Saturday, December 20, 2008

Inside Out Christmas

We all get tired of the way Christmas can get - don't we? All the spending and wanting more ends up being burdensome. This year Jason commented that we were kinda having an "inside out" Christmas. Meaning... where we normally try to spend every last penny we can on our own family this year we're trying to spend much less and on others.

We signed up through our church to adopt a family. We were then assigned a family who is not as financially blessed as we are (and we always tend to think that WE don't have much money! Lord, forgive us!) and were given a list of things they might like for Christmas. Our family had a mom, a dad, and three kids. Our own children were delighted at the idea of giving up much of what they could get to be able to give to someone else. They loved going with us to do the shopping.

Today, Jason and the oldest 6 took the gifts. Jason said their tree looked like the one from the Charlie Brown Christmas special. Madison said their house was very small. They had no furniture in the living room except for a lawn chair. They are from Mexico and spoke next to no English. The kids were practicing what Spanish they knew all day (and I was hoping that they'd just stick to "gracias!"). What a lesson for my kids... and for me.

We knew we wouldn't have much money for Christmas gifts this year. About a month ago Jason clearly explained this to the kids after devotions one night. My favorite part of this holiday season came a few days later...

The three oldest children, knowing that gifts would already be fewer this year, asked if they could please request that anyone who might be buying them gifts (aunts, uncles, grandparents...) send money instead so that they could support a child through World Vision. I have never seen them so excited. They set off with little drawings showing how much money they had ($13) and how much they needed ($360). They made signs to put up by their beds that read "Remember, you are sponsoring a child!" They have planned and plotted every which way they can to try and raise more money. As they walk through the toy aisle at Target I see their eyes light up and I ask them if they are sure they don't just want a few gifts and they quickly, and firmly say "No." Madison and Ally were really excited when they realized that if they didn't raise enough money from Christmas donations they could just ask for money instead of gifts for their birthdays in January. They have come up with this ALL ON THEIR OWN and I truly believe it is stemming from something divine in their hearts. I am so proud of them.

The kids each received $10 in the mail today from Jason's Aunt Dolly. While the little boys were rambling off all the things they wanted to buy, Madi, Carson, and Ally ran to their collection bucket and joyfully recounted all their money I think they are up to just over $200. They are so delighted... and so am I. This year I really was feeling like my kids didn't have enough toys. I had told Jason weeks ago that I wanted more for them than their one tub of toys. How humbling and joyful to be rebuked by my own children's selflessness. They are advancing the Kingdom and adding treasures, not to their toy box, but to their hearts....... inside out.


  1. O my word - this made me cry! What a lesson to learn from your precious little ones!!!

  2. So precious. I am continually touched by the thoughtfulness and tenderness of your childrens hearts. So, so, so sweet.