Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Thoughts

I love this time of year. All of the tradition, family time and coziness that surround this holiday. And the kids and their excitement and wonder can bring tears to my eyes. And then there is the fact that this holiday is all about our Savior's birth. It comes and then it goes, it seems, in a blink of an eye. We make memories we will cherish throughout our lifetimes.

And then there is the part that makes my heart hurt. I have been bombarded lately with stories and images of orphans around the world. As I see my kids, and all of the disproportionately wealthy Americans, relish in this time of plenty, I can't help but think of those who don't have anything. Basic things like food, clothing, shelter, love and family. And Jesus. Wow! What a contrast. A stark contrast. What do we do about it? 147 million orphans. Like I told Will last night, we can't adopt them all. I think he got a little nervous for a moment...visions of the Duggars popped into his head. And as I look at those two sweet little black heads bouncing around our home, I am reminded where they once spent their Christmases. They were once without. How can there be such a difference between our culture and the ones without? Surely if it hurts my sinful human heart, how much must it hurt God's heart to see His creations without?

So as you go about your Christmas celebrations please pray for those children not snuggled up close to a parent in a warm house, hearing the story of how our Savior came into this world. Pray for how you can help them, we can help them. Maybe it will be through financial support, prayer, mission work or maybe even adoption of one of these souls longing to be loved. Just what would Christmas look like next year if we all followed the command in James 1:27 to for the orphans and keep oneself from being polluted by the world? Better. I know it would look better!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


840 dollars that is. That is what we prayed for.

I have enjoyed the curriculum we are using this year called My Father's World. We read a lot of books about missionaries from all around the world. The one thing they have in common is that they rely solely on God to supply their needs. They pray very specifically for those needs and God always supplies. In this world of plenty we don't have to rely on God and because of that we miss out on God's blessings. For our ministry at church, Minus 1, an orphan and adoption ministry, we decided to pray specifically for $840 to be collected by the kids for their Love Gift Offering. This is mostly change collected over a period of a few weeks. $840 would care for 2 orphans in an African orphanage for a year. Well, yesterday we counted the money. We had about $753 when we took the pennies for machine counting. The bowl was filled but pennies don't add up very quickly. The kids asked as we were leaving my friend's house, "What if it isn't enough? Can we add the rest?" I told them with much peace in my hear that our God was not a God that short changes. Somehow I felt Him.... and I new He would provide. My friend called to tell me last night that the pennies added up to $64. BUT.......... the accountant at church forgot to add another $36 that had come in. GRAND TOTAL................... $853.40! Is that an amazing God or what!?!?!?!? What else does God want to do through this little ministry? We can't wait to pray about it and see how He will provide? What are we all missing when we don't ask God to supply our needs? What a great lesson. What a great comfort. Do you have something, within God's will, that you are trying to do on your own? Ask God to help. Pray. Believe. And watch how God provides. You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sometimes it is hard and then........

........and then there are those moments when your heart smiles! Xin's adoption has not been smooth sailing but we are making strides. Yesterday Julia was baking cakes for a charity she has started called Cakes for a Cause. Xin got home from preschool and wanted to know who the cakes were for, no doubt hoping he would get to partake in the eating of them. I explained that Julia was baking those for some ladies. I told him that the money she got from all her cakes sales was going to be sent to the kids in China who were still in the orphanages and didn't have a Mommy or Daddy yet. He paused, looked at me and then with the sweetest face asked, "Can I send my money to them too?"

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas is in the air......

We had a great "Christmasy" weekend! We began by having pizza Friday night and completing some Christmas crafts. Saturday the girls did a little shopping for the boys and then we went to a yummy German restaurant for an early dinner. We visited our old church and watched their Christmas musical. It was wonderful. Sunday morning we were blessed by a very meaningful sermon that really made us think about the true meaning of Christmas and the joy we as Christians should find in Jesus. We then went on our annual Christmas Tree Farm journey into South Carolina where we rode on the wagon, hunted for the perfect tree, played hide and seek among the "gianormous" trees and then had snacks outside in the cold! Yes, it was actually COLD this year!!!!! It felt like Christmas and not 4th of July-ha ha! We came home and had dinner in the dining room where we did the Raclette. This is a Swiss grill where you cook meats, cheeses and veggies at the table top and place them over bread or potatoes. It was very cozy and one of those weekends where you hope your children will remember and smile in years to come. I know I will. Thank you Lord for your son Jesus and all he means to us and all this season is supposed to be about. It is truly wonderful when you slow down and savor the time you have with those you love and reflect upon all that is good and joyful. May you take hold of these next few weeks and gather those that you love and make wonderful memories that will be true and lasting gifts in the years to come.