Oh my word...it 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 then....well...here 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 not...it'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 know...it'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)...it'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 know...call 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 lot...as 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 simple...it'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...one 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 mode...as 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"!