One of my favorite things about Christmas Break is baking and cooking. Oh, the delightful smells that fill my kitchen this time of year! I’ve already made several batches of Christmas Crack and the cookie dough has been rolled with holiday shaped cookies ready to frost.
While I would never label myself a “baker” by any stretch of the imagination, there is a certain awe and wonder in the art of baking. Using simple materials such as flour, butter, water, and eggs, one can chemically engineer an edible masterpiece.
Another one of my favorite activities this time of year is to give. I enjoy giving gifts. Giving time. Giving surprises. Giving love. Even reading stories of other people selflessly giving brings joy to my spirit! This morning I spent a little bit of time perusing the Kiva website, searching for a stranger to bless.
For those unfamiliar with Kiva, it’s a non-profit, micro-finance lending site that helps impoverished individuals around the world open the door to opportunity that could change their lives and help pull them out of poverty. For as little as $25, you can join others in a unique crowd-funding platform where you bless a stranger, then they pay you back a little each month so you can reinvest in someone else when the loan is repaid.
As I was scrolling down the site, a young woman by the name of Joan caught my eye:
Joan is a baker! Like me, she was probably spending her day mixing and blending; but unlike me, she was using her baking skills to survive.
That realization took my breath away.
I am so infinitely blessed. I have all my basic needs meet daily, and then some. This woman is simply trying to get by. I can tell by the photo above that she doesn’t own a kitchen like mine, with its shiny flat-topped stove and microwave. She doesn’t have Pampered Chef spoons with warranties or even a cute apron to wear so the flour doesn’t smear her name-brand clothes.
She is seeking money to buy basic ingredients so she can bake, then sell the baked goods to provide for her family. I’m just baking because it’s fun and relaxing to make something to eat or give away.
So this morning, I chose Joan. I blessed her by donating to her fund and I wait with anticipation to see which other lenders will choose to bless her as well.
Other reasons why I chose Joan:
- She shares the same name as my best friend’s mom, Joan Guidry.
- She lives in the same country as my friend, Jen Dimaguila.
- She has three children like me.
- She wants to give her children a better life.
Did I create world peace? Solve the global poverty issue? No, of course not. I am only one person, doing my little bit to make the world a brighter place. However, for this gal, Joan, my monetary donation to her request may just be the catalyst for prosperity, peace, and joy.
And to think… it all started with me doing a little bit of baking on a rainy, December morning.
Be blessed as you show kindness to others this holiday season!