Merry Christmas from my house to yours! May God bless you in the coming year!
During this Christmas season my pastor, Pastor Charlie Whitlow, has challenged our church to “Be Christmas.” Instead of being caught up in the buying, selling, craziness that Christmas has become, to actually remember why we celebrate it. After all, it’s better to give then receive!
When you think of giving during these months you might think of the countless charities calling your house, the bell ringers, and telethons on tv. I’m not saying these aren’t legit ways to give, in fact they can be huge blessings for the people involved. But if you are like me you might not have a lot of extra money to give away. We live on one income which can be a challenge during regular months. Add on the extras you want to purchase during Christmas and things can get pretty tight. I want to suggest others way you can give and “Be Christmas” this year.
Give your time. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or food pantry. Offer to Christmas shop for an elderly family member or friend. Help sort gifts for angel tree recipients. There are plenty of non-profits who need extra hands during this time of year. To find them in your area, call your local church or do a search online.
Give your clothes. Take an honest look in your closets. Go ahead I’ll wait. Are you really going to wear that jumper outfit from high school ever again? Or how about those shoes collecting dust? Didn’t think so! I was right there with you. I had large space bags full of clothes from high school and college. Styles I would never wear again but I held onto them because they were so “cool” at the time. Maybe in the future they would be in style again (haha no), and even if they were I still would not where them! So I got honest with myself and went through every closest, drawer, and bag I could fine. I ended up giving away 3 giant black garbage bags full of clothes to a local nonprofit. All the shoes that I never wear, they went in another large trash bag and I gave those away too. It felt liberating to have closest space and being able to close drawers without pushing and shoving.
Give your food. About the same time I emptied my closets I attacked my pantry. We all have bought a ton of food before because it was on a really great sale. If you know you won’t be able to eat it all before the expiration date give it away. Every time you throw away food, you’re wasting money and the opportunity to bless someone else.
Please get your kids involved too. They can help you go through their toys and clothes to donate. My daughter loves getting extra food at the grocery store for mommies and big girls who don’t have enough to eat. It’s important to teach our children at a young age that there are those in the world less fortunate then they are. I believe the younger we start this the better. Then they don’t grow up thinking everything should be handed to them on a silver platter. I also think it’s a great deterrent to the teasing and bullying poorer children face at school. Our kids can learn compassion and mercy for those around them, making the world a better place. Ok, that sounds cliche’ but honestly, you can be having a bad day and all it takes is one person to make your day brighter.
It doesn’t take money to bless someone during this season. God didn’t send money to us He sent His Son. It wasn’t a free gift for Him, it cost Him time and emotions. But how many people have been blessed because of that? Jesus came to this Earth to reunite mankind with God. God has already given the perfect gift to all of us, we just need to unwrap it and be thankful.
John replied, “If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry. –Luke 3:11
This weeks blogging carnival question is: What are you thankful for in your life?
The first things that come to mind are my family. I have a wonderful, supporting husband and two great kids. I’m also thankful I have a home to live in with heat and air conditioning (we’ve had both go out over the past year so believe me when I say I’m thankful!!). My grandmother is amazing, she’s done so much for me in my life I wouldn’t be here without her. I’m a part of the best Church out there (ok ok I might be a bit bias but it really is great!), and through my church I found the family I’ve always wanted. Being a stay at home mom is not the easiest job, and if I’m honest some days I don’t feel very thankful. But, there is no where else I would rather be. So thank you hunny for allowing me to stay home.
This might sound cliche but I’m thankful for the health of me and my family. I know a lot of others who are dealing with illness, injuries, and loss during this holiday season. A special thank you to my workout buddies and mamavation for being so supportive! I am able to buy healthy food, drink clean water, and workout. There are people all over the US and World who don’t have those luxuries. A friend of mine just got back from a missions trip in South America and was telling me about the living situation, food supplies, etc. It amazed me just how much we can take for granted (working toilets, warm water just to name a few!). So thank you Lord that I live where I do! I could go on and on but I won’t, just remember no matter how hard life can be there is always something to be thankful for.
“In all things give thanks” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
“This post is sponsored by Belly Beautiful Postnatal Fitness and Busy Mom Workout and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway hosted by Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women“ The opinions are solely mine.
Fall back is definitely in my top 10 favorite days of the year. I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to conquer the world! Ok, maybe not that energized but I felt like I could conquer my day!
I try to live each day with the quote of Gandhi in mind “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Like I said, try. When you are dealing with traffic, long lines, a grouchy toddler, etc it’s hard to be that change. But today I decided I will be different than those around me! Have you ever noticed when you are determined to do something, everything seems to be working against you? I mean I wasn’t an ogre, but I didn’t go out of my way to be extra special all morning. I felt like no exciting opportunity came my way demanding me to rise up. Although, thinking back, I could have gone out of my way to start a conversation with a newcomer or paid for the drink order behind me in the cafe’. But I didn’t. I wish I could pass the blame but the truth is we get so comfortable in our routines, in our boxes it’s hard to get outside and change.
After Church I went out shopping for Christmas. In the checkout line I was talking to my husband on the phone; finally I was called up to the register. I said “I’m getting off, I don’t want to be rude” the cashier looked at me amazed. “Ma’am you didn’t have to do that, it’s ok people do it all the time, I’m use to it.” Now I was the one looking amazed, is our society that impolite? Are we really that desensitized to rude behavior, that it no longer bothers us? “No” I said, “That’s disrespectful and I wouldn’t want someone to do that to me.” He smiled and said “thank you!!” I paid, said “have a nice day” and he said “thanks so much for that, have a great day!!” Wow, that’s all it took to be a change. I wasn’t even trying really, just practicing the rule I teach my children “when someone is speaking to you look them in the eye.” Funny how something as simple as hanging up the phone made that guy smile. It’s just that easy. I think we all need to review the rules we lay down for our children and relearn them. You can be the change.
“Keep putting into practice all you learned…” Philippians 4:9