Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What a Weekend

The season of Christmas is spent many different ways for different families. For me, this year I decided to spend Christmas by splitting my time between different people which meant that the act of Christmas would not all be done on the day of Christmas. This past weekend I celebrated Christmas with my niece. Our weekend was Very busy. Friday was just the two of us. She arrived at my house after she got out of school for the week. She had lots of energy as usual. I was so excited to see her, as I do not get to see her as much as I did when I lived with her. Since I have had to learn to live with a disability as part of my life, part of that is learning to manage a smaller budget. Part of that is learning to decide what is most important especially when it comes to times like this at Christmas. That evening Torie opened her present. Yes Present as in one. I had finally come to terms with no longer feeling guilty that I could not buy her a lot. The Sunday before the pastor spoke about a "One Gift" message. He challenged us to think about giving our children only one present for Christmas. Why? We tend to buy our children all these presents and they open them all excited and then when they are done the excitement of Christmas is over and nothing is left except the searches for batteries or the arguments for who will play the games or the anger that a game won't work. Then he explain how there is so much more to Christmas than that our children could be focusing on if we only gave one gift and focused on the real reason for Christmas just one time. This wasn't my reasoning in buying one gift for my niece but it sure did help in discussing Christmas with her and even more it helped me in seeing my motives and my own heart toward Christmas so much clearer. If you would like to hear this podcast go to and search for the podcast One Gift.
My niece and I then went the next morning to Jackson Park Ministries to help deliver presents to different families in the area. It was the first time the both of us had an opportunity to work with this organization. It is an Amazing organization which helps the community. The majority of families that we saw that day were unable to let there small children play outside due to continued violence in the area around there homes. Even though they wanted so much to have more for their children they still had a part of them that either believed in that One great gift of Christmas or we were able to share that One Great Gift with them.
That evening I took my niece with me to my small group Christmas party. It was a fun filled time of food and friends who are like family and gift games. We were all able to share in one another's lives and spend time together as a family in the love of Christ. It also gave me a chance to take some photos that I don't get to do a lot of these days. Here are a few.

To wrap up our weekend I was able to go and watch my niece sing at the church I grew up in on Sunday night. Sometime before that day I had given her a poster to hang on her wall at home. It was a poster with a cross and the verse John 3:16 on it. The children singing that night were suppose to bring a wrapped present with them but she had not let me know this or apparently anyone else. She instead chose to open the poster right before going and take it instead. They were not giving it to someone at church but it was to be there gift in the play to Jesus that they would lay down. It was the thing she had and therefore she was going to give it. The more I thought about it, the more it hit me. She had been so proud of that poster and yet she was so willing to give it. I think why can't I do more of that? Why can't I be more willing to give the most important things to me?

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