Good grief…..my kids are making their Christmas lists and this could be the death of me. I have one child whose list is 3 pages long….did you read that? 3 PAGES LONG. Wow. It is nothing massive…a lot of little things so really not that big of a deal. It just looks like a big deal when you have pages handed to you.
Over the years, we are very mindful of the reason for Christmas. We read the Christmas story and we do focus on the birth of Jesus. We have, in the past, done a birthday party for Him. On the top of our tree, we put a crown of thorns and I love it! I love that reminder of the sacrifices that He made for me and my family.
I do not buy junk. We do things that are necessary, clothes, shoes, books…things that will last longer than 5 seconds. We do not overspend for our kids because that is not what our focus needs to be on. One thing we do, as a family, is the shoebox ministry. It is through Operation Christmas Child (http://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/). Each child does a shoebox and fills it with items such as:
- Toys: Include items that children will immediately embrace such as dolls, toy cars, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, balls, toys that light up and make noise (with extra batteries), etc.
- School Supplies: pens, pencils and sharpeners, crayons, markers, notebooks, paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.
- Non-Liquid Hygiene Items: toothbrushes, bar soap, combs, washcloths, etc.
- Accessories: t-shirts, socks, hats, sunglasses, hair clips, jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries), etc.
- A Personal Note: You may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family. If you include your name and address, the child may be able to write back.
- Do Not Include: Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; out-of-date candy; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers; aerosol cans.
They also place letters, drawings and $7 to cover the shipping. It is something that is precious to my heart and I want my kids to know that there are children, in this world, that are less fortunate than they are. I enjoy watching them choose what goes in each box. This is a part of MY kids Christmas…giving to others.
Another thing we do is we adopt a kid (or two) from the Pima Reservation. Eric and Brittany Gibbs (http://liveloveaz.blogspot.com/) are friends of ours who have left everything they know and love to travel across the states to ministry to these wonderful people. My daughters have gone on summer mission trips to Arizona and it has forever impacted their lives. Most of these children, in the reservation, do not have “Christmas” because they are so poor. We want to share in our abundance and be able to put a smile on the faces of these children! Soon, the Gibbs will be posting on how to adopt a kid for Christmas.
It is so important that we look past the commercialism of Christmas and we return to the true meaning. Loving Christ and loving our neighbor. Giving back. I encourage you to find a place, in your community, to serve (a food pantry, a homeless shelter, a soup kitchen, nursing homes, etc.) I also encourage you to find a way to help others. Get some people together and do the Operation Christmas Child (our church does this). Gather up gently used or new stuffed animals and donate them to the police department or your local DCBS office for when children are removed from their homes with nothing.
By serving others…..you can be the hands and feet of Jesus. How awesome is that!
Aw…the world has shifted and I have learned to release some control! I let Bug cook supper…the entire thing from start to finish *insert angels singing*…..I didn’t even have to clean up. She made Yummy Chicken, Green Bean Casserole, Corn Pudding, Mashed Potatoes and a Crockpot Banana Bread. I must say, for her first “real, unaided” time out of the cooking gate she did quite well.
We are in a season, with her, that I have dreaded since the day I found out I was pregnant with a girl. There is a young man who is courting her. Since they do not go out alone together, yet, he has been coming here for a little over a month. He comes the same night, every week, for dinner. He is getting to know her, she him and him us. We are a lot to take…bless his brave little heart.
Bug will be 19 in about a month…she will not be under my roof for much longer (this has nothing to do with the boy…just a fact). I want her to know her way around the kitchen. I should’ve been doing this a long time ago, but cooking is a passion of mine and my kitchen is small…I don’t like to share my space.
hiding from Bug and her millions of questions sitting outside, enjoying the fresh air when Boywonder pulls up. He is a good-hearted kid and he adores Bug. Do not, for one second, think that because he adores her that I allow any touchy feely crap…cause I do not. He knows that he needs to keep all body parts to himself at all times or there could be an unfortunate spork incident.
As he sashays up the sidewalk, I just look at him and smile. When he comes over, I cook. I cook every night, but this is an opportunity for him not to eat fast food or cafeteria food. He gets home cooking. He lives quite a distance from his mom, so he only gets her good cooking when he goes home for a long weekend. I inform him, so politely, that Bug has cooked the entire meal….alone….by herself…no help…I
told encouraged him to eat everything she made and say that it was the BEST meal he had ever put in his mouth….whether he liked it or not. I told him to put his armor on and as he stepped through the door of my house I whispered “Godspeed, son…Godspeed.”
I am not sure what the Lord is up too…but I’m feeling really on edge. There has been something that has crossed my eyes, more than once, it has my mind turning. Turning in ways that it really doesn’t need to turn anymore. I’m almost 42 years old….there are certain things that I need to be content with being DONE and yet, images cross my mind and my heart begins to flutter.
I have SO many reasons to let it go (crap, now that stupid song is stuck in my head). I have a husband who works a lot (praises be to the King who provides his job). I have a daughter who is almost a junior in college and is embarking on …gasp…choke…cough…puke….courting……seriously people…P.R.E.S.S.U.R.E. I have another daughter who has just started driving and is finding her bents in life and wanting to branch out. My son (13) is preparing his heart for his future wife (she lives in the woods and is 12). He is obsessed with armpit hair and finding the perfect job that will provide for his family (HIS FAMILY…he is 13….I can’t take it!). Then there is my RADish and everyday is a super *fun* day with her (insert drama drama drama where the *fun* word is). My son who is severely dyslexic and I was told that he would probably top out at 4th-5th grade…and that is a stretch (my thoughts are WHATEVER….he can do amazing things, in this world and there is no limit on that) and lastly…Little Man. He is the resident bully, I’ve heard.
I have a dog that vomited in my bed….IN. MY. BED. By my pillow. BY. MY. PILLOW. I rolled over in it. I. ROLLED. OVER. IN. IT. Then another one that ate leftovers, in the woods and proceeded to have a poop party under my bed. Complete with corn chunks. I have an amazing farting dog so my whole house smells like rotten eggs. To offset that, I heat pumpkin spice scentsy thing…so my house smells like pumpkin spiced shitballs (yes, I swore…I’m so sorry but I do call a spade a spade). I have a chicken that we slit its neck because it was sick…threw it in the woods and it CAME BACK TO LIFE after 3 weeks. Now, no one will touch it because it came back to life. We call it the Jesus chicken. Who else does this stuff happen too? I just don’t know.
It never ends….yet neither does my mind. I’m trusting the Lord with the decisions that need to be made in our home. What is best for us…barring what people will think of us because I cannot let that influence me. He has plans to prosper and not to harm our family. He wants us to succeed and to walk the path that He has so graciously laid out before us…one step at at time. A light unto our feet….not a light unto the next 10 years of life. For now, I will wait….hopefully, I will have an announcement or two or three soon :)
Seriously cannot quit watching and laughing at this. Makes me so happy!
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