The Presents vs. The PRESENCE
This time of year kinda bothers me sometimes. When people share they went $4000 in debt to buy gifts for people, it makes my tummy hurt. The commercials, Black Friday, the greedy gimmies, just kinda grates on our nerves.
Because of this, Dale and I have worked to be VERY intentional with our children to focus not on the PRESENTS, but the PRESENCE of their Lord and Savior, during the Christmas season.
To look outside their own wish lists of things they want, but don't need, and see the hurting world around them. This is why we used to limit Christmas to 3 gifts, like baby Jesus got. We hate all the consumerism and it was our way of stepping back from it.
Last year, when we came to Florida, we asked the Lord to show us a family that could use our help, and He did. I had NO idea how much this family was going to bless US.
Living in an RV has a way of making you VERY intentional with your space, and removing the STUFF that clutters up life and the calender. It's been a huge blessing! That's why we did away with the 3 gifts at Christmas and Birthday and have focus more on experiences, and giving.
This year, we have an opportunity to come alongside a family with some major needs....and our WONDERFUL family here in Florida, helped us make this happen!!!!
What a blessing to turn around and see my 4 kids BEAMING in the back seat, after dropping off a load of food for a family with none. To see Avery dumping her wallet out on the counter, to pay for a baby doll for a little girl she played with, that had no toys.
They get it you guys, at all ages!
They just need to be taught. Sin nature, the desire for SELF, is strong. We were born in flesh. But with a little training and instruction, we can help them in remembering its better to give, then get.
We have spent a lot of time talking about how when they want lights for their bike tires, we get some. When they need new jeans, we stop at the store. When they are hungry, they walk to a overflowing pantry. When they want to go on a big adventure for their birthday, we go and do and be, just about anywhere we want.
To see, real time, a family with empty shelves, get excited over fresh fruits and veggies...changed them. I saw it happen. And it filled their hearts with JOY! The kind of joy that won't be found under mounds of wrinkled up wrapping paper Christmas morning.
This, THIS Is what life is about.
To allow the Lord to flow through us, into others. Dale and my goal with our doTERRA business, is to live off very little of what we make, to be debt free so that we can be FREE TO GIVE. This is our utmost desire, and we praise Him for the doors He opens.
What a joy to give often. To give abundantly. To point back to a Father who cares deeply for His children, and desires for all needs to be met.
Have you ever heard the saying, "Feed the tummy, Feed the Soul"?
It's so true. We were joined at church on Sunday, by this family. It's been a long, long, long time, mom says.
She was nervous. But she came. She showed courage! She overcame the temptation to find a reason to stay home....
And she was fed. She wept tears of joy, and gave her only dollar in the offering bucket, because it felt right. WOAH. What faith! Just like the widows pennies!
She experienced a Jesus who gave and provided and blessed and loved without need for anything in return.... AND SHE WANTED MORE!
Praise you Father God! THIS is what the hands and feet of Jesus are about. We are to meet the needs of a hurting world always. But, why not intentionally, sacrificially too?
I want my kids to wake up Christmas morning and understand that because they GAVE, there is a family on the other side of town, having a Christmas that they have only dared to dream of thus far. That even though there are no presents under the tree, that they live a life of ABUNDANCE and PROVISON and BLESSING and that they too, have recieved a wonderful gift this Christmas!
One that cannot be contained in a wrapped box with a bow....
12/22/2016 08:37:11 am
I am weeping!! With great joy I am seeing the lesson of giving being passed on to the next generation!! Our actions speak so much louder than our Words. You have spoken His Name Loudly and with great amounts of Love and care. Love to you all. I am asking Our Heavenly Father to Bless you abundantly as you daily, are His hands and feet!!
12/22/2016 11:18:48 am
I DITTO every word of LaDonna's comment. What an inspiration you are. I'm excited about how God will continue to bless you for teaching your children so well...and return to you the blessing you are to SO many!!! Praise Jesus!!!
12/22/2016 07:30:11 pm
God will continue to bless your faithfulness and humility! Love to you all!
1/7/2017 11:51:01 pm
Thank you all! To God be the glory as we pour out into our children, the desires He puts in our hearts for their future....
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