Sunday, November 25, 2012

Blessed to be a Blessing

This year, we have one EXTRA week to celebrate Christmas, so I'm excited!  The girls are at the perfect age (almost three) to really enjoy and get into all the holiday festivities.  We have set up our tree, set up our nativity set, hung the ornaments, and even wrapped a couple of presents.  We have our Christmas dresses ready to go, and we are ready to celebrate the birth of our Savior!
This year, I'm keeping it simple.  Growing up, we were showered with presents, and for some, that is fine, but I'm really liking one friend's tradition of giving three gifts, one to represent each wise man.  Some may say, "But wait? Only three gifts?"  Well, seeing as how it's not our birthday, and it is MUCH more blessed to give than to receive, I would say that three gifts is more than enough. 
It's all about balance.  There's nothing wrong with toys and giving gifts, but when it becomes expected and breeds discontent and ungratefulness, that is when we need to adjust our gift-giving and receiving focus.  I find that I buy used books quite often for the girls, and pick up puzzles here and there, so really, they don't need any more toys than they have now. 

This year, our church is challenging us to avoid that unnecessary toy or crazy sweater and give our resources to a ministry; that gift will last for eternity.  Although the girls don't quite understand that yet, I am beginning this year to adjust expectations and find ways to help them become givers and not takers.  It's a huge shift, and probably more difficult for me than for Paul or the girls, but I'm sure that is why God placed that on my heart; not theirs. 

Our pastor reminded us again today that Christ came to serve, and not to be served, and to give his life as a ransom for many.  I want that to be our family's focus for Christmas in this year and many years to come.  He is, after all, the reason for the season.

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