Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mama said there'd be days likes this.... Or weeks...

Why do problems have to travel in multiples? Why can't they just happen one at a time with time to recover in between? These are the thoughts that have been going through my mind the last couple of days. Well that and why the heck me Lord!!! Why now? Do I really need to learn another lesson? (which then makes me chuckle a little because I am super hard headed so a lot of lessons have to be re taught)

It first started out with a pipe under our house busting. Once we figured out how to turn the water off at 1100 at night and Wes crawled under our house we thought "no big deal... it's an annoying problem but not an overwhelming problem"! I think our thought process was this is going to be inexpensive unlike most of the other things that seem to pop up unexpected.

So no biggy... We'd get to it. Wes and I both had the weekend off work... it would get done. We still wanted to enjoy our weekend together as a family. It wasn't a big deal right? Wrong! After 3 trips to Home Depot and 4 times under the house... One time to include the entire family because Wes needed my help under there to hold the flashlight (why do I ALWAYS get that job... I mean for real). Well we couldn't leave Ian alone in the house... no telling what he would do... Probably go outside and try to find us and well he's 4 years old you know where my mom's mind is going. So here we go all under the house... Wes first then Ian and then me. Yes this included Army crawl from us all and a painful attempt at opening the plumbers glue (kinda funny story) we now have water! Yay!

Well everywhere but our main toilet! Because after this was all said and done Wes was cleaning the bathroom floors (yes he helps me clean and I love him for it) and all of a sudden I hear water spraying. The tube, wire or cord... whatever the heck connects the toilet to the floor thingy (I'm so intelligent about plumbing can you tell lol) had come unattached and after turning the water to the toilet off we (well Wes) realized he's going to have to go get another tube, wire, cord... whatever it is! So the main toilet is on the fritz and I am having a party Tuesday night. Quite a few ladies... no toilet... yeah not a good combo! But Wesley assures me that he will get it fixed tomorrow! Did I mention I love him!

Well in between pipe under the house busting and toilet hose busting my car tire also decided to bust! Driving down the interstate yesterday and I noticed my left back tire felt really wobbly so after debating back and forth in my head I decided to pull over. I was hesitant because Wes and Ian were both asleep and I would hate to wake them up for a false alarm. Well thank the good Lord I pulled over. When we got out to take a look the tire was smoking and you could see where the rubber was starting to peel off my tire! God was watching over us! After Wes pulled off the tire I realized that the tire had been done in for a while... It had NO tread. So I started checking the other tires and they are pretty much all the same... barely any tread. So I started calling around and found out a few things. One the tires on my car are crap tires! Yay me!!! I also found out that the tires on my car are more expensive then Wesley's truck tires. About $120 a piece!

This hit like a hammer... or really more like a punch in the gut! My mind is racing! How am I supposed to dish out $600 on tires? My focus has been trying to get $2,000 for our next "move" in our adoption process... Not on getting new tires. Well that is not fully true... We knew we needed new tires for my car just like we know we need new tires for Wesley's truck. But we just assumed we would get them gradually... Like one or two at a time so we wouldn't break the bank. So now here I am.. Sunday night ... Both Wes and I needing to go to work tomorrow and my car has a doughnut on it! I still need tires... All 4... It can't be helped... Now I'm also stressing about Wesley's truck needing new tires (another $500). It seems like we will NEVER be able to scrounge up $2,000 so we can get to our next level of adoption!

Put that in the mix of a busting pipe and the toilet plus already in the back of my mind all the money needed for adoption and you now understand why I want to scream "Why me Lord" at the top of my lungs! But when the day comes to an end I know it will eventually work itself out. How? I have no idea but it would be nice to know so I can be prepared. When? Well that would be better... If I had a set date in view I could just count the days down and bide my time.

It wouldn't be so hard if every time I see money leave our hand I realize it's going to take that much longer to have another baby. Then I go back to the thoughts of how I just would love to have a baby on my own. This is not the journey I had planned for me. This is not how I wanted the story of my life to go. But you know what this is how it's going... This is the path that God has decided to put me on. Why? I have no earthly idea... but He must know I'm strong enough for it or else he wouldn't have brought me here. So yeah I'm still stressing about where the money is going to come from... I'm still having a hard time letting go knowing God is going to take care of me.

It's amazing because just in this week I have seen the Lord work a miraculous miracle in the life of a very dear friend of mine. She was needing $1500 and I saw God answer her prayer within 24 hours! Never once did I think God was going to fail her. Never once did I think God wasn't going to pull through for her. I was 100% sure God was going to take care of her because he loves her more then anybody ever could. She is His child! So why is it so hard for me to be as confident when it's my mountain I'm facing? Where is all that faith I had for her? Does God love me any less then her? No! But it's hard and all I can do is pray and trust and sit back and let God show me He can. Because when all is said and done I know I'll look back and think "yep all that stress was for naught... look at how God took care of me there"

Monday, February 27, 2012

The map was easy to read this time....

Have you ever had a moment in your life where you feel like you are at a cross road and there are 2 ways to go and whichever way you choose will affect the rest of your life? It's times like these where we find ourselves on our knees pleading with God to give us the right answer and to give it clear as day. I prefer to be hit up the side of the head with it so there is no doubt it's all God and not any of me making the decision.

Back in October our family found ourselves at this very spot and we certainly didn't want to make the wrong decision. Really it's starts way before then and is somewhat of a long story, but I will give you a very condensed version. As some of my close friends will know getting pregnant is not easy for Wes and I. It took us a year and a half before getting pregnant with Ian and that was after miscarriages and fertility treatments. Well as is the case a couple of years after we had Ian we decided that we wanted to expand our family. We decided to try on our own at first which we did for 6 months and then Wes deployed. Close to the end of his deployment the doctor started running test again so we could start fertility treatments again. All was going just the same as last time... that is until we hit something that we were not expecting at all! After further testing on both Wes and I the doctors discovered that through some experimental shot testing that the Army administered on Wesley it took our chances of conceiving our own biological child to impossible (doctors words not ours). And of course Wes and I both know that will God ALL things are possible... But we also know that although it is possible it may not be what God is wanting for us. That can be a hard pill to swallow. This is also a time we realized how precious Ian really is to us and we are thankful God granted us the opportunity to have him in our life!

After that appointment we basically walked away and tried to soak it all in. Several months went by and we tried not to focus on it, but also tried to over come it. If you have never been through this there is a grieving process that one goes through. God brought into our lives a very dear family that had adopted their 2 youngest children and we started spending a lot of time with their family. Slowly but surely God started putting the thought of adoption into our minds. But we were faced with yet another upcoming deployment so it really seemed like we would never really get the time to explore this option. Shortly before Wesley's deployment he was given orders for 6 months of language school which happened to be the same time during his teams deployment. So instead of going overseas with his team he got to stay here in the US and learn more Arabic. 5 days a week 6 hour days... Doesn't sound appealing does it? And it was extremely intense for Wes... BUT he was home... For 6 months!!! Out of our entire marriage my husband has NEVER been home for 6 months straight. We knew there was a reason.

We soon started realizing that now would be the best time to start looking into this adoption mater that God had seemed to put in our minds. And to show you how MY God works... Back when Wes deployed in 2010 before we were told we wouldn't be able to have anymore children I started working with a personal trainer who had adopted her precious little girl through Bethany Christian Services, an adoption agency. We talked about it several times and I thought it was a wonderful thing how God placed their daughter in their life. That would be back in March/April of 2010, now fast forward to October 2011 and I am sitting at a Bethany Agency office at an informational meeting. That in and of itself shows you what a God thing this is! But it doesn't stop there.

After the meeting I come home with brain overload of the information that I was given and I'm not going to lie... I was discouraged! Adoption is EXPENSIVE to say the least. Not to mention all of the other things that could go wrong or the fact that the wait can be anywhere from 18 months to 3 years. (some cases sooner) Wes was unable to go to the meeting due to the time of the meeting and work so when I came home I relayed the information as best I could. (I was a little brain dead after the brain overload lol) The way the agency works is they have 4 Orientations a year. So basically you have 4 chances a year to jump into the cycle. I went to the meeting mid October and the next cycle was starting the first week of November! So basically we needed $650 and paper work filled out within less then 2 weeks time to get in the next cycle. If not we would have to wait until February! As you can imagine we wanted to start the process right away but we didn't want to have to borrow the money. So right there we decided that if God wanted this to happen he would have to literally hand us the money. In all honesty we both just decided we would probably need to wait until the February cycle. We were a little disappointed but really there wasn't much we could do.

2 days later I was just coming back from a run when my neighbor caught me outside. Over the course of time that we have been neighbors we had loaned them quite a bit of money to help them out from time to time. In our minds we had given it to them because in all honesty we never expected to see the money again. That was the place we had come to and we are ok with it! She handed me a card while she was talking to me and I didn't really think much of it... She had just gotten out of the hospital and I figured it was a card thanking us for helping her and her mom while she was sick. We finished talking came inside and set the card down. Wes came home a short time later and he saw the card and asked what it was... I had forgotten about it and decided I should probably open it. When I pulled the card out I saw a $50 and thought to myself... "how sweet they are trying to pay us back"! In the next instant I saw a small stack of $100's! After counting I realized that there was $750 in the card! God slapped us upside the face that day! (and gave us a little extra which is how He likes to work) I also decided God was using our neighbor as His savings account for us :)

That next week we drove up to Nashville to the adoption agency to drop off our money and a very small part of our paper work! I say say very small because several months into the process and we have filled out more paper work then I thought was possible! I'm pretty sure several trees were killed just so we can adopt our baby!

So Wes and I are both confident when we say God is leading us into adopting to increase our family! I'm not going to lie it's a huge range of emotion. Some days we are super excited (most days) and sometimes fear sticks it's nose in. I've even realized that I had to go through another grieving process realizing that I may never carry my own biological child. But God is always faithful and I always come back to the fact that God definitely dropped this in our lap. We are doing what He wants! There is so much more to tell! But I've already written so much and I know you are tired of reading! But this is something I definitely plan on keeping everyone updated on. This journey of adoption for us I know is going to be one of many challenges and one of many triumphant and many lessons! I'm excited and nervous to see what God is going to teach us through our new adventure!

Oh and for the record... Ian is VERY excited of the thought of having a sibling! He wants a little sister and as of yesterday he wants to name her Thor!!! Don't worry... the name changes a lot :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

I'm baaaaackkkkkk!!!!! :)

As y'all know (well y'all meaning those few who actually read my blog) I'm not one that blogs every day... or every month for that matter :) But not going to lie this has been a long period of silence for me and y'all know I have a lot say :) However this short blog is really just explaining my absence JUST in case any one of you were nervous I might have fell off the face of the earth! The real story is we were having all kinds of electrical issues due to the builder of our home doing.... well a crappy job and cutting a lot corners, one being not putting a grounding rod in when he did the electric work!!!!! So hence we got struck by lightening and slowly but surely we started loosing power all throughout our house. Which causes issues when the stove doesn't work, the fridge slowly dies out, the hot water heater isn't heating so on and so forth! let's just say it means no cooking, cold showers, going to dear friends to wash clothes, and sweating to death in the summer heat! But God is good!!!! My parents came down and my dad and Wes worked on it together and what we were told would be a $1500 fix they were able to do under $200!!! Did I mention God is good? :) Anyway, that story to say we canceled our internet because it wasn't working and pretty much kept it off because it wasn't a necessity! But Wes is starting classes here soon so of course we had to go online again. Something about not being able to do classes via his iPhone! :) So that's where I've been. There is a blog that I really want to write about what we feel God is wanting us to do so on and so forth... but I need to make sure Wes is ready for me to share it with the cyber world! ;) We have told several dear friends and some family and it's nothing we feel we need to hide, I just want to make sure my husband is ok with me blasting over the internet! haha I know y'all understand! Hopefully I can give y'all a little sneak peak next week after Wes gets home.

Other than that things have been going great! Wes is in Arabic training here locally and hating every minute of it :) Except right now he is somewhere dropping bombs so he is pretty happy right now! haha Ian started preK this year! I know.... I am in shock as well! But we are both adjusting well! I work part time at the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office in the SVU department! My main task is fingerprinting, but I help out in whatever the Investigators may need! I have come to honestly and truly find out there are some strange, disturbed, crazy people in this world! I mean I have always known it but this puts an entirely different perspective on it!!!! But I am love, love, loving it :)

OK so this was a lot longer then I thought it would be... but oh well I know you aren't surprised! :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I would like to introduce you to someone...

You know the blogs you read that is all about ONE person... you know, where you sit and read about how great and wonderful this ONE individual is in your friends life? Well... this is me about to do that... :)

Haven't you ever had someone in your life you love to introduce people to? Someone that means the world to you and has done so much for you and you can't imagine your life without and you get so super excited when you get the chance to introduce this amazing person to someone else because you know whoever meets this one special person they too will just fall in love with them? Well I have this person in my life that I want to tell you about... But first I have to giver a background story (of course lol)

So I'm not sure if most people know this but I have an enemy. I have had this enemy for a very long time and I have never been able to get rid of him or even make truce with him. He is always aggressive in his hatred for me, but there are times when it seems like I can't get away from him. He has beaten me down and left me so lonely and depressed. He has made me feel like dirt and there are some days I feel I fill so discouraged from all the lies he fills my head with. It gets so bad I have had nightmares about what he might do to me. Well this enemy I have has wanted me dead! He essentially will not be happy until I'm gone from this world. He hates me because I am not willing to be his slave so to speak. If I don't do what he wants he attacks me. I mean actual attacks! Verbal, mental, physical... you name it... he's done it. He is not satisfied until he has complete control over me and I just can't allow that. So like I said he will not be satisfied now until I'm beat down so hard that I won't be able to get back up.

But I met someone... Someone so truly amazing! He saw the situation I was in and told me if I asked him He would step in and take control over the situation. Well for a while I just let it be... Although He didn't. He was persistent and I knew He truly cared. So tonight I had enough... I was at my breaking point... I couldn't take it anymore. So I went to Him and told Him I was done trying to deal with this on my own... I needed Him! I needed Him to step in and take control for me because I couldn't do it on my own anymore. So He did. And what He did was truly amazing and no one has ever done before. He went to my enemy and told him it was over, he was not allowed to mess with me any more. Well the enemy got his crew and beat my friend up! They beat Him so bad that he was unrecognizable! And then the worst thing happened... They killed Him in the most horrific way possible! I couldn't believe it! I was in tears! My friend took my place... I should have been the one to die... I should have been the one my enemy defeated... But it wasn't me.. Someone so awesome... Someone who loved me so much... He went to my tormentor and said He would take my place... He would take all the pain if my enemy would just leave me alone. And that is what happened! He died in my place!!!

So He is who I want you to meet! Without Him I would not have life! Without Him I would not have peace. He is my joy, He is my song. He comforts me when I am heartbroken. He is my Rock, He is who I lean on when times get hard. He provides me food, shelter, clothing! He is the reason I wake up in the morning! He is my big brother! He is the reason life is worth living! He is my financial adviser. He is my greatest treasure. He is my help when it seems like there is no help! He gives me hope when there seems like all hope is gone! He is my shoulder I lean on when I can't stand! He is my beacon in the night! He is my very best friend! If the whole world were to walk away from me I know He would still be there! He is also the One who didn't only die for me that day, but he rose from the dead and LIVES for me!!! I want to introduce YOU to MY JESUS!!!!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Driving is a good time to think...

I love driving in my car alone and listening to music! Just shutting everything out and not having any distractions and it just being me and I can listen to whatever I want!!! It doesn't have to be Veggie Tales or Mickey Mouse but it can be grown up music. So there is where I was a few days ago when I was driving to physical therapy... I had just dropped Ian off and I had a good 20 minutes of driving time. Me all alone in my car listening to my music! Instead of turning the radio on like I usually do I put in one of my cd's. I let it play and was somewhat listening to it but mainly it was just background noise as dozens of thoughts were running through my mind. For some reason it was a day when I had heavy thoughts weighing on my mind and heart. It seemed like I was being bombarded from all sides and there were so many uncertainties and there were many unanswered questions. It would have been an easy day to feel sorry for myself...but I hadn't gotten that low yet...but it was close in coming.

It was just life hitting me. We all know how that goes! There were many questions running through my mind...many thoughts...many "whys?". Why did it seem like nothing was going the way I thought it needed to? Why were things happening that I had no control over but I really wanted to control? Why did it seem like God was playing "eeny, meeny, miny, moe" with things He was deciding to throw in my life? I felt like God was saying "there's Leila...she still needs to grow in so many ways...I think I'll go ahead and give her this problem, and this trial and this tough decision." There were a lot of "whys?"! A lot I can't really get into right now because I am not comfortable just yet with sharing. But you can see life was getting at my was consuming me.

But all of a sudden my mind seem to clear and my ears were opened and this song started playing.

And then it was like someone came in my head and flipped on the light! How ignorant am I? I mean's not being's true ignorance! I was being so consumed with me me and more me that I was pretty sure God had forgotten about...well me. I was pretty sure God had bigger things to worry about so I was put on the back burner for a bit. I'm being straight up honest with you today...I know better...I have always been taught better...but at that moment I really felt that God had decided that my life wasn't that important and maybe I just wasn't worth it! That's why I am saying it was pure ignorance.

Matthew 6:26 even says Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

There are times in my life I do feel like I am worthless...but I am smart enough to know that I am more precious to God then birds! And He takes care of why am I thinking God doesn't want me to be happy...why am I thinking He has forgotten me? My goodness folks...He told the sun where to stand in the morning, He told the ocean how far to go, He told the moon where to stay till evening...but somehow in my little mind I had figured He didn't have time to handle my life or problems.

The same God who died and then raised Himself from the dead and who now lives...I had put limitations on Him! There is no way around is true ignorance! You can't put limitations on what God can do! He spoke this world into existence! Yet I had put him in a little box and had decided that day that He couldn't possibly handle my problems so I was needing to figure it out myself!

But while this song was playing I was reminded of these exact things. And these exact thoughts went through my head because I know God put them there to reassure me. You know how I know I am loved? You know how I know I am taken care of? You know how I know God understood how much I was hating physical therapy, how much I was concerned about why our breakers didn't seem to want to stay on, how worried I was about our heater going out soon. How I was worried about if Wes and I were training Ian the way he should be trained. How God understood how I was worried how Ian would grow up and not go in the wrong direction. How I was concerned about my son's salvation... How I was concerned about the different decision that were being made at Wes' job and how it would affect us. How I was worried that I would never be content with our family of 3? The list goes on and on...but do you know how I know that God knows this and understands and I am not alone? I know this because MY REDEEMER LIVES!!!!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

If I had a bucket list...

I'm not even sure I'm old enough to have a bucket list (hehe) but if I were to have one about a year ago running a half marathon would NOT be anywhere near it!!!! But last Saturday that is exactly what I did! And I have never felt better about myself for doing something then I did when I crossed that finish line (well except maybe having a child or whatever lol)! And this coming from a girl who a year ago could not even run a mile. I'm serious guys... One day I decided to run with Wes and I don't think I even got a 1/4 of a mile in before I told him I was done! But 2 days ago I ran 13.1 miles. I just wrote that and it still doesn't seem real. But I had some great running buddies.

My sister Julie, and our friend Mandy. This is us before the race. Not sure what gave us the crazy idea we could do this, but we did! And best of all we did it together!

There were so many was so awesome to see all these people out supporting St. Jude! We couldn't even see the start line from where we stood and there were even more people behind us!

We were in coral 12 and finally around 20 minutes after the first coral started we could see the start line!

It was all of our first time running a half marathon (that's 13.1 miles if you haven't already figured out) lol We had so much nervous energy waiting in that line we were literally jumping up and down waiting for them to let us start! We may have finished faster if we didn't waste so much energy before the start! hahaha

It was such an emotional race I think for all of us, but right now I can only really speak for me! Not only was it a huge accomplishment for me to run this race, but it was for such a great cause! And to have all of the people cheering for us as we ran! The most emotional part of it all was running through the St. Jude complex! Seeing all the families and all the signs and realizing that I am actually doing something for these families that I have never met before but are going through a much more difficult race than I was going through. And most if not all had no finish line in sight, but they never stopped, they keep running along hoping one day to cross the finish line! I was never more thankful for my son's health as I was running this weekend! I can not even come close to knowing what these families are going through and these sweet little angels...sometimes life doesn't seem fair...but these kids give such hope! Some sections were extremely hard, and those were the ones where the signs would say "in memory of". That was when I could not help but cry!

Here is me after I crossed the finish line with my medal! When Jules and I came into the stadium we could hear everyone cheering for us, especially Jason and Wes and then we saw the finish line and I don't know how but we both literally sprinted across that line!!!

The red shirts we are wearing are for a little boy Isaiah who we were running for! He is such a sweet little boy.

I ask you to go to my FB page and look him up and read about him! All he has been through this year and he even did the family race! A much bigger accomplishment than mine I have to say! What a hero! I am so glad I got to run to support him!

Before I close out I do want to thank all of those who donated money so I could be a St. Jude hero and run on Saturday! Thank you for believing in me and for donating to such a great cause...helping find a cure for cancer so these kids don't have to suffer anymore! Also a HUGE thank you to my trainer Nick Cotto!!! are the one behind all of this. Meeting with you in Feb. of this year I would have never known that on Saturday I would have ran a half marathon. I remember telling you what my goals were, and one of my goals was to run a 5k, but you saw more than that!

And yes and my sister Jules and friend Mandy are planning our next half! We are trying to get other people to run with us this time!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What can you give?

Oh my has only been 1 day and here I am blogging again! Is it possible? :) Well when you only have one vehicle and your husband needs it today I am stuck at home! But I am content with that. :)

I know we haven't gotten through the Thanksgiving season yet and really I guess this blog should be on what I am thankful for...but it's not... Sorry...if you are wanting to know what I'm thankful for I'll have to get back to you on that another time. :) What I'm focusing on right now is Christmas! How can we's pretty much being thrown in our face every where we go! I swear society is trying to block out Thanksgiving all together....but that's another topic in and of itself!

Growing up our Dad really tried his best to emphasize what Christmas is truly about. And of course we all's about Jesus coming to earth as a baby (but still God) to live among us and grow into a man and then start his earthly ministry where he would some 33 years later die on the cross for us and then 3 days later rise again and one day if we accept him into our lives and hearts we will live in Heaven with Him FOREVER! So you see it is more then just his birth we are celebrating! But yes...we mainly focus on his birth...which is fine! So because it was a day in which the world has chosen to set aside to celebrate Jesus' birth, that's what my dad tried to focus on. Every year as a family we would make a banner for Jesus' birthday (just like we did for everyone else's) and we would by Jesus a birthday present! (and if I'm not mistaken my sister carries a tradition in her family where every year they make Jesus a birthday cake...chocolate on chocolate I think would have been His favorite lol)

How do you do that you ask? I mean how do you buy Jesus, God's son a birthday present? It's pretty simple really! I like to think of it as giving of yourself. Whether it's through money or deeds. A lot of times it was giving a gift to the church. But now that I'm older and Ian is really started to get excited about Christmas I was really struggling trying to decide what we should do for Jesus so that Ian could participate and start out at a young age really understanding Christmas. So what do we do? How do we give our gift to Jesus this year? There are so many options out there, but which suits our family the best...or really...which is the one God wants us to do? Do we go to soup kitchens and feed the homeless (because what does the Bible say in Matthew 25:40 if you do it unto the least of these you are doing it unto me...and I am paraphrasing I know). Do we find a family in need and anonymously drop off groceries or money for them? I even heard one year of a lady that went to the post office and got the letters from Santa that the kids would mail and would find a needy kid and give him or her what was on their wish list! I mean there are soooo many amazing things we can do...even if you don't have money...just by helping someone (like the soup kitchen)'s giving of yourself and when we do this, we are in fact giving Jesus the best present ever!

So last night after dropping off Ian at Cubbies Wes and I went to Chick-fil-a to kind of relax and enjoy some time alone. Wes had been rock climbing all day and wanted some soup and I don't me crazy...but I feel Chick-fil-a is one of the more "healthier" fast food places. Plus it is so relaxing because the people there (at least at ours) are super friendly and there is Christian music playing softly throughout the restaurant! Well, we also went there to talk about life and how we need to step back and re prioritize the way we have been living. I don't tend to normally think I am overly selfish, but if I were to be honest with myself and with all of y'all...I can tend to be selfish...I put myself first a lot and shove God in the back corner. Yes I still go to church and I sing in choir and do specials and work with the kids...but really I'm not going the extra mile. But really that's not what this blog is really about...I get side tracked easily! I guess that is my "Squirrel" moment. (You would have to watch UP to get that lol)

So sitting in Chick-fil-a (you had to know I was going somewhere with all this lol) I saw 2 different brochures sitting on a side table. And it was like God put them right there for me...kinda like hitting me across the head with it...which He has to do with me a you can tell I get side tracked easily so hitting me across the head tends to get my attention the fastest. One is all we are familiar with (well really both are pretty familiar). But the first I have decided will be a tradition with our family because Ian can really get involved in it. It is Operation Christmas Child! (I know several churches that do this) What a neat idea. All you do is take a shoe box and fill it with goodies and then put $7 with it so they can mail it to the child in need who wouldn't normally have a Christmas! I mean how's a shoe box guys! They aren't that big. It's not that big of a sacrifice really? Think of it as not going out to eat at all for a week...take that money and you will have more than enough to help another child be happy. I mean cause really I'm sure we could all take a week off from eating out...just saying. :) Plus my thought is each year whatever age Ian is that is the age group we will buy for. So Ian can be 100% involved!!! How fun is that?

The next brochure I found is Mana Cafe Ministries which is kind of like a food/mobile pantry for the poor and homeless. You can donate money of course...or as we all know non perishable items! How many of us right now have non perishable items in our house? I have several!!! Can you spare some? I'm thinking you can! But this post is not to pressure you...just showing you that even if you aren't abundantly blessed with cash flow this year...there is something you can do for others...and in turn Happy Birthday Jesus!

It's so easy folks....just make sure this Christmas season you don't get caught up in all the hustle and bustle (those are fun words aren't they) of things and don't slow down enough to realize that person on the side of the road in need. Or maybe the older lady or man struggling getting their groceries in there car! Or perhaps especially around here...the mother all alone with her children struggling to open the door or carrying all the stuff she is required to carry when you have kids. Remember...if you do it to the least of them....who are you really doing it to?

Please understand this...I am not bashing Christmas and gift giving! I still love buying gifts for family, and I still LOVE receiving gifts from people. :) But if I just for a few minutes made you stop and think about the true meaning of Christmas and what we really should be focusing on I have somehow through this jumbled up mess of thoughts succeeded! It's giving of ourself. So my challenge to you this year as we are thinking of our decorations for Christmas, and what we are going to cook Christmas day, who is going to be there and as we are all now in our Christmas shopping you think of your kids and spouse and siblings...what would they want for Christmas...don't forget to as yourself..."What can I give Jesus this year"!