I Won Today

I won a blog giveaway today.

I won $100 cash to give away to someone else from Nancy Ray Photography. Isn’t that awesome and christmas-y and fun??????

It would be if I wasn’t such a wretched, sinful being.

You see, the original giveaway was for an iPad2 PLUS $100 cash to give away to someone in need. All you had to do to enter was leave a comment saying what you would do with the $100 if you won. Cool, huh?

Note: Honestly I would never pay for an iPad. I have an iPod touch (although the screen is busted) and an iPad just seems like a toy to me… a toy I could never justify paying that much money for. But to win one for free from a blog giveaway? Cool. I’m down. Hubby said that if I won (a long shot at best!) we could sell the iPad and put the money into our adoption fund. So I entered- hey everyone else online was doing it.

I mentioned here that Hubby was doing disaster relief work a couple weeks ago. He was helping to build shelters for families who have been displaced by a major earthquake in Van, Turkey. As he told me about how cold he was (wearing three layers of bottoms and four or more layers of tops… edit: Hubby just told me he was wearing SIX layers on top!), and sent me pictures like this…

…my heart was saddened. These kids don’t have any coats on! (And it had started snowing while Hubby was there! It’s cold y’all!) As a mama, my heart aches when I see children in need around the world. Children going without the things- like coats– that my children (AND ME!) take for granted every single day.

So on the iPad giveaway blog, that’s what popped into my head! I would take the $100, buy as many kid-sized coats as I could, and I would cargo them to one of the men Hubby met while working in Van. It sounded like so much fun as I thought about it… Of course it would be a family affair to take the kids out, bargain for the coats to be cheaper (I love living overseas!), talk to the Bugs about how wealthy we are compared to the rest of the world, and how awesome it is to be able to give to others… yada yada yada.

(I don’t mean yada yada yada like this isn’t important. This is very important.)

The problem is that I have a wicked heart and tonight I glimpsed again just how wicked.

My friend called me to tell me I had won a giveaway on Nancy Ray’s blog. NO WAY! I exclaimed and laughed as I pictured myself checking Facebook on my brand new iPad. Visions of the kids and me cuddled up watching Mickey Mouse episodes together on the shiny iPad screen danced in my head.

She went on to explain that it wasn’t the iPad I had won, but a generous anon had given an extra $100 to be given away and I had been chosen to give that $100 away.


Inside, my mini-me sinner started stomping her feet. No iPad? Her lips pursued into a pouty grimace. No new toy for me?  Her sense of entitlement screamed– only $100 to give away? But what about ME? What do I get?

I am ashamed to tell you about all this. It’s hard to realize (yet again) that I am a sinner, and to be transparent with others is even harder. But I can’t just let you read my comment on Nancy Ray’s blog and think– oh what a great little Christian girl! She’s so happy to buy coats for those poor children and bless them this Christmas! Her first thought is probably simply for others as she spends her life working overseas.

Because that ain’t how it went down y’all. But I’m happy to report that with the help of the Holy Spirit, I was able to recognize my thoughts and attitude as sin, and ask God to forgive me. I was being selfish, petty, self-centered, entitled, jealous, and I was coveting a stupid iPad. And tomorrow morning, we will bundle our three little Bugs up in their coats, we will head over to the local bazaar and I will bargain my heart out to get as many coats as I possibly can with that $100. And we will talk to them about needs and wants and how important it is to care for the poor and the helpless and the widow and the orphan. And I’m pretty sure as we walk home with all our coats in hand to box up and send, I’ll realize what a precious gift this experience has been to me.

So anonymous donor, whoever you are, thank you. Thank you of course, for making it possible for some kids in Van in the snow to have new warm coats.

But thank you from me too. If you hadn’t given that money for the extra giveaway, I would not have had the chance to see my sinfulness in this way, and be forgiven. I maybe would not have seen so clearly this Christmas how selfish and petty my heart (still) is. And I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to step outside of my self, my family, my Christmas, my life for a few minutes and experience the awesome joy of doing something generous for someone else. And I might not have had the chance to have those important conversations with my kids. So from the bottom of my heart, Thank You and Merry Christmas!

(I will hopefully have a chance to blog this week about buying the coats and mailing them off…)

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