“One of the first incarcerated women I ever met was a young mother who is serving a long prison sentence for writing checks to buy her three young children Christmas gifts without sufficient funds in her account. Like a character in a Victor Hugo novel, she tearfully explained her heartbreaking tale to me. I couldn’t accept the truth of what she was saying until I checked her file and discovered that she had, in fact, been convicted and sentenced to over 10 years in prison for writing five checks, including three to Toys-R-Us. None of the checks was for more than $150.” -Attorney Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy •
Each Christmas season, with the help of @grantnycatl
, I am blessed to be able to host about 100 local Atlanta Public School students for hot cocoa and cookies. We do this as part of our community engagement and philanthropic efforts.
Each year, without fail, the students bless me far more than I could ever bless them. •
As a momma, I see every need. And, just like I would if they were my own babies, I want to do more. •
I need to do more. •
I am reminded that I am guilty of over-indulging my own children.
I am reminded that it is easy to ignore those around us who have less. •
I am reminded how simple a thing it is to take the meaning of Christmas for granted. •
Thank God for today and its reminders! •
There are those in our community who go without, who do without, who cannot provide. There are friends who find this time of year particularly stressful, painful, difficult. There are many to whom the shopping, the gift-giving, are overwhelming — if not completely impossible — tasks. •
I went home and intentionally re-read the Bryan Stevenson exert about women’s incarceration, because I will always remember the mother he writes about. I am meditating on what that type of desperation must have felt like, especially during the holidays, to want so badly to be able to give your kids something as innocent as a good Christmas and to fail, miserably. •
I am praying that I stay centered this year, rather than getting side-tracked with American consumerism. There is, after all, only one Gift really worthy of our giving or receiving.