Eve Annunziato

I’M MORTIFIED December 15, 2008

I’m so incredibly mortified.  Yesterday, I received a letter from Soles4Souls thanking me for a donation I made weeks ago.  I looked at the receipt and next to the amount received; it stated a whopping $5.00. Quite frankly, I’m convicted and thoroughly embarrassed to realize that I only purchased one pair of shoes in my effort to “Change the World one Pair at a Time” for people in desperate need. Seriously? I mean, what the heck was I thinking  – or what was I not thinking?!

Let me explain, since that quick on-line gift, I’ve been Christmas shopping – purchasing a ton of presents for all of my family.  In fact, I refuse to even admit how much cash I’ve spent this year buying stuff. Honestly, the amount is obscene and an outright outrage.  Just to give you an idea, I purchased each of my kids three new pairs of shoes to go under the tree. I’m saddened when I really think of what I’ve done, in spite of the fact that I said I would NEVER conform to commercialism or searching for the “must have” toys.  Sure, each year my children have to choose three Christmas gifts to donate to charity.  Sure, years ago they reluctantly gave from their own toy stash, sometimes while holding back tears.  Now, much to my delight, they look forward, appreciate and enjoy the “giving” process. Sure, we throw Jesus a big birthday bash each Christmas morning and we read the Christmas Bible story.  Sure, they know Santa is just a fun, jolly character yet the focus is the birth of Christ – all in my effort to teach them the true reason for the season.  But, let’s face it, often times a ton of presents trump meaningful tradition.

I asked myself, “Why did I spend so much money on my precious children?”  My answer, “Because I love them with all of my being and want to bring them joy, happiness, security and give them ALL the desires of their heart.”  Oh brother, WHAT a load of crap!  A sense of entitlement is overrated and unhealthy!  Since when did material items equal LOVE?  Since when did showing my deepest gratitude for my two greatest blessings mean buying them everything they wish for and more?  Ahhhhh – NEVER!  I have news for you guys; God loves each and every one of us with all of His might – REGARDLESS.  He loves every single child born into the Free World or born in the muddy shacks of the 3rd World.  God knows every hair on every head and every tear we each shed apart from our socioeconomic destiny.   He cares about every child unequivocally  – those born into privilege, and those starving to death.  Therefore, American privilege doesn’t equal God’s unconditional love nor His promise for eternal perfection.

I challenge all of my readers to donate here today.  Join me as I head back on-line to help provide shoes for people, not so they have the perfect color and style to match their new dress in an effort to make the perfect fashion statement, rather to provide shoes to fit on their BARE FEET! Thank you Anne Jackson and the other Soles4Souls innovators for helping to keep our SOLES sturdily grounded and our SOULS truly deeply joy-filled.

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SHUT-UP AND LISTEN December 8, 2008

Often times as a leader you need to know when to shut-up and listen – and boy, do I love to hear myself talk. But unbeknownst to most, and surprisingly to many, I love to listen even more. Well, let me rephrase, I adhere to wise, bright, sharp people with whom I respect. As for everyone else, I tend to ignore them and keep chatting…  Okay, so this is my effort to shut-up, by posting a recent blurb from my highly intelligence husband’s blog and sharing a portion of this week’s powerful message at church! I’ve been processing it all week and writing down ways in my journal to implement:

If YOU will change, EVERYTHING will change for you… – Jim Rohn

I love that quote. First of all, it reminds me that I can’t sit and wait for the world around me to change first – I have to be the one to change my life. I can’t wait for my friends, my family, my boss, the government, my doctor or anyone else to make it better – I have to do it. If I want something different today than yesterday, I have to DO something differently…

I have to THINK differently

I have to TALK differently

I have to ACT differently

I have to DECIDE differently

If I don’t, then today will be much like yesterday… This quote also reminds me that I have much more control over my life than I sometimes give credit. Life is a gift (although I know it’s hard sometimes). I need to ask myself each morning, “What am I going to do with this gift today?” Asking that question alone can change your life…

Change – I accept it, embrace it, and thrive in it; all part of my personal long road to redemption… And, in order to have sustainable revolutionary change, you need to shut-up, listen, and take action. Step one, begin to implement and execute a call to action from the message at my incredibly amazing church, where we’re being challenged to put Christ back in X-mas by accepting and implementing His way of thinking:

Everybody’s Welcome

Nobody’s Perfect

Anything’s Possible

You see, sometimes our twisted point of view looks like this:

Everybody’s Welcome (as long as you’re my close friend)

Nobody’s Perfect (except for me of course)

Anything’s Possible (thanks to my ability, gifts and talents!)

Arrogant and inappropriate – obviously. Unacceptable and delusional – of course. A deceitful lie – most certainly, but, a temptation non-the-less. So, I’m gonna shut-up and listen now, and focus on changing my way of thinking!