Monday, November 15, 2010
It's Better to Give than to Receive
Christmas is right around the corner. Have you started your shopping? One of my sisters-in-law was wrapping all of her gifts yesterday! I like to buy gifts all year long, but I have only wrapped the ones I took to North Carolina during my 24 hour visit home for sweet nephew's baptism. Have you started your shopping?
This time of year reminds us first of all of the reason we celebrate: Jesus Christ was born and later died on the cross for our sins. Stores and the media encourage us to get wrapped up in Santa Claus and gift-giving, but Jesus' birth is the real reason we are celebrating. Our children receive 3 gifts since that is what baby Jesus received (gold, frankincense, and myrrh). They seem to enjoy thinking of three things they'd like for Christmas. They also know that all 3 gifts will not be huge gifts. In fact, the sisters have told our son that if he gets his DSi, that will count for all 3 gifts! Ha!
I thought I would highlight some of our favorite places to give. This year our church is supporting the Angel Tree Ministry once again. These children have parents who will spend Christmas in jail. DH and I allowed our children to choose some children from the tree that they would like to bless with gifts. It was sweet to watch them pore over the names and the sweet wishes of these children. We were saddened by the ones where there was no message from their parents. Our D chose a 9-month old baby boy. When she went to the desk to have our name put beside this baby boy's name, D asked about the baby boy. The lady from our church knew his whole story and shared it with the children. They were captivated by the story and couldn't believe a new baby had never met his father because his father is in jail.
Later that evening I thought our D was upset because she did not get the new bunk beds in her room. I called her name because I was going to hug her and love on her since I thought she looked disappointed. When she walked in the room, she said, "Mommy!", and dissolved into huge sobs. "Mommy, that baby doesn't even know his Daddy. It makes me so sad. I am also so sad for the family from home who lost their grandmother. Mommy, I have been praying for them because I am so sad." As you can imagine, my steel magnolia self (more like mushy oatmeal than steel!) joined her sobs with tears of my own. I sat and rocked our big 9-year old girl and held her and cried. How humbling to me. I thought she was sad over a set of bunkbeds but she was sad because of real brokenness and despair. Her heart had been touched through one baby boy's story on the Angel Tree. What will you be touched by this Christmas? How will the Lord use the heartbreak of others to teach you things in your own life?
If you are interested in the Angel Tree MInistry, just click here. This is one of many wonderful places to give this Christmas!