Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Passion of Mary-Margaret

Each year when we get our tax return check, Jesse and I make donations to charity. It's just something that we feel is the right thing to do, and it's a way of tithing for us. This year we decided to do something a little different to involve the kids in it and help them see the value in supporting charities and giving back what God has so generously given to us. I gave the two older kids a homework assignment of sorts: research charities online, pick a cause that meant something to them, and then pick a specific agency to donate a set amount of money to, then came the hard part, they had to explain to us their reasoning behind their selection. After some initial procrastination, they each made their selection. Doogie chose Prevent Cancer for his donation. He wanted to donate to cancer because of my Uncle Howard and the battle he's been facing with his squamous cell cancer. Molly picked the American Kidney Fund because she's had so much trouble with kidney infections, and because Uncle Howard's kidneys were failing. I was very touched by both kids' decisions and that Howard's sickness was going to help others because of their generosity.

I chose Mia's charity, but I allowed her to pick how to give. She gave to Heifer International, and I read all of the different giving options to her (water buffalo, bees, trees, rabbits, sheep, etc), and she ultimately decided to give rabbits, and a gift pack with bees and trees. We had a lot of fun talking about how the gifts would help people in other countries and the difference she would make in someone's life. My personal donation went to Somaly Mam's Foundation. I was so touched by her book Road of Lost Innocence that I wanted to do something to help anyway I could.

I know that Jesse and I end up buying luxuries with our refund that we couldn't afford throughout the rest of the year (like the Wii), but it's so important to show the kids that we have a responsibility to be good stewards to whatever God gives us, and that includes giving back.

The Passion of Mary-Margaret by Lisa Samson is another ground-breaking cliche-shattering novel by an amazing author. Mary-Margaret Fischer has always known what God wanted her to do and eagerly embraced it: to be a nun. Mary-Margaret has an unusual relationship with Jesus that overflows with obedience and love, but when He asks her to marry Jude Keller she wonders just what He has in mind. Mary-Margaret and Jude grew up together and she has seen his life disintegrate. An abused child, he fell into drug use and prostitution, why on earth would God want her to marry Jude instead of becoming the bride of Christ the way she's always dreamed? The story is so much deeper and richer than can be described in just a few short sentences. Whenever I open one of Lisa Samson's books, I am forced to slow down my reading speed because I want to savor every word and phrase. Samson obviously spends a great deal of time crafting each sentence for maximum impact. Mary-Margaret's life is full and rich, and her story is a beautiful one of grace and mercy and allowing God to work through us. She is the epitome of what it looks like when Jesus shines through us to others. Samson breaks all of the rules when it comes to Christian fiction, and God bless her for it!

It's raining today after the six inches of snow on Sunday, and the temperature is supposed to drop considerably tonight. Those three things will make roads very dangerous tomorrow morning; I hope the plows are out early. Molly and I have a lot of running in Green Bay to do after her doctor's appointment.


cumentdunkjavascript:void(0) said...

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