Better late than never, right?? I wrote this for Exemplify’s family channel and it posted last week — soooo, for those of you who didn’t catch it … here you go! You can see it in it’s original glory by clicking here. Don’t forget to head over to the current post for the family channel – Amy wrote an amazing and introspective post and you’ve just GOT to read it! : )
With out further ado…
I still remember the pain I felt last Christmas when a family member suggested that we make it all about the kids. Her idea was that we wouldn’t get each other (siblings) presents; rather, we would just buy gifts for each other’s children. It seems like a harmless suggestion, but we were the only ones without kids. It hurt us. Christmas already held the potential to be painful that year. It was never far from our thoughts that we “should” have two little boys to shop for and spend Christmas with. Seeing all the parents taking the kids to see Santa and receiving happy cards with a smiling Mom and Dad and one or more chubby grin peeking back only reminded us that we were missing one of life’s greatest treasures. Added to that was the disappointment of not getting to spend Christmas with the twins we foster parented earlier that year. So, when our family member made the “kids only” gift exchange suggestion it was just salt to an already open wound.
We wallowed around in our pain for a couple days, but the more we thought about the phrase “all about the kids this year…” I kept thinking that Christmas should be all about One Baby every year. It truly is a child – centered day. So we focused on this Baby who changed our lives forever and the more we did, the most wonderful thing happened.
God did a work in our hearts over the next few weeks, as we longed to be able to shop for our child while anticipating the excitement and joy in a little face. God provided a way for us to pour out all our love into a child. We knew there were plenty of children out there who wished they could look forward to Christmas morning the way the other kids did. We knew there were mothers and fathers who held the same dreams we did. They wanted to give their children the most wonderful Christmas morning ever, but lacked the funds to do it. I can’t imagine the pain that caused their hearts. I think it might be a little like ours. We have a lot to give, but no one to give it to. They had little ones they wanted to give to, but nothing to give.
So, we took a name off a tree in Wal-Mart and had a blast. We bought the cutest little girl clothes you ever saw. We got a Tinkerbelle pillow and books, and bows, and dolls. We poured out all our love into a name written on a paper star. I have no idea who she is. I only know she’s three and now sleeps with a Tinkerbelle pillow. I have no idea what her face looked like when she saw her presents, but I am sure her parents delighted in every little grin and squeal of joy. As we watched our siblings enjoy their children’s response to gifts we were able to sit in contentment and know that we had done the same thing for a child that year.
We learned from experience last Christmas that, “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35 NIV
As this Christmas quickly approaches let us all find ourselves searching for ways to make this verse reality in our lives. Let’s give, and then give some more to those who are in need. After all, Christ came as the greatest gift of all to give us (the neediest of all) eternal life. Can you find ways this year to follow His example?