Friday, December 19, 2008

Do You Know about "Advent Conspiracy"?

OK I might just get a little deep here, and this doesn't happen often, so please bear with me...

This is our second year away from home, away from friends and family we have traditions with and with whom we share many memories. Moving away was something I thought I would never survive, it was all about ME ME ME! But, God has a way of saying, "trust Me, and I will change you" and then you do, and, wow...

So anyway, two things impacted me greatly as a teen, when I wasn't worried about having more than one pair of Guess? jeans and if my bangs were sprayed up high enough that day. First, my mom signed us up to adopt a grandparent at the local senior center. This was so cool. Of course, the smell of the place will never leave my nostrils, but spending time with our adopted g'pa was very calm, sweet and special, except when his ex girlfriend was screaming in the room next to him. True story. Somehow he managed to be in a room next to a crazy girlfriend he had like, 50 years before! Oh the stories he told! She was still crazy, and he often told her, while we were there visiting, to "SHUT UP, WOMAN!" We visited him until he died, about a year later.

Then, my hubby's (we have been together 17 years) parents took me along with his family to serve at the homeless shelter for Thanksgiving. Serving in this capacity was amazing as well, as it took me SO outside of myself and all my selfish wants and needs. I am thankful for both these experiences, I believe they watered the seed of serving that I have in my heart.

And here we are, basically alone, with lots of time on our hands for the holidays.

With my kids, I have tried to make sure that seed is planted as well, but in a fun way and in ways they can participate fully. That desire, since moving here, has kicked into overdrive for me. At this time we are helping pack backpacks, on Thursdays, full of food for low-income kids to take home over the weekend. This has taught my kids to be thankful for what they have, and to not complain about what they are given! They are SO enthusiastic and work just as hard as the adults, cleaning up even! About a month ago, Audrey, my 5-year-old, led the prayer for the kids after we were finished. I wasn't the only one crying.

Back home, we would participate in the Salvation Army gift-giving to children. We would get the names off the tree at the participating coffee shop and then go buy gifts, wrap them and bring them back to the tree. Then we would pray for those kids the whole Christmas season. Jacob still talks about those kids now and then. Amazing.

This year I have so much on my list that I want to do but we have been SICK and I am frustrated that we may not get to do all of them! Our church is partnering with other churches to open a toy store to give gifts to 18,000 kids in need in our area. My kids picked out gifts to give, and now they say they wish they would have picked out more and are planning what they want to give next year (SOB!) Tonight is the set up and this weekend we can help distribute gifts and serve food. I am trying to get well so we can do this. I am a strict believer in not sharing germs and viruses so, we'll see...

Last year, our good friends invited us to bring breakfast items to the firefighters across the street working on Christmas Eve. This was SO fun! The kids got to sit in the firetruck and see the lights, hear the sirens, and they got firehats! We will do that again this year, and my hubby will make his "slap your mama they are so good!" cinnamon rolls this time. He is so talented...

I am also hoping to make a surprise visit on Christmas Eve to a friend's Aunt who lives near us and is home-bound. We have so little to do with everyone away on Holiday (and being so far away from home), that it would be a travesty if we didn't share our day with someone who has no one close-by to share it with. Maybe she can become our adopted g'ma...

On a personal note, our socks were BLESSED OFF of us last year, when all of our new friends here showed up one night and brought TONS of new toys for the kids., and gift certificates for us to have a date while they babysat for us. Josh and I were speechless and amazed at how generous people could be, and they just met us! Talk about inspiration!

Anyway I write all of this not to spout off about all the wonderful things we are doing as a family, it is just lately I feel COMPELLED to do these things, like I cannot rest until they are done, like I am not being the parent I should be if I don't introduce my kids to these kinds of activities while they are still young and impressionable, and show them what this season is REALLY about. It also has to do with this video they showed at church recently. I bawled my eyes out. I have watched it over and over. I feel...compelled...



I really hope you all get to do something special for someone this season...

This, my friends, is the bliss...

4 comments:

Tracey said...

I am so sorry you're so sick!! Hope you heal before the holidays. It sounds as though you have a full plate and heart. Merry Christmas!

Kim said...

Thank you, Tracey! I think by Tues, the last day of the Toy Store, we should be rocking and giving! ;) Merry Christmas!

w said...

deep. can't. breathe. lovely. post. but. can't. breathe.

Carol E. said...

I love the video!! I tried to be less spendy this year, but now I'm feeling guilty about even that stuff... next year I'll be an even wiser consumer and Christian! Thanks.

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