponsor a girl in Asia, so she chose Kedsarin, who is 12 and lives in a center because her parents can't afford to send her to school. Hopefully our sponsorship will help the process of getting her back home. And would you believe Kesdarin's birthday is just a week before Sage's?

I can't help but think that must be God's hand at work. Out of thousands of children that they could have sponsored, they all ended up sharing birth months.

They've already written their first letters to their sponsored kids online. I know it will be a great experience for them to give from their hearts. To help offset the monthly sponsorship cost, I've decided to give up my coffee cart habit.

Confession time...I have a BAD addiction to coffee stands. It's almost a compulsion. Whenever I leave the house, no matter where I'm going, I drive through a coffee stand for a mocha or go to the gas station for a big coffee. Then sometimes on the way home, I'll grab another cup to sip while I read emails. When I add up what I'm spending on this habit, I can easily sponsor three kids a month. Yikes. So it's been a week, and you know what? I don't even miss it! I just bring a cup of coffee from home when I hit the road so I don't need to stop anywhere. And it may sound corny, but if I get a mocha craving, I just think about the faces of Steven, Caroline and Kedsarin and it's easy to say NO to the mocha!

Learn more about sponsoring a child.

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